Disney World is a place where it seems anything is possible. Rather than just
going to a regular theme park where most of the fun is centered around going
on different roller coasters, at Disney they never miss an opportunity to make
your trip more magical. Places like Animal Kingdom truly come to life, the
details that set the Animal Kingdom apart from a normal zoo make you feel like
you've been transported to a different world. It's a world you've seen in Disney
movies but better because you're there in person instead of just watching it
on a screen. While this list is by no means exclusive, here are a few of the
things that you simply can't miss when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
15) Meet DiVine at
Start off your fun experience and arrive at the park early. Walk by the bushes in the landscaping near the
entrance to the park and you will be able to find something or rather,
someone interesting. Here you can seek out the character “DiVine”; she blends in
with her surroundings wrapped in leaves and stands on stilts while hiding in
the bushes. She comes out to greet guests periodically or when she is spotted by
Once she knows you've seen her, she will come out to interact with the crowd
while dancing and moving about. Many will be amazed by her ability to seemingly
hover over the ground by using stilts for her arms as well as for her legs.
Though she seems hard to miss when she's out on the sidewalk, when she's under
cover she's nearly invisible. This makes it easy to pass her by all unknowing if
you're not paying attention, so when you enter the park make sure to keep your
eyes peeled to encounter this massive, delightful character.
14) Get a Unique
Photo When You Show Up Early
If you are looking to get some really great photos while you are at Animal
Kingdom then enter the park 15 minutes prior to the park opening, you can go
through the turnstiles in the area where the Tree of Life is located. At this
time characters appear and invite you into the park. This is a fun way to start
your day off and make for some great photo as well as autograph opportunities with
the characters before the park becomes crowded. Normally, you would have to find
these characters throughout the park at random times of the day and you may end
up missing them.
Having all of these characters in one place is a unique chance for visitors
to interact with their favorites. Normally, such open access is only available
if you are willing to pay extra to go to one of the dinners or other meals with
the cast. Take the opportunity to get the whole family in a picture with your
favorite characters and make it the perfect way to start off the day. For an
extra special moment, go in the middle of the week when there tends to be fewer
people looking to get into the park and even fewer trying to get in before the
park opens. You'll feel like Disney royalty as you visit with these beloved
Photo with Characters
13) Have Fun at
Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
If there is one thing Disney World is known for, it is putting on some of the
best parades you will see anywhere. Pulling out all the stops is a Disney
trademark in just about everything but it is even more pronounced when it comes
to their many different parades. In the Jammin' Jungle Parade everything is
jungle themed, as if the whole cast is going on safari. Watch as the crew walks
by and waves to the crowd from exquisitely colored vehicles, wearing some truly amazing looking outfits. Just make sure to get
to the parade route early to secure a place in front. As soon as the streets get
barred off, you may not have the chance to get up close.
Take as many pictures as you want of the performers on the parade route, but
do not ask to get a picture with anyone. All of the performers are more than
willing to interact with you, but they are not supposed to stop for photos.
After all, there are many other people on the parade route who would love to get
a photo just as much as you would. The parade happens at multiple times during
the day, so check the schedule to make sure you are in place when the fun
Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade
12) Visit the “It’s
Tough to Be a Bug” Attraction
One of the attractions you must visit while you are at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
is “It’s Tough to be a Bug”. It's based on A Bug's Life and is intended to be an
addition to the world that was created in the movie. First, you will watch a
nine-minute 3-D film that makes you feel as if you are a part of the story
rather than just watching it. In addition to the film, you will enjoy a live
show that makes the movie come to life even more for parents and children alike.
While there, take time to notice something many visitors overlook. When the
announcement is made for the honorary bugs to stay seated so the beetles,
maggots and cockroaches can exit safely, look at the ceiling. Here you will see
a lighted “swarm” headed towards the exits and the exits will be lit by fireflies.
It is a very cool way to light the way for the "bugs" that need to get out of
the theater safely. You can watch but don't use any flash
photography because it will ruin the effect for the rest of the people in
It's Tough To Be A Bug
11) Find Some Fun
When Leaving “It’s Tough to Be a Bug”
When it is your turn to leave “It’s Tough to be a Bug”, make sure you exit to
the left instead of the right. This exit is used less and offers some lesser
known fun. The majority of the crowd will go with their instincts or just go
wherever everyone else is going. If you know where to go, you will see something
that most people will miss. It is one of the secrets that those who have been
going to the Disney resorts for years know about but do not share much because
then they will not enjoy the experience as much.
When you go out the left exit, it leads you through the Tree of Life Gardens
and guests who use this exit often have great animal encounters here. There are animatronic bugs that will interact with you while you are leaving the
performance. Make sure to walk slowly, so you will have the opportunity to meet
as many of these bugs as possible.
Go to Camp Minnie-Mickey then look for Mickey and Pluto fishing in the stream
located there. These two will relax while fishing in the pond. The best way to
see the two is while you are crossing the bridge close to the camp, they
normally appear on the bank of the stream. Mickey likes to sit down while
fishing and Pluto strikes a more leisurely pose by lying down to fish. You may not get the opportunity to actually see them catch anything
but if you listen closely then you can hear them singing a song about fishing and
why they love it.
Be sure to snap a picture of the two fishing when you spot them as you have
found something that not everyone that visits the Animal Kingdom gets to see.
Some have even seen Donald Duck making an appearance at the other side of the
stream trying to catch something from the stream. It is fun to see these
characters dressed up and with all of their fishing gear ready to catch a big
fish or at least tell the tale about how they got the biggest fish in the
stream. Even though you may want to spend a lot of time watching to see what
might happen, let others get in behind you so they can see what is going on as
9) Attend the
Festival of the Lion King
If you are ready to sit down and take in a show, you are in luck; the Festival
of the Lion King is here to entertain you. You will enjoy watching performers
show off their skills in all manner of acts. Costumes are brilliantly made to
make each performer either seem like an animal or like a character you might
find in Africa, which is where all of the action is supposed to be taking place.
The show starts with a welcome surrounded by the sounds of the jungle, then you are invited to make animal noises as part of the performance.
Acrobats and dancers mix with puppets throughout the performance. There is
even a bird ballet the kids will love watching, the ballet is set to the music
of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and it's a beautiful way to relax amid the bustle of the park. The entire performance is finished off with a
mighty singing of “The Circle of Life” with everyone in the crowd getting
involved in the singing of the song.
8) Ride Kilimanjaro
Safari Throughout the Day
If you are looking to get the feeling of a real safari, you should jump on the
Kilimanjaro Safari. This is a massive bus that has been outfitted to be just
like the kind of bus you might ride on if you were to be on safari in Africa.
The bus will take you throughout the areas where animals are allowed to roam
free, it's the closest you can come to the real thing besides going to Africa
and riding through the wilderness. The only difference is that on this
safari, you will have a much better chance of seeing the animals.
What people don't realize is that you can ride the Kilimanjaro Safari more
than one time throughout different parts of the day and get a different
experience each time. The first time allows you to get your bearings and take in
the overall view. The second time, focus on the things you missed the first
time. Going at different times of day offers you a new experience because not
all the animals can be seen at each time, as each animal has its own schedule
and habitat. By going more than once, you have a better chance at catching a
glimpse of an elusive animal you might miss on another round. If you go at least
three times at different times of the day, chances are you'll get to see
7) Visit Bone Yard
While in DinoLand USA
While in the DinoLand USA area of the park, be sure to visit the Bone Yard. Here
you will notice a jeep behind a wall of fossils. If you go up the wall of
fossils and hit them, you will be delighted with the musical sounds which come
from the fossils. Kids can have a lot of fun playing here and discovering fun
facts about dinosaurs. This is intended for kids that are at least 10 years old
but all kids are welcome to learn about the bones and watch the action. Older
kids will have the opportunity to work like a real paleontologist, making
discoveries about the prehistoric world.
When not learning about the dinosaurs or working like a paleontologist, kids
can simply be kids. This is an oversized playground in which kids can slide down
one of the twisting slides or explore the different caves that are available.
Like all Disney parks, this attraction pays amazing attention to detail that
reveals small, fun things to the sharp eyed viewer. Never take the park for
granted, like DiVine earlier on this list, the foliage often hides fun secrets.
If the weather is especially hot, there is a shaded dig site that has fans that can help you to cool off.
6) Grab a Bite at
After walking around the park all morning, you'll be hungry for something good
to eat. The Pizzafari restaurant is a counter service style eatery that offers
pizza and sandwiches. Like anything in Disney, it's never just one thing. Pizzafari is more than a restaurant, it's a fun place to explore as well. Once
you and the kids have eaten your lunch, they can play throughout the restaurant. Here you can explore the six elaborately
decorated rooms, which make up the venue. You can spend time making unique
discoveries in rooms that are designed to look like different parts of Africa
and admire the elaborate paintings along the walls.
5) Walk the Bridge
Between Camp Minnie-Mickey and Discovery Island
Another unexpected delight at the Animal Kingdom can be found when you walk the
bridge between Camp Minnie-Mickey and Discovery Island. The stream that goes
underneath the bridge comes from a truly amazing source, take your time to
follow the water's route upstream and you'll be rewarded with a view of two
waterfalls. One is shaped like a dragon, while the other is a
stegosaurus dinosaur. The rocks of each waterfall make up the illusion that
changes depending on the angle at which you look. If you are looking to catch
some photos of these waterfalls, it is recommended to show up as early as
possible. This is a popular photo spot for people who have noticed the
waterfalls in the past, so the area can get crowded. If you are not able to get
there early, you may not be able to get a clear shot of the waterfalls without
other people in the picture.
4) Take a Walk
through the Discovery Island Trails
Take the time to walk through the Discovery Island Trails to find some amazing
views you will not get to see anywhere else in the park. While this is designed
to be a relaxing walk, you will surely enjoy some of the rare animal sightings
you will see here. There is enough room for everyone to walk along the wide
paths available to you. Best of all, you get to move at your own pace. You will
not have to rush to catch a shot unless you feel you are ready to move on.
You can also enjoy hanging out around the Tree of Life, this is the
centerpiece for the park and is more than just a tree. Take a close look at the tree itself; you
will find different animal carvings etched into the tree on all sides. In all,
there are 300 animal carvings to discover. Find your favorites and take some
Tree of Life Animal Carvings
3) Help Find the
As you continue to stroll through Camp Minnie-Mickey, take some time to find Daisy and Donald’s nephews: Huey, Dewey and Louie. They can be found hiking
together along the trails and they will happily stop to take photos with those
who spot them on their journey. They can even be seen earlier, around the time
and place you found Mickey and Pluto fishing by the bridge. If you spot them,
feel free to go up and talk with them. They will gladly interact with you and
take pictures. You may even get to help them find their way, as they'll ask you
to lend a hand if they're "lost".
Make sure when you arrive that you are willing to hike around a little while.
Even though these sightings are fairly common, people have been known to go the
entire day without seeing the nephews or Minnie at the camp. Stick around long
enough and you will be among those with a great picture to take home.
2) See the Lions on
One of the main attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the
animals and among them the most popular are the lions. These majestic
creatures sun themselves on the rocks in the warm weather, just as though you're
watching the Lion King movie. Kids love to see "the real Simba" patrolling his
domain. The warmer the day, the happier the lions are, so do try to visit this
area during hotter days. Interestingly, the rocks on which the lions climb are
artificially cooled, making them more prone to sitting out in the sun. This
provides more chances to see the lions than there would be if the rocks were
simply ordinary rocks. The warmer weather also tends to keep crowds away, this
is because many people are of the belief that this is a bad time of day to view
the animals. Therefore, going during these times means your group can have a more enjoyable and less crowded experience seeing some
the great creatures of Africa.
Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Perhaps one of the only things that you absolutely have to see while you are at
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Expedition Everest, this is themed to look as if you
are on a trek to climb to Mount Everest with a group of hikers. While this is
technically a ride, you will feel as if you are doing far more than just going
on another roller coaster. Halfway through, the ride stops abruptly because
there is a broken, twisted track up ahead. Suddenly, the train starts hurtling
backwards into the dark tunnels you just came through. It's a rollicking, crazy
adventure with many twists and turns that are not for the faint of heart.
A word of caution: make sure you are prepared for this ride. Many people will
try to bring children with them but young children can easily become scared at
the intensity of the ride. There are many parts of the adventure that feature
loud noises, this can be quite scary for those who may not have the ability
to process everything that they are seeing. The cramped quarters are one of the
things that bother both kids and adults alike, so be careful if you have a
problem with this. But if you are okay with those things then get ready to see
if Yeti might be real or whether this is just another of the legends to come out
of the lore of the famed mountain called Everest.
These are just a few of the amazing ways that you can spend your time at
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you've ever wanted to go on a safari but couldn't
afford to go to Africa, you'll find your adventure much closer to home. You can
meet your favorite Disney characters and even help them out. Catch a delicious
lunch and hike some relaxing trails. Explore the whole park to find the
tiny details that make the experience into something magical, an addition worthy
Magic Kingdom. While you are going from one of these destinations to the
next, be sure to make your own discoveries along the way. Make sure
that you plan to spend at least a full day while you are here and if you can plan
multiple days, it will assure that you will not miss anything there is to see.
With so much to discover around every corner, you will feel as if you just got
back from an African safari when you return home.
14) Get a Unique Photo When You Show Up Early
The Dibb, a website for British tourists visiting Walt Disney World. -
(Various attractions and events, including being greeted by the
characters, the bridge between Camp Minnie-Mickey and Discovery Island,
Pizzafari, and spotting DiVine near the entrance.)