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Disney World Florida: The Animal Kingdom

Welcome back to Disney World Florida – today we shall be exploring the Animal Kingdom!

This park is constructed of several different ‘lands’ which are all located around the iconic Tree of Life:

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey
  • Dinoland USA
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch

What makes this park unique is that it is also a fully functioning zoo with enclosures scattered all across the park. You can also go on walks through either Asia or Africa where you can see some of the animals which would be native to those countries – for example tigers or gorillas. There are maps available to self-guide your walk and learn about the animals and their natural habitats as you go, in addition there are cast members (staff) located at different enclosures to answer any questions or tell you about the animals.

gorilla tiger

There is also the popular Safari ride which is, essentially, a guided tour in an open air vehicle through the African savannah – here you can get to see some amazing animals roaming about in open areas. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready!!

The most popular rides in this park are, as usual, the ones which build up the longest queues and as such it’s best to try and visit them first:

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Everest
  • Kali River Rapids – (you will get absolutely soaked on this water ride – be prepared!!)
  • Dinosaur

expedition-everest-day-00 kilimanjaro-safaris

There is also a VIP safari called the ‘Wild Africa Trek’ which is available at an additional cost and takes a group of 12 guests on a 3 hour private nature hike taking you even closer to the animals with a Disney guide. African inspired food and professional photos are included in this cost.

There is no longer a parade at this park and there is no firework show due to the animals. There is also extensive building work currently going on which means that the famous Lion King show is not currently showing – to replace this the ‘Harambe nights’ experience has been introduced. This is an after hours party event which is available in limited numbers and at an additional cost. It runs up unto 9th August 2014 each night from 7pm until 10.30pm allowing guests to watch the all new ‘Lion King show: Concert in the wild’ in the Harambe theatre and sample various types of international cuisine.

tree again

The building work which began in 2013 is, in fact, the beginning of something very exciting: an AVATAR themed land in the Animal Kingdom. I, personally, am hugely excited to see the world of Pandora come to life within the Animal Kingdom and will keep readers updated on any significant updates! To get everyone else excited too… take a look at some of the awe-inspiring concept art below:

concept 1

concept 2

concept 3

The following exciting news is quoted directly from the Disney Parks Blog where you can check for up to date Disney news. This helps give an idea of the sheer scale of the work which is being undertaken.

night time concept

“As part of the largest expansion in the history of the park, we’ll be adding all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery River that will delight our guests and truly cap off their day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park will introduce more nighttime entertainment as well, including live performers on Discovery Island (pictured above) and a new nighttime version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.”

In all, the Animal Kingdom is a great fun place to go!

 

All images © Disney World and Disney Park blog

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