Those who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park often do so for the animals. The purpose of the park was to promote animal conservation, something that Walt Disney took very seriously. Animal Kingdom is actually accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To obtain such certification, the park had to meet certain standards in the area of education, research and conservation. So while the main purpose of the Animal Kingdom theme park is the animals, many guests still expect rides. They will not be disappointed by the exciting and varied Animal Kingdom rides that are available.
This roller coaster, located in the Asia area of the park, was declared the most expensive in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. The final price tag for this coaster, which takes up more than 6 acres of spaces, was $100 million. The year it opened, 2006, it was named the “World’s Best New Theme Park Attraction” by Theme Park Insider.
While the name of the ride is Expedition Everest, the ride actually takes place on a fictional mountain called Forbidden Mountain. This artificial mountain is the largest in Disney World. As you wait for your turn on the roller coaster, you will have the chance to learn about Yeti, more commonly known as the Abominable Snowman. The waiting area also includes a mountain village, a travel agency where you could book your journey as well as a supply store where mountaineers can stock up on all that they would need for the long journey ahead.
The cars were designed to look like train cars. Once seated, guests begin to ascend the mountain. When the car reaches the top, riders are treated to an amazing view of the park before the twists, turns, and drops begin. As you ride, be on the lookout for Yeti. He could turn up at any time during the ride. When he does appear, the conductor of the ride will do his best to keep riders out of harm’s way by having the train reverse directions. Expedition Everest was the first Disney World roller coaster that can move in either direction.
Guests must be at least 44 inches to ride this ride. Those who use a wheelchair or scooter must transfer to a train car for this ride. FASTPASS service is available, so take advantage of this free service in order to greatly reduce your wait time for Expedition Everest.
Kali River Rapids
This is one of the most popular rides in Animal Kingdom, especially on a very hot Florida day. As soon as you see this ride, the reason is clear: riders get wet, so the Kali River Rapids is a great way to cool off! Riders sit in very large inner tube like rafts that seat up to 12 people. The inner tube flows along the Kali River to a height of about 90 feet before dropping to a spot where guests are splashed by geysers and soaked as they float beneath numerous waterfalls.
The ride, which opened in 1999 in the Asia area of the park, has a theme of illegal logging and shows guests and riders how such activities are harmful to the environment and to the habitats of many species of animals. While in the queue line waiting their turn to ride, riders will see replicas of various forms of ruin, decay and habitat destruction caused by such logging.
While education is important, the main point of the Kali River Rapids is fun, and guests will not be disappointed. Just remember: you might not get soaked when you ride this ride, but you are surely going to get wet!
You must be at least 38 inches tall to ride this ride.
In this ride, originally named Countdown to Extinction when it opened in 1998, guests are taken back in time million of years to complete a mission as set forth by the Dino Institute. As guests wait in the queue line, they see dinosaur bones and learn that the Dino Institute, a research facility, has developed time travel vehicles, called CTX Time Rovers. This technology is going to allow them to achieve a long time goal: to bring back a dinosaur that roamed the earth long long ago.
Once the time travel begins, you will be in darkness, but you will hear all sorts of ancient creatures milling about. As lights flash off and on, you will see many creatures, some harmless and others not. The car will make many hairpin turns to make sure that every rider is kept safe.
Before long, you will learn there is another danger: a meteor is heading toward the earth and you only have 60 seconds to get out of the Cretaceous period if you hope to survive.
Guests must be at least 40 inches to ride DINOSAUR. Those who use a wheelchair or scooter must transfer to the CTX Time Rover.
Wildlife Express Train
This rustic looking train brings visitors from the Africa area of the park to Rafiki’s Planet Watch area. During the ride, you will see where many of the animals live and are cared for. You will also get a close up look at the savanna, where many of the animals are free to roam.
Guests of any age and height can ride this ride. Guests who use a wheelchair or scooter may remain in those devices during this ride.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Rafiki’s Planet Watch, while not a ride, is an important feature of the Animal Kingdom theme park. This area is totally dedicated to animal conservation. One building that you will find in this area is the Conservation Station. Here, you can meet the people who care for the more than 1,000 animals that live in the park. You will be able to see the veterinary care areas, learn about what the animals eat and how much work goes into their daily care.
Animal Kingdom Rides provide fun for everyone
There is a ride in the Animal Kingdom theme park that is appropriate for every guest. Enjoy the rides, but be sure to take time to enjoy the animals while you in the park as well.