Must Do Experiences At Disney World's Animal Kingdom Park

Tree of Life Awakens

5. It’s Tough to be a Bug!

Little things can really bug us, but at Disney’s Animal Kingdom there is a way we can embrace that which bugs us and develop a new respect for all those little creepy-crawly things. The answer comes with the show It’s Tough to be a Bug! Inspired by the Disney·Pixarmovie A Bug’s Life, these ongoing presentations take place continuously throughout the day, implementing a cleaver collaboration of 3D film features, a series of different tactile and visual effects, and live puppetry work. Upon entering the auditorium, which is housed on Discovery Island at the very base of Animal Kingdom’s iconic Tree of Life, you will pick up a pair of bug-vision special 3D glasses. Then it will be time to join the ranks of all the other honorary bugs as you take in this all-immersive experience, in which you will be experiencing firsthand just how tough it really is to be a bug.

6. Tree of Life Awakenings

The Tree of Life is the home and shelter to the bug-filled blast mentioned previously, but it’s also a symbolic source of all life in general, great and small. From the 325 intricately carved animal depictions that make up its immense trunk to its great stature of 145 feet tall (50 feet wide), despite not actually being a “real” tree in the traditional sense it is in fact teeming with life in more ways than one. Ever since Animal Kingdom added extended evening hours with a resulting host of nighttime delights, the Tree of Life has become site to its own attraction of sorts in the form of Tree of Life Awakenings. Upon nightfall, and continuing roughly every 10 minutes up until the park’s closing time, a series of vivid projection effects are showcased onto the great tree, seemingly awakening the dormant animal carvings. From fluttering fireflies to a playful young deer, loving hummingbirds, a fox in winter, and more awe-inspiring spectacles, you simply can’t miss this celebration of harmony and balance with natural beauty and animal spirit.

7. Rivers of Light

With all the additional experiences that have emerged at the Animal Kingdom as a result of extended evening hours comes a new nighttime spectacular presentation—Rivers of Light. Held along a designated spot with seating on Discovery River, this new 15-minute show makes for the ultimate celebration of this planet’s great animal abundance and diversity. It’s a clever compilation of water effects, high-definition projection imagery, lantern illuminations, lights, music, and vividly decorated boats and floats. It’s a feast for the eyes and a quest into understanding and celebrating the natural planet and animals that populate the many varying regions. This show allows for the audience to transcend these unique boundaries, taking a journey from the wilds of the African savanna to the jungles of Asia, and on beyond the rugged terrain of mountainous North America.

8. Kali River Rapids

This spectacular soaking attraction is an especially sought-after pursuit on a smoldering humid day. Don’t plan on staying dry; in fact, you should count on getting drenched through and through with this whitewater rafting adventure set in the wilds of Asia. Gather into a 12-passenger-seat circular tube and embark on an exciting waterway excursion, first gliding along a tranquil and seemingly docile ascent up a 90-foot misty knoll, and then coming into contact with an erupting geyser and other aquatic surprises along the way. Then get ready for the real drop on adventure with a rapid plunge down a 20-foot slope, again meeting with watery wonders beyond anything you could have expected. Because this ride is a guaranteed drencher, guests wishing to survive the soak are encouraged to wear waterproof ponchos or bring along a change of clothes. Free lockers are situated just across from the entrance to Kali River Rapids and are available (on a first come, first served basis) for storing items guests wish to keep dry.

9. Up! A Great Bird Adventure

There’s a new feather endeavor you’ll want to fly to at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. It’s Up! A Great Bird Adventure, and it takes place throughout the day between 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Show times are every hour and a half, as each show runs for approximately 25 minutes in length. For this adventure guests are welcomed into an open-air auditorium with bench-like seating and a front stage. Led by a very spirited senior Wilderness Explorer, who is joined by Russell and Dug from the popular film Up!, this wonderful winged presentation lets you experience close encounters with an array of exotic birds from all around the world. Throughout the performance you can expect free-flying birds of all types overhead, showcasing unique skills and attributes, and even sporting stunningly large wingspans in some cases. So gather your flock and be sure to make it over to Up! A Great Bird Adventure, for an absolutely awesome avian experience..

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