My Top 5 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attractions

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life stands proud and tall at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

By Mike Ellis.

Hello everyone and welcome to our fourth installment of our series where I take a look at my top five attractions at each of the parks.  You may remember we had our top five attractions for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so this week, we’re taking a look at my top five Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attractions!

#5: Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most realistic safari type rides I've ever been on.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most realistic safari type rides I’ve ever been on.

Starting us off on our countdown to #1 is Kilimanjaro Safaris, that very realistic safari ride that takes you through the African plains on your own safari to see exotic animals.  It’s always a lot of fun to take a look at these incredible creatures, but what do you think of the attraction? The only problem I have with it is I have a tendency to get very blurry pictures from all of the bouncing the vehicle does!

#4: Festival of the Lion King

I know this is at the top of many people's list, but it doesn't make my top choice.

I know this is at the top of many people’s list, but it doesn’t make my top choice.

Festival of the Lion King is a great show, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not my favorite show.  That choice goes to my selection for #3 in our countdown…

#3: Finding Nemo: The Musical

Finding Nemo: The Musical is my favorite show at Animal Kingdom.  I love the way the story is brought to life!

Finding Nemo: The Musical is my favorite show at Animal Kingdom. I love the way the story is brought to life!

When it comes to shows at Walt Disney World, Finding Nemo: The Musical may be my favorite Disney show.  I love the way the actors bring the story to life and how they work their characters in such creative ways!

#2: Kali River Rapids

For a very hot park, nothing is better for cooling off than Kali River Rapids!

For a very hot park, nothing is better for cooling off than Kali River Rapids!

Coming in at #2 in our countdown is Kali River Rapids, a rafting tube ride that takes you down some great  drops, splashes, and twists and turns so that, at the end of the ride, your objective has been met: you are drenched from head to toe!  The backstory of so many of the rides at Animal Kingdom is incredible, and the backstory for Kali River Rapids is no less so.  You are going to take a rafting expedition for a couple of reasons — to explore the African wilderness, but to also help raise funds to stop all of the cutting of the rainforest that has taken a toll on the environment.  Part of your trip is past the clear cutting, and it is at this point that the runoff speeds up the water, and causes you to go faster and be more out of control.  The ride is a lot of fun for me, but you tell me — do you like it?

#1: Expedition Everest

At number 1 is Expedition Everest, one of my favorite roller coasters at Walt Disney World!

At number 1 is Expedition Everest, one of my favorite roller coasters at Walt Disney World!

For the longest time, I wouldn’t ride Expedition Everest…and then, when I did, it felt like it was too slow for me.  But the last couple of times I’ve ridden on it that has changed.  I’m not sure why, but now, Expedition Everest is easily in my top 4 for roller coasters (#1: California Screamin’, #2: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, #3: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, #4: Expedition Everest).  I now have a unique appreciation for this attraction.  It seems faster than it used to, I love going backwards, I love the darkness, I love it all!  It’s a great ride, and I hope you agree with me!

Honorable Mention

Rafiki's Planet Watch is a deceptively good attraction, and that is where we saw Pocahontas!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch is a deceptively good attraction, and that is where we saw Pocahontas!

Primeval Whirl is a fun roller coaster that has you spinning in a circular ride vehicle!

Primeval Whirl is a fun roller coaster that has you spinning in a circular ride vehicle!

Thank you for stopping by to check out my top five attractions for Disney’s Animal Kingdom!  Leave me a comment please and let me know what your top five are!  Also, don’t forget to enter to win a $500 Disney Gift Card, or one of two $250 Disney Gift Cards!  Just click on the image below to go to that post and enter.  Good luck everyone!

1000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway-Red

Exploring the Animal Kingdom Shows

In a new series, today I’m taking a look at all of the different shows throughout the Walt Disney World Parks.  In today’s episode, I’m going to take a look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Shows.
For our purposes, a show is something on screen or on stage, that you watch as you would watch a movie or play.

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

Animal Kingdom has some really top notch shows, some of them are among my favorites.  First up in our exploration is Festival of the Lion King, located over at Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Festival of the Lion King is, to put it plainly, stunning!  The music is incredible, the performance is top notch, and being able to cheer on our own character from the movie just brings the audience into the show that much better!  The only drawback I have with “Festival of the Lion King” is that it is hard for us to get seats at times – another testimony of how popular this show really is.  I am determined that this year I am going to see Festival of the Lion King, it has been entirely too long since we last saw it.

Finding Nemo — The Musical

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This show located DinoLand U.S.A. is one of the great shows in all of Disney.  The casting is phenomenal, and the ability of the cast members to produce a show that includes all of the grace of elegance that fish exhibit in the water is really astounding.  The cast and crew of “Finding Nemo – The Musical” have a lot to be proud of – this show is truly one of a kind.

It’s Tough to be a Bug

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Technically, I suppose that I have to consider “It’s Tough to be a Bug” a show, based on my definition at the start of my article.  To be honest, though, we don’t like this show, as you can see in my post on Chip and Company, so I’m just going to say that we don’t like it and leave it at that.

So, while Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a large quantity of shows, it does have two of the best shows in my opinion in all of Walt Disney World.  What are your favorite shows?  Did I miss any?  Feel free to comment here, or on Facebook, or send me a Tweet!  Thanks everyone, and make it a Disney Day!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – Tree of Life

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia, the weekly Disney Trivia series that I host along with my friend Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, and Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  Today I’ve got a unique piece of trivia for you that is based around the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park!

Did you know?

That the Tree of Life measures 145 feet tall and 160 feet wide, and that it features 325 extinct, contemporary, or imaginary creatures?  Additionally, there are over 103,000 leaves situated on the over 8,000 branches, and that each leaf was done by hand?  That is an incredible amount of detail that they put into the Tree!  Also, there is the 430 seat theater that houses the show “It’s a Bugs Life” that is located underneath the tree!

All of this detail is courtesy of the incredible book titled “Magical Mouse Schoolhouse: Learn While You Play at Walt Disney World Resort” by our very own Jodi Whisenhunt!  If you don’t have this book, go out and get it, I’ve linked over to where you can get it in the title.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Now, please go check out the rest of the entries this week!

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Wordless Wednesday – Disney Weenies!

My favorite Disney Weenie!

My favorite Disney Weenie!

Welcome to my Wordless Wednesday post!  As always, special thanks goes out to my friend Deb from Focused on the Magic for hosting this weekly series!  This week, I have a little better idea of what a Disney Weenie is, so let’s get right to it!  The picture at the top is my favorite picture of Spaceship Earth, the Weenie that I think of for Epcot.  I love the different colors displayed on the dome in that shot, it is so cool how Disney makes everything so vibrant, and it focuses on one of the best times to visit Disney — in the evening!

Read More

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – Expedition Everest

The subject of this week's Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!

The subject of this week’s Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!

Hello everyone, after our snafu last week with the server, we are back this week with our Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia post for the week!  Along for the ride are Heidi from Heidi’s Head, Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, and Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse!  I know Jodi and myself would like to thank Jenn and Heidi for holding down the fort for us last week!  I also know that Jodi and I would have much rather written our TTT posts than deal with server issues!

Expedition Everest

Today’s trivia comes to us from the Walt Disney World Trivia Book, Volume 2, by Lou Mongello!  I was thumbing through it, when I happened upon this very interesting tidbit — at least, I thought it was interesting!

Did you know…that 1,800 tons of steel was used in Expedition Everest’s mountain structure? That is about 6 times the amount of steel that would be used in a traditional office building of the same size!

1,800 tons = 3,600,000 pounds of steel!

When I read that, I was floored!  It is a ton (pun intended!) of steel in that mountain, which, at 199 1/2 feet tall, is the tallest structure in all of Walt Disney World.  Quick followup trivia question:

Why is Expedition Everest specifically 199 1/2 feet tall?  Why not 200′ tall?

A) Because mechanically, it had to be exactly 199 1/2 feet tall.
B) Because if it was 200 feet tall, it would need a red FAA airline beacon to warn aircraft.
C) Because the Imagineers have an odd sense of humor.
D) I don’t know why…

While all four of those answers make sense, and might be actually part of the backstory that I don’t know about, the answer that I actually have read about is B.  Did you get it right?  Let me know if you did, and congratulations!  Now, head on over and read the posts from my friends, and thanks for stopping by!

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