Top 10 Ultimate Animal Kingdom Attractions



Top 10 Ultimate Animal Kingdom Attractions

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
These are the ultimate Animal Kingdom attractions at Disney World! For this list, we're looking at our absolute favorite rides and attractions at Animal Kingdom, from "Festival of the Lion King", to "Finding Nemo – The Musical", because after all, this Walt Disney World park is a roaring good time! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Animal Kingdom Attractions.

Top 10 Ultimate Animal Kingdom Attractions

This Walt Disney World park is a roaring good time. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Animal Kingdom Attractions.

For this list, we’re looking at our absolute favorite rides and attractions at this Disney World park.

#10: Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

Now everyone knows that you do a fair amount of walking when you go to Disney, but sometimes, it’s what’s off the beaten path that can be the most interesting! Found next to Kilimanjaro Safaris, this is kind of like an on-foot version of that tour, allowing you to look at species of animals, birds, and fish up close and get to know them at your own pace. Make friends with the Western lowland gorilla and marvel at a meerkat, all the while getting the chance to educate yourselves about what you’re seeing - and how you can help keep them and their homes safe.

#9: It's Tough to Be a Bug!

Located inside the Tree of Life, this “Off-Bugway” 3D show is tons of fun for guests both young and old. There are a few scary moments, so if you’re travelling with little kids who are easily frightened - and even adults who don’t like feeling stuff crawling on them - you might want to skip this one just in case. The 9-minute movie is both fun and educational, touting the importance of being nice to insects, using characters from “A Bug’s Life” as examples. This is the first Pixar attraction to debut at any of the Disney parks, though in the years since it opened, many more have followed.


There aren’t many rides at Disney World that are truly terrifying, but this is one of them. Originally called Countdown to Extinction, this dark ride takes guests into the Cretaceous period on a quest to find and capture a particular dinosaur before an asteroid hits the earth. Think “Jurassic Park” meets “Back to the Future” meets “Armageddon.” Full-grown adults have been known to be startled by the big jump scare that comes near the end of the ride, and the on-ride photos that are taken at the climactic moment are always hilarious.

#7: Rivers of Light

When Animal Kingdom opened at Disney World in 1998, it closed in the early evening, unlike the other parks which stayed open late and featured nighttime attractions. In the 2010s however, all that changed when the park added new nighttime-specific things to see and extended their hours. The most notable attraction is Rivers of Light, an epic lagoon show that features technical effects like fire and projection, floating lanterns, water, as well as the Tree of Life itself. This show has the smallest seating area of any nighttime event at Disney World at only 5 thousand seats, so it would be smart to grab a FastPass for this to ensure you get a spot.

#6: Festival of the Lion King

If you haven’t had the chance to see “The Lion King” on Broadway (or even if you have!), catching a showing of Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom is a great way to replicate the experience. The show lasts 30 minutes and typically takes place hourly as of the late morning. It’s located in the Africa section of the park and features the original songs from the film and plenty of crowd interaction. It does not follow the exact storyline of either the movie or Broadway play, but rather shows the characters in action with plenty of fun stunts and visual effects.

#5: Pandora – The World of Avatar

As of 2017, the most popular attractions at Animal Kingdom (by far!) are those found at the land of Pandora. After being in the works for several years, the new area opened to much fanfare and media coverage. If there’s one smart place to use your FastPasses at this park, it’s definitely on one of the two “Avatar” themed rides: Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly river style ride with amazing visuals, or Flight of Passage, an exhilarating augmented reality ride. Pandora is equally magical at both nighttime and daytime, so make sure to check it out at various points throughout the day - and grab a very on-theme snack while you’re there!

#4: Kali River Rapids

In the Asia section of the park, you’ll find Kali River Rapids, a scenic but thrilling water ride that actually aims to educate and warm about habitat destruction by, well, showing you the habitat in all its glory. The ride passes through waterfalls, a 30-foot slide, and a cave; put simply: you will get positively soaked, make no mistake about it. To be on the safe side, make use of the lockers provided outside the ride to ensure none of your valuables get soaked. On a hot day, however, the ride can be a welcome respite from Orlando’s sweltering climate.

#3: Kilimanjaro Safaris

When Walt Disney conceptualized of Jungle Cruise, he was hoping to host live animals at the park, but obviously ran into many logistical issues and opted for audio-animatronics. Decades after his death, his dream was realized when Animal Kingdom opened, housing the awe-inspiring Kilimanjaro Safaris. The ride is about the closest thing you’ll get in North America to a real African safari, complete with elephants, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, and more. As you drive through the savanna with your knowledgeable guide, it feels like a real-life “Magic School Bus.” More recently, a nighttime version of the ride is also available, which is a totally unique experience.

#2: Finding Nemo – The Musical

Largely considered the best show you can see in all of Disney World, Finding Nemo – The Musical is a one of a kind experience. In it, performers use puppets to act out an abridged version of the story told in the movie - and this time, there are songs to move the story along, written by husband/wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who among other things, wrote the “Frozen” music! Both the puppets themselves and the actors are worth watching, and it’s the combination of the two that makes this show what it is. The show lasts 40 minutes and takes place six times each day. We highly recommend making room for it in your schedule.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Harambe Market

TriceraTop Spin

Discovery Island Trails

#1: Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Our number one pick won’t come as any surprise to anyone who has been on it. This 2006 addition to the park was an instant fan favorite, honestly rivaling classic Disney coasters like Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain for our favorite at Disney World! Starting with a fun line experience where guests are immersed in places like a replica temple and a tea garden, the excitement builds until that first backwards drop. Even though it’s been years since the ride’s famed yeti was actually functioning, there is so much to love about this expertly themed attraction. From the drops and sharp turns to the surprising backwards portion, we could ride this again and again.