Best Rides at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is sometimes known as the forgotten Disney Park. But Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some of the best, most unique rides and attractions at Walt Disney World.
Many people forget about Animal Kingdom’s headliner attractions and miss out during their Disney vacation. Make sure to check out all of these rides at Animal Kingdom during your next Disney World trip!
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Rides at Animal Kingdom – the World of Avatar
The newest and one of the most popular areas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Pandora the World of Avatar. The World of Avatar features one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom, Flight of Passage.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Now that I’ve teed up the one of the best Animal Kingdom rides which is Flight of Passage, what is it? The Disney Flight of Passage is a simulator type ride that allows you to ride of the back of banshee in the World of Avatar.
If you want my honest Avatar Flight of Passage review, it is hands down the best Disney World ride. But why is Flight of Passage so special? Read our complete Pandora – the World of Avatar review for more information!
First off, the Flight of Passage seats you on the back of bicycle looking seats to help simulate the feeling of riding on the back of a banshee. The Flight of Passage seats go up and down, squeeze your legs and make you really feel like your flying.
The Pandora ride incorporates smells, wind, sounds, and an immersive experience to help you really feel like your in Pandora. The Flight of Passage drop also adds another level to this Disney thrill ride.
To date, Flight of Passage uses some of the most advanced technology Disney has ever used.
Now that I’ve hyped up Disney’s Flight of Passage, you may be convinced to ride. If your considering riding Flight of Passage, make sure to get a Pandora Fastpass. The Flight of Passage line is regularly over an hour so a Pandora Fastpass will save you time and energy.
Before you head to Disney, it’s important to note that Flight of Passage motion sickness is relatively common. If you’re prone to motion sicknesses, consider passing on Disney’s Pandora ride.
Again, this is truly my favorite Disney ride and the best Animal Kingdom ride so make sure to check it out!
Flight of Passage height requirement: 44 inches
Na’vi River Journey
The other Disney Pandora ride is the Navi River Journey. The Navi ride takes you on a river ride through the Pandora bioluminescent forest with some of the Na’vi and Pandora characters.
If you want my honest Navi River Journey review, this is a Disney ride you can consider skipping. The Na’vi River ride still frequently has a long wait time. If you happen to stumble upon the Disney Navi ride with no wait, then it’s definitely worth it though.
Don’t get me wrong, the Na’vi River Journey animatronics are incredible but the long wait time makes this Disney attraction one you can skip.
For comparison, this ride is very similar to It’s a Small World but in the land of Pandora and featuring Pandora characters. The Disney Na’vi River Journey is a great Disney ride but one you can consider skipping pending the wait time.
If you’re crunched on time consider skipping this ride at Animal Kingdom in favor of many of the other attractions we’ll mention throughout this article.
Na’vi River Journey height requirement: No height restrictions
Rides at Animal Kingdom – Disney Dinoland USA
If you have kids, the best place in Animal Kingdom for kids is Disney’s Dinoland USA. Disney’s Dinoland has thrills for adults but also has the Disney boneyard playground and many attractions that the whole family to enjoy together.
The Dinoland rides at Animal Kingdom are also great with offerings for the whole family.
The only thrill ride in Disney’s Dinoland is the Dinosaur ride. Disney’s Dinosaur ride is based on the Dinosaur movie and allows guest to travel back to the time when Dinosaurs roamed the earth.
On the WDW Dinosaur ride, you are on a mission to bring back an Iguanodon but instead you run into some very scary dinos! During this mission, you travel in jeep like vehicles and experience lots of bumps, drops, and quick moving turns.
While we are classifying the Disney World Dinosaur ride as a thrill, it is a relatively tame thrill compared to some other rides like Expedition Everest.
The Dinosaur ride drop is very minor, smaller than even Pirates of the Caribbean, and the biggest thrill factor is the dinosaurs you will face at every turn.
Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur ride is a great thrill ride that much of your family can enjoy together. The Dinosaur ride also rarely has a long wait so I would definitely recommend checking out this Animal Kingdom ride in Disney’s Dinoland USA.
Dinosaur Ride height requirement: 40 inches
One of the most popular rides at Animal Kingdom for kids is the Triceratop Spin. Disney’s Tricera top spin is similar to Dumbo in that you get to fly through the air in Dinosaurs!
While Tricera top spin may not seem like anything special, your kids will love it. And in any consolation, Animal Kingdom’s Tricera top spin rarely has a wait time so it’s will probably only take a few minutes to ride with your kids.
Another popular family ride at Animal Kingdom was Primeval Whirl which was right next to TriceraTop spin. Unfortunately, Disney’s Primeval Whirl closed permanently in early 2020.
Both Primeval Whirl and Tricera top spin are attractions you could often see at your local theme park but the Disney theming makes them fun to check out.
Consider the TriceraTop Spin ride in Animal Kingdom while on your next Disney vacation!
TriceraTop Spin height requirement: No height requirement
Finding Nemo – The Musical
The final thing you should check out in Disney Dinoland is the Finding Nemo musical show. While the Finding Nemo show isn’t a ride, it’s one of the best shows at Disney World.
Finding Nemo the Musical is a live puppet and musical show which tells the Finding Nemo story live, on the Disney stage. This show is one of the most popular and elaborate at Disney World.
Since the Finding Nemo the musical puppet show opened in 2017, Disney guests have raved about the great music, bright colors, beautiful puppets, and overall great Disney show.
The Finding Nemo show lasts about 40 minutes and typically runs 5 to 6 times everyday. To look for showtimes, use the My Disney Experience app and look for show times to find out when the Finding Nemo shows are taking place each day.
My family typically isn’t big show people but the Finding Nemo show will be enjoyed by everyone in your family from little kids, to adults, and everyone in between.
Make sure to watch Finding Nemo the musical while in Disney World’s Dinoland USA!
Animal Kingdom Rides – Asia
Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to some of the most unique and thrilling rides at Walt Disney World. Besides the rides, Asia is also home to some of the best food at Animal Kingdom! Make sure to visit Asia at Animal Kingdom!
No trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is complete without a ride on Expedition Everest. My honest Expedition Everest review is that it’s the best roller coaster at Disney World.
Disney’s Expedition Everest starts by taking you up a really large, steep hill into the Himalayan Mountains. Once your get to the top of the Himalayan Mountains you’ll hit a road block and be face to face with a dead end!
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want spoilers, skip the next section. Once you hit the Expedition Everest dead end, this Disney roller coaster will start going backwards.
Once the Expedition Everest ride starts going, you’ll go pretty fast but Expedition Everest does not go upside down. For numbers sake, the Expedition Everest drop is 80 feet high and you’ll go up to 50 mph.
And how long is Expedition Everest? The Everest ride lasts about 3 minutes long. This Animal Kingdom roller coaster is likely the longest thrill ride at Animal Kingdom.
As you’re going through the Himalayan Mountains on the Expedition Everest ride, you’ll come face to face with a Yeti. The Expedition Everest Yeti may be a bit scary to some so be prepared for this moment.
Now in terms of how scary Expedition Everest is, you’re kids may be a little startled by the darkness, fast speeds and the Yeti. But for those that love thrill rides and coasters, this Animal Kingdom ride is perfect for you.
It’s important to note that tons of kids ride Expedition Everest everyday and absolutely love it! Make sure to ride the best Disney roller coaster while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
In terms of Disney’s Expedition Everest line, the line for this Animal Kingdom ride goes very fast but you’ll want a Expedition Everest Fastpass if you can score one.
Expedition Everest is also one of the few Disney rides with a single rider line. If you don’t mind riding with a stranger, you can join the Expedition Everest single rider line and get on the ride very quickly. We’ll often do it 3 or 4 times in an hour!
Expedition Everest is definitely a ride at Animal Kingdom that you need to check out!
Expedition Everest height requirement: 44 inches
Kali River Rapids
The river rapids at Animal Kingdom is known as Kali River Rapids. On Disney’s Kali River Rapids, you move through fast-moving water and the jungle of Asia on this ride in Animal Kingdom.
While on Kali River Rapids, you are on a circular boat that rotates as you float down the river. You will also face a drop on Kali River Rapids that plunges you about 20 feet down into the river.
The first question many people ask about Kali River Rapids is do you get wet? Yes, the level of wetness varies though. You will often see people coming off Disney’s Kali River Rapids with a few sprinkles and others will come off the ride completely drenched.
Kali River Rapids is a great Animal Kingdom ride but I often skip it just because I don’t want to walk around wet all day. If you do want to ride Kali River Rapids and not get wet, many people wear a poncho while on the Disney river rapids to stay dry.
It’s important to note that the Kali River Rapids refurbishment is in January each year so if you’re going to Disney in January, Kali River Rapids may be closed.
If you love water or flume rides, make sure to check out this Animal Kingdom ride while in Asia! And if you’re going to Disney in the summer, this ride in Animal Kingdom offers a great way to cool off on a hot day!
Kali River Rapids height requirement: 38 inches
Rides at Animal Kingdom – Africa
Animal Kingdom’s Africa is home to one of the most famous rides in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Make sure to visit Disney’s Africa for a great view of all the animals at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
The Animal Kingdom safari tour is also called Kilimanjaro Safaris. Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris features animals from all over the world and allows you to get up close and personal with these amazing animals.
To begin this Animal Kingdom ride, you get in the Kilimanjaro Safari ride vehicle which is similar to to a jeep with roughly ten rows. The windows to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride vehicle are completely open giving you great views of the Kilimanjaro Safari animals.
Kilimanjaro Safaris lasts about 20 to 25 minutes making it the longest Animal Kingdom ride!
Unlike most of the other Disney and Animal Kingdom rides, the Kilimanjaro Safari isn’t completely planned. The Safari animals have relatively free roam of the property so animals will get close to the ride vehicle and even cross the road in front of you.
Despite the fact that the Kilimanjaro Safari animals have free space to roam, the Kilimanjaro Safaris are completely safe. This Animal Kingdom gives you unprecedented views of real wildlife while on a Disney Animal Kingdom ride!
So what animals can you run into while on the Disney Kilimanjaro Safari? You will often see giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, lions, rhinos, wildebeest, flamingos, and much more.
In the past, I’ve heard many be ask is the Kilimanjaro Safaris free? Yes, the Kilimanjaro Safari is included with your Disney World park ticket!
Disney World’s Kilimanjaro Safaris is hands down the best Animal Kingdom ride for your entire family to enjoy together. You will get great pictures of your entire family enjoying the Disney safari and viewing the Kilimanjaro Safari animals.
If there is one ride at Animal Kingdom you MUST try, it is the Kilimanjaro Safari tour!
Kilimanjaro Safari height requirement: No height requirement
Wildlife Express Train
What is the Animal Kingdom Wildlife Express Train? The Wildlife Express Train in Africa takes you to and from Rafaki’s Plant Watch and the Animal Kingdom Conversation Station.
On the 7 minute journey from the Wildlife Express Train Africa station to Rafaki’s Planet Watch and the Conversation Station you get behind the scenes view of the Animal Kingdom care facilities.
So if the entire point of the Wildlife Express Train is Rafaki’s Plant Watch and the Conversation Station, what will you find there? At Rafaki’s Planet Watch and the Conversation Station, you will find a petting zoo, an outdoor discovery trail, and an animal care facility with Animal Kingdom vets.
The Animal Kingdom Wildlife Express Train, the Conversation Station, and Rafaki’s Planet Watch are all about giving you an interactive experience with animals and those who care for the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The Wildlife Express Train runs every 30 minutes from park opening to park closure. If you love animals or your kids are obsessed with animals, consider trying this ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Wildlife Express Train height requirement: no height requirement
The Festival of the Lion King
The final thing you need to try in Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Festival of the Lion King Show! While Festival of the Lion King isn’t a ride, it’s an Animal Kingdom attraction that you MUST see!
Sadly, the Animal Kingdom Festival of the Lion King show was closed for much of 2021 but it is back OPEN now! The Festival of the Lion King show features live performers, your favorite Lion King characters, gymnasts, fire performers, acrobats and much more.
In my opinion, the Festival of the Lion King is comparable to a Broadway production, it’s that good! The Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King is hands down the best show at Walt Disney World!
Disney’s Festival of the Lion King music combines your favorite Lion King songs with the live performance of the show.
This Animal Kingdom show also has unique acts like tumble monkey gymnasts, a fire performer who “plays” with fire, and interactive Lion King sing-alongs.
The Festival of the Lion King lasts about 30 minutes and runs about 5 or 6 times everyday. For Festival of the Lion King showtimes, check out the My Disney Experience App. It’s important to note that you need to show up a roughly 15 minutes before showtime to get a seat.
If you consider checking out one show while at Walt Disney World, make sure it’s the Disney World Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King!
Animal Kingdom Rides – Discovery Island
The Animal Kingdom hub or Discovery Island is even home to a fun attraction/show featuring a classic Disney move, it’s Tough to Be a Bug! It’s cool to note that you get to go inside the Tree of Life while on Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Island!
It’s Tough to Be a Bug
This Animal Kingdom ride/show brings the It’s Tough to Be a Bug Movie to life. Go down below Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life and shrink down the the size of a bug while checking out this Animal Kingdom attraction!
It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a 9 minute, 3D show that allows you to interact with Animal Kingdom’s favorite bugs! When you arrive at the It’s Tough to Be a Bug theater, you are below the Tree of Life.
You will be given 3D glasses to help bring the It’s Tough to Be a Bug experience to life. Once inside the the theater, the Tough to Be a Bug seats are a bunch of rows that are look like trees.
Once the show starts, the It’s Tough to Be a Bug characters put on a talent show for you will interesting surprises in the form of sounds, smells, and even bee stings!
I wanted to mention that some kids find It’s Tough to Be a Bug scary because of brief moments of darkness, intense music, and bugs that float down from the ceiling. Despite the brief scary moments, this attraction at Animal Kingdom is fun for kids and brings a classic Disney movie to life!
Make sure to visit it’s Tough to Be a Bug while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
It’s Tough to Be a Bug height requirement: no height requirement
Attractions at Animal Kingdom
From the great list above, there are so many great, often overlooked rides in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
For thrill rides at Animal Kingdom, make sure to check out Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids or Flight of Passage. But for family rides in Animal Kingdom, check out Kilimanjaro Safaris, the Wildlife Express Train, Na’vi River Journey, or TriceraTop Spin.
PIN ME FOR LATER!
For great shows at Animal Kingdom, check out Finding Nemo the Musical, the Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King, or It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Make sure to try these best Animal Kingdom rides on your next Disney World vacation! For more information on all Animal Kingdom attractions, check out the Disney World webpage!