Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a zoological theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Bay Lake, Florida and is the worlds largest theme park, covering 580 acres (230 ha).
The park opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998, and was the fourth theme park built at the Walt Disney World Resort. The park is dedicated and themed entirely around the natural environment and animal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is distinguished from the rest of Walt Disney World’s theme parks in that it features traditional attractions while also exhibiting hundreds of species of live animals.
The park is located on the western edge of the resort, and is isolated from the resort’s other theme parks and properties to minimize external disruptions to the animals; as a result, the park’s nighttime show also features no fireworks that would otherwise disturb the animals.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and hosts an average of 13.8 million guestsa year, ranking it as the third-most-visited theme park in North America and the sixth-most-visited theme park in the world.
Unforgettable Happens Here
The Oasis is the park’s equivalent to Main Street U.S.A. and provides the transition from the park’s entrance to the world of animals. The main paths feature animal exhibits and dense vegetation and trees lead deeper into the park and then onto Discovery Island.
Between the parking lot and the Oasis sits a Rainforest Cafe, which can be entered from both inside and outside the ticketed area.
Adventureland is divided into two areas, the Arabian Village and the Caribbean Plaza.
The 1930s adventurer/explorer vibe’d land is part jungle, part tropical island, and has a desert oasis thrown in for good measure; and as soon as you enter, you can tell your definitely in for an adventure or two!
Here you can fly on your own Aladdin’s carpet, walk through the treehouse home of the Swiss Family Robinson, cruise down the Nile, the Congo or the Amazon rivers, meet those famous Pirates of the Caribbean and be dazzled in the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Pandora – The World of Avatar is themed to the fictional alien exoplanetary moon, Pandora, from James Cameron’s Avatar series. The land’s marquee attraction is Avatar Flight of Passage, a 3D flying simulator that allows guests to fly on a banshee across the Pandoran landscape.
Another attraction, the Na’vi River Journey, places guests aboard a boat ride through Pandora’s bioluminescent rainforests. The area opened on May 27, 2017.
Set in the fictional east African port village of Harambe, this area contains several animal exhibits. Some snippets from Africa that were duplicated by the Disney Imagineers are a fortress that was found in Zanzibar and a water-stained crumbling old building that was found in Kenya. Harambe includes a “hotel,” restaurants, an outdoor bar that has live entertainment, and different marketplaces.
On the western side of Africa is the Harambe Theater, which is home to the Festival of the Lion King, a stage attraction based on Disney’s 1994 film, The Lion King.
Rafiki’s Planet connects guests to Africa where they can board the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Wildlife Express Train for the short trip to and from the area, which consists of three sub-areas.
Habitat Habit!, where they can see cotton-top tamarins and learn about the efforts to protect these endangered primates, Conservation Station where various conservation efforts are showcases including a veterinary examination room complete with a two-way communications system so the veterinary staff can answer guest questions, and the Affection Section which is a petting zoo featuring goats, sheep, and other domesticated animals.
Asia is set in the fictional kingdom of Anandapur (which means “Place of many delights” in Sanskrit). Anandapur evokes the traits of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, and Thailand.
Portraits of Anandapur’s royal family (consisting of the maharaja and his wife) can be found in most of the businesses within the two villages, a map of the kingdom featuring both villages and their location relative to the mountains and river can be found on the wall of the Disney Vacation Club kiosk located there. Much like Harambe, Anandapur is now a center of animal research and tourism.
The main attractions of Asia is the Expedition Everest steel roller coaster ride through the Forbidden Mountain of the Himalayas and the Kali River Rapids, a river rapids ride along the Chakranadi River.
DinoLand U.S.A. is themed around dinosaurs and other extinct prehistoric life. The area is anchored by the Dino Institute, a fictitious palaeontological facility which is home to Dinosaur, a dark thrill ride loosely inspired by the 2000 Disney animated film of the same name.
The area features Primeval Whirl, a steel Wild Mouse spinning roller coaster, the TriceraTop Spin aerial carousel ride, carnival games and gift shops. At the eastern edge of DinoLand U.S.A. is the Theater in the Wild, which hosts Finding Nemo – The Musical.
Like the other sections of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are animals on display. The animals, such as the American crocodile, red legged seriemas, Abdim’s stork and Asian brown tortoise, have evolutionary links to the age of the dinosaurs.
They are animal species that have survived since the dinosaur era and can be found along the Cretaceous Trail along with a collection of Mesozoic plants.
Roam the road less traveled at Tiffins Restaurant, thanks to a globetrotting menu of artfully prepared fare fit for a weary traveler. Seafarers, fortune hunters and vagabonds will no doubt find new discoveries in the shrimp and grits served with Applewood smoked bacon and heirloom tomatoes.
Explore a world of distinctively delicious offerings and satisfy your taste for adventure at Nomad Lounge were all are invited to stake a claim in their own wanderlust over mouth-watering small plates and a large selection of beer, wine and mixed drinks.
Don your safari hat and bring a hippo-sized appetite as you go wild at the Rainforest Cafe with a feast in the middle of a tropical rainforest. Gather your party of explorers on a trek into the Amazon, where you’ll dine on American-style eats in the company of animated animals to the sounds of thunder claps and sudden rainstorms.
Join Safari Donald Duck and friends at Tusker House Restaurant, a colorful Harambe marketplace eatery for a wild Character Dining experience regardless of time of day—from breakfast and lunch to the family-style dinner buffet—all brimming with African flavor.
Discover exciting pan-Asian cuisine at at Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a quaint village home that’s been transformed into a restaurant. At the base of Expedition Everest sits Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a table-service eatery serving delicious dishes from various regions across Asia.
Embark on culinary adventures at Pizzafari Family-Style Dining,filled with delizioso meal you can’t refuse!
Hungrier than a hippo? Each evening, Guests are sure to be wowed by a bounty of classic fare just like Nonna used to make. Simply check in at the podium, place your order and then take a seat. Our team of Pizzafari guides will serve a savory spread for the entire family to share.
Dig In at Restaurantosaurus Burgers & Sundaes, a fast-casual eatery for a dino-mite meal topped off with a build-your-own sundae bar!
Join us for some prehistoric fun as you dine on delicious dishes. Choose from 6 hand-crafted burgers, a chicken sandwich, veggie burger and salad. For a sweet ending to your meal, check out the build-your-own sundae bar!
When it comes to grabbing a bite to eat between those all important rides & attractions, Disney has you covered with 23 different quick service restaurants across the park offering choices from American, African, Asian, and Bakery style menus.
Mobile Ordering: Ordering Meals and Snacks on the go has never been so easy. Whether you’re waiting in line for your favorite roller coaster or standing in front of a tasty looking restaurant you’d like to try, the mobile ordering option at some of the quick service outlets make it quicker & easier for you to order, pay and pick up your food orders throughout the park and all you need is your smart phone and the My Disney Experience app.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has over 30 specialty stores across its vast theme park, ranging from gifts, souvenirs & apparel to traditional collectibles and attraction merchandise. Whether your looking for a prehistoric toys or a unique safari keepsakes, they have it all and while some stores have a lot of similar items, there are loads that have unique memory making collections in to!
Avatar Flight of Passage
Board your own mountain banshee and embark on a thrilling expedition, where interstellar explorers like you get an up-close look at this moon’s incredible landscape.
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Careen through icy Himalayan peaks on a speeding coaster train while avoiding the clutches of the mythic Yeti.
Primeval Whirl – Operates Seasonally
Zip through a zany time machine and embark on a spinning dinosaur-themed coaster ride.
Board a rugged Time Rover vehicle and set off on a thrilling adventure through a primeval forest filled with life-like dinosaurs.
It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Discover what it’s like to be a bug during this 3D film and live show inspired by the Disney and Pixar movie A Bug’s Life.
Kali River Rapids
Skim across an erupting geyser, drift below a canopy of lush vegetation and be whisked along fast-moving rapids. Graze gushing waterfalls and bedrock amid the raging current. Then, as the harmony of nature is disrupted, you’ll plummet down a dramatic 20-foot slope!
Explore the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, home to 34 species living in 110 acres of picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands.
Your rugged safari vehicle is driven by an expert guide, who helps point out animals and shares fascinating wildlife facts during this extraordinary 18-minute expedition.
Na’vi River Journey
On this visually stunning and mysterious river, you’ll glide through a series of caves and into a bioluminescent rainforest alive with the sights and sounds of exotic plants and creatures on all sides—even overhead.
limb into a 4-person triceratops gondola and prepare for liftoff! Bob up and down, forward and back, as you sail through the air to festive music.
Wildlife Express Train
Board the Wildlife Express Train for a peaceful 7-minute, 1.2-mile journey to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, an area dedicated to the preservation and conservation of animals.
Come say moo to our domesticated goats, sheep, donkeys, cows and pigs at this expansive, outdoor animal enclosure. You can even pet and brush them!
Explore a menagerie of furr-ific animal activities and experiences, including:
- Veterinary Treatment Room
Get a close-up look at the place we care for the animals—and even glimpse a procedure in progress.
- Nutrition Center
Watch experts prepare meals for the park residents.
- Amphibian, Reptile and Invertebrate Windows
Creep over to see some tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes and snakes.
- Science Center
Check out what our resident scientists are working on.
Discovery Island Trails
Meander down serene paths, cross wooden foot bridges and journey through cave-like tunnels on a self-guided trek below the great tree.
The wilderness must be explored! After arriving on the Wildlife Express Train, you’ll trek through wild terrain on your way towards the Affection Section and Conservation Station. On your way, you’ll have opportunities to become an official Wilderness Explorer and earn badges.
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Encounter exotic animals as you trek through dense forests and sprawling savannas. Embark on a self-guided tour of the Pangani Forest and experience amazing creatures in their natural habitats—up-close and personal!
Maharajah Jungle Trek
Cross towering footbridges, roam around jungle bends, behold cascading waterfalls and stand in the shadow of a palace frozen in time. Hop into a chirping aviary where over 50 species of birds soar free.
Rivers of Light: We Are One
As the Sun Sets, a New World Glows – Eastern festival traditions merge with innovative technology to offer a dazzling nighttime pageant of lantern floats, grand theatrical imagery and a soaring musical score!
Enter a breathtaking world that remains hidden by day, but comes alive at night to tell the story of how mankind has been inspired by animals and all of the natural world.
With the enhanced Rivers of Light: We Are One, you’ll experience a new story about the milestones we all share in our journey through the great circle of life. It’s a tale told in powerful fashion—featuring the addition of even more dramatic Disneynature live-action footage and a tapestry of classic moments from animal-inspired Disney animated films, including The Lion King.
You’ll be captivated by a re-imagined soundtrack as the original musical score now is woven together with familiar Disney themes, carrying us through moments of discovery, fun, friendship, fear and love.
Located in DinoLand U.S.A.
Donald Duck just heard the news—some of his feathered ancestors were dinosaurs! To mark this inquackable discovery, he’s transformed this land into a celebration for the ages.
He’s also unearthed more old friends than Disney’s Animal Kingdom park has ever seen before—including Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Launchpad McQuack. You can even catch Chip ’n Dale—sporting some nutty dino-inspired costumes.
Festival of the Lion King
Located in Africa
As the lights dim, hear the sounds of the African savanna. A kinetic kaleidoscope of color floods the stage as colossal puppets, extravagantly costumed dancers, amazing acrobats, a daring fire dancer and incredible stilt walkers dazzle the senses.
During spectacular theatrics, you’ll relive all the classic songs from The Lion King, including “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” The spectacular finale includes a soaring rendition of “Circle of Life.”
Finding Nemo – The Musical
Located in DinoLand U.S.A
Extraordinary live musical performances, delightful puppets, vibrant sets and wondrous underwater special effects immerse you in Nemo’s fin-tastic world. Join the overprotective clownfish Marlin and his forgetful friend Dory as they search for his son, Nemo.
The multiple Academy Award®-winning songwriting team behind Frozen and Coco, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, created 14 original songs just for this show—the first time a non-musical Disney animated feature has been transformed into an original musical production
UP! A Great Bird Adventure
Located in Asia
Join Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug on a flap-happy adventure sure to send spirits soaring. As Russell ventures out to earn his Bird Badge, he and Dug find themselves in the village of Anandapur where they meet the lively Troop Leader Jones, who teaches them about bird species from around the world.