The fourth Walt Disney World theme park celebrates one amazing adventure after another with wild animals, exciting attractions, lavish stage shows and lovable characters! Highlights include a runaway train adventure, an authentic African safari, a whirling white-water raft ride, a thrilling race back in time to prehistoric worlds, and two Broadway-style musical stage shows based on hit Disney films.
Location: From Walt Disney World property: take World Drive to Osceola Parkway West. From off Disney property: take I-4 to Exit 64B (U.S. 192 West), to World Drive North, to Osceola Parkway West, to Disney’s Animal Kingdom parking plaza.
Size: More than 400 acres
Project Announced: June 5, 1995
Construction Began: August 1995
Grand Opening: April 22, 1998
Employees: More than 4,500 cast members to date
Animals: About 1,500, representing 250 species — most acquired from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
Landscaping: More than 4 million (3,000 species) trees, plants, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns, etc.
Entry Garden: The Oasis — A lush botanical garden designed for guests to explore habitats of fascinating creatures including iguanas, a giant anteater, several species of colorful birds and other animals.
Africa — Journey through the “wild” savanna on Kilimanjaro Safaris that seems to put you in the heart of Africa with lions, zebra, giraffes and other magnificent animals roaming freely. An authentic African village is filled with sights and sounds of the mysterious continent. The Wildlife Express steam train travels from Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, an interactive conservation center where guests enter a world of discovery about animals and their environments. Several animal interaction experiences are offered.
DinoLand U.S.A. — Here’s where the world’s fascination with dinosaurs comes to life: race back in time to save the last dinosaur on the thrill ride DINOSAUR; enjoy time-warp adventures on the Primeval Whirl coaster and a whimsical twirl on TriceraTop Spin; let kids dig, swing and giggle through The Boneyard dig site and prehistoric playground. At Theater in the Wild, a stage show with original songs and larger-than-life puppets, “Finding Nemo-The Musical,” transports guests into the magical ocean world of the Disney•Pixar Academy Award-winning animated film, “Finding Nemo.”
Discovery Island — The park hub and home of the towering icon, The Tree of Life, which houses within its trunk “It’s Tough to be a Bug,” a humorous 3-D and special-effects show in The Tree of Life Theater. Discovery Island also features gifts and food emporiums and the bright tropical colors of hand-carved animal architecture.
Asia — Home of Expedition Everest, a runaway train adventure that combines coaster thrills with the excitement of a close encounter with the mysterious yeti; Kali River Rapids, a white-water raft adventure through a threatened rainforest; Maharajah Jungle Trek, a surprising walking journey past Asian ruins and live exotic animals including tigers and giant fruit bats; and the thrilling “Flights of Wonder” exotic bird show.
- The Boneyard (DinoLand U.S.A.)
- DINOSAUR (DinoLand U.S.A.)
- Primeval Whirl and TriceraTop Spin (DinoLand U.S.A.)
- Character Greetings (various locations throughout the park)
- Expedition Everest (Asia)
- Kali River Rapids (Asia)
- Maharajah Jungle Trek (Asia)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris (Africa)
- Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (Africa)
- Wildlife Express (Africa/Rafiki’s Planet Watch)
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch (near Africa)
- “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” (Discovery Island)
- The Tree of Life (Discovery Island)
- “Festival of the Lion King” (*New Harambe Theatre opening in Africa on June 1, 2014)
- “Finding Nemo-The Musical,” (at 1,500-seat Theater in the Wild/ DinoLand U.S.A.)
- “Flights of Wonder” (at 1,000-seat Caravan Stage/Asia)
Where To Eat:
- Yak & Yeti Restaurant (full-service, inside seating/quick dining, outside seating/Asia)
- Flame Tree Barbecue (quick dining, outdoor seating/Discovery Island)
- Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery (quick-service counter/Africa)
- Pizzafari (quick dining/Discovery Island)
- Rainforest Cafe (full-service/Entrance Plaza)
- Restaurantosaurus (quick dining/DinoLand U.S.A.)
- Dawa Bar (cocktails/Africa)
- Tamu Tamu Restaurant (quick service/Africa)
- Tusker House Restaurant (buffet/character breakfast/Africa)
- Baby Care Center (Discovery Island)
- Banking ATM (Entrance Plaza)
- First Aid (Discovery Island)
- Guest Services; Kennel; Lockers (Entrance Plaza)
- Lost children; Lost and Found (Discovery Island)
- Package pickup; stroller and wheelchair rental (Entrance Plaza)