Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida is a fun-filled place for the whole family. You’re guaranteed to have a great time with its incredible environment, rides, and different restaurants and shops. The park was actually the fourth park built at Disney World and opened on April 22, 1998. It’s the largest Disney theme park in the world, covering over 500 acres of land. Continuing with great unique themes like the other parks in Disney World, there are a variety of places to check out.
One place to check out in the park is the Oasis. The Oasis features a number of different animals such as Barking Deer, spoonbills, ducks, wallabies and giant anteaters. It’s as good a place any to start your trek through the Animal Kingdom! Another spot to definitely check out is Discovery Island, located in the center of the park, and home to some great wildlife like kangaroos, black crowned cranes, and lemurs. There’s even a great 4D show to check out which features narration from Disney-Pixar Animation’s Flik and Hopper (A Bug’s Life).
The Camp Minnie-Mickey section of the park is designed with a rustic summer camp theme. Here you can meet some of Disney’s most famous characters such as Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Goofy and more. It is also home to the Festival of the Lion King, a live stage show that features acrobats and musical performances.
The Africa section gives visitors more of safari feel to your visit. The main feature of this area is Harambe, which according to Disney legend was once part of a Dutch colony but peacefully revolted and became self governing in 1963. Today, it’s the starting point for tourists and students who wish to view Africa’s animals in their natural habitats. There’s a great open-sided safari ride that showcases exotic animals such as reticulated giraffes, hippos, African elephants and lions. Additionally, you have the choice between going in a forest trail as well as a nature walk to check out even more scenery and animals.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch, connected to the Africa section allows guests to experience a variety of things. Habitat Habit is home to cottontop tamarins and educates visitors on the efforts to protect the endangered primates in their natural habitat. Conservation Station provides information on Disney acts in the welfare for animals as well as the services given right in the Animal Kingdom. When you’re finished up, feel free to jump on board the Wildlife Express Train to get shuttled around to different sections of the park while seeing some amazing sights.
Added in 1999, the Asia section is home to the fictional kingdom of Anandapur and consists of two villages, the riverside village of Anandapur and the village in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, Serka Zong. The Maharajah Jungle Trek leads guests through the forests and ruins outside the villages allowing guests to experience exotic animals such as komodo dragons, fruit bats, tapirs, and tigers. There’s also an exhilarating water rapids ride called the Kali River Rapids. That’s not the only fun ride available in Asia though, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain takes you on a high speed train ride through the misty unknown of the Himalayas, but be careful, you’re in Yeti country.
Dinoland U.S.A. tickles the dinosaur fancy most little boys have. Like the rest of Disney’ Animal Kingdom’s section it features animals on display but these have evolutionary links to the dinosaur age. Check out American Crocodiles and Asian brown tortoises along with plants and other animal species that have survived since dinosaurs roamed the land. The Dino Institute is home to DINOSAUR, a thrilling ride that takes you on a trip in time to the Late Cretaceous Period. Just outside you will find “Dino-Sue”, a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil casting, once of the most complete yet found. The section is also home to more family rides, carnival games and gift shops. At the edge of DinoLand U.S.A. you’ll find the “Theater in the Wild”, home to Finding Nemo – The Musical, a live-action stage show based on the Disney Pixar film.
After all that enjoyment you will have definitely built up quite the hunger. Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a wide variety of dining establishments to reload on that much needed fun fuel. Places like the Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café located in the Asia section of the park and offers great Pan-Asian dishes, like crispy honey chicken and pork egg roll. There is also the Tusker House Restaurant which gives visitors more of a hearty/homecooked feel with its cuisine. On the way out of the park, you can check out the Rainforest Café and enjoy dining in with a creative tropical rainforest backdrop along with a great attached giftshop.
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