The school year may be coming to an end but there’s no reason to not sneak in some educational opportunities even while you’re on vacation. Animal Kingdom has so many exhibits to let your child see the animals they’ve been studying in books all year long but it will be so much fun they may not realize they’re still learning. This is important to my kids who are very anti-learning in the summer.
We recently took a trip to Animal Kingdom, intent on focusing on experiences other than rides and we had a great time.
Maharajah Jungle Trek
This is probably my favorite area in Animal Kingdom due to the beautiful theming. The architecture is beautiful and it really feels as if you’ve been transported to Asia. We went in the evening, just a bit before sundown. It’s important to visit the areas with live animals either in the morning or in the evening as they’re the most active then. In this exhibit you can see large bats, Komodo Dragon, an assortment of birds and the stars of the trail, the tigers. Two tiger cubs were born recently and although they’ve grown significantly they’re still very playful and we were able to witness them tumbling and playing with each other. Everyone in the crowd was very excited about that.
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
This area is right outside of the exit for Kilimanjaro Safaris. Unfortunately, we visited in the middle of the afternoon so we didn’t see any of the headliner animals. Come to think of it we didn’t even see any monkeys- although we did see a bunny rabbit in the monkey enclosure. I don’t know that the time of day had anything to do with our not being able to see the hippos but they were MIA as well. We were able to see a lot of fish and birds in the aviary though and that was a very cool experience, especially the birds that built their nests on the ends of tree branches.
This attraction is wonderful and very, very popular. Outside of the rides in Pandora, it often has the longest wait times in the park. I highly recommend a FP+ for this one and even though I recommend early or evening viewing for animals, I’ve ridden at different times of the day and have still seen plenty of animals. The giraffes are my favorite and I’ve been lucky to see them stopped in the road which prevented our truck from moving so we got to observe them for a while. And actually, our best ride ever was at night. At first I was bummed because we couldn’t really see anything but we ended up stopping because not only was the lion roaring (incredible and rare!) but a white rhino was just a couple of feet from our truck. My daughter and I were positively giddy!
These are just a few of the educational opportunities at Animal Kingdom. I’ve already written a review of the new bird show, Up! A Great Bird Adventure and I’m going to recommend a FP+ for that one too simply because every time I check there aren’t any available. I imagine that this show is very popular with guests that have elementary aged children.
So what’s your favorite educational experience at the Disney Parks? Sound off in the comments.