November 18, 2011

Top 10 Don’t Miss and Top 10 to Skip: Animal Kingdom

Note: This Post has 4 Parts

These Top 10 lists are aimed at adults visiting WDW – especially if you only have a very short amount of time (2 days or so) to see all 4 parks.  Except for when I was visiting as a young'un myself and went with my younger brothers and family, I have never been to WDW with children, so I cannot advise for those with young families.

Here are my Top 10 List of Must-Do’s and Top 10 for things you could Skip in Animal Kingdom (if you have limited time in WDW), plus my Quick Serve food faves for those of us without a minute to spare.
Whatever you do, don't miss
Expedition Everest!

Top 10 Must-Do:

  1. Expedition Everest – get your Fast Pass for this one. Sometimes the line moves pretty well, though.
  2. Finding Nemo the Musical – This one is better than the Lion King show IMHO. The music is original for this show, and it’s absolutely fantastic. The music reminds me of Rent and gives me goosebumps it’s so good. Also it's so visually stunning. Don’t miss it.
  3. Festival of the Lion King – This one’s more interactive and theater-in-the-round. All music from the score, some great acrobatics and huge animatronics, very awesome.
  4. Dinosaur – Very fun, roughs you up a little bit and always scares the crap out of me at that one part. You’ll see what I mean.
  5. Kilimanjaro Safari – Lovely ride, you’ll see tons of animals. Get your cameras ready.
  6. Kali River Rapids – You will get wet – possibly drenched.  Even with a poncho there’s no way around it. Awesome for those mega-hot Florida summer days.
  7. Pangani Forest Exploration Trail – There was a baby gorilla the last time I was there - cute overload!!
  8. Maharajah Jungle Trek – Love the Tigers. Especially since they’re usually asleep it’s easy to get good pics of them. Ha!
  9. Flights of Wonder – I love birds so I always try to go to this show. Amazes me how intelligent they are. Tip: Sit in the middle of the floor bench section for a close encounter with a very large birdie.
  10. Tough to Be a Bug – It’s cute, I’m not really a huge fan, but the line isn’t usually too long, and it is inside the Tree of Life, so that’s neat.

DinoLand. See what I mean?
Top 10 to Skip:

  1. 90% of DinoLand (except Primeval Whirl) – and Primeval Whirl is down for repairs seemingly all the time, so here’s my go-ahead to skip DinoLand entirely. You’ll see what I mean when you get there. It’s kind of like “WTF were they thinking??” It's an eyesore, really.
  2. TriceraTops Spin (in DinoLand) – It’s Dumbo and Magic Carpets of Aladdin in MK, but in a fat green Triceratops. Are they really that strapped for ride ideas?
  3. Boneyard (in DinoLand) – Kiddie playground area.
  4. Cretaceous Trail – Walk around the forest and look at statues of dinosaurs. Eghh…pass.
  5. Rafiki Planet Watch – made the mistake of going out there once many years ago. Don’t know if it’s better now, but it was such a waste of time back then that I haven’t wanted to venture a try.
  6. Habitat Habitat (in RPW) – see #5
  7. Conservation Station (in RPW) – see #5
  8. Affection Section (in RPW) – see #5
  9. Wildlife Express Train – takes you to Rafiki Planet Watch: see #5
  10. Jammin’ Jungle Parade – There it is again, my general dislike for parades. This one is pretty good, and you’ll have no choice but to see some of it, trying to get around. Find out when the parade is running and what routes are going to be blocked off so you don’t get yourself on the wrong side of the path, unable to get by!

There are a decent amount of good food options at Animal Kingdom, especially Tusker House and Yak & Yeti. For its lack of rides/ attractions, this is one of its redeeming qualities.  It’s a huge park so you will need to refuel and re-caffienate a couple times at least.

Food Favorites (Quick-bites only):

  1. Yak & Yeti (Asia) – if you don’t have time for a sit down meal (which I do recommend here) you can do their Quick-Serve “Local Foods Café” for some Pan-Asian noms.
  2. Trilo-Bite (DinoLand) – Get yer Turkey Legs if you haven’t yet!
  3. Safari Coffee (Discovery Island) – Many people, myself included, do this park first thing in the morning, so since this coffee stop is so close to the entrance you can get your caffeine fix ASAP.
  4. Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery (Africa) – The WDW site describes this as “the perfect way to start your day”…but it’s in the furthest reaches of the back corner by Kilimanjaro Safaris – so far away! It is good for a coffee recharge mid-day though. 


  1. One good thing about Rafiki Planet Watch, is the character meet, short lines.


  2. I actually love Dinoland. The games are cute and fun, and they've really improved Primeval Whirl. I haven't seen it down in a very long time. Also, the Boneyard Playground for kids is super fun. Lots of interactive things for kids to do in there with space for tired parents to take a short break. It's also the only place in DAK that you can get a beer or a turkey leg. Otherwise, I agree!