Animal Kingdom Bucket List for Beginners

Animal Kingdom Bucket List for Beginners

We love Animal Kingdom. Surprisingly enough, up until Pandora opened in May 2017, we never really saw it that busy. While some argue it’s nothing more than a glorified zoo, we dare to disagree! The cultures of countries merge here in a way you won’t see them in Epcot. In fact the prominent feeling of Africa is one of the reasons Africa is not a country in the Epcot World Showcase. Who needs it there, when you can get acres of Africa in Animal Kingdom. And if you’re looking for a small trip to Asia or India, Animal Kingdom is the place to be. But that World Traveler feeling is not all we love about Animal Kingdom. Conservation and environmental responsibility were major cornerstones of Walt Disney’s mission for Walt Disney World and Animal Kingdom is often leading the world in research efforts and programs that help keep wildlife in wild places, protect endangered species and combat poaching. Add the amazingly colorful cultures of Asia and Africa and it feels like a party the entire time. We also want to recommend if you’re in the mood for a little extra education and some animal close ups you can’t get anywhere else, check out the Wild Africa Trek, it’s an extra cost but was so cool and we thought worth it for the unique experience. You can also see Caring for Giants to visit the new elephant baby, Stella. Adorable.

So here’s our list of the tried and true checklist items that should be on your bucket list. Mind you, these aren’t the obscure if-you-have-time items. These are the get -your-butt-over-there-and-make-time items.

Enjoy the list and let us know what we missed!

Animal Kingdom Transportation

If Driving: Parking is easy at Animal Kingdom and there are trams that circle the parking lot for a quick drop off at the gate if needed.

From the Monorail: No monorail access to or from Animal Kingdom.

From the Boat: No boat access to or from Animal Kingdom.

By Bus: Available from any Disney Resort.

Animal Kingdom Park Areas

(FP) means you’ll need to fast pass this ride or attraction because lines could be long. You can read up on how Fast Passes work here. (TS)= Table Service, Reservations Recommended,(QS)= Quick Service, Walk Up Counter, No Reservations Needed (S)= Snack

Discovery Island

▢ Discovery Island Trail
▢It’s Tough to be a Bug
▢Flame Tree Barbeque
▢ Wilderness Explorers


▢ Na’vi River Journey
▢ Flight of Passage ( FP)
▢ Satu’li Canteen
▢ Pongu Pongu
▢ World of Avatar Interactive App


▢Kilamanjaro Safari
▢ Festival of the Lion King
▢ Gorilla Falls Exploration Falls
Restaurants/ Snacks
▢ Tusker House Restaurant ( TS)


▢ Kali River Rapids
▢ Expedition Everest
▢ Maharaja Jungle Trek
▢Royal Anandapur Tea Co. | Frozen Chai
▢Yak and Yeti
▢Expedition Everest Gift Shop

Animal Kingdom Shows, Festivals  and Parades

▢ Rivers of Light
▢ Burudika at Harambe
▢ Tree of Life Awakenings
▢ Discovery Island Carnivale
Note: We have not covered DinoLand USA in this list because without toddlers in our lives at present we’ve never ventured into this part of the park. Never fear as soon as little ones show up in our lives we’ll be sure to venture over there and report back!

If you click on the pic below you’ll get access to the PDF file of this list, so you can print off and share or add to your ibooks app for easy reference.

Animal Kingdom Bucket ListAnimal Kingdom Walt Disney World Bucket List