Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes the best parts of a theme park and a zoo, blending them seamlessly into one encompassing experience. Visitors can go on safari through the Sahara (and see real animals in naturalistic habitats), explore the world of Pandora from Avatar, ride the rapids of an Asian river, or encounter a yeti on Mount Everest.
The newest of Walt Disney World’s four parks is a favorite with families. Admission options vary, from a single-day ticket that gets you into Animal Kingdom to single or multi-day Park Hopper passes that allow you to freely move between any of Disney’s four parks (including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios). Travelers based in places like St. Augustine, Tampa, or St. Petersburg may even visit the park on a very long day trip.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a must-visit for animal lovers and families traveling with kids.
- Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do a lot of walking.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Book your tickets early to save time waiting in the long ticket office queues.
- Much of the park is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are available to rent.
How to Get There
Disney offers free bus transportation to Animal Kingdom from Disney hotels and other Disney parks. The only other way to get there is to drive yourself or book round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
Plan to arrive a few minutes before the park opens, and head straight for the animal exhibits before it gets too hot. If possible, plan your visit during months when school is in session to avoid the high season crowds.
Shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
While this park may lack the fireworks and parades Disney is known for, there’s no shortage of entertainment options. The Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo—The Musical, both Broadway-style musicals, are popular with visitors of all ages, and once the sun goes down, the River of Lights illuminates Discovery River in a spectacle of light and sound.