The Ultimate Guide to The Best Animal Kingdom Rides

Animal Kingdom is one of the most wondrous parks Disney has ever opened the gates to. It is pretty much unlike any other park in its ability to blend three perfect experiences together; wildlife viewing, thrilling rides, and the magic of Disney characters to top it all off. Of course, this park being so unique poses a little dilemma. How can you and your family possibly decide to experience and what to leave out? There is no wrong way to go about your Animal Kingdom visit, but we do think we’ve got to let you in on our secrets about the absolute must do’s when it comes to rides! We’re going to list out all the best rides at Animal Kingdom for you right here, but keep in mind walking around the park and visiting the exhibits are absolutely a part of completing your experience.

The Best Rides at Animal Kingdom

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom – The Best Ride Overall

  • Avatar Flight of Passage

This truly is the best ride in Animal Kingdom and in my opinion the best ride at Disney World. Avatar, Flight of Passage is unlike any other ride I have been on. You will get on the back of a mountain banshee (what the avatars ride in the movie) and experience what it’s like to fly through Pandora through a 3D screening experience. Now, the line for this ride can get ridiculously long, I highly recommend booking Fastpasses 60 days in advance. If you don’t get fastpasses, check out my tips here on the best times to get in line!

  • Height Requirement; Must be 44 in or taller
  • Fastpass reservation essential, as the wait time easily reaches 3 hours daily

Transracial adoptive family laughing with mom on bridge at animal kingdom

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom for the Entire Family

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris-

    giraffe - animal kingdom fast pass

You probably never thought you would find yourself on a theme park rides with real life animals right outside your window, but that is precisely what a Kilimanjaro Safari ride will give you. You will hop into a safari truck and venture out into the “wilderness” where you can sight anything from zebras to lions to hippos. Your guide will give you a bit of background to make the ride truly entertaining. Remember these are real animals, so just like at the zoo it’s best to view them early in the morning or right around dusk. Especially in the Florida heat, many of these animals will opt for a nap midday. It’s such a different experience every time you board this ride, so it’s worth visiting every time you come back to the park.

  • No Height Requirement
  • Look into booking a Fastpass, as it’s one of the most popular rides in the park and easily enjoyed by all guests
  • Kali River RapidsKali River Rapids

River Rapid rides are always a blast, and while this attraction may not be extremely unique it’s little bit of Disney Magic still puts it a touch above any other rapid ride. It’s best to catch this ride on a hot Florida day because you will get soaked. If you have little ones who can’t ride, make sure they take advantage of the elephant soakers to drench the rest of your party.

  • Height Requirement; 38 in or taller to ride
  • Fastpass is Available and is worth it when it is hot outside (the line can get long)

  • Na’vi River Journey-

The other ride in Pandora is the Na’vi River Journey, which is a boat ride with stunning scenery from the movie all around you. You’ll hop aboard a reed boat and drift through caves and glowing landscapes. It’s all about music and you’ll come face to face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs by the end of your journey. The ride is just ok in my opinion, so don’t wait in too long of a line for this journey.

  • No Height Requirement
  • Only get a Fastpass if you have guests who can’t or don’t want to ride Avatar Flight of Passage. Instead get to the park when the rope drops and make the river journey your first stop.

Best Animal Kingdom Rides for Adrenaline Junkies

Let’s get to the fun! My kids are all adrenaline junkies and Animal Kingdom definitely has some incredible rides to get your heart pumping.

  • Expedition Everest

Best Rides at Animal KingdomYou may never make it to the top of the real Everest (I surely won’t), but you cannot miss this thrilling journey to the top of Animal Kingdom’s own treacherous mountain. You will board a fast train and wind your way through the Himalayas to escape the Abominable Snowman. One of the coolest things about this ride is that the line itself is an experience. You will get to see what a basecamp on Everest might truly look like. Once aboard the ride, you will experience those classic fast-paced roller thrills winding in all different directions including backwards. We sure hope you’ll be one of the lucky ones to make it past the GIANT Yeti! The drop on this ride is pretty great and the feeling of racing backwards down the track always gets me. 

  • Height Requirement; Must be 44 in or taller to ride
  • Fastpass not essential, you can ride single rider if the line gets too long

  • Dinosaur

The Best Rides at Animal Kingdom

While Dinosaur may be a little older than most of its counterparts in this park, this classic Animal Kingdom ride manages to tell a time-tested great story while mixing in a bit of thrill. You will set out on a journey in the Time Rover car to rescue an Iguanadon from extinction caused by a meteor shower. This is my daughter’s favorite ride even though she gets nervous every time before she goes on the ride. By the way they have one fo the best PhotoPass photo opps in the park. 

  • Height Requirement; 40 in or taller to ride
  • Fastpass not necessary

Overall, there are some pretty amazing rides. We also have some amazing FastPass tips  for Animal kingdom to help you breeze through the park. Plus, check out our Ultimate Guide to Pandora and find out HOW TO GLOW in PANDORA

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