Let me start this off by saying that I didn’t used to like Disney’s, I thought it was just a big zoo and found it to honestly be a little boring. I had only been once before, right after it had opened when all the attractions weren’t even completed, so I got to thinking, maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. So when I visited Walt Disney World last month, I vowed to visit Animal Kingdom with open eyes and an open mind.
We started our day with breakfast at Tusker House – which was really delicious, they offered the typical disney breakfast buffet, and had some more traditional African choices as well, including bobotie (a quiche-like beef pie with egg, curry and other spices), mealie pap (similar to cream of wheat, and other delicious choices. It is a character meal, where Donald greets you upon arrival, and Daisy (whom we really enjoyed seeing, can you tell??), Goofy, Mickey and Minnie circulate the dining room while you eat. It’s loud and full of children and families, and we had a great time there. Once we were nice and full, it was time to give Animal Kingdom a second chance…
Needless to say, I was VERY surprised at how much I really enjoyed the park as a whole, I found the theming to be amazing, the cast members knowlegeable and helpful, and the animals interesting and unique. I was also surprised at how much I loved the rides at Animal Kingdom! Which is what led me to this list –
The Top Five Attractions that Adults will love at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
1. Expedition Everest – A roller coaster adventure to track down the mysterious and dangerous Yeti creature takes you down high drops, around fast corners, and it even goes backwards! This was a lot faster and more fun than I expected, but it wasn’t too bumpy of a ride (thankfully-since we rode it after breakfast!). The line queue for this is one of the best in all of WDW – incredibly detailed, telling the story and history of the Yeti and of it’s role as protector of the mountain. The story is that the Himalayan Escapes Tour Company have enticed you to explore the mystical Mount Everest on an old train, and you learn about the history of the Mountain and it’s protector as you go through the line. This is one line I almost didn’t mind waiting in, that’s how interesting it was, and there were so many tiny details to take in, that we had to ride it twice just to be able to take in as much as possible!
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris – Board the safari jeeps and you will feel like you are really in Africa as you travel through the 100 acre savannah and catch glimpses of lions, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and elephants, all up close and personal! The views from this ride are great, and a perfect place for photo ops, and your tour guide will point out the different animals along the way. Animal lovers will especially enjoy this ride, as there is definitely a lot to see, so make sure you have your cameras ready so you can capture it all!
3. Kali River Rapids – “CAUTION – You Will Get Wet!” is what you’ll see on many signs at the entrance and throughout the queue for this ride – and the signs are definitely accurate! It’s a wild ride through twists and turns, with rapids and waterfalls at every turn. There is one large(r) drop that I really enjoyed, and it’s fun trying to figure out when/where you will get wet. Some people get more wet than others, but on a hot Orlando day you will be dry in no time (so in other words, its unnecessary to wear a poncho on this ride – but people still do). I will give you this tip – there’s a bar in the center for you to put your feet on – USE it – there will be water that sloshes around at the bottom of the raft, and you definitely don’t want wet, squishy sneakers all day (trust me!)
4. Dinosaur – Head into the “Dino Institute” and board your all terrain vehicle/time machine for a trip back to the era of the dinosaurs, where you can ‘uncover the mysteries of the past’. It’s a bumpy ride, thrilling ride as you encounter all different types of dinaosaurs, from the mild herbivores to the not so tame carnivores, and to top it all off, there is a meteor shower which you must safely escape from. It may sound slightly silly (and it kind of is), but its fun too, riding around in the all terrain jeep as you search for dinosaurs.
5. Primeval Whirl – This ride is cheesy to the max! It is located within Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama area, which is essentially a park within the park, a midway full of games and a few carnival-style rides, including this spinning coaster which takes you back in time to the prehistoric era. Fitting in with the cheesy theme, there are flashing lights, loud noises, and huge dinosaur cutouts all over as you go along the track in your ‘time machine’. It might not be the most sophisticated or thrilling attraction at Disney, but its fun and brings you back to the good times you had when you were a kid at local carnivals, plus its dinosaur themed (what could be better?!)
If you have never been to Animal Kingdom, I strongly urge you to give it a try, spend a day walking around and trying the above attractions, sample some of the amazing food they have to offer, and take in the sights – it really is a great place! I am hooked, and will for sure be spending at least 1 day here on my next WDW vacation!
- Top 5 Animal Kingdom Traditions (chipandco.com)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Has Fun For Everyone (livinginagrownupworld.wordpress.com)
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