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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Florida Trip 2017: Part 3 Disney's Animal Kingdom

Florida Trip 2017: Part 3 Disney's Animal Kingdom

Posted: 9/3/17 at 7:58:25 PM
Views: 1073

On Monday August 21st, the day of the eclipse, we headed for Disney's Animal Kingdom. Ever since the land of Pandora has been announced, Animal Kingdom was immediately on my radar, because I'm a huge fan of the movie Avatar. Animal Kingdom was the only Disney Park on our agenda on this trip, and would be a first time visit for me. Back in 2001 I visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but passed on Animal Kingdom. We got at the park at opening and it was already crowded.

We ran back to Pandora, to find that Avatar Flight of Passage, which is one of 2 attractions in the new Pandora, already had a 2 1/2 hour wait, due to resort guests getting early entry. It was the primary reason we decided to visit Animal Kingdom, so we elected to wait. Now the entire Pandora area is spectacular. It's my favorite land/midway that I have ever seen. They have recreated this world with every detail, even the floating mountains of Pandora. It was a treat just to stand in line for 2 1/2 hours and see the theming in the que and overlook the Pandora area. It actually feels like you have entered the land of Pandora.

Before we left for this trip, I purposely tried to know the least amount possible of all the dark rides, coasters, lands, etc. I wanted to be surprised. Well, Avatar Flight of Passage was the best surprise of the trip. It was the best non coaster ride that I have ever experienced. It feels so real, that I don't know how it's possible to create a more realistic experience. I would love to go into details about the ride, but I don't want to throw out any spoilers. You basically take a ride on a Banshee through Pandora. This ride was so good that at 8:00 in the evening, after everything else was crossed off our to do list, we elected to wait 2 1/2 hours again for a second ride on it. Also if you visit Animal Kingdom's Pandora, you must see that land lit up at night. It really feels like you are in the movie. It was more than a theme park experience. It was truly remarkable.

The other attraction in Pandora is Na'vi River Journey. It's a boat ride through Pandora. We actually had to wait almost 2 hours for it. Now the ending of it as good as I expected, but it actually fell a little short of my expectations. I would never wait no more than 15 minutes for it again.

Disney's Animal Kingdom's main coaster, is called Expedition Everest. It's sort of like a well themed mine ride, but much more thrilling than a mine ride. We waited about 30 minutes for it, and it's luck of the draw seating. My kids actually drew front row, and I got second row. It's a very fun ride, with some unexpected unique elements, but we were satisfied with that one ride on it. Didn't really feel the need to wait another 30 minutes for a second ride.

Disney's animal Kingdom has a pair of spinning wild mouse coasters called Primeval Whirl. We rode both sides for the 2 different credits. What is the most memorable about this ride is that we saw the eclipse while riding. It has some theming to it, but they are both just typical spinning wild mouse coasters.

We also rode The Kilimanjaro Safari. Now we have done the Safari at Six Flags Great Adventure, so we were expecting a lot out of the one at Animal Kingdom. We waited about 30 minutes. Now the one at Animal Kingdom is much nicer, and seems to provide a better habit for the animals, but it's a much shorter ride, with less animals. It's a very good attraction, but I was expecting more from Disney. We also tried to view as many of the animal exhibits as we could as we walked around. Once again, I thought their animal exhibits were good, but we have seen better, at The Columbus Zoo and even Busch Gardens Tampa.

We did do one show called It's a Bugs Life, that was a 4D show. I thought it was very well done, especially for being an older attraction. As for the park itself, Animal Kingdom became my new favorite Disney Park, but I still need to visit Disney Studios. The theming was great, the park was clean, and Pandora was incredible. The staff was actually awful at Animal Kingdom. My major complaint was the employees. Had to deal with rude employees on several occasions that day, which is uncommon for Disney. Definitely the worst staff of our Florida trip. Next up Busch Gardens Tampa.