This article is your complete guide to the best rides at Animal Kingdom 2024. Home to everything from lions and African elephants to butterflies and flamingos, the Animal Kingdom best rides and attractions also draw visitors in.
A theme park dedicated to living things, real and imaginary, it opened at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort in 1998. The centerpiece of the park is the Tree of Life, modeled after the baobab tree that grows in places like Africa and Australia.
The best rides Animal Kingdom has to offer are few and far between compared to other Disney Parks that are extremely popular among guests like the Magic Kingdom, but that doesn’t compromise their quality. Some of the Animal Kingdom most popular rides include everything from the adventure-inspired Dinosaur ride and Avatar Flight of Passage simulator to the Kilimanjaro Safaris that showcase the park’s live animals.
If you want to know what the best rides at Animal Kingdom are, then keep reading!
What are the Best Animal Kingdom Rides 2024?
Embarking on a journey to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2024 promises an exhilarating blend of adventure and natural wonder, making it a must-visit destination for families and thrill-seekers alike. Leading the pack of must-try experiences is “Avatar Flight of Passage,” a groundbreaking 3D simulator that plunges you into the mesmerizing world of Pandora. For those craving a dose of adrenaline, “Expedition Everest” offers a heart-pounding rollercoaster ride through the mythical Himalayan landscape, while “Kilimanjaro Safaris” provides a more serene, yet equally captivating, encounter with African wildlife in their natural-like habitats.
“Na’vi River Journey” invites guests of all ages to a visually enchanting boat ride through Pandora’s bioluminescent rainforests. Adventure enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the prehistoric thrills of “DINOSAUR,” a journey back in time with close dinosaur encounters. Additionally, the “Festival of the Lion King” show, a theatrical extravaganza, and “Kali River Rapids,” a refreshing and fun water ride, add to the diverse array of attractions. With its unique blend of thrilling rides and immersive experiences, Animal Kingdom in 2024 continues to be an unparalleled destination for unforgettable family fun and adventure.
How many rides are in Animal Kingdom?
If you find yourself asking, “how many rides are there at Animal Kingdom?”, look no further than this article. In total, you’ll find eight different rides at Animal Kingdom, and they’re a mixture of reality and fantasy.
List of the Best Rides in Animal Kingdom
As you venture into the wild and wondrous world of Animal Kingdom in 2024, make sure you don’t miss out on these top-tier attractions. Each ride offers a unique glimpse into the diverse realms of nature and fantasy that make Animal Kingdom a standout Disney park.
- Avatar Flight of Passage – Immerse yourself in the visually stunning world of Pandora with this cutting-edge 3D flight experience. It’s a breathtaking journey that’s as thrilling as it is beautiful.
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – Brace for an exhilarating adventure on this rollercoaster that combines high-speed thrills with the mystique of the Himalayan legends, including a face-to-face encounter with the Yeti.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – Embark on a safari adventure like no other, witnessing a variety of African wildlife in their naturalistic habitats. It’s a remarkable experience that brings you up close with the majestic beauty of nature.
- Dinosaur – Travel back to the age of dinosaurs in this heart-pounding ride. It’s a perfect blend of education, adventure, and prehistoric excitement.
- Na’vi River Journey – Explore the serene, bioluminescent rainforests of Pandora on this gentle boat ride. It’s a visually enchanting experience that captivates guests of all ages.
These rides have consistently ranked high among visitors and are quintessential experiences in Animal Kingdom. Follow along as we dive deeper into what makes each of these attractions a must-see and the adventures that await within the park.
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Location: Pandora – The World of Avatar
Description: Experience the enchanting and otherworldly beauty of Pandora – The World of Avatar on the Na’vi River Journey. Inspired by the groundbreaking 2009 James Cameron film, this gentle river ride transports you through a mesmerizing bioluminescent rainforest. As your boat meanders along the mystical waters, you’ll be surrounded by glowing flora and the captivating sounds of Pandora’s wildlife. The highlight of the journey is an awe-inspiring encounter with a lifelike animatronic Na’vi shaman, showcasing the pinnacle of Disney’s animatronics technology.
Who would love it: This ride is a universal crowd-pleaser! If you’re asking, “Is the Avatar ride scary?” rest assured, this tranquil adventure is perfect for guests of all ages. It’s a serene experience, devoid of thrills or scares, making it ideal for families and anyone who appreciates immersive, visual storytelling. Just a note for families with young children: the ride is dark-themed, so some little ones might find the dimly lit environment a bit intimidating.
Best Time to Ride: To fully immerse yourself in the luminous splendor of the bioluminescent rainforest, riding at night enhances the experience dramatically. Additionally, evening times often mean shorter wait times, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable journey into the heart of Pandora.
Height Requirements: none
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Dinosaur – Animal Kingdom Most Popular Rides #4
Location: DinoLand U.S.A.
Description: “Dinosaur” in DinoLand U.S.A. is a thrilling expedition into the prehistoric world, mirroring the layout of the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Resort in California. This dynamic, dinosaur-themed adventure puts you in a “time rover” inside a subterranean research facility. From there, you’re transported back to the age of the dinosaurs, encountering a variety of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The ride is an exhilarating journey through time, filled with sudden movements and close encounters with various dinosaur species.
Who Would Love It: For those wondering, “Is the Dinosaur ride in Animal Kingdom scary?”—the answer leans towards yes for the more cautious. This ride is fast, bumpy, and shrouded in darkness, featuring intense scenes and some realistically frightening dinosaurs. It’s not a roller coaster, but it doesn’t skimp on the thrills. Adventure-seekers and fans of heart-pounding excitement will find this ride to be a highlight of their Animal Kingdom experience.
Best time to ride: To maximize your experience, aim to ride “Dinosaur” either early in the morning or later in the evening. These times typically have shorter lines, giving you a better chance to enjoy this exhilarating journey without a long wait.
Height Requirements: 40 inches
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Kilimanjaro Safaris – Top Rides at Animal Kingdom #3
Description: Embark on a remarkable journey through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve aboard an open-air vehicle for a safari adventure that lasts nearly 20 minutes. This ride through the reserve showcases diverse habitats that mirror the African savanna, featuring expansive grasslands, open plains, dense forests, and lush wetlands. It’s a rare opportunity to observe an incredible variety of wildlife in settings that closely resemble their natural environments. Keep your camera ready for sightings of giraffes, lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, elephants, zebras, and many more, with a total of 34 species calling this reserve home.
Who would love it: This safari-style ride is a dream come true for animal enthusiasts. It offers an up-close look at a wide range of live animals in a setting that replicates their natural habitats. It’s an educational and exhilarating experience for guests of all ages who have a passion for wildlife and conservation.
Best Time to Ride: To catch the animals at their most active, plan your safari close to sunset, a time when the park’s inhabitants are typically more energetic and visible. Early morning is another great option for safari-goers, as the cooler temperatures during this time encourage the animals to be more lively and visible.
Height Requirements: none
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Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – Animal Kingdom Rides Ranked #2
Description: Nestled within the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain stands as one of the park’s most thrilling and beloved attractions. This high-speed roller coaster simulates a daring train journey to the summit of the world, soaring above a quaint Tibetan village. The adventure takes a dramatic turn as you encounter the mythical Yeti and navigate through a series of unexpected twists, including a startling encounter with a broken track.
Who would love it: Expedition Everest is an absolute must for thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts. This roller coaster offers a heart-pounding experience with its high speeds, sharp turns, sudden drops, and unique backward segments. It’s a perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping excitement and immersive storytelling, making it a highlight for those seeking a more intense theme park experience.
Best Time to Ride: To beat the crowds and enjoy a smoother experience, the best strategy is to visit Expedition Everest early in the morning as soon as the park opens or later in the evening just before the park closes. These times often have shorter wait times, allowing you to fully enjoy the ride without the long queues typically seen during peak hours
Height Requirements: 44 inches
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Avatar Flight of Passage – Animal Kingdom Best Rides and Attractions #1
Location: Pandora – The World of Avatar
Description: Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom redefines what a flight simulator can be, soaring beyond expectations to become one of the park’s most sought-after attractions. This immersive ride places you on the back of a banshee, the iconic flying creatures from the world of Pandora. As you glide over the breathtaking landscapes of Pandora, the hyper-realistic screen and sensory effects fully envelop you in the vibrant, fantastical world, creating an unparalleled flying experience.
Who would love it: Avatar Flight of Passage strikes a perfect balance for those seeking a thrill but not wanting an overly intense experience. The ride is exhilarating, yet accessible enough for children who meet the height requirement. It’s a fantastic choice for families and adventure-seekers alike. However, those prone to motion sickness, particularly when it comes to screen-based simulations, might want to consider skipping this one.
Best Time to Ride: To make the most of your day at Animal Kingdom, prioritize Avatar Flight of Passage as your first ride in the morning. This strategy helps you avoid the longer queues that build up during the day, ensuring you don’t miss out on this incredible experience and have ample time to explore other attractions in the park.
Height Requirements: 44 inches
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What are the Best Rides for Toddlers at Animal Kingdom 2024?
While many children may enjoy the thrill rides at the park, still others will be too small to hop aboard. Anyone seeking Animal Kingdom rides for 5 year olds do have quite a few options though, with half of the attractions in the park suitable for little ones.
If you’re wondering how many rides are in Animal Kingdom for kids, there are four options to choose from, including Kilimanjaro Safaris, Na’vi River Journey, TriceraTop Spin and Wildlife Express Train.
TriceraTop Spin, one of the Animal Kingdom rides for kids, takes riders high in the sky in a carnival-themed attraction, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. The Wildlife Express Train, on the other hand, is a relaxing train ride that traverses the African savanna, stopping at Rafiki’s Planet Watch to teach families about wildlife conservation.
Animal Kingdom Thrill Rides
While the focus is definitely on the animals, there are plenty of attractions at Animal Kingdom for adults and thrill seekers. These popular thrill rides include:
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Kali River Rapids
Though it may seem hard to believe, those looking for Animal Kingdom roller coaster rides will only find one: Expedition Everest. But the other thrill rides at the park make up for it.
Anyone curious about is Flight of Passage a roller coaster will be interested to learn that it’s actually a flight simulation, with plenty adrenaline-fueled drops. Then there is the fast and bumpy Dinosaur, an exciting adventure focused on prehistoric animals.
Another one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom for adults is Kali River Rapids, a whitewater rafting attraction that traverses a lush jungle.
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What is the Best Water Ride at Animal Kingdom 2024?
Those looking for top Animal Kingdom rides will want to check out the water rides.
In the Florida heat, nothing beats finding a way to cool down while at the parks. And the only water ride also happens to be one of the most fun rides at Animal Kingdom. Kali River Rapids whisks guests down a river through the jungle in a 12-person raft, past geysers, waterfall and fast-moving rapids. While there’s a chance you may just get a splash of water, you’re likely to get drenched in this thrilling ride.
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Where should I use Genie+/Lightning Lane? Busiest Rides at Animal Kingdom 2024
With the addition of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, you can skip the lines at some of the park’s most prominent attractions.
When trying to determine the Disney Animal Kingdom best rides, look no further than the Genie+ service. So, how many rides at Animal Kingdom work with Genie+? You’ll find it works with five rides within the park, including Dinosaur, Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Naʻvi River Journey—many of which are on our list of Disney Animal Kingdom rides ranked.
While Genie+ does not work for what is the best ride at Animal Kingdom, Flight of Passage, you can purchase an individual Lightning Lane pass for Avatar Flight of Passage to ensure you get on without a lengthy wait as well.
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What Should You Not Miss at Animal Kingdom?
While Animal Kingdom may not boast an extensive list of popular rides like some other theme parks, it more than makes up for it with a variety of other captivating attractions and experiences. One of the highlights of Animal Kingdom is its array of spectacular shows that provide entertainment and wonder for guests of all ages.
Among the must-see performances is the “Festival of the Lion King,” an awe-inspiring showcase that brings the magic of “The Lion King” to life through vibrant pageantry, stunning puppetry, and lively musical performances. This show is a celebration of the beloved film and offers a rich, immersive experience that captures the heart and imagination.
Another standout attraction is “It’s Tough to Be a Bug!”, a delightful 3-D adventure inspired by Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life.” This interactive experience immerses you in the world of insects, offering both fun and educational insights into their lives, with a few surprises along the way. It’s a unique and engaging attraction that complements the natural and wildlife-focused theme of the park.
These shows, along with the park’s other attractions, make Disney’s Animal Kingdom a diverse and enchanting destination, ensuring that every visitor, regardless of their interests, finds something to enjoy and remember.
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Animal Kingdom Best Rides FAQ 2022
Q: What are the best rides at Animal Kingdom?
A: The top five rides at Animal Kingdom are:
1. Avatar Flight of Passage
2. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
3. Kilimanjaro Safaris
5. Na’vi River Journey
Q: What are best rides for toddlers at Animal Kingdom?
A: The Animal Kingdom rides with no height requirement are Kilimanjaro Safaris, Na’vi River Journey, TriceraTop Spin and Wildlife Express Train.
Q: What are the best rides at Animal Kingdom for adults?
A: The best rides for thrill seekers at Animal Kingdom include Avatar Flight of Passage, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and Kali River Rapids.
Q: Which top Animal Kingdom rides will get you wet?
A: The only water ride at Animal Kingdom is Kali River Rapids.
Q: What are the best rides in Animal Kingdom for Genie+/Lightning Lane?
A: The rides within Animal Kingdom that apply to Genie+ include Dinosaur, Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Naʻvi River Journey. You can also opt to purchase an individual Lightning Lane pass for Avatar Flight of Passage.
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