Review of "Disney's Animal Kingdom"

published 24/12/2003 | nickjj78
Member since : 10/11/2003
Reviews : 102
Members who trust : 13
About me :
Pro Soemefantastic rides
Cons Lots of walking and not a great number of rides
very helpful

"Animal Kindgom: Disney meets the animals!"

Disney's Animal Kingdom is the newest Disney theme park and it's also by far the biggest (about twice the size of EPCOT centre!) so you will be doing a lot of walking!

How to get there?

Buses operate from all Walt Disney World (WDW) resort hotels. Beware, however, that even when you get off the bus you have a very long walk before you actually arrive at the theme park entrance! If driving, you arrive in a massive car park and then take a bus directly to the theme park entrance.

If you arrive early in the day there will virtually no queues anywhere! A Disney cast member told me that when going into the park head left as most guests will turn right! (Not to sure if this is really true!)

What is it?

Animal Kingdom is a starneg mix of rides and attractions featuring around animals (!) as well as heading back in time to look at pre historic animals such as dinosaurs.

The park is split into 5 themed areas: Africa, Asia, Camp Minnie Mickey
Dinoland USA and Discovery Island.

There are too many rides to discuss each one in details, but I have picked out a few of my favourite things from each area:

Discovery Island:
The main thing to see on Discovery Island is It's Tough to Be a bug! This is contained inside the Tree of Life which is fantastic centre piece and main emblem for the park. It's tough to be a bug is a brilliant 3d film that lasts for under 10 minutes and you go into the tree of life to watch the film. Kids seem to adore the film about the life of bugs and it's very visual and quite loud so caution may be needed with very young children. I don't want to give too much away but it's a must see and you'll never want to hurt a bug again!!

This ride has FASTPASS which is Disney's virtual queuing system whereby you can use your theme park entrance ticket to receive a FASTPASS ticket telling you to come back later in the day and visit the attraction with a much shorter wait time.

The main thing to do in Africa is to ride the Kilimanjoro Safari (FASTPASS attraction). On this attraction you get to ride in a safari jeep whilst looking for hunters. This is a very scripted Disney ride (the same each time you ride it!) but it's very well done as you get to see lots of animals (we saw a hippo, lion and giraffe amongst others). Hold onto your hats and glasses as this can be quite a bumpy ride but it is suitable for everyone.

The queues for this ride can be horrendous so definitely so the FASTPASS option or ride early in the morning (a lot of the animals re asleep in the afternoon!)

Kali River Rapids
The main ting I can say about this ride is that YOU WILL GET WET!!!!!!!!! The water rapids are great. When we went it took me 3 hours to dry off in the Florida sunshine so it may be wise to take spare clothing and leave it in the lockers at the entrance to the park. If you feel other people did not get quite wet enough there are water squirts at the end of the ride so you can make even more of a splash!

Dinoland USA:
This is great ride that is part simulator and moving ride and starts Mrs Cosby (AKA Phylischia Rashad) from the Cosby Show. The pre attraction queuing area is breathtaking as you watch part of the Big Bang and get to see real (ish!) dinosaur artefacts., Swept along in the story, the ride does move quite quickly and jerk about in parts so be warned if you suffer from motion sickness. I loved this ride as there is sop much to look at that you could ride several times before you get bored.

The queues for this ride are always long so ride first thing in the morning or use FASTPASS. It's a good ride to queue for when it's very warm as most of the queuing is done inside a nicely cooled air conditioned building!

Top tips:

I'm not sure why but this is my least favourite Disney theme park. I must admit that I am not a great animal fan and although there are some excellent attractions, this park has never truly excited me. I think it's basically the size that is off putting. In the other theme parks, you can normally pick out where you are by spotting easily identifiable land marks but there are not too many of those here and there is dense shrubbery everywhere that makes it difficult at times to decide where you are!

There are not tons of rides here but Disney are adding new attractions all the time and rides that are here are very well done and enjoyable.

Make sure that you wear comfy shoes and drink plenty of water and use lots of sun cream as you will do a lot of walking in this park and it gets very muggy. There are plenty of ice cream and cool drink vendors dotted about the park (a bottle of water/Coke is about $2). There are also lots of FREE water fountains which kids always seem to adore.

Where to eat?

The rainforest cafe is perhaps the best place to eat at the Animal Kingdom as it is great for kids and very well themed for the park. Watch (and listen) to the rain storm as you sit and eat lunch. There is another Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney (see op on that) and you can also gain entry to this Rainforest cafe without entering the park.

There are plenty of other counter services cafes that service burgers, pizzas, salads and such like but also offer a wide range of food such as smoked meats etc. (supposedly to represent the different cultures from the park).

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Comments on this review

  • L.Yeomans published 29/03/2004
    I've been there twice. I did enjoy it, but like you this is my least favourite park. I feel it could do with a few more rides. Maybe they will add more as it is still in its early days. Good op x
  • feeble_albatross published 24/12/2003
    I would have really loved this when I was 7. Olivia :)
  • Pictoria published 24/12/2003
    Sounds an interesting place to be... Been to the USA but never been to any of the Disney Theme parks before... Lynn-Marie
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