EARTH DAY & ANIMAL KINGDOM’S 23RD ANNIVERSARY!
JAMBO! Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park that is full of adventure, nature, and discovery. Animal Kingdom is celebrating it’s 23rd year of magic on Earth Day! This park has seven lands to explore that will transport you into areas of your wildest dreams:
OASIS – this is the entrance to the park. These pathways are full of tropical gardens and wildlife. The garden paths lead you to Safari Village, the center of the park.
DISCOVERY ISLAND – this is where you will see the park’s icon, The Tree of Life! The Tree of Life is a 14 story, 50-foot-wide tree, and has 325 animals carved into the bark. You can stroll through the trails to view all of the animals. Tough to be a Bug is the main attraction in this land (3D movie and multimedia show). Dining & shopping locations are also available.
PANDORA, THE WORLD OF AVATAR – The Na’vi welcome you to their world! Here you can ride on a banshee, meet a Pandora Ranger, or take a boat ride into the rainforest full of magic and life! Satu’li Canteen & Pongu Pongu offer many foods and drinks (some of my favorites – the Satu’li Bowl and Night/Rum Blossom).
AFRICA/RAFIKI’S PLANET WATCH – Hakuna Matata! In this land you will find entertainment such as Festival of the Lion King, bringing the movie to an action-packed stage. On Kilimanjaro Safaris, you will ride on an open-sided safari vehicle to see African animals in the savannah. You can also explore more animals on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail & Wildlife Express Train. The train will take you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where you can learn about animals, explore habitats, & touch/feed animals. Dining & shopping locations are also available.
ASIA – Are you YETI for Expedition Everest!? This roller coaster will have you try to escape the cursed mountain. Kali River Rapids is a thrilling river raft ride that will take you through an Asian rainforest (caution – you will get wet!). The Jungle Trek provides you with a tropical environment to explore wildlife. Up! A Great Bird Adventure is a show where you can discover exotic birds with some pals from Up! Dining & shopping locations are also available.
DINOLAND U.S.A – You will go back 65 million years on DINOSAUR, take a leisurely flight on a dinosaur while on TriceraTop Spin, & be mesmerized by Finding Nemo – The Musical! The Boneyard is a great spot for parents to relax while preschoolers & grade school kids get to play and explore on a dinosaur playground. Dining & shopping locations are also available.
WILD AFRICA TREK
Are you looking for a Safari adventure? Wild Africa Trek will provide you with that and so much more! This experience is one that I will remember for a lifetime. This privately guided VIP expedition not only gave me knowledge and up-close experience with animals, but it also gave me insight on how important animal conservation is. This tour is an extra cost from park admission and part of the proceeds do go towards animal conservation!
I was part of the morning VIP expedition. We started bright and early, heading to the park at 7AM for our 8AM adventure. Our group met at the main entrance, which is where we also met our tour guides – Katie and Sonya. They walked us to Africa where we would start our check in – this is where we received our gear (vests, water bottle, headset/radio, & harness). After check in, we were off to explore!!
The first part of our VIP experience was walking through a grassland path (behind the scenes of the Exploration Trail) that led us to the hippos. A castmember met us there who works with the hippos – she was able to provide us with knowledge about them and answer any questions we had. We were also able to get up close to the hippos (while on a harness)!
After visiting with the hippos, we continued our grassland path to our next stop – crossing over a rope bridge! One by one, we all crossed the rope bridge while on a harness. Let me just say – this was one of the coolest experiences!! We were up high and at one point, we were walking over CROCODILES!!! It was amazing. At the end of our rope bridge, we met with another castmember who provided us with knowledge about the crocodiles (we were able to get up close to them as well).
Kate & Sonya led us to an area where we removed our vest/harness and then to a safari vehicle that would take us on a ride over the open savanna. Along this journey, they told us about all of the animals we saw and about animal conservation. Halfway through our ride, we stopped to have an African inspired brunch with an amazing view of the savanna! Wow, what I would give to be able to have a brunch like that every day. We ate, enjoyed the company of the group, and were able to view the animals before returning to our ride.
At the end of our ride, we had to say Asante Sana and goodbye to our outstanding tour guides. Not only did they give us a memorable experience, but they also provided us with complimentary photo service throughout our entire adventure! They were there every step of the way from the hippos, to the bridge, to the crocodiles, and all the way to the end (including the brunch).
ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE
When I think of this resort, I immediately think about the feeling I get when I step into the main lobby – happiness. This resort truly brings the heart of Africa to your Disney vacation. While staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can explore 30 species of African wildlife! The Wildlife Field Guide will provide you with information about each animal, the guide can be found in your room. This resort provides two locations – Jambo House and Kidani Village.
ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE – JAMBO HOUSE (currently closed)
ROOMS: Standard rooms that sleep up to four guests (2 Queen Beds or 1 King), with views that include Standard, Pool, & Savanna. Jambo House also has suites that could sleep up to six guests, same views as the standard rooms.
DINING: The Mara is Animal Kingdom Lodge’s quick service location, providing guests with all meals and snacks. Boma is available for breakfast and dinner, buffet with flavors from over 50 African countries as well as American classics. Jiko provides guests with a dinner menu offering African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. Enjoy these cuisines with South African wines and at the end of dinner, enjoy a stroll around the resort while checking out the wildlife. (Reservations are highly encouraged for both Boma & Jiko)
RECREATION: Uzima Springs Pool, Hakuna Matata Playground, & Pumbaa’s Fun and Games Arcade (extra cost) will provide family fun while staying at the resort! Movies Under the Stars is also offered, enjoy a Disney movie with the family located next to Uzima Pool.
ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE – KIDANI VILLAGE
ROOMS: Deluxe Studios with Standard/Savanna Views sleep up to four guests. 1 Bedroom Villas, 2 Bedroom Villas, & 3 Bedroom Villas can sleep up to 5, 9, & 12 guests. These villas also include Standard and Savanna views.
DINING: Sanaa offers African and Indian cuisines while having a view of exotic animals roaming the Sunset Savanna! All meals provided at this restaurant, reservations are highly encouraged.
RECREATION: Samawati Springs Pool, Campfire Activities, & Safari So Good Arcade (extra cost) will bring family fun when staying at Kidani Village! Movies Under the Stars is offered next to Samawati Springs Pool.
Animal Kingdom Reservations
Looking to book a special trip including a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge or the amazing Wild Africa Trek? We can help you.