Disney's Animal Kingdom

A *Wild* Adventure
Today is all sorts of roaring good fun because I'm talking all about Disney's Animal Kingdom.

One WILD Adventure
Disney's Animal Kingdom is one of the most unique Disney parks globally. The concept manages to infuse classic Disney magic like imaginative attractions and entertainment offerings, all while immersing guests in a nature park. Part zoo, part theme park. The Animal Kingdom is truly one of a kind.

Disney Meets Nature
Disney's Animal Kingdom or DAK for short has to be my second favorite Walt Disney World park after EPCOT. I just love how it's the literal fusion of live animals from around the world and the classic Disney experience I've grown to love from their theme parks.
Here you can take a safari ride across the African savannah, trek to the top of Mt. Everest and even play with the dinosaurs! It's got a little something for everyone!

The Wilderness Must Be Explored!
To get into the fun of DAK, my family and I dressed the part. We turned into literal Wilderness Explorers for the day and it was a blast!

**Tips for explorers**
For a bit of extra fun during your day be sure to check out the "Wilderness Explorer Challenge". You can pick up a free booklet at participating kiosks and go on a self guided "challenge" around the park. There's fun little activities you complete and after you get a cool little sticker badge to add to your book. My entire family participated and had the best time! Fun for all ages for sure. There's a lot of activities to cover, so if you can't complete it in one visit, you can always bring it back on your next visits to the park.

Africa to Asia and everything in between
The park itself has several distinct lands that are themed after continents or myth so I'll break them down and some highlights that we loved from each:

Discovery Island
Upon arrival into the park you're greeted with the enormous "Tree of Life" DAK's version of a Disney Castle. The unique thing about this gigantic tree are the individual animal carvings that are represented among the trunk and roots of the tree. There's also a few fun animal exhibits in the surrounding areas (flamingos, otters!).
What we loved about this area bedsides the animal exhibits was getting to meet Pixar UP's Russell and Dug! If you're lucky you might even see a rare Kevin sighting in the surrounding area.

Dinoland U.S.A
Dinos, but make it cute! Ben LOVED this portion of the park. It's got almost a retro Dinosaur vibe, which sounds weird, but it's absolutely adorable.
Triceratops Spin: Think Dumbo but themed after a flying triceratop. It was one of Ben's favorite rides of the day!
DINOSAUR!: a fast paced dinosaur adventure that has some thrills and definitely ends with a *bang*. I wouldn't recommend this ride for smaller kiddos since it can be a bit frightening, but it'd be a good ride for older kiddos. The ride itself is similar in intensity to Disneyland's Indiana Jones attraction, if you're familiar. There's some bumps, dips and turns, along side some prehistoric creatures.

**Chatacter Tips**
Thanks to everyone's tips from my IG, we found the cutest little character meet and greet area here. You get to meet Donald, Daisy, Chip n Dale, Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad and more! It's a bit hidden in the land, so ask a CM if you can't locate the area. Chip n Dale were in Dino outfits and it was seriously adorable! A plus is that there were barely any lines to meet the characters and if there was a little wait it was all in the shade (YES!)

Asia
A few steps away from Dinoland U.S.A you're transported to Asia. I give so many props to Disney's imagineering team in regards to the theming at this park because the views from every angle are stunning.
Expedition Everest: You can't miss this behemoth of an attraction! Disney's version Mt. Everest houses a thrilling rollercoaster up (& down) the world's most famous peak, just watch out for that Yeti! This one is a must if you're into thrill rides. Disney imagineering truly turned it up a notch with this ride because of the details in the attraction queue and ride itself.

Maharajah Jungle Trek: Walk among the tigers! This is what I loved about DAK, all of the visually stunning and beautiful animal trails. This trail is so beautifully themed. You truly feel like you've been transported to a jungle temple somewhere far away and the animal attractions are amazing.
Finding Nemo Stage Show: While we didn't watch this show this time around we did on previous trips and thought it was so cute! The littles will love this stage adaptation of the beloved Pixar film!

Africa
Kilaminjaro Safari: This is the star of DAK! A literal safari into the African savannah to see wild and exotic animals like giraffes, zebras, lions, elephants and more. It's such a unique attraction and always a must for us on each visit.

Gorilla Falls Trail:
DO NOT MISS this trail! Much like the Maharajah trek in "Asia", this trail is fully immersive and takes you into the misty jungles to get up close with these beautiful creatures. This trail also houses different types of animals from reptiles, birds and more. We spent a good amount of time just wandering through the animal exhibits and being enthralled by all the beauty.

Pandora: The World of Avatar
Flight of Passage: BEST RIDE EVER! I've heard a lot about this groundbreaking attraction. Mainly just how amazing it is and let me tell you, it definitely lives up the the hype it has surrounding it. Because of the unique ride features, it was hard to get a gist of what we were actually in for, but trust me. IT'S AMAZING. Part simulator, part 3D. ALL AWESOME. Wait times can rack up to 3hrs and beyond so try to snag a FastPass, or arrive early to experience this once in a lifetime type of attraction.

Na'vi River Journey: A slow moving boat ride through Pandora. It's stunning and if you aren't able to check out the neighboring Flight of Passage, head here to get a dose of Na'vi fun.

**Pandora tips**
This land is stunning beyond words. We make the mistake of arriving towards the end of our time at DAK and we were left wishing we had more time to explore. Try the food, check out the shops and try to visit both day and night. The land just transforms once it gets dark and it's not to be missed.

Check Times!
The day of our visit park operating times were listed as 7am to 9pm, but once we arrived we found out that "Africa" would be closing early at 4pm that day and Pandora 8pm for a special event. We were surprised by the early closures and it did put a kink in our day's plans.

Overall thoughts
So what did my family think of Disney's Animal Kingdom? We left wishing we had more time here because it's such a stunning park. There's really something for everyone here. It's got the classic Disney stage shows, there's amazing character meet and greets, exhilarating attractions for all ages... On top of all of that there's an abundance of beautiful animals. It's truly a unique theme park that everyone can enjoy. The next time we're back we'll definitely be allowing for more time at this groundbreaking park. Thank's for the *wild* time, Disney's Animal Kingdom, until next time!💜

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