One year ago, when we were originally planning our first WDW vacation, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that Magic Kingdom is similar to Disneyland in California, Epcot is a world-traveler’s dream, and Hollywood Studios may not have much going on at the moment, with all the closures and construction. But Animal Kingdom? That park seemed like a wildcard.
For a while, I assumed that Animal Kingdom would be a lot like a giant zoo. Though I’d never been, San Diego’s Wild Animal Park seemed to be a pretty close comparison. I knew there would be a ton of animals, but that was pretty much it. As I did more and more research, however, I learned more and more about the park, and I began to have this sneaky feeling that it would end up being my favorite.
And I was right.
Animal Kingdom is, in my opinion, the most beautiful park in all of Walt Disney World. From its sprawling landscapes to its lush foliage to the impeccable theming, there’s no denying that the scenes of this park can take your breath away. Every inch of the place contains beauty and magic. Even the often-rejected Dinoland U.S.A. is an eyesore but still adorable in its own kitschy way.
One of my absolute favorite moments during our first impression of Animal Kingdom was the Kilimanjaro Safaris. It was so awesome to be able to learn about how the animal caretakers and conservationists at Disney care for the animals. I love hearing fun facts and trivia, so our driver’s narration during the safari made the experience even more enjoyable.
And don’t even get me started on Pandora! Pandora: The World of Avatar is DAK’s newest land, and it doesn’t disappoint. This remarkable area definitely lives up to the hype, and even those who aren’t fans of Avatar (the only Avatar I love is an airbender 😉 can enjoy this place.
The unique interplanetary sounds, breathtaking waterfalls, weird plants, and AMAZING rides (namely Flight of Passage—so pumped we Fastpassed this one) make this land one of my absolute favorites in the whole WDW resort. I truly felt immersed in another world.
Even the Tree of Life, the iconic image of DAK, has its own hidden beauties throughout its trunk and surrounding garden area. If you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of the hundreds of animal carvings upon the tree and its roots.
These stylistic murals make DAK even more special and immersive.
We even saw a silver-back gorilla while hiking through Gorilla Falls! It’s unbelievable how close you can get to the animals in this place. Chris and I were dumbfounded.
DAK also has our favorite ride in the whole resort: Expedition Everest. We went on it twice, but that wasn’t nearly enough.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into our experience at Animal Kingdom! It is by far my favorite WDW park. I love the sights, sounds, and smells of it all, and I can’t wait to go back in 2019.