Best Dark Rides and Shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King

Disney’s Animal Kingdom might be well-known for its stunning animal habitats and conservation efforts, but it is also home to fantastic attractions, shows, and entertainment. Dark rides are attractions that are suitable for guests of all ages and heights, and Animal Kingdom is home to a few of our favorites. Animal Kingdom also provides guests with opportunity to see several wonderful shows. So if you have a visit to Disney World in your near-future, then continue reading to learn more about the best dark rides and shows that reside within Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Festival of the Lion King

One of Animal Kingdom’s most incredible shows is Festival of the Lion King. This Broadway-style show showcases the best performances from Disney’s Lion King with live performers, audio-animatronics, and larger-than-life props and sets. Guests will be stunned by dancing, singing, and acrobatic performances. Festival of the Lion King will have you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the 40-minute performance and will enchant and delight you and your entire family.

Festival of the Lion King
Tumble Monkeys in Festival of the Lion King. Photo: Emily Murray.

Na’vi River Journey

Animal Kingdom’s newest dark ride attraction lies within Pandora: The World of Avatar. Na’vi River Journey is a slow-moving boat-ride takes guests throughout one of the rivers of Pandora and explores a bioluminescent rainforest as seen in the Avatar films. This attraction is not only full of stunning visuals and scenery, but is also home to one of Disney World’s most advanced audio-animatronic figures. The shaman figure that resides within Na’vi River Journey is highly expressive and moves smoothly and intricately. This audio-animatronic is also quite large, nearly 10 feet-tall.

Shaman of Song in Na'vi River Journey
Shaman of Song in Na’vi River Journey.

It’s Tough To Be A Bug

Disney World is known for their theatre shows featuring 4D effects and surprises, and It’s Tough to be a Bug is one of the best! You can find this show at the iconic Tree of Life. It’s Tough to be a Bug is a 3D animated show that utilizes audio-animatronics of Flik and Hopper to tell a story of how insects survive in the wild. Theatre effects such as rumbling, water spraying, and even pokes through the seat are used to bring this humorous show to life. While this 3D show is for everyone, small children might be frightened of some of the theatre’s effects, as well as the darkness and loud noises that play during the show.

It's Tough To Be A Bug.
It’s Tough To Be A Bug. Photo: Disney.

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…And Beyond!

An incredible theatre production can be found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…And Beyond! Is a theatrical production on a scale unlike any other show in the Disney parks. This stage show has been recently updated and tells the story of Finding Nemo while featuring some characters from Finding Dory as well. This show features original songs and uses advanced puppetry to tell the story of Nemo and his family and friends. Beautiful sets adorn the stage as talented performers enchant you for a full 25 minute-long show. This show is great for families, especially those with small children!

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue...and Beyond!
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! Photo: Disney.

What are your favorite dark rides or shows at Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Photo: Emily Murray.

Written by

Megan Woodard

Contributing Writer

Megan was born into a Disney family. Her first trip to Disney World was when she was only 18 months old. Now as an adult, Megan loves to share the magic of Disney with her two toddlers. Keeping up with Disney news and Disney World knowledge is a fun hobby for Megan. Disney World is her favorite place to be and continuously brings back her childhood joy.

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