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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday, Animal Kingdom!

Happy Birthday, Animal Kingdom!  For 15 years you have been entertaining and educating guests and this Earth Day marks your Birthday! 

Animal Kingdom is the largest park at the Walt Disney World Resort with plans for it to increase in size with Avatarland planned in the near future.  Already construction is taking place to move Festival of the Lion King closer to Africa, a section of the park, to make room for Avatarland. 

Over the years, Animal Kingdom fought the reputation of being an overrated zoo and Mickey could be found advertising that it was "Natazu".  Even today, some guests refer to Animal Kingdom as a "half-day park" most likely due to it closing earlier than other parks and no nighttime spectacular with fireworks.  But even without nighttime hours, after all the animals do need to sleep, or fireworks which would spook the animals, Disney's Animal Kingdom is full of treasures and we seem to never be done exploring.

 Kilimanjaro Safari is a highlight for guests of all ages that puts you up close and personal with a variety of animal life.  The ride is also fun and adventurous. 
We recommend an early morning trek on the Safari or during an afternoon rain shower.
Festival of the Lion King is our favorite live show at Animal Kingdom--which is high praise given that Finding Nemo the Musical and Flights of Wonder can also be found at this park.  I just can't help but sing along and smile the rest of the day after this show.
 The various nature trails immerse guests and it is difficult to remember that you are at a theme park.  Interactive stations throughout the trails provide guests information and Cast Members or volunteers are nearby to answer questions.
Gorillas and Tiger, oh my!  Each of these majestic animals can be found along the nature trails at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
 Want thrill rides?  Animal Kingdom has them!  Dinosaur and Expedition Everest top the list for thrill seekers.  Kali River Rapids is another fun family attraction with an environmental lesson.

Disney's Animal Kingdom also has loads of character interaction opportunities and more of these are moving indoors to protect guests and characters from the elements.  Do you know who that blue ant is?  It's Flik from A Bug's Life.

Thumper and Miss Bunny
 And, like every Disney park, Animal Kingdom offers families opportunities to make memories.  Take Gui-Tar Dan as an example.  He created a song for the boy on the spot--click here to read more.
 The Tree of Life Garden can be found near It's Tough to Be A Bug, a hilarious 3-D feature located in the hollows of the Tree of Life.  Don't miss it!
 We also found some magic photos.  Gotta love baby Simba!
Looking for the afternoon parade?  Animal Kingdom has one!  Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade happens daily.  Just check the Times Guide.

Kids need to blow off some steam?  Take them to The Boneyard, a giant playground with slides, climbing features, and pit to dig up dinosaur bones.  While The Boneyard has two sections--you get to the other side by walking through the dinosaur skeleton, it only has one entrance and exit.  Go head, explore!

Obviously Disney's Animal Kingdom has offered our family many memories and we hope is it has for yours too.  And, we wish Animal Kingdom a very Happy Birthday and look forward to its new offerings over the years to come.

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed animal kingdom - but it's not a park we would probably go to on each visit unless we had a young child or were in the mood for expedition Everest. Then again, we are hardcore magic kingdom and Epcot goers :)