Last week, I had the chance to experience Disney World for the first time in years without my kids. And it was absolutely amazing! I was there to not only experience the park, specifically Animal Kingdom, but also to celebrate the upcoming in-home release of the classic film, The Lion King, and DisneyNature’s Born In China. In 3 days, I had a chance to interview the Directors and Producers of both beloved films, learn all about Disney’s Conservatory efforts, and just re-acquaint myself with the magic that Animal Kingdom offers both grown ups and kids alike.
Next time you’re visiting Walt Disney World, be sure to reserve at least a day or 2 to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park was a lot of fun during the day, with some brand new attractions, live entertainment, mouth watering food, and one of a kind safari adventures. At night, however, Animal Kingdom takes on a whole new level of spectacular for the whole family!
Below are just a few of the most awesome experiences I had at Animal Kingdom without kids, but I truly can’t wait to re-visit again with my girls. I found myself trying to FaceTime them a few times to let them witness the amazing live entertainment and the delicious tastes we encountered from Tiffins Signature Restaurant.
What to see and do on your next trip to Animal Kingdom with or without the kids:
Inside Pandora – The World of Avatar
This is one of the newest and most anticipated attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and it did not disappoint! Floating mountains, a glowing, bioluminescent rainforest and other wonders of an alien world truly come to life in this area of the park. The World of Avatar is also home to one of the best rides in Disney World, in my opinion. Note: I’m also a die-hard Soarin’ fan and I might say this ride was even better! The Avatar Flight of Passage offers an incredible simulated immersion into the world of Pandora that speaks to each of the 5 senses. We got to be “morphed” into our own avatars, ride on a board mountain banshee and go for the ride of our lives across Pandora. The ride itself is about 4 minutes, though the experience lasts about 6 minutes and it is so well worth the long wait lines (unless you fastpass it). It’s not suitable for the little ones due to height restrictions, so it’s definitely something to include in your visit to Animal Kingdom without kids.
A lot more family-friendly is the Na’vi River Journey, where we enjoyed a truly soothing indoor ride and meet an Audio-Animatronics Na’vi Shaman of Songs. We’d hear the different sweet sounds of the animals and truly feel a connection to the earth and its elements like no other.
For yet another one of a kind experience, be sure to visit the World of Avatar at night where the entire area is beautifully illuminated! We stayed at Animal Kingdom after hours to explore exotic plants that come to life each with beautiful bioluminescence, a Na’vi built drum circle containing instruments playable by all, as well as Na’vi totems and other cultural items. Those “extra” Extra Magic Hours are offered to guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Wild Africa Trek
Now, this is one of those adventures I first agree to doing , then find myself completely terrified, do anyway, and then become completely overjoyed with my experience. The Wild Africa Trek is an add on adventure, meaning you have to make special reservations for this tour. It’s a 3 hour, expert led group adventure giving guests an “up-close-and-personal” experience with African wildlife species.
In addition to navigating winding pathways and trekking through areas of Harambe Wildlife Reserve that aren’t explored during regular Disney’s Animal Kingdom experiences, we experienced the ultimate adrenaline rush as we successfully crossed two swaying and seemingly precarious rope bridges over the Safi River. Might I add that these bridges were suspended above gullies of live hippos, crocodiles and vultures??? Yeah…we did that!
Kids over 8 can enjoy this experience, with adults, but it’s not suitable for really little ones.
For information about pricing and reservations, call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687).
Rivers of Light Show
This is hands down one of the most breathtaking shows you’ll ever see. I had no idea of what to experience, but this nighttime show had me in a trance from beginning to end! It’s like a visual mix of all of the elements- water, fire, air, earth – and tell an emotional story for the senses. It’s a 15-minute show that takes place every night in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and yes, this is an incredible experience for both adults and kids
Kilimanjaro Safaris after Dark
Even if you have been on the safari adventure during the day (which we did), the nighttime experience is truly enhanced at sunset. We got to experience, see and hear, the same animals in their natural habitats of the evening, plus a few that come out only after dark…