animal kingdom rides

Animal Kingdom seems to be the ugly duckling of WDW parks. I’m always asking people to rank the parks, and Animal Kingdom always seems to be the least appreciated. That’s sad, because there is so much awesomeness at Animal Kingdom. There are the animals, of course, and there are shows, and games (we love earning Wilderness Explorer badges!), and there are some seriously awesome rides. Check them out:

Africa

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris (slow ride): any height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates Kilimanjaro Safaris for “all ages”. If you always dreamed to go on an African safari but just can’t actually get to Africa, this is probably your next best option. You’ll board an open-air safari vehicle and set off into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve for a guided tour of the ‘African outback’. Your guide will point out all the beautiful and exotic animals, from A to Z, in their own unique habitats. Have your camera ready because you’re free to take pictures (no flash please), but remember to stay seated for safety!
    • Accessibility: must transfer from ECV to wheelchair; video captioning is available; assistive listening is available; language translation devices are availabe
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Guests with service animals should check with a Cast Member at Kilimanjaro Safaris for boarding information
  • Wildlife Express Train (slow ride): any height
    • Disney rates the Wildlife Express Train for “all ages”. Yes, a train in the park! Walt loved his trains! All aboard to cross the savannah, past several veterinary facilities for WDW’s variety of animals. Your journey ends at Rafiki’s Planet Watch where you can learn more about the park and animal conservation. When you’re ready, the train will return you to Africa.
    • Accessibility: may remain in wheelchair/ECV; handheld captioning is available; assistive listening is available
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older

Asia

  • Expedition Everest (thrill ride): 44 inch minimum height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates Everest for “kids, tweens, teens, adults”. Y’all, I love this ride so much that I made a FP+ reservation for when I will literally be in the middle of a full marathon. No joke! Everest is a wicked fun roller coaster. It even goes backwards at one point. Big J and I do the whole “single rider line over and over again” thing here too. As with so many Disney rides, half the fun is in the queue itself. There are so many little artifacts and jokes around that you would probably need to go through the line a hundred times to see it all. Once you get to the front of the line, you’ll board the expedition train and set off through Yeti territory. Keep watch for the vengeful Yeti who is not pleased with the pesky people coming into his territory.
    • Accessibility: must transfer from wheelchair/ECV
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Rider switch is allowed
    • Service animals are not permitted on Expedition Everest  

  • Kali River Rapids (thrill ride): 38 inch minimum height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates Kali for “kids, tweens, teens, adults”. You will get wet on this ride. It is a fact of life. Therefore, I am not a huge fan of Kali River Rapids. That is a problem, because Kali is pretty much Little J’s favorite ride. When he talks about Disney, he talks about Animal Kingdom… Kali River Rapids and the Wilderness Explorers. Looking at Kali, it looks like you’re climbing onto a giant (and I do mean giant) inner tube. You’ll travel down a lazy river… until you reach the rapids. And the mini waterfall. There is a plastic tub in the middle of your raft/inner tube/float for your stuff, but I highly recommend you either leave your stuff with someone who is not riding, or you bring your own sealable plastic bags, because the tub is not necessarily waterproof. And again, I can’t stress enough… you WILL get wet!
    • Accessibility: must transfer from wheelchair/ECV
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Rider switch is allowed
    • Service animals are not permitted on Kali River Rapids

DinoLand U.S.A.

  • DINOSAUR (thrill ride): 40 inch minimum height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates DINOSAUR for “kids, tweens, teens, adults”. I have not been on DINOSAUR in years. The backstory is super cool: you’re at The Dino Institute, a museum and (once secret) research facility. The Institute is sending you back into the primeval past, but then you’re asked to save a giant Iguanodon from extinction. The only issue (if you discount the issue of bringing home a massive dinosaur?): the date they are sending you to is the day a giant meteor struck Earth and wiped out almost all life on the planet! Like I said… super cool! But the ride itself is pretty jerky and can be pretty intense with the dinosaurs you travel past, which is why I tend to skip it these days.
    • Accessibility: must transfer from wheelchair/ECV; video captioning is available; assistive listening is available; language translation devices are available
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Rider switch is allowed
    • Service animals are not permitted on DINOSAUR dinosaur
  • Primeval Whirl (thrill ride): 48 inch minimum height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates Primeval Whirl for “kids, tweens, teens, adults”. Primeval Whirl is a carnival-style roller coaster that sends you back in time! Your ‘time machine’ spins as you travel the coaster and its many dips and turns. Pass cartoonish dinosaur doomsday preppers (hey, the End Is Near!) and witness a meteor shower before you make your way back home. I genuinely do not remember this as an extremely wild ride, but it is one of only 2 rides in all of the WDW theme parks to have a 48 inch minimim height requirement so I’m thinking maybe I am not remembering this ride right….
    • Accessibility: must transfer from wheelchair/ECV
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Rider switch is allowed
    • Service animals are not permitted on Primeval Whirl
  • TriceraTop Spin (slow ride): any height
    • Disney rates TriceraTop Spin for “all ages”. This is a classic carnival style ride – board your triceratops and soar into the air in a smooth circle. TriceraTop Spin is a fun ride for the littles, in the same vein as Dumbo or Magic Carpets in Magic Kingdom.
    • Accessibility: must transfer from ECV to wheelchair
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older

Pandora – The World of Avatar

  • Avatar Flight of Passage (thrill ride): 44 inch minimum height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates Flight of Passage for “kids, tweens, teens, adults”. I have not yet been on it, but Heather has! You can check out her full review here! This ride has been compared to Soarin’ but Heather assures me it is better, in terms of motion sickness… well, actually, in terms of everything. In Flight of Passage you’ll be flying over the moon on the back of a mountain banshee like the Na’vi hunters. I’m so excited to try this one out.
    • Accessibility: must transfer from ECV to wheelchair, then transfer from wheelchair to ride; audio description is available; video captioning is available; assistive listening is available
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Rider switch is allowed
    • Service animals are not permitted on Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey (slow ride): any height
    • FastPass+ available
    • Disney rates Na’vi River Journey as “all ages”. Climb into a reed boat and float down the river. This is an absolutely beautiful gentle ride, with exotic plants and animals everywhere you look. You meet the Na’vi Shaman of Songs who sends out positive energy through the power of her music.
    • Accessibility: must transfer from wheelchair/ECV; audio description is available; handheld captioning is available
    • Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older
    • Rider switch is allowed

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