Can’t Miss Classic Attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for First Timers


Planning a trip to Disney World for a first timer can be full of excitement, but can also feel a bit overwhelming at times. One of the most valuable pieces of advice for those who are traveling to Disney for the first time is to let go of expectations and make a list of priorities. A large park like Disney’s Animal Kingdom can feel impossible to complete, but when guests focus on the attractions that are most important to them then they will leave the park feeling happy and satisfied. If you are traveling to Disney Animal Kingdom for the first time then check out these can’t miss classic attractions!

Kilimanjaro Safaris

The biggest attraction at Animal Kingdom that should absolutely never be skipped is Kilimanjaro Safaris. Kilimanjaro Safaris is the closest thing you can get to a real safari experience outside of Africa. Guests board an open-air safari vehicle that doesn’t run on a track and is instead driven by an animal expert who will provide you will endless information on the animals you see along the way. This attraction covers 110 acres of animal habitat, and guests can see animals in an environment that very closely resembles that of nature. Giraffes, elephants, lions, hippos, zebras, cheetahs, painted dogs, and so many more animals await you on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Kilimanjaro Safaris
Kilimanjaro Safaris. Photo: Disney

Expedition Everest-Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is well-known for their animal conservation efforts and education, but their attractions still take the very best of Disney Imagineering and entertainment. Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is an incredible roller coaster that is perfectly themed to Mt. Everest. Guests climb aboard a train for an incredible journey through the mountain and away from the frightening mythical Yeti monster. This attraction is suitable for guests 44 inches or taller and features sharp turns, fast drops, and high speeds!

Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest. Photo: Disney

Avatar Flight of Passage

This attraction located in Pandora- The World of Avatar has quickly become a classic. Avatar Flight of Passage is an interactive journey through Pandora in which guests ride their own Banshee throughout high mountains, large waterfalls, thick jungles, and other out-of-this-world environments. This ride uses 3D effects as well as other real-life effects in order to make this experience really come to life. Guests should be 44 inches or taller in order to ride this attraction and guests with mobility issues should be aware that this ride requires guests to sit facing forward on their stomachs.

Avatar Flight of Passage.
Avatar Flight of Passage. Photo: Disney

Festival of the Lion King

One of Animal Kingdom’s greatest shows is Festival of the Lion King. This stage show spectacular takes live actors, singers, audio-animatronics, and acrobats and combines them together for an incredible tribute to The Lion King. Guests can expect to hear their favorite Lion King songs as well as catch their favorite characters during this musical celebration. This show is approximately 40 minutes long and is appropriate for guests of all ages!

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


Another classic thrill ride located within Animal Kingdom is DINOSAUR. This loud, dark, and frightening attraction will have guests 40 inches or taller on the edge of their seat! Hop aboard a Time Rover and race through prehistoric history as you try to capture a dinosaur for research purposes. Guests can expect to see many dinosaurs during their expedition, including the not-so-nice ones! This attraction may be frightening and intense for younger riders.

DINOSAUR. Photo: Disney

What is your must-do attraction 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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