We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

Which Orlando hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
58 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

Is Animal Kingdom worth the money for someone who loves animals but can't be bothered with the whole Disney/kiddie thing? How does it compare to major zoos of a more traditional sort? Are there many animals, or is it mostly Disney characters and shows?

Bedford, Indiana
Level Contributor
5,710 posts
275 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

It is about animals, with lots of real live animals in habitats that try to capture their natural habitat.

There are shows to see if you like, and several neat rides, the safari is great, the dinosaur hunt in the back right of the dino land is very exciting. The himalaya is over the top.

There are castmembers who portray plants and if they didn't move, you would walk right by them, we saw several people who did. Lots of great food. It is definitely about the animals though and worth doing. The tree of life is amazing and the bugs life show is very entertaining also.

Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
397 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

I'm not sure where to start...Animal Kingdom is in no way a zoo, although it does feature a massive natural habitat that you can tour via a "Safari" ride and see all kinds of animals. The park is laid out in sections themed around Asia, Africa and the like. It's extremely attractive. There are different attractions (not really "exhibits") that feature animals, as well as unusual flora and fauna. You might run into a character or two, but it is not like a cartoon-come-to-life. We took our five year old, but I think my husband and I would have enjoyed it even by ourselves...and we're people who couldn't be bothered with the whole Disney thing ourselves about a year or two ago...

Check out allears.net for more information and pictures of the park. Once you get a better feel for what it's about, then you can decide if it's worth the money. It's Disney, so it's going to be beautifully and "perfectly" done, but we found it very interesting and substantive too.

orlando, florida
Level Contributor
1,158 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

it really is an even mix. that's why it's called DISNEY'S animal kingdom. yes i'd say there are many animals, but perhaps if you are more interested in animals not disney, you should consider busch gardens instead. they have a few coasters but they are not really about rides. they have more animal exhibits than animal kingdom.

the difference between the two parks i think is this..AK is sort of disney's TAKE on animals, or animals with the disney spin. ...AK sort of wants you to appreciate disney through animals, while BG just wants you to appreciate the animals. or at least, IMO. BG is more of a traditional zoo. it is about 45 mins away from orlando, but as a great animal lover myself i feel it is worth the time and money more than AK if what you want is animals.

10 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

Really is a poor park .. you see a few animals here and there, but nothing to make you OMG WOW!

The safari tour, while competant, isn't a big a wow as it sounds. The rides are also a let down (apart from Everest), it doesn't have that many shows either.

Sorry to be a party pooper x

Level Contributor
756 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

I absolutely love Busch Gardens and it is probably my favorite park out of any that I have been to throughout the country because of its mix of animals and attractions. BG has far more rides than AK (I say this never having been to AK but BG has quite a few rides where AK seems to only have a couple).

I am interested in any more opinions on how AK compares to BG. We plan to go to AK in May hoping to have that good mix of animals and attractions like BG but maybe I am expecting to much.

12 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

like a big zoo only better seen all the parks when there last time it was one of our highlights this time round it will be the first park we head for make sure to do the safari kids and me loved it

Level Contributor
1,960 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

I love both AK, and Busch, but the bottom line is they are zoo's..with a few rides..the thing that makes them stand out is you see them without a visable cage, but the bars are there if you look..

Level Contributor
359 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

Animal Kingdom is a terrific way to spend a day. The Safari, Exhibition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Lion King Show, Nemo Show, Bug's Life Movie are all first rate atractions. The place is beautiful, seemingly authentic with pretty good food and I think the previous posters are giving AK a bad rap. For younger kids, the Rafiki tain and reserve area...petting zoo, and dino land are really fun. You will not be disapointed!!

Level Contributor
2,894 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

With baited breath, I was awaiting the next park trashing response from Lucky. (or whoever this is)Well to give some true meaning(in English) to the question,Disney has had a fairly aggressive ad campaign promoting AK as not a Zoo. I would say that if you are looking for a traditional zoo experience(like Franklin Park)look elsewhere. If you are ok with street performers,live shows,and a few thrill rides,you'll be fine.There are certainly many animals to be seen in walk through exhibits(which are very impressive)

Dickson, Tennessee
Level Contributor
889 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Is Animal Kingdom about animals, or about Disney?

IMO, AK is not a place for a zoo lover to try to get his zoo fix. AK is more of a transition from theme park to zoo for kids who have never seen a zoo. It is a very good stepping stone in trying to get people to be aware of the need to be animal/evironment concious. AK is definitely full of Disney promotion. AK is to animal awareness like Epcot is to world awareness.