Everyone knows that Walt Disney World in Orlando is divided into four major theme parks. Those are the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom. These parks each have unique things to offer to their guests and each one features themes that correspond to the theme of the park itself.
In Magic Kingdom, it is all about fairy tales and Disney stories. Epcot is all about a city of tomorrow which is about new feats in science and other futuristic endeavors. Hollywood Studios is all about the limelight of Hollywood life like films, televisions, the music scene and theatrical arts. The fourth one is the Animal Kingdom which is a park dedicated to animals and their natural habitat.
The largest of the four parks is Animal Kingdom which was also the last one to be built. Animal Kingdom was developed in line with Walt Disney’s philosophy about animals and their conservation. The park sits in a massive 580 acre property that’s technically called Bay Lake, Florida. Since it opened in 1998, Animal Kingdom has been host to millions of visitors year in and year out.
This park was a game changer to the typical theme park scene. Most theme parks stay focused on rides and characters, and while Animal Kingdom does have its fair share of awesome rides, its real contribution are the shows and attractions that incorporate and feature live animals. Initially, when the park first started out, this was looked at and considered a huge risk. Luckily it was one that the Disney management chose to take on and push through.
Animal Kingdom has hundreds of species inside and creating an environment where rides and animals go along is not an easy task, but since animals are the stars of the park, their welfare is highly regarded by the management. Animal Kingdom is the second most visited in all of the four theme parks, right after the Magic Kingdom.
It is definitely the best park for anyone that’s a true Disney Fan and animal lover. Thrill rides and entertainments inside are some of the best sights to experience. There are also lesser known rides and attractions in this park than the other three, but that’s not to say they’re not just as great. A lot of work has been done to Animal Kingdom, especially for the intricate details and the zoological vibe you’ll get once you’ve entered the park.
One other thing that should be mentioned (raved about, really) are all of live shows to see. Here we’ll give you a glimpse into the best shows inside the confines of the Animal Kingdom park, because we all know sometimes there’s not enough time to do everything, especially at a Disney World theme park.
These shows are the ones you should definitely include along with the other Animal Kingdom activities you work in next time you’re planning a trip to this park. It’s a great way to spend some time with your family and really get an appreciation for animals and their role in the world we all share.
Tam Tam The Drummers of Harambe
Located in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, these performers put on an impressive show using percussion instruments that are native to Africa. You are even allowed to join in on this live performance. You’ll see some of the most enthusiastic drummers dancing and performing to the beat of the drums making their way through Africa while laughing and singing their hearts out.
You, or your kids, can happily dance in front of the stage with them. Make sure to bring your camera as you will definitely want to capture this moment. The show lasts up to 15 minutes and occurs several times of day, so make sure to check the park map for exact times. Their music is very lively and upbeat and you may even find yourself swaying your hips to the tunes.
Finding Nemo : The Musical
Located in DinoLand USA, this is a Broadway style musical which revolves around the life of Nemo and the other aquatic favorites found in the movie, like Crush and Dory. This 40 minute show is arguably one the most elaborate live shows in all the Disney parks and it is pretty obvious why.
With this show, you’ll see colorful reenactments that are larger than life retelling the story of the adorable Nemo. They incorporate dancing, special effects and digital backdrops to make it more sophisticated and immersive. Some of the puppets and props are as huge as real-life cars and even require two or more people to carry around.
You should find your way to the show about 30 minutes before it starts as it does tend to get packed with a lot of spectators, so the earlier the better. That way you and your family can get into the perfect spot that ensures optimal viewing. Finding Nemo is the bomb when it comes to live entertainment at Disney.
Little ones especially love this one. All the music, there’s 14 songs to see, and the colors is guaranteed to keep them entertained for the whole duration of the shows, plus this will give you all a much needed break from the sun.
Up! A Great Bird Adventure
This is a stage show located in the Asia part of Animal Kingdom. This show was previously the Flights of Wonder, but found new life as homage to the movie Up. The show is found at the Caravan Theater at the Anandapur village site.
This is about the adventures of Russell, a Senior Wilderness Explorer, together with his furry buddy Dug as they discover some of the most exotic bird species around the world. What’s really great about this show, and makes it unique, are the up-close encounters to the different birds as the story is being told.
With the appearances of birds, you’ll also be given some fun facts about them, so it also incorporates a little education into the show, so that’s a plus too. You’ll be amazed by the winged creatures you will see all throughout the show and you’ll also feel the desire to preserve the beauty of nature after this show. The show lasts up to 25 minutes.
Rivers of Light: We Are One
This is a real treat and great way to end the night. It is a nighttime show inside the Animal Kingdom. It’s full of colorful lights, mesmerizing visual effects and lantern floats. This show lasts just under 20 minutes, and fills up quickly, so we definitely recommend FastPass+ for this one.
It uses some of the most advanced technology in portraying the wonderful world of animals by using light, water screens, lasers, and fountains. During the show, there are also boats and floats on the lagoon accompanied by elaborate music which adds to the emotions and artistry of the whole show.
The Rivers of Light features water screen projections, and although they may get distorted due to changing wind condition, the show is decent for what it is all about. There are two shows each night and the first one usually has more in attendance, so if you want a less crowded environment, go for the second one. Light shows really are an amazing form of eye-candy for all to see at night and Rivers of Light will not disappoint you.
Festival of the Lion King
This is another Broadway style show inside Animal Kingdom and one of the most watched shows inside Disney World. You can find it in the Africa section. It features soundtracks, acrobatic stunts, singing and dancing.
There will be long lines to get in, so you may want to get there early. It is all worth the wait for this thing of beauty. The show is 30 minutes long and is a retelling performance of the movie, The Lion King. With all the effects, state-of-the-art backdrops and cinematic storytelling, it would all be a great time for everyone. Kids will love it and I’m sure adults too will definitely be blown away. It is actually a personal favorite and one of the biggest and best highlights inside the Animal Kingdom.
Animal Kingdom Shows Are Not To Be Missed
This theme park is revolutionary in terms of attractions and shows to see. They have created an environment conducive to the animals around the park as well as the people who visit. Animal Kingdom is one of a kind and is a sanctuary for animal lovers. You can stay close to nature even if you’re in the middle of the metropolis when you are inside Animal Kingdom.
This is truly a breath of fresh air when visiting the bustling city of Orlando and the other usual sights you’ll see at the theme parks. This is definitely a must-visit when you come Orlando and trust me, you and your family will have the best time ever.
Oh, and one last tip, be sure to grab an Entertainment Schedule on your way into the park. The times are subject to change for each show mentioned here, so you will want to know the exact schedule for the day that you’re actually there so you can plan your trek around the park according.
You can also download the My Disney Experience App, which provides you with any and all information you might need for your next Disney World or Orlando trip. You can get it for your Iphone or Android and take the magic with you wherever you go. So, make sure you don’t miss any of these shows during your Disney stay.