Animal Kingdom

This is Disney's animal conservation park - 500 acres - opened in 1998 and is a great park for everyone. Again it is divided into six lands - Africa, Asia, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, DinoLand USA, and Rafiki's Planet Watch. Once you get into the park you immediately pass through The Oasis area - with flamingoes and tropical birds, reptiles and mammals before crossing the bridge into Discovery Island.

Discovery Island - here you will find a 145 foot high concrete imitation tree - The Tree of Life - it is the signature landmark of the park and celebrates all living creatures. The Tree of Life is home to over 300 meticulously detailed animal carvings cleverly hidden on it's 50 foot wide trunk, gnarling roots and branches. Look out for the animal carvings by taking a stroll along the picturesque Discovery Island Trails, all the way around the tree base. You may even spot a famous mouse hiding among its branches. Below ground in the tree's root system is an amusing 3D 8 minute presentation called It's Tough to be a Bug - take a seat and find out what an insect's life is really like - can be rather scary for younger guests towards the end without giving too much away but on the whole a great show not to be missed. From this island you can cross the bridges to the other lands. Take which ever route you like either turn right to DinoLand or left to Camp Mickey.

DinoLand USA - a chance to witness dinosaurs on the popular Dinosaur ride. Take a ride in a Time Rover, travel back 65 million years in time on a mission to save a friendly Iguanason from extinction. A thrilling and frightening journey, FastPass and height restricted to >102cm. Finding Nemo - the musical is an indoor stage show - this is a 40 minute show with spectacular music and stunning theatrical puppetry. The Primeval Whirl is height restricted >122cm, a coaster takes you back to the dinosaur age through a maze of curves and drops. Triceratops Spins - take a ride on a friendly triceratops - seats 4 persons per dinosaur - you control whether you fly high or low. Other attractions are in the Fossil Fun Games area.

Asia - cross the bridge from DinoLand and the first ride here is Expedition Everest - a FastPass, height >112cm ride. Board a train and climb a series of hills then hold on tight as you race inside the mountain, then your train comes to a sudden halt and .... I am not going to tell you what happens next, that will spoil the fun - ride it for yourself to find out ! Kali River Rapids as it name sounds it wet so be prepared. Hold on tight for a thrilling white water raft ride - each raft takes 12 riders and the rapids rise more than 90m before you descend a 20m slope at the end. Beware - elephant water squirters on the bridge - if the rapids didn't soak you then these will. Maharajah Jungle Trek - take the self guided tour of south east Asia under a canopy of swaying trees, discover the wild creatures in their natural habitats. Then cross towering footbridges, around cascading waterfalls and stand in the shadow of a centuries-old palace. A chance to view the Bengal tigers roaming around the ruins - you are separated by glazed walled sections in case you were wondering. Flights of Wonder - a fascinating stage show with an entertaining and informative bird trainer, demonstrating natural behaviours and talents of around 20 species of exotic birds, some of which perform their antics on stage, others swoop over the audience to show off their enormous wingspan.

Rafiki's Planet Watch - take the 10 minute train ride to the conservation station and the educational part of the park. There are interactive exhibits which promote conservation. Watch out for the remote contolled bins (trash) that contain a camera and interact with you - very funny unless they pick on you. Close by is Affection Station where you can pet docile animals such as goats and sheep. At Habitat Habit take the discovery trail and see cotton-top tamarins.

Africa - this is the largest of the lands and is modelled on a Kenyan village. Take the Kilimanjaro Safari (best first thing before the animals take a siesta) is one of the park's busiest attractions. Climb aboard a jeep and take the safari across the savannah. A running commentary, pointing out the animals - a great chance to photograph a giraffe or elephant up close. Pengani Forest Exploration is a chance to get close to gorillas - this area is usually very busy due to the closeness of the Safari entrance.

Camp Minnie-Mickey - the best place to meet Mickey, Minnie and other characters - take a photo and get an autograph - the queues are often long but the kids love it. Next it's the Festival of the Lion King - this is my favourite Disney show. It is a Broadway style show based on the film and actively encourages cheering and singing. I just can't wait to be king ..... Running time is approx 30 mins. This show is currently closed until early summer 2014 as it is moving into the Africa area of the park.

Disney announced in September 2011 that it is developing an Avatar-themed land based on James Cameron's film Avatar - this includes a 3D ride and boat ride on the Discovery River. Also new to the Park an "after-dark spectacular" will debut sometime in 2017 along with the new Avatar land.

Note - always check Disney's website for park operating hours - it can close due to adverse weather conditions and always closes earlier than the other parks, for example winter hours are until 5pm.