Best Rides at Animal Kingdom You Don’t Want to Miss

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 Animal Kingdom rides to help plan your Disney vacation.

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

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!

This year visiting Animal Kingdom is a bit different with COVID safety rules in place. We share our experience in this article: Disney Vacation During Covid-19.

Guests also need to reserve your day at the park before you arrive. Learn more here. As these safety protocols change I will update this post.

Check out theme park ticket deals here!

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.

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.

Read my one day at Animal Kingdom Itinerary article for how to plan your day.

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

Africa

  • Festival of the Lion King (Currently closed but recently announced to be reopening Summer 2021)
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Gorilla Falls Expedition Trail
  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Asia

  • 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 Musical (Currently Closed)

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom

Avatar Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage is one of the newer 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 but my children are 7, 9, and 11. When they were little this would have been 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

Dinosaur is a thrill ride at Animal Kingdom that has a 40 inches height requirement and can be really scary for some kids. You 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 Musical

Finding Nemo-The Musical is more than just a theme park show. Finding Nemo is a 40 minute Broadway style musical. It is incredibly done and is worth seeing. Visit during the hot Florida afternoons to rest and cool off.

Finding Nemo- The Musical is temporarily closed but will be reopening after a full retheming. Stay tuned for details.

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

Above are the best Animal Kingdom attractions for your visit but if you are visiting with toddlers or older kids you may want to look for rides specific to their need.

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom for Big Kids

  • Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest
  • Dinosaur

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom for Little Kids

  • 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

We love visiting and experiencing all the must see rides at Animal Kingdom and hope you will too!

Read Next: Check out our Step-by-Step Disney World 7 Day Itinerary Planning Guide and Disney Vacation Cost for a Family of Five.

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