Review of "Disney's Animal Kingdom"

published 01/09/2010 | shabbating
Member since : 22/01/2010
Reviews : 107
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About me :
Hiya, I am 22 yrs of age and my name is shabbating. I'm from Coventry and I am currently at university, I enjoy spending my time watching movies at the cinema so you'll see a lot of film reviews from me :) I'm new at this so be nice ;)
Pro Loads of animals, Disney magic.
Cons Not enough attractions.
very helpful
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"I <3 Disney!!!"

Animal Kingdom is one of four Disney theme parks in the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida; the others being Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom was the last of the four theme parks to be built, it opened in 1998. There are also water parks, shopping areas, sports arenas and all sorts of entertainment going on in Disney World. The idea behind Animal Kingdom was animal conservation; both children and adults will enjoy seeing the many 'wild' animals that are dotted around the park. Animal Kingdom may well be on the bottom of most people's lists when deciding which of the four Disney parks to visit but it is definitely worth a visit. It is the biggest of the four parks, as it is essentially a conservation area, and it has its own unique charm.

I visited Disney last year in September/October which meant it was hot but not too hot and there were practically no queues. Most rides had a 5 minute wait, so much better than going in the height of summer when you can expect to wait at least an hour.

The theme park is split into seven areas; unlike Magic Kingdom, the areas aren't that different from each other. That is simply to do with the theme, the whole park is themed 'animal', they couldn't really differentiate the seven areas that much. I didn't see that as a problem, it was harder to work out where I was but that is nothing a map can't fix.


Oasis serves as the entrance to the Animal Kingdom. It is a small area that has toilets, information and all the other helpful bits and bobs you might need before you set off exploring the park.
There is an attraction in Oasis, The Oasis Exhibits. This is your first taste of the many animal viewing areas; here you can see anteaters, boars, ducks, macaws and many more animals. Pick up a park map as you enter Animal Kingdom and you can see the many animal viewing areas labelled with a paw print.
There are a couple of shops in Oasis if you're on the hunt for souvenirs. They sell gifts featuring many different Disney characters dressed for safari. Personally, I think the gifts for sale in Animal Kingdom are some of the best available when compared to the other parks' offerings.
The one dining option in Oasis is actually half in and half out of the park, so you can enter the Rainforest Cafe without paying admission into the park or after entering the park.

Discovery Island

The centrepiece of Discovery Island and Animal Kingdom as a whole is the Tree of Life. The tree is 44 metres high and 15 metres wide and there are 325 animals carved into the side of the tree trunk. It isn't actually a real tree but it is impressive nonetheless. Discovery Island connects all but one of the sections of the park (Rafiki's Planet Watch being the one you can't get to directly); it is the hub of activity.
There are only two attractions in this section of the park:

Discovery Island Trails
You can walk around the Tree of Life which is surrounded by animal viewing areas. Try and spot all 325 animal carvings on the tree! This may sound like a boring attraction/park but it really depends on what sort of person you are. If you hate zoos, Animal Kingdom may not be worth the admission fee but if you're interested in seeing some animals you've never seen before, then this is the place for you.

It's Tough to Be a Bug
This is a 3D show featuring the characters of the hit Disney Pixar film A Bug's Life which is in the bottom of the Tree of Life. I didn't get to see this as it was closed, which I was gutted about. It was one of the main attractions I wanted to see at the park :(

Discovery Island has four dining options, none of which I visited but all of which looked and smelled yummy:
Flame Tree Barbecue (ribs, chicken)
Pizzafari (pizza, sandwiches)
Safari Barbecue (turkey legs, chicken)
Safari Coffee

There are plenty of shops in this part of the park, definitely worth taking a look if you have a spare dollar or twenty.

Dinoland U.S.A.

Dinoland has a variety of attractions for both kids and adults:

Finding Nemo - The Musical
A 45 minute musical based on the hit movie Finding Nemo. It's done in a puppet style, so you can see the people controlling the puppets of Nemo, Dory etc. but they are also in costume as well. It is excellent! Expect there to be quite a queue so get there early to get close to the action. I was sat about half way up the theatre and had a great view, I think you'd enjoy it wherever you were sat. Collect the show times as you enter the park to ensure you don't miss out!

Primeval Whirl
This one throws you about a bit; it is like a cross between a waltzer and a small roller coaster. There are two roller coasters going at the same time but in opposite directions, both layouts are the same. It's an ok ride, don't go on it if you're feeling a little queasy though.

This is a dark ride which is another one that jerks you about a bit. It's alright, maybe starting to look a little old, but it's entertaining. I find it amusing how rides like this are all frantic and you're right in the middle of the action ends. Just stops, always seems like a little bit of a letdown but hey ho.

TriceraTop Spin
Another version of the classic Dumbo ride (Magic Kingdom). You get to move the dinosaur you're sitting in up and down while it spins in a circle. These rides never get old.

I didn't go on the following attractions:
The Boneyard (play maze)
Fossil Fun Games (carnival games)

The following are the dining options in Dinoland U.S.A.:
Restaurantosaurus (burgers, hot dogs)
PetriFries (fries, drinks)


Asia turned out to be one of my favourite parts of Animal Kingdom (mainly for the Yak & Yeti restaurant!). The attractions are:

Kali River Rapids
You get wet, very wet. Make sure you put your valuables in the centre holding of the raft otherwise you may be leaving the ride with a broken camera. Good way to cool down on a hot day.

Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
From the outside this looks like a huge scary ride but it actually doesn't do a lot. Walking to the ride you can see parts of it but the rest is covered by a massive fake mountain; the bits I saw made me think I would poo me pants but it was actually a bit of a letdown. It is the biggest ride in the park so you might want to have a ride on it.

Other attractions:
Flights of Wonder (bird show)
Maharajah Jungle Trek (walk through animal viewing location)

Onto the dining, the Yak & Yeti Restaurant is amazing! It serves pan-Asian cuisine and it is gorgeous. I had duck with an orange wasabi glaze served with rice and vegetables and a mango pie for dessert. Excellent food. To be honest, I didn't have a bad meal the whole two weeks I was at Disney World. The standard of food is excellent, it may be expensive if you're not on the Disney Dining Plan but it is worth it for a special treat. You do have to book early for most if not all sit down restaurants in Disney World.

Other dining options in Asia:
Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafes (honey chicken, sweet & sour pork)
Anandapur Ice Cream

Rafiki's Planet Watch

I didn't go to this part of Animal Kingdom unfortunately; I only visited the theme park for one day which is nowhere near enough time! I'll go through the attractions in this area:

Wildlife Express Train
You have to board this train in Africa to get to Rafiki's Planet Watch and then get a train back. Trains come every 5-7 minutes.

Habitat Habit! (animal viewing area)
Conservation Station (interactive exhibits, animal encounters)
Affection Section (petting yard)


Kilimanjaro Safaris
A safari vehicle takes you around an African savannah where you can see elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes and gazelles. I couldn't see that many animals on the trek, it does obviously depend on whereabouts the animals feel like roaming as to what you see. You will see something but it might be a long way from where you are.

The other attraction on offer in Africa is:
Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (gorillas, hippos and more)

Dining options are as follows:
Dawa Bar
Tusker House Restaurant (buffet)
Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House Restaurant (breakfast buffet)
Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery
Harambe Fruit Market
Tamu Tamu Refreshments (burgers, sandwiches)

Camp Minnie-Mickey

Going by the name you may think this is a children’s play area but it isn't. There are plenty of opportunities for kids to meet their favourite characters and there is also one of the best shows in the Disney parks:

Festival of the Lion King
This is a great show featuring some of the best characters and songs from The Lion King. It really is a must see! As with the other shows, pick up a times guide on entering the park so you can plan your day and not miss out on any of the shows.

Greeting Trails
Meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Chip N Dale. I think they were all there, all dressed up ready for safari. Even though we were both 21, my girlfriend and I queued up for autographs and pictures. If you've got some time to spare take your kids along, they will love it! The greeting trails are located next to the Festival of the Lion King so lines tend to be longest just after a performance has finished. If the show is currently on you should be lucky and have little to no queues.

The other attraction in Camp Minnie-Mickey is:
Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends (children's show with live animals)

The dining option is:
Camp Soft Serve

Worth a Visit?

Yes yes yes. You definitely need more than one day though. I made the mistake of thinking there wasn't much there so one day would do it. Although there aren't loads of attractions, you need time to walk around the park looking at the different animals. Also the shows take up a good chunk of your day too. The more time you can spare to go to Animal Kingdom, the more you will get out of it. Don't miss Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade which goes from Africa and around the Tree of Life (see times guide for more information).

Animal Kingdom should take up a couple of days of your Disney World holiday and will be well worth it!

If you want to have a glimpse at full restaurant menus and prices, check out this link:
If you are staying at a Disney Resort I would recommend the Dining Plan, it does seem expensive but it's so much easier when you are there. You do save money by being on the plan; the amount you save depends on what Dining Plan you choose. Pick the expensive items like me and you'll save a packet ;)
More information can be found here:

Also posted on dooyoo under the username shabbating.

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Comments on this review

  • KarenUK published 08/09/2010
    I want to go!
  • paulpry118 published 02/09/2010
    Looking at Disney next year
  • sewbizzie published 02/09/2010
    Exceptional review - E x x
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Listed on Ciao since: 17/09/2000