Best Attractions and Rides at Animal Kingdom Theme Park

What are the best attractions at Animal Kingdom that you can’t miss during your visit to the Disney World theme park? We are sharing the best rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to include in your visit.

Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World is a great park for families. It is different than a traditional theme park because it has rides and attractions but also animal encounters.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World. Guests planning a Walt Disney World vacation will also want to visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

There is a mix of rides, shows, character meet and greets, and animal experiences. We love visiting because of the Animal Kingdom top attractions. They are some of our favorite rides at any Disney World park!

best rides at animal kingdom walt disney world

Animal Kingdom Attraction List

Animal Kingdom is divided into different lands centered around the Tree of Life. Each area has a distinct theme.

Pandora: The World of Avatar has the most popular rides at Animal Kingdom and other top rides at Animal Kingdom are throughout the park.

Expect long lines at the most popular attractions. We suggest riding them first thing in the morning or during the evening hours at the park. Wait times can be found on the My Disney Experience App.

Guests will enter Animal Kingdom at the Oasis and then you can make your way in the direction of the Animal Kingdom attraction you would like to start your day with. The Oasis has a few animal exhibits to see as you enter the park.

Discovery Island

  • Tree Of Life
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug! 3D Attraction
  • Winged Encounters-The Kingdom Takes Flight
  • Discovery Island Trails
  • Wilderness Explorer Station. There are stations throughout the park. Learn more about the Wilderness Explorer Scavenger Hunt.

Pandora: The World of Avatar

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey


  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Conservation Station and Petting Zoo area. Offers The Animation Experience where guests can learn to draw popular Disney characters.


  • Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • UP! A Great Bird Adventure
  • Kali River Rapids

Dinoland U.S.A.

  • Dinosaur
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Boneyard Play Area
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond!

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom

Avatar Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage is one of the best attractions at Animal Kingdom. Located in the Pandora:-The World of Avatar this ride is one of the best rides ever.

Flight of Passage takes you on a banshee ride through the stunning world of Pandora It is incredible!

Flight of Passage is a simulator ride and may cause motion sickness. We were all okay riding it, and if you have done Soarin’ or Star Tours without an issue I think you would be okay.

Even if you are not a big Avatar fan this is a can’t miss attraction when visiting Animal Kingdom.

Height Requirement: 44 inches

Things to Know: May be a bit scary for little ones, but if they meet the height requirement most are good with it. This should be your first ride of the day when visiting Animal Kingdom. Lines will get long.

Flight of Passage is one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom.
Flight of Passage is one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom is one of my favorites because it is a different experience every time you ride. You board a Safari and get to see so many animals through out your adventure.

It’s a mild ride, although a bit bumpy, and fun for fall ages.

The best part about this ride is that you never know what to expect or what you will see. We have been up close to baby giraffes, seen ostrich eggs, and watch a baby hippo. It is an awesome experience and you should definitely do it during your visit.

Height Requirement: None

Things to Know: Animals are most active in the early and late parts of the day.

kilimanjaro safari is a must see attraction at animal kingdom
Safari ride at Animal Kingdom.

Na’vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey is the second attraction in Pandora-The World of Avatar. It is a boat ride and has one of the best animatronics on Disney property.

It’s also a great ride for all ages because it is mild and there is little scare factor other than it being dark.

Height Requirement: None

Things to Know: Plan to ride the first few hours of park opening.

na'vi river journey ride at animal kingdom
Photo Courtesy: WDW News

It’s Tough to Be a Bug

It’s Tough to Be a Bug is located inside the Tree of Life in the center of the park. It is a 3d show featuring the characters from Bug’s Life.

We do enjoy this attraction now that my children area bit older but when they were little this was too scary for them.

During the show the bugs “sting” you, spiders come down from the ceiling, and a few other creepy bug things. Now the kids don’t mind it because they know what to expect and it’s fun.

You know your kids best when deciding rides. You can also watch this on YouTube to get a better idea of what to expect.

Height Requirement: None

Things to Know: The line is typically short and the show runs continuously so your wait time is usually under 20 minutes. It can be scary for some children.

tree of life at animal kingdom


Dinosaur is a thrilling dark ride at Animal Kingdom that has a 40 inches height requirement and can be really scary for some kids. Guests ride vehicles through different lands of dinosaurs. It is fast paced and dark for most of the ride.

Height Requirement: 40 inches

Things to Know: This can be scary for small kids.

Expedition Everest-Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Expedition Everest is one of my favorite roller coasters at the Disney parks. It is in a mountain and is full of surprises. This is an intense roller coaster and not for young kids.

I love this roller coaster and the theme of it is perfect! There are surprises and it is an awesome addition to Animal Kingdom park.

Height Requirement: 44 inches

Photo Courtesy: WDW News

Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids is a water ride at Animal Kingdom. You will get soaked. It is a river rapid ride and if you don’t mind getting drenched at the parks, can be a lot of fun!

We had so much fun on this attraction. It is exciting to see who might get wet and we end up laughing the entire ride.

Height Requirement: 38 inches

Things to Know: This is a water ride and you will get wet. You may want to pack a change of clothes or plan to return to your resort after riding.

Photo Courtesy: WDW News

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond!

Finding Nemo is more than just a theme park show. It has a great story and production level as well as great music. Finding Nemo is a 25 minute Broadway style musical.

It is incredibly done and is worth seeing. Visit during the hot Florida afternoons to rest and cool off.

Height Requirements: None

Photo Courtesy: WDW News

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King is another amazing show at Animal Kingdom. The 30 minute show has audience interaction and is really fun for the entire family.

Height Requirements: None

Animal Kingdom Most Popular Rides

The most popular rides at Animal Kingdom are Avatar: Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, Na’vi River Journey.

Guests may want to purchase an individual lightning lane for Flight of Passage as well as purchase Genie+ for the rest of the attractions.

To be honest if you want to save money you can arrive at rope drop (as soon as park opens) to ride Flight of Passage and Na’vi River then ride Kilimanjaro Safari and Expedition Everest after.

We have been successful riding the most popular rides within the first few hours of park opening. You may walk back and forth a bit but you will avoid the long lines.

Typically you can ride all the rides at Animal Kingdom without using Genie+ unless it is a high crowd day.

Water Rides at Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids is the water ride at Animal Kingdom. Na’vi River Journey is a boat ride but it is not an attraction where guests will get wet.

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom for Big Kids

  • Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest
  • Dinosaur

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom for Small Children

  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safari (This is a great ride for all ages. Adults and kids will enjoy it!)
  • TriceraTop Spin- Carnival spin ride similar to Dumbo

Can’t Miss Animal Kingdom Attractions

Some of the attractions and rides that didn’t make the list but are still worth seeing are the animal trails. At Animal Kingdom they have two main animal trails.

They are Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Here you will see gorillas and hippos along this self-guided trail. There are no wait times for this area. Guests can walk through at their leisure.

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is home to tigers, bird species, and a Komodo dragon. We like to do these trails after we have experienced the rides.

There is also a Discovery Trail that takes you up close to the Tree of Life. Here you can walk at your own pace, escape the hustle and bustle of the crowds, and check out the animal carvings in the Tree of Life.

I loved to see the amount of details on the animal carvings of the tree. This was a really neat area to find.

A lot of Animal Kingdom is walking around and enjoying the ambiance of the park so be flexible and explore once you have done the rides.

Be sure to keep your eyes open for the Discovery River Cruise that floats through the park. Here you will see some of your favorite characters waving to you as they float by.

During a visit to Disney’s California Adventure we experienced the Animation Experience and had so much fun. This will definitely be added to our list next time we visit Animal Kingdom.

If you are visiting with small children be sure to spend some time in The Boneyard. This is a fossil and dinosaur themed play area which is great for children to run around and use some energy!

The unique thing about visiting Animal Kingdom is exploring the paths and trails. It is a gorgeously themed park that offers a lot to the guests. We love visiting and experiencing all the must see rides at Animal Kingdom and hope you will too!

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