Disney's Animal Kingdom: Animals, Learning and Fun

    By Carrie McLaren

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park opened, in conjuction with Earth Day, on April 22, 1998. Now, with 403 acres, the park is home to 1,500 animals representing 250 species.

    My family and I love to explore the park and we’ve found it to be a great educational experience for teaching our kids about the environment, too.

    Here are some of my family’s favorite things to experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom-

    Rafiki’s Planet Watch – Hop on the Wildlife Express steam train in Africa and travel to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. It’s a conservation center where families can discover animals and their natural habitats. If you’re lucky, you may even run into a few characters while you’re there too.

    DinoLand U.S.A. – My kids love exploring The Boneyard dig site and prehistoric playground – and so do I. Kids can climb through this massive playground and dig for prehistoric fossils in the dig area. It’s a great place to cool off mid-day. The TriceraTop Spin is the dinosaur version of Dumbo – great for little kids.

    Kilimanjaro Safaris – Hop on an open-air safari truck and let your guide take you through the wilderness. You’ll see elephants, giraffes and even lions. As you make your way through the Harambe Wildlife Preserve, your safari guide tells you about the preserve and fun facts about the animals you’ll encounter. Don’t forget your camera – you’ll have a great seat for action shots.

    Finding Nemo, The Musical – This is one of my childrens' favorite movies and we love seeing this story come to life with bright colors, songs and seeing Nemo himself in life-size, puppet form. Get there early for a great seat; this show is presented in an amphitheater setting and once the theater is full, the doors are closed.

    Experience all that Walt Disney World has to offer – from the luxury and entertainment options, to exploring the outdoors at Fort Wilderness to great shopping at Disney Springs to hitting the golf course. You’ll never run out of things to do when you visit Mickey Mouse and all his friends.   

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