7 Best Animal Kingdom Rides That You Can't Miss
Animal Kingdom has some of the most unique rides in all of Disney World.
In this guide, we will list out the best rides that Animal Kingdom offers, how each one is unique, and even show the actual (point of view) videos of the rides.
1. Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest takes riders upwards through the icy 200 ft Himalayan mountain peak until suddenly it stops due to a broken track.
There's a legendary monster in this mountain peak that isn't a fan of visitors, who forces the ride to go backward from the highest part of the ride.
This ride takes place inside a train, while traveling both indoors and outdoors, and does a great job of constantly preventing riders from figuring out what's next.
2 minutes 50 seconds.
This ride will go forwards AND backward.
If you've never gone backward on a roller coaster, hold on tight, you're in for quite the experience.
2. Avatar Flight of Passage
Grab a pair of 3D glasses and strap on to your banshee, as this will certainly be an adventure.
This 3D flying simulator ride will take you on top of a winged mountain banshee, and you'll fly around at high speeds and sharp turns through the moon.
This ride begins by flying you through stars & galaxies until you've made it to the World of Pandora.
Riders will get right into it as they experience the first nose dive drop, seconds after entering this new world.
It will genuinely feel as if you're in this actual world. The best part is that you don't have to have watched the movie to enjoy the ride.
You'll immediately appreciate how much work has been put into this ride, once you've taken one look at the scenery from the first drop.
As a rider, you'll be able to smell the sea, feel the breeze, the small water droplets and you'll feel the creature breathing under you.
Everything on this ride as far as footage is completely original.
The Executive producer further explained below:
Everything you see in the attraction’s main show was original to this production. We were fortunate to be able to use the model and texture assets from the first film during our templating/visualization process. We were also able to use animation cycles for our [background] characters.
3. Kilimanjaro Safari
A trip to Animal Kingdom is not complete without a visit to the Kilimanjaro Safari.
This safari ride will simulate a ride through the East African Savanna, as you'll travel through a 110-acre area full of adventure.
Some of the animals you'll see include giraffes cheetahs, lions, rhinos, hippos, okapis, and even crocodiles.
An underrated part of this tour is how knowledgeable the tour guide is.
The tour guide will take you through different areas of the safari, while explaining specific animal behavior, how to tell whether they are male or female, and even inform rides on what the animals' normal day-to-day routine is like in here and in the wild.
The tour guides are trained to have a sharp eye and to see animals that guests will normally miss.
This is one of the few rides in the world where you can see dozens of wild African animals in one ride.
If you can't ride in the morning, you'll want to ride while it is raining.
The animals will typically be more active and walking around, and you may even see elephants playing in the mud!
We've written detailed tips specifically for Animal Kingdom, just like these.
Hop inside the rover and get ready to travel back in time, through the Cretaceous period.
This dark ride will take riders through quite an experience, as they drive within several feet of giant dinosaurs.
Throughout the ride, the 'tracker' will be on their lookout to find a specific dinosaur, and on the way riders may run into trouble, so brace yourself!
This unpredictable ride will truly keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to admire the dinosaurs, while at the same time keeping a look out for the dangerous ones.
3 minutes 5 seconds.
This ride used to be known as Countdown to Extinction.
Dinosaur is a very loud ride, which gives it an even more realistic feel.
5. Na'vi River Journey
This is easily one of the most underrated rides at Animal Kingdom.
This slow moving ride showcases the amazing advanced visuals, along with audio-animatronic characters.
Riders will experience the different bioluminescent environment and animals, that are located underground through the Kasvapan River of Pandora.
There are many layers that your eyes will try to sort through at each point of the ride. It's a very visually complex ride, and you can truly see how much effort was put into it to make it successful.
It's a perfect ride to sit back, and enjoy.
The end of the ride showcases the most advanced Audio Animatronics figure Imagineering has ever created.
6. Kali River Rapids
If you're fine with getting soaked, this simulated river rapids course is the ride for you.
Riders can expect to travel up to a 90 ft hill through geysers until they reach the jungle, complete with waterfalls, fountains, and a Tibetan prayer flag bridge.
To top things off, riders can expect a massive 30 ft drop.
Around 4 minutes.
Experienced visitors will save this ride for the hottest time of the day during the Summer, to cool off in style.
7. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
This self-guided tour is extremely popular as it allows visitors to get an up-close look at a variety of African animals, including gorillas, hippos, zebras, and meerkats.
Visitors will get away from the crowds and theme park noises, as they walk through the forest trail.
The Gorilla Habitat is the best part of the trail as visitors can observe a family of western lowland gorillas playing, eating, and interacting with each other in their natural habitat.
30-60 minutes (Self-paced).
The trail also features a bird aviary, where visitors can see a variety of exotic birds, including African crowned cranes and saddle-billed storks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should You Ride First at Animal Kingdom?
Riding the Kilimanjaro Safari as soon as the park opens will give you a huge advantage. You'll be able to skip dealing with long lines, and you'll also avoid the afternoon heat.
Another great alternative to ride first is riding Avatar Flight of Passage. This is one of the most popular rides at the park, and by knocking it out earlier in the day, you can spend the rest of your day experiencing the park rather than waiting.
Which Avatar Rides is Better at Animal Kingdom?
Avatar Flight of Passage is the best Avatar ride at Animal Kingdom. Na'vi River Journey is a more laid back, visually-centric ride (still a very good ride), where as Flight of Passage is an immersive 3D action packed ride.