Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the newest theme park at Disneyworld, having opened in 1998. Robin and I just missed its opening the last time we were in Florida, so we were excited to return to see it. Since this park closes at 5:00 p.m., we were anxious to see as much as we could see. We ended up going back for a second day because we liked so much. The weather was warm and sunny on both days (finally) and the park was new and exciting for all of us. The park boasts a wide variety of unique animals, tons of amazing vegetation and some really cool themed areas that make you feel you’re in an African village or an Asian town in the Himalayas.
“Expedition Everest” is the coolest ride at the park by far. In my book, it ranks in the Top Three for all of Disneyworld. We got to ride it a number of times over the two days we spent at the park. It is a thrill ride based on a mountain theme, kind of like the Matterhorn in Disneyland. However, this coaster actually has you going backwards in the dark of the mountain, which is a really interesting sensation. It also has some very interesting special effects featuring an angry Yeti.
Another fun ride is called Dinosaur, formerly known as “Countdown to Extinction.” It is similar in its ride technology to the “Indiana Jones Ride” at Disneyland, but it features a Jurassic adventure with dinosaurs chasing you through a dark landscape with meteors pelting the ground all around you. Other cool attractions were the Kilimanjaro Safari and the Kali River Falls in which we got very wet despite the ponchos we were wearing.
Probably the best part of the Animal Kingdom were the shows. “Finding Nemo: The Musical” was spectacular (see Robin’s post for more details) and the “Festival of the Lion King” was also extremely entertaining. We also enjoyed the “Wonders of Flight” bird show, “It’s Tough to be a Bug,” a 3-D show in a theater underneath the park’s iconic “Tree of Life,” and a beautifully costumed parade that afternoon.
Animal Kingdom is a wonderful park. Here are a few more pictures.