Many Disney fans say that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is a half-day park, and to a certain degree, I can understand that. Whether we spend half a day there or the entire day, I do four things every time I visit. These experiences are things I make my friends do with me, or if I’m alone, I make it my mission to complete each item. We all have certain attractions and dining locations that we feel are must-dos each trip, and I would love it if you shared your Animal Kingdom list in the comment section so we can all compare!
Okay, enough of my rambling. Let’s jump into my list of the four things I never skip at Animal Kingdom.
First on my list is the Festival of the Lion King. In my opinion, this is the best stage show at Walt Disney World. It is perfectly paced, the performers are phenomenal, and the music will have you dancing all day. All my friends and family know I can’t leave the park without seeing this show.
When I was younger, it was my dream to be in this show, and even though that dream never became a reality, I was able to see many of my friends live it out. Festival of the Lion King has also made me leave with tears in my eyes, but now, being able to watch my friends perform here, I leave the show with even more tears.
I think the other reason I hold this show close to my heart is because it is part of many of my Disney childhood memories, and watching it has always been a family tradition. Anyway, enough of my sentimental rant. I love this show, and I think everyone should experience it. The location of the show is perfect. It’s off to the side and indoors, which makes it an ideal spot to sit and relax on a hot day.
Expedition Everest is one of my favorite thrill rides at Walt Disney World. After all these years, it still makes me scream and throw my arms in the air. The ride is impressive, and the queue is one of the best ever. There’s so much detail and information in the line. Every time I’m in there, I learn and see something new.
I have a lot of memories when it comes to this roller coaster. I remember getting off the ride the first time I rode it, crying and saying I’d never ride it again because it was too scary. Now, every time I experience the attraction, it reminds me that sometimes frightening things can eventually become fun. Maybe that’s what I need to tell myself about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort, but that’s for a different article.
What I love about Expedition Everest is that there’s a single-rider line. This line allows me to ride the attraction several times back-to-back. It is also great when I’m visiting with friends who don’t mind riding alone or with strangers.
My absolute favorite thing to do at Animal Kingdom is the animal trails. Not only are they peaceful, but you never know what you’ll see on those treks.
In the summer months, I prefer to do the Tree of Life trail and the ones in the Oasis section of the park. They are shorter trails and have more covered areas. I prefer doing the longer trails, like the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek, during the cooler months.
Although I have trails that I prefer doing at different times of the year, I tend to walk through them no matter the weather, especially the Maharajah Jungle Trek. On this trail, guests can find the tigers, which are absolutely breathtaking. No amount of heat can take away how majestic they are and how beautiful that area is.
Last but definitely not least on this list is Satu’li Canteen. This is the best quick-service restaurant at Walt Disney World, in my opinion, and I will stand by that statement until they make something better. The food differs from what you’ll find at Resturantosarus, Pizzafari, or any other quick service location at Disney. Anytime someone tells me they are visiting Animal Kingdom and are on a budget but want to eat good food, I tell them to go here.
When I travel to the parks alone, this is my favorite spot to grab a bite to eat and take a break. The interior is very unique, and the air conditioning is always blasting. What I love about this restaurant is that it never disappoints me, like ever. I have never had a bad experience here. Hence why, it’s become something I have to do each time I visit the park.
I know you are wondering what my order is; just kidding. You probably aren’t, but I’m still going to tell you. My go-to order is the chili-garlic shrimp bowl with noodles and the charred green onion vinaigrette. The chili-spiced crispy fried tofu bowl is also delicious, so sometimes I’ll order this to change it up. Now that I’ve shared my order, I’m curious about yours. Leave your Satu’li Canteen order in the comments along with your list.
I could ramble on all day about how much I love these four things at Animal Kingdom and why they have impacted my life, but unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to do that. Now that I have shared the four things I never skip at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I want to hear from you. In the comments, leave a list of four things you never miss at this park, and don’t forget to tell us your Satu’li Canteen order.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.