Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups: What To Do at the Animal Kingdom

11219561_10153312232747488_4538843428383746113_oWalt Disney World isn’t just for kids, and our family of adults loves to enjoy the attractions and details of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom has a combination of rides, shows, and animal attractions centered on a message of conservation. While it is often treated as a half-day park, the Animal Kingdom is worth a visit for its unique attractions.

The Animal Kingdom has only one true roller coaster, but it’s an absolute must-visit for thrill seekers. Expedition Everest starts with an amazingly detailed queue, and the ride itself features high speeds, big drops, sharp turns, and part of the coaster even goes backwards.

Most of the Animal Kingdom’s attractions are less thrill-heavy but no less exciting, and there’s nothing quite like them elsewhere in Walt Disney World. One of our favorite is Kilimanjaro Safari, an incredible condensed version of an African safari that takes guests through a sprawling landscape with giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, lions, and more. The ride is different each time, as the animals roam about as they like.

The Animal Kingdom also has several shows to pick from, but our favorite is Festival of the Lion King. Rather than simply retelling the story from the film, this show is a variety act-style performance with singing, dancing, acrobatics, fire batons, and appearances from characters like Simba and Timon. Bring your inner child with you, because there is some audience participation.

Aside from the main attractions, the Animal Kingdom also has plenty of elaborate theming and hidden corners to discover. There are two animal viewing trails, but our favorite (and the less crowded one) is the Maharajah Jungle Trek, featuring Bengal tigers and komodo dragons, among others. Guests should also take the time to walk the trails around the Tree of Life on Discovery Island in order to see the over 300 animal carvings on its trunk, branches, and roots. Also, see if you can spot Divine, an elusive performer usually found on the path between Africa and Asia. She camouflages herself so well in the nearby greenery that she often takes guests by surprise when she actually moves.

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for having a fun, relaxing vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she is dedicating her planning skills to helping other families create vacation memories as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com.

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