Prepare yourselves for an experience like no other as you embark on a wild adventure through Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This incredible theme park is the largest in the world, covering a huge 580 acres of land. You’ll have hours of fun exploring all the different areas; learning about the natural environment and animal conservation as you go.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park first opened its doors to the public in April 1998 and now has six different themed sections for you to enjoy; featuring amazing animal exhibits, thrilling attractions and spectacular shows. Venture through Asia and Africa, explore Oasis and step back in time in Dinoland U.S.A.; all connected by Discovery Island at the very heart of the park. And for the little ones? Board the train from Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch for even more animal encounters.
Pandora – The World of AVATAR
James Cameron’s blockbuster movie is now brought to life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Join like-minded adventurers on the Alpha Centauri Expedition (ACE) and journey through floating mountains, bio-luminescent forests and mysterious rivers. If it’s anything like the film, you will be blown away by the stunning visual effects and awe-inspiring designs that this new land brings to the park.
- Avatar Flight of Passage – ride on your very own mountain banshee in this magnificent 3-D flight simulator. You’ll soar high above the moon of Pandora and experience incredible natural landscapes as a member of the Expedition crew.
- Na’vi River Journey – climb aboard a reed boat and glide along the Na’vi River, as you pass through the bio-luminescent rainforests you’ll be guided by the voice of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. Great for all the family, this attraction needs to be seen (and heard) to be believed.
- Valley of Mo’ara – where else can you see floating mountains, exotic plants and other Na’vi artefacts, the valley is a great place to immerse yourself in all things Avatar, whilst you grab a bite to eat or shop for souvenirs.
Fun for little ones
- Finding Nemo: The Musical (inspired by Disney·Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo’): puppetry merges with live performances in this West End-style spectacular
- Triceratop Spin: twirl up, down and around in a friendly flying dinosaur
- Expedition Everest™: beware the dreaded Yeti on this high-speed train trek through the Himalayan unknown
- DINOSAUR: join a rescue mission 65 million years back in time to save the last dinosaur – the only thing between you and extinction is your seat belt!
- Kali River Rapids: prepare to get wet – really wet! – on a wild, white-water rafting journey through the turbulent rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: set off on safari across 110 acres among free-roaming wildlife across a rolling savannah
- The Festival of the Lion King: a breathtaking celebration of the circle of life with Simba and all of his friends
Keep your feet firmly on the ground
- Tree of Life: a celebration of all living creatures, this iconic centerpiece is the symbol of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. How many animal images can you spot carved into its trunk?
- Conservation Station: Explore this wildlife conservation centre, experiencing animal encounters, interactive exhibits and a veterinary facility along the way.
Things to do
From the moment the gates open until well into the evening, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park has non-stop entertainment that’ll take you to another world. Don’t forget to pick up a Park guide when you arrive, which’ll give you advice on show times, venues plus other smaller shows not listed below. But for now, here are some of the key shows that aren’t to be missed.
- Festival of the Lion King: African spectacular tells the popular tale of Simba. You’ll hear all the great songs from the film and watch stilt walkers, fire dancers and circus performers on an enormous stage set in the round. The show lasts half an hour and plays throughout the day.
- Rivers of Light: Disney’s newest nighttime show (coming soon in 2017) takes place on the lagoon in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Lanterns, fireflies and dancing fountains are brought to life by a story of mystical sisters conjuring up animal spirits. Where else could you see this in Florida?
- Finding Nemo – The Musical: Broadway-style spectacular. Perfect for all ages, this show follows the story of the film using imaginative puppetry, lighting and under-the-sea projections. Be swept along by original songs, amazed at the camouflaged puppeteers and laugh out loud as you join Nemo, Crush and Nigel the Pelican on their journey.
- Tree of Life Awakenings: Much like the Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom Park, the Tree of Life is the centrepiece of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Every 10 minutes after dark the tree comes to life with lights and projections, awakened by a host of magical fireflies. It’s the perfect way to end a day in the park for children (and adults) of all ages.
- Flights of Wonder: Take your seat for an educational journey through a world of exotic birds. The trainer and his mischievous assistant ‘Guano Joe or Jane’ entertain the audience while birds of prey, African grey parrots and blue-and-gold macaws swoop overhead.
With so many places to eat in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, you’re never far from a refreshing drink or ice-cream sundae. Whether you’re looking for a quick pit-stop or want to meet your favourite Disney character while you eat, we’ve pulled together just a few options for when you’re out and about.
- Pongu Pongu: Head to the snack stand on the corner of Windtraders to pick up a refreshing frozen cocktail, cool beer or sweet treat before you continue on with your adventure through Pandora.
- Harambe Fruit Market: Find this snack stall in the Africa zone, full of fresh fruit and other snacks delivered daily to the Park.
- Dawa Bar: Sample the cocktails or African beers on offer here before the Lion King Show.
- Anandapur Ice Cream Truck: Perfect for a hot day in the Florida sun, stop off at this wacky ice-cream truck to pick up soft-serve waffle cones, frosty floats and fountain drinks.
Food on the go
- Satu’li Canteen:Inspired by the natural world around Pandora and surrounded by the Na’vi’s cultural heritage, serving healthy dishes made with fresh vegetables and grains, here’s one for all the family to enjoy.
- Eight Spoon Cafe: Grab a filling snack while you’re exploring all there is to see on Discovery Island. There are plenty of good quality pasta dishes on the menu and, of course, you can’t leave without trying the famous Mickey pretzel.
- Flame Tree Barbecue: Fantastic food fresh from the grill, including pork sandwiches, jerk chicken and St. Louis ribs. Take your food from the counter and find yourself a seat down by the river for some lovely views.
- Pizzafari: A good sit down restaurant for all the family. Naturally there’s a whole host of pizza available, but also salads and sandwiches too. You can also get a draft beer, glass of wine and fountain drinks here too.
Waiter service restaurants
- Rainforest Cafe: A really popular choice at the entrance to the park; open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll dine in the middle of the rainforest surrounded by singing birds and trumpeting elephants. We recommend that you book in advance of your trip as this is a family favourite.
- Yak and Yeti™ Restaurant: Located in the Asia zone, so as you’d expect, Far Eastern dishes are on the menu. Stir-frys, soups and sweet and sour are the order of the day. There’s an accommodating kids menu and a full service bar where you can try the local speciality, chilled sake.
- Tiffins: One of the park’s most recent additions, the menu is eclectic and takes inspiration from across the globe. Try miso-glazed black cod, Wagyu strip loin and ribs or lobster popcorn. Then wash it down with your pick from the renowned wine list and a choice of after-dinner liqueurs, dessert wines and specialty drinks.
- Tusker House: Meet Daisy, Donald, Goofy and Mickey Mouse for breakfast, lunch or a family-style buffet dinner. It’s a great way to ensure that you get to spend time with the ever popular Disney favourites.
A trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park wouldn’t be the same without meeting up with some of your favourite Disney Characters while you’re there. Now, it’s a really big place, so we wouldn’t want you searching for hours on end for that all-important opportunity to get the photo you’ve been waiting for. Instead, we’ve made it easier for you, by listing all the best spots below.
- Baloo and King Louie: Upcountry Landing
- Rakifi, Chip and Dale and Jiminy Cricket: Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
- Flik: Discovery
- Donald Duck: Cretaceous Trail in Dinoland U.S.A.
- Pocahontas: Character Landing
- Goofy and Pluto: Dinoland U.S.A. Service Station
- Safari Minnie Mouse and Safari Mickey Mouse: Adventurers Outpost
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park certainly isn’t short of a shop or two when it comes to finding the perfect souvenir to take home with you. There are countless gift shops selling everything from Mickey ears and safari hats to soft toys and clothing. In fact, there are nearly 30 different stores, shops and carts for you to browse as you journey around the Park.
- Windtraders: As you walk through the Valley of Mo’ara, you’ll find this shop hidden in the undergrowth. Full of Pandora keepsakes plus Alpha Centauri Expedition (ACE) apparel, science kits and soft toys, so make sure you take a piece of Pandora home with you.
- Mombasa Marketplace: Visit this bustling boutique that stocks everything you could want to remind you of your safari adventure; from soft toys to authentic African imports like art, jewellery and musical instruments.
- Serka Zong Bazaar: Spend time here shopping for souvenirs from your trip to Mount Everest, pick up your Yeti-inspired t-shirts, postcards and cuddly toys.
- Zuri’s Sweets Shop: Why not reward yourself with a sweet treat after a long day of tracking animals? Just don’t forget to buy enough to take some home with you too!