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Nahtazu

The biggest comment I get from clients is, I don't want to go to Animal Kingdom because we have a zoo locally.  Guess what? Disney's Animal Kingdom is...Nahtazu!!  Years ago there was an ad that ran on the Disney resort tv's that advertised this fun slogan to let people know just that...it's NOT A ZOO!




Today, let's take a virtual trip around Animal Kingdom!


For today's discussion I'm just going to go around Animal Kingdom. In a later post I'll talk about the idea of "touring plans" and which rides are must do's first!!
As we walk counter clockwise around the park, the first "land" we come to is Camp Minnie Mickey.  

UPDATE!! Camp Minnie Mickey is now CLOSED as Disney prepares for Pandora: The Land of Avatar is being built! You can meet Mickey and Minnie at the Adventurer's Outpost.

Festival of the Lion King has moved to the new HARAMBE Theatre!

At the base of the Tree of Life.  The Discovery Island trails offer a variety of birds, fish and more! We were lucky enough a few years ago to get a great glimpse of the Kangaroos!



Next up is the small African Village of Harambe...probably one of my favorite spots in all the park.  Disney has paid an amazing attention to detail here.

In Harambe you will find

  • NEW! Festival of the Lion King has relocated here to the new Harambe Theatre!
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Conservation Station
  • Tusker House
  • Dawa Bar
  • Shops, Snacks and More (including healthy snacks like Fresh Fruit!!)
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

There are so many reasons I love Animal Kingdom but the Safari is a big one. Disney does such a great job of making you feel like you are on a true African Safari. I think this attraction is why people make the comment about it being Zoo.  The Safari let's you see many animals native to different areas of Africa pretty up close and personal!


After you exit the Safari you have the chance to walk the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  This is a walking trail where you can view animals like the Okapi, Meerkats, Hippo's AND...Gorilla's!!!



Once back in the village of Harambe you can then take the train out to Conservation Station. The neat part about the train is you'll get some neat a backstage views that you wouldn't normally. Once you arrive at Conservation Station you can experience a petting zoo, get a glimpse inside the Animal Barns via special cameras, meet characters and much more! It's completely interactive and will keep you entertained for quite a while!

Next is Asia. Along the way you'll get great views of the Tree of Life and if you are very lucky you'll be able to meet a few characters and possibly get a glimpse of DiVine!


Asia holds a lot of fun and excitement...some too exciting for me, lol. I will admit I have never seen Flights of Wonder and I never plan to...

That's right...I'm scared of birds. I am and I'll admit it.  Let me know how it is though.

Asia is home to one of Disney's WETTEST rides....Kali River Rapids. This ride is a funny one...you'll either get barely wet or you'll get soaked...I mean like jump in a swimming pool with your clothes on soaked!!


Yak and Yeti call Asia home.  This restaurant, which serves Asian inspired cuisine, offers quick service AND table service!



There is another great trail located in Asia, the Maharajah Jungle Trek. On this trek you'll get to see animals native to the continent of Asia, like Bats, Komodo Dragon and my favorite...the Tigers!



One of the best thrill rides in all of Walt Disney World is located here in Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest towers above the theme park and before you even approach it you will begin to hear the screams.  This area, much like Harambe has so much detail, especially the queue.


Remember this ride has a height requirement of 44" but if you are brave enough to try it...it's absolutely worth it!

On your way from Asia to Dinoland is Finding Nemo: The Musical! This is a unique, Broadway style interpretation  of the movie. It's a MUST do for my family!



The last "land" we'll travel to is Dinoland but don't forget, on the walk from Asia to Dinoland is Finding Nemo the Musical.  This is a unique representation of the Movie and I highly recommend stopping by!

Now Dinoland tends to get complaints from a lot of people but I think it's important to know the backstory to this unique land. The story begins with the Dino Institute (now home to DINOSAUR!)  Dino Institute was began by a bunch of students who took over a roadside stand.  Next Door, Chester and Hester, owners of the Gas Station decided to cash in and create a small carnival in the parking lot in order to take advantage of those visiting the Dino Institute.

Dinosaur can be scary attraction...even for the bravest adult (height requirement 40").   Along with Dinosaur is Primeval Whirl and Triceratop Spin.  There is some great options for food here at Restaurantosaurus and don't forget the Dig Yard....a fun and unique playground for the kids.



Back on Discovery Island you'll find more Character Meet and Greets, Flame Tree BBQ (yum) shops and the 3D Attraction It's Tough to Be A Bug. Half the fun of this attraction is getting up close to the tree of life where you'll find over 300 animals carved into the trunk.



This was just meant to be a fun overview of Animal Kingdom, but please remember...Disney created this park for you to explore. Spend time walking around, following the paths and ALWAYS pay attention to the little details! 

This was just a brief overview of one of my family's favorite parks! It's a fun park to explore, has unique food, rides and shows.  I would highly recommend giving it a try!

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