The Complete Guide to Attractions and Rides at Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.com

The Complete Guide to Attractions and Rides at Animal Kingdom 2024

|

Rides at Animal Kingdom are truly unique. Explore the jungles of Africa. Go back in time to rescue a dinosaur. Or even fly on the back of a banshee in the world of Pandora. This park brings out the adventurer in us all while also bringing us up close and personal to numerous animal species from around the world.

Walking into Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the first time, I remember being in awe of the exquisite details. I felt like I was in a different world entirely, yet Disney has gone out of its way to make everything truly authentic in the park. And while live animals are the main attraction of this theme park, there are certainly lots of rides and shows to keep you entertained as well. Here is our complete guide to the rides at Animal Kingdom!


*This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Planning a Disney World vacation in 2024? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the return of the Disney Dining Plan, and more!


 

Welcome to Magic in the Planning’s Unofficial Guide to Attractions and Rides at Animal Kingdom!

 

Africa – 4 Attractions

Discover the beauty of Africa where vibrant culture, delectable food, and incredible wildlife come together. With its diverse merchandise, mesmerizing entertainment, and awe-inspiring savanna views, this land is an absolute must-visit. Africa offers a range of attractions such as the renowned Festival of the Lion King, considered one of the top shows at Walt Disney World, and Kilimanjaro Safaris, providing visitors with an authentic African safari experience without leaving the continent.

 

Festival of the Lion King in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comFestival of the Lion King

Featuring incredibly talented dancers, singers, and acrobats, this show is one of Disney World’s best. Even younger kids will enjoy this 30-minute show featuring some of their favorite characters and songs from The Lion King.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 30 minutes
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: Try to arrive 15-20 minutes before the show for a good seat as the line can get quite long!

 

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

Take a self-guided tour through the Pangani Forest and experience amazing animals (such as gorillas, hippos, and exotic birds) in their natural habitats.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comKilimanjaro Safaris

This is honestly one of the most unique rides in all of Walt Disney World. Using invisible barriers to keep guests safe, you will be able to take an African safari unlike no other. Climb aboard an open-air vehicle (made to look and feel like a rugged safari vehicle) for a 20-minute tour with a knowledgeable guide. You will have the chance to see 34 different species throughout the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve. As these are live animals, every safari will be truly unique. You will definitely want to have your camera ready!

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 22 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone
  • When to Visit: First hour of the day or anytime with Genie+
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: The animals are a bit more lively when temperatures are cooler. So on a hot day, it may be wise to visit in the morning before the afternoon heat sets in.

 

Wildlife Express Train

This is essentially a 7-minute, 1.2-mile journey to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Keep in mind, it is a one-way trip and you will be required to get off the train upon arrival. Take the opportunity to explore before boarding the train once more for a one-way trip back.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: About 7 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: If you plan to visit Rafiki’s Planet Watch, be aware that this journey will often take 1-2 hours round trip.

 

Asia – 4 Attractions

Asia is a captivating and culturally rich land to explore. If you seek excitement, don’t miss out on riding the exhilarating Expedition Everest roller coaster or the opportunity to witness majestic tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. For bird enthusiasts, Feathered Friends in Flight! offers an educational (and entertaining) experience. Moreover, Asia is home to fascinating animals like gibbons, komodo dragons, and tigers, making it a truly unique destination.

 

Expedition Everest Entrance in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comExpedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

This is quite an exciting roller coaster! First, you will climb to the top of the mountain for some breathtaking views of the park. (Seriously, it feels like you are climbing forever!) As your train picks up speed, however, you suddenly encounter tracks that have been clearly torn apart. This is where things get intense as you plummet backward (in the dark, I might add). You don’t stay backward for too long, though. Once you discover that it was the Yeti responsible for the broken tracks, you race back down the mountain to escape.

  • Height Restrictions: Riders must be 44 inches or taller
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 3-4 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone
  • When to Visit: First hour of the day or anytime with Genie+
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: Yes (taken on the steep drop down the mountain)
  • Additional Info: This ride offers Rider Switch for those who have guests in their party who can’t or don’t want to ride an attraction. Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with non-riders, while the rest enjoy the attraction. The waiting adult can then board without waiting in the regular line. (Be sure to check in with a Cast Member with your entire party if you wish to utilize this option.) Also, this ride offers a Single Rider Line for those who don’t mind riding alone without their party.

 

Feathered Friends in Flight!

This show debuted in the summer of 2020 as a replacement for Up! A Great Bird Adventure. This 25-minute show features “animal behavior specialists” as they give you a behind-the-scenes look at the free-flying birds.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 25 minutes
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Kali River Rapids

This thrilling whitewater raft ride features calm scenic waters, raging rapids, and even a 20-foot drop! Be prepared to get wet soaked (which will probably feel nice during the Florida summer heat!) For items you don’t wish to get wet, there are lockers located across from the attraction.

  • Height Restrictions: Riders must be 38 inches or taller
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 4 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone who doesn’t mind getting wet
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: This ride offers Rider Switch for those who have guests in their party who can’t or don’t want to ride an attraction. Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with non-riders, while the rest enjoy the attraction. The waiting adult can then board without waiting in the regular line. (Be sure to check in with a Cast Member with your entire party if you wish to utilize this option.)

 

Maharajah Jungle Trek

These self-guided trails feature numerous animals including over 50 species of birds as well as Asian tigers.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

DinoLand U.S.A. – 5 Attractions

While not the most popular land in Animal Kingdom, DinoLand is home to the beloved ride, DINOSAUR (which shares ride vehicles with Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park.) However, there is a possibility that DinoLand may undergo a transformation in the near future. In the 2022 D23 Expo, Disney discussed potential ideas, including the conversion of DinoLand into a Zootopia or Moana-themed land. Nothing has been confirmed yet, however.

 

The Boneyard

Designed to look like a dinosaur dig, this is essentially a play area for kids ages 10 and under to climb, play, explore, and well… dig as they search for dinosaur bones.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

DINOSAUR in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comDINOSAUR

This dark ride is not for the faint of heart! Travel back in time to rescue a dinosaur before a meteor strikes. You will encounter numerous animatronic dinosaurs along the way… some of whom don’t appear to be too friendly! This ride is rather intense. It is not only dark, but it is also very loud. The dinosaurs will undoubtedly scare younger, more sensitive riders.

  • Height Restrictions: Riders must be 40 inches or taller
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 3 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Older kids and adults
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: Yes (taken when you come face-to-face with the Carnotaurus)
  • Additional Info: This ride offers Rider Switch for those who have guests in their party who can’t or don’t want to ride an attraction. Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with non-riders, while the rest enjoy the attraction. The waiting adult can then board without waiting in the regular line. (Be sure to check in with a Cast Member with your entire party if you wish to utilize this option.)

 

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!

This is a Broadway-style musical featuring super-talented performers who sing and control puppet-type versions of your favorite Finding Nemo characters.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 25 minutes
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Fossil Fun Games

What do carnival games and dinosaurs have in common? Not much. But here, they come together for some family fun. Win prizes with these dinosaur-themed classic carnival games. (These games do require vouchers to play which are an additional charge.)

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

TriceraTop Spin

Designed for younger riders, this dinosaur ride rotates around in a circle allowing the riders to control certain movements (much like Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Disney’s Magic Kingdom… only here you are riding in a dinosaur).

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: About 2 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone, especially younger children
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Discovery Island – 4 Attractions

Discovery Island is the central hub of Animal Kingdom. While the park’s major attractions are found elsewhere, this area boasts several remarkable features. Visitors can explore the magnificent Tree of Life, experience the captivating “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” show, and wander through the enchanting Discovery Island Trails. Located throughout Discovery Island, you will find Asian small-clawed otters, cotton-top tamarins, flamingos, vultures, and several other animal species.

 

Discovery Island Trails

Located around the Tree of Life, these self-guided trails will take you over wooden footbridges and through cave-like tunnels as you explore and come face-to-face with many different animal species.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

It’s Tough to be a Bug!

This 4D attraction is actually located under the Tree of Life. Featuring characters from A Bug’s Life, here you will shrink down to become an “honorary bug.” While the show is designed to be humorous, keep in mind there are a few scary moments and effects that might frighten smaller children.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 8 minutes
  • Who Should Enjoy: Older kids and adults
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Tree of Life Animal Carvings in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comTree of Life

The main focal point of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a 145-foot tall tree with over 300 animals carved into its trunk. It’s quite beautiful and a must-see! Guests can also explore the Tree of Life Garden. (The entrance is located across from the restrooms next to Pizzafari as you walk towards Africa.)

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight

Enjoy appearances by 6 different species of South American macaw.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: 3-8 minutes (depending on the birds)
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Oasis – 2 Attractions

The Oasis area of Animal Kingdom is one of the first areas guests encounter when they enter the park. While there are no big attractions, here you will find shopping, dining, and the Oasis Exhibits. Also, those wanting to explore the park by taking part in Wildnerness Explorers can stop by their headquarters (located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island) to pick up a handbook.

 

The Oasis Exhibits

Explore and enjoy the beautiful shaded surroundings where you will also find giant anteaters, boar, barking deer, wallabies, and spoonbills.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Wilderness Explorers

Become a Wilderness Explorer just like Rusell in the movie Up. These self-guided activities (such as animal observation or learning wilderness skills) will allow you to collect over 25 Wilderness Explorer badges.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone (although activities are geared towards kids 7-12)
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: Guests will need a handbook to begin. This can be picked up (for free) at the Wilderness Explorer “Headquarters” (located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island) or at any of the Wilderness Explorer Troop Leader locations found in Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia, Dinoland U.S.A., and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Also, keep in mind that it’s pretty tough to complete all of the tasks in a single day. Know that you can always keep your handbook (makes a great souvenir) and continue exploring on your next visit.

 

Pandora – The World of Avatar – 2 Attractions

Pandora, a captivating land within Disney World, was intricately designed to reflect the mesmerizing world of Avatar. Since its opening in May 2017, it has emerged as one of the most awe-inspiring and sought-after destinations. Visitors can partake in thrilling experiences such as riding on a banshee via the exhilarating Flight of Passage, or simply marvel at the beauty of the floating mountains. Remarkably, Pandora is even more enchanting when illuminated at night!

 

Avatar Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comAvatar Flight of Passage

Based on the movie Avatar, this 3D simulator attraction allows you to take flight on the back of a banshee, which is a Na’vi “right of passage.” This is truly a thrilling experience as it genuinely feels as though you are soaring above the beautiful scenery of Pandora. Be prepared for a bit of motion as well as some heights. But overall, it is easily one of the best attractions in Animal Kingdom.

  • Height Restrictions: Riders must be 44 inches or taller
  • Genie+ Attraction: No. The Lightning Lane of this top-tier attraction is only available as an Individual Attraction purchase and not included as part of Genie+.
  • Attraction Length: About 5 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone who meets the height requirement and can handle simulators
  • When to Visit: First hour of the day or anytime with an Individual Lightning Lane selection.
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: This ride offers Rider Switch for those who have guests in their party who can’t or don’t want to ride an attraction. Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with non-riders, while the rest enjoy the attraction. The waiting adult can then board without waiting in the regular line. (Be sure to check in with a Cast Member with your entire party if you wish to utilize this option.)

 

Na'vi River Journey in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comNa’vi River Journey

This slow-moving boat ride takes you through the mysteriously beautiful surroundings of the bioluminescent rainforest in Pandora.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 5 minutes
  • Who Should Ride: Anyone
  • When to Visit: First hour of the day or anytime with Genie+
  • Open for Early Entry: Yes
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: This ride offers Rider Switch for those who have guests in their party who can’t or don’t want to ride an attraction. Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with non-riders, while the rest enjoy the attraction. The waiting adult can then board without waiting in the regular line. (Be sure to check in with a Cast Member with your entire party if you wish to utilize this option.)

 

Rafiki’s Planet Watch – 3 Attractions

To access Rafiki’s Planet Watch, visitors must board the Wildlife Express Train. This dedicated area offers a range of experiences, such as the Animation Experience where guests can learn the art of drawing their favorite characters. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the Affection Section, an interactive space where they can meet various animals. There’s even a chance to witness live veterinary procedures at the Veterinary Treatment Room.

 

Affection Section

Come face to face with a wide variety of animals at the only petting zoo in all of Walt Disney World.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: Guests will be required to clean their hands before and after by using the sanitization and washbasin zone near the petting zoo entrance.

 

The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

This 25-minute class led by a Disney animator will give you step-by-step instructions on how to draw your own version of a Disney character. Classes and characters change periodically.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes
  • Attraction Length: About 25 minutes
  • Who Should Enjoy: Older kids and adults
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Additional Info: With only 25 minutes, this class is a bit fast-paced making it a bit frustrating for little ones to keep up.

 

Conservation Station in Animal Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comConservation Station

Here you will learn and explore through a variety of experiences including a Veterinary Treatment Room, a Nutrition Center, Amphibian, Reptile and Invertebrate Windows, and a Science Center.

  • Height Restrictions: Any height
  • Genie+ Attraction: No
  • Attraction Length: N/A
  • Who Should Enjoy: Anyone
  • When to Visit: Anytime
  • Open for Early Entry: No
  • Ride Photo: No

 

Free Printable Checklist

Print out our free checklist below to keep track of all your must-see rides at Animal Kingdom! And be sure to visit our resource library for more free printables to simplify your Disney vacation planning!

 

Free Animal Kingdom Attraction Checklist | Magic in the Planning

 

**I hope you enjoyed this unofficial guide to attractions and rides at Animal Kingdom! Looking to plan your first Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to start planning!

And be sure to visit the official Walt Disney World website for more information about your favorite rides and attractions!

 

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts