Walt Disney World: Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World: Animal Kingdom

By Giles Kennedy

Family and Travel Columnist

Our final full day at Walt Disney World was spent at Animal Kingdom.

Between Expedition Everest, the Safari and Dinoland USA; it was a whole day of exploring.

Whether you are able to explore the whole park or take in some; pace yourself.

There is so much to see in this one park; 480 of the public accessible acres. There are still about 100 acres not developed yet. This is due to the theme park doubling as a world class zoo.

Themed around Africa, Asia, Dinoland USA, Discovery Island, Oasis and Pandora; it is a vast property to take in.

Again, we will focus on the ones my family visited. Walt Disney World’s map is actually up to date on this park. Please see the link below for the PDF file.


Passing through the park entrance and Oasis; this area is a small microcosm of the continent of Asia.

The two main thrill rides are Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids. Between the two rides are many wildlife enclosures to make it simulate exploring through the Himalayas and the Indian subcontinent.

Like any WDW property, there are plenty of restrooms and places to eat. We had our last character meal in the Magic Kingdom that morning; so we did not eat until later. I will speak of the only hiccup we had later.

Expedition:Everest is not only themed around climbing the world’s biggest mountain. It is also themed on finding the possibly rare and mythical Yeti. This ride is a double back, reversing roller coaster.

Fast Passes again are recommended. As stated; a 60 day advance reservation is highly recommended. Popular rides can be 45 minutes to 2 hour waits.

Moving to one side of Asia to the next; Kali River Rapids is a great ride.

It will get you wet. If you do not have Ziploc bags to protect phones, cameras, etc; rent a locker. If you see the one photo with my family; it took us all day to dry out.

Exploring Harambe Marketplace had us a bit confused. The quick service restaurants are kinda of hidden. Tusker House is a great restaurant; but it is mainly sit down service. Hence my only complaint of the day.

Pizzafari in between Africa and Discovery Island. Great food; lousy line and service. The only place my family experienced bad organization. The staff was friendly enough. But who ever designed the lines to order and pick up food here; they need to go back to Imagineer School. Period.

It is the most kid friendly menu in the park. Hence why it gets packed quickly.

Try to find other quick service restaurant. As always, look for the blue umbrellas. Guest Experience Reps are a great resource. Even if there is a line, they are very helpful.

Another tip; don’t wear khaki or bright safety colored button up shirts. They will think you work at the park. At any resort. I wore my button up Field Explorer shirt; sure enough…..people though I was a cast member.

Now, if there was an answer I knew….I would help. That surprised everyone. My wife thought I was playing up the role. Not gonna to lie, I did.

Dinoland USA is another great place to explore. They even made a kitschy amusement and game area themed after Western US roadside stops.


A lot to see and do. The biggest attraction by far is the Kilimanjaro Safari.

Yes, punch on the Fast Pass or Stand By line. It is so worth it.

On top of you riding with other park guests in a specialized tour truck; you are mere feet away from yak, antelope, flamingos , crocodiles and lions. It be an extremely safe distance.

All we visited, rode and did make for a nearly 3/4 of a day here.

So once done; return back to your hotel room or resort. Know that you indeed made an unique theme park experience.




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