Hello everyone! I am coming at you with part two of my recent trip shenanigans, which took place at Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom was one of my favorite parks in Disney. Lion King was and still is my top Disney movie of all time. Being able to see the Tree of Life was amazing! Also, so much has changed since the last time I was there with the new Pandora park and the Mount Everest ride. Today, I will go over my trip experience with rides, food, and purchases. Disclaimer: before we begin, this is MY experience of the park, and my opinion of the activities of the park. I am not trying to influence your trip in any way. Everyone is different.
RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
To start off, let’s talk about my favorite topic which was the rides and attractions. I really enjoyed the jam packed stuff they had to offer at Animal Kingdom. I personally felt they were more up my alley than Epcot. I also will dive a little bit into wait time and Fastpasses. I know I said that in the last post, and I didn’t really mention much. But in my opinion, it wasn’t much of a concern for me at Epcot than in the other parks.
When doing Fastpasses, we waited too long to do them so most of the rides we really wanted were already booked. Don’t forget to do those as soon as you book your trip! You get three a day to book early, and then after you use those, you can go on the Disney app to book more. Because of this, we took off towards Mount Everest as soon as we entered the park. It is a big roller coaster with usually a massive wait of about 65 minutes. However, if you can get to the park early, you can go straight for the most popular rides and get on pretty quick. I think we maybe waited in line for 10 minutes at the most without Fastpasses. Even though it is difficult to get on, the Mount Everest ride is popular for a reason. You ride all together in connected carts up through the mountain when a Yeti attacks the track breaking it. Then the ride shoots everyone backwards through a dark cave in a spiral corkscrew down the mountain. There is also a decent drop, and the Yeti gets pretty close to you towards the end. This ride was one of my favorite rides at Animal Kingdom and I highly suggest riding it if roller coasters are your thing!
The next ride we went on was in Dino Land and was more for my cousin’s three year old. The TriceraTop Spin ride is a complete copycat of the Dumbo Elephant ride so if you miss the Dumbo one in Magic Kingdom, just head over to Animal Kingdom. You each sit by fours in triceratop carts as they all fly around in a circle. Both seats in the carts have controls: one for the tilt, and one for the up and down motion. It is a ride for all ages so I wouldn’t worry about little kids riding on it, unless you have a child afraid of heights. However, you could just use the controls to keep the cart low for more comfort. While the Dumbo ride is a classic, this flying ride wasn’t as busy of a line to wait in while we were there (no Fastpasses needed).
Our first attraction of the day was also a classic called It’s Tough to be a Bug. This show has been around for a long time that I even remember it as a kid over ten years ago. It is in the Tree of Life so you also get an up close look at every part of the tree. There are many different animals carved into the beautiful tree. When you enter, you will receive 3D glasses to enhance the experience. Although it is much more of a kid show, It’s Tough to be a Bug is a pretty cute show with equipment in the benches to give it a 4D vibe. There gusts of wind, stink bug sprays, and even moving seats to feel like ants are crawling under your legs. This is an experience for the whole family that isn’t too long of a show either. We were able to fit this and two other rides before our character breakfast. We also didn’t have Fastpasses to this show and still didn’t wait very long at all.
After the show, we went back to Dino Land to finally ride the Dinosaur ride from a movie I loved so much as a child. I read a pretty bad review about this ride before going on it where she said it was more intense than Mount Everest. However, I have no idea what she was talking about in the slightest. I absolutely enjoyed this ride because I have loved dinosaurs for a long time. The idea of the ride is that you are riding in a time machine on a secret mission to retrieve a specific species of dinosaur. There are no drops, but it is rather shaky and jolts you at every turn. You also come across many dinosaurs such as Velociraptors and a Carnotaurus. I highly suggest adding it to your list of rides for the day!
My favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom was the Festival of the Lion King, which was a Broadway styled version of the movie. I honestly wasn’t super interested in seeing the thirty minute show at first. However, as soon as the show began, I was hooked from the singing, costumes, and puppetry involved in the show. They performed hit songs from the movie and had big puppets of Simba and Pumba. There was even a man spinning a baton set on fire during the ‘Be Prepared’ set. If you want to rest your legs for a little bit and enjoy a show, then definitely check out the Festival of the Lion King. The cast also brought out kids on stage to help perform as well!
After the joys of the Africa section of the park, we finally witnessed the beauty that is the new Pandora world. My fiance is a huge fan of the Avatar movies, and he was talking about visiting Pandora at Disney for months before our trip. I personally am not super into the movies, but you can still easily get sucked into it. They recreated the massive floating mountains that were absolutely gorgeous. Also, they light up the park at night just as they do in the movie which makes it even better! Sadly, we were not prepared and did not have a Fastpass for the Na’vi River Journey ride. Our wait time was around and hour and a half. Funnily enough, halfway through the line there is a small drink and snack stand for when you get peckish while you wait. Although the wait time was long, it personally for me was definitely worth the wait. Each passenger rides in a log boat across the Kasvapan River of Pandora. The river ride was full of neon lights and creatures prowling the night similar to the movie, which was such an incredible sight to see. The ride also had a ten foot animatronic of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs who sings in the Na’vi language beautiful songs from the movie. A ride for all ages that will be a sight you will never forget!
Following our river journey, we traveled back to Africa to attend out Fastpass for the Kilimanjaro Safari. The Fastpass was appreciated although I don’t think it was a super long wait compared to the other ride. I remember going on this same safari the first time I went to Disney, and I was still not bored going through it again. The only problem you could have is that at different times certain animals could be out to play while others aren’t so it’s just kind of an at your own risk for what time you want. We had a pretty good visual of the animals except for the cheetahs. I had a great view of the lions, but they were sleeping pretty hard. We also saw rhinos, ostrich eggs, baby giraffes, and warthogs. There are plenty of other animals as well so much to see. This attraction is also great for all ages as you have a tour guide giving you the scoop on each animal. Definitely get the Fastpass when you go!
Flight of Passage
Last ride we finally got to ride was the Flight of Passage. This was my number one favorite ride out of all the Disney parks! I figured nothing would beat Tower of Terror, but this ride took the cake in my opinion. Please, for your sake, get a Fastpass for this ride! We were in line for almost two hours, but once again, fully worth it. As you go through the line, you walk through the Valley of Mo’ara laboratory seeing skulls of Banshees and the blue avatars in giant capsules. If you don’t get a Fastpass, you will at least be entertained by all the props. Once you make it to the end, each of you stand on your designated number as you watch a clip of the Avatar training. The whole point of the ride is you become a Na’vi and ride on a Banshee for the first time. It is a 4D ride with a massive screen in front of you. I was concerned at first because you are sitting on what feels like a motorcycle as restraints hug the back of your legs and spine. They do tell you to hold on tight while the ride is going on. The wall lifts in front of you, and it reminds me of the Soarin’ ride at Epcot. However, instead of sitting in seats high up, you are sitting on that motorcycle. The Flight of Passage starts and the bike tilts forward and back, left to right as you ride your Banshee through Pandora. The craziest part is there are things underneath your thighs that make it seem like you can feel your Banshee breathing. It was amazing and felt so real! There are definite height restrictions on this one so I don’t think just any age can ride this one. Although if you are older and wanting a more thrilling ride, absolutely check this one out or you will honestly regret it!
FOOD AND SNACKS
For breakfast, we used our table service reservation for the Animal Kingdom character breakfast which includes Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Mickey. This was mainly for my cousin’s children, but I’m not gonna lie. I also wanted a photo with my favorite character Donald Duck! The restaurant we went to for this experience was the Tusker House Restaurant. The whole restaurant was set up as a buffet so you put together your own plate, while a waitress gets your drinks. The food was really good and came in many varieties. It wasn’t just breakfast at the Tusker House. I got a full plate of breakfast food such as pancakes, bacon, waffles, and eggs. On the other hand, my fiance got chicken curry, tater tots, and other more savory foods. If you have a picky child, this place would be perfect since he or she could pick out exactly what they want. They also gave us the option of having what they call Jungle Juice as your drink. Give this a shot because it was so delicious!
As for snacks, I ended up getting two different snacks in Animal Kingdom.
One of them I completely forgot to get a picture of because I was trying to eat it fast so I didn’t miss the safari Fastpass. They had a cart in Africa that served frozen, chocolate covered bananas, and it was so good! If you need something quick and cold, go for it to cool you off. I also got the Simba Sunset while in the Africa part of Animal Kingdom. It is essentially a strawberry version of the classic dole whip with coconut and watermelon. I really wanted a dole whip at Magic Kingdom, and I was so glad I found this one too. It was so tropical tasting and perfect for hot weather which was how it felt most of the day. It is also much bigger than it looks that I almost couldn’t finish it. They even have an alcoholic version with two different rums called the King’s Cooler if that is more of your speed. Keep a look out of the snacks at Animal Kingdom because they were one of my favorites!
We didn’t buy a whole lot in Animal Kingdom because my fiance was saving his money for Star War’s Galaxy’s Edge. However, we still made it out with a couple of items. To commemorate the trip, I wanted to purchase a Christmas ornament since we were at Disney at the start of the Christmas season for the parks. I found this one that has 2019 on it and a place to put in your own photo, which I intend to add on of my fiance and I in front of Cinderella’s Castle. It was about $20 which I didn’t think was bad at all for Disney.
At the end of the Flight of Passage, you are led to a whole Avatar store full of clothes, weapons, braids, and so much more from the movie. They also have these Banshee interactive toys which my fiance and brother bought. They are about $99 as a set or you can get one for $69. At first, I didn’t quite understand the hype until one of the staff let us play with one. The Banshee is fully interactive and comes with a remote to flap its wings, move its jaw, and much more moves. There is a magnetic strip you can put on your shoulder under your shirt so you can set your Banshee right on the shoulder. The magnetic strip holds very well so you don’t have to worry about it falling off. Not only did they buy the Banshees, but my fiance also bought a stand for it as well so you can set it up in your house. The Banshees were actually much more fun to play with than I thought so it would be a great present for anyone interested in the Avatar movies. Plus, the staff goes through the trouble of making you say an oath before purchasing one to make sure you will take good care of it.
Overall, Animal Kingdom was probably my second favorite Disney park. This is mainly because of the Lion King, Pandora, and the Dino Land. The visuals alone are so beautiful and worthy of many Instagram photos, which we took plenty of. I felt this park was much more for all ages rather than just for kids. The rides were also pretty amazing for those who really enjoy that kind of stuff. There are plenty of more things to do and eat at Animal Kingdom, but I am just telling you what I personally did on my family trip to give you some starter ideas. Much more information is on any one of the Disney websites. If you want any more photos of Animal Kingdom, check out my social links at the top. Next week’s posts will be of Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom so look forward to those! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!