Jon Michael Ogletree
Rides in Animal Kingdom: Graded Three Ways
I'm often asked what my favorite rides are in Disney World, so I've sorted them by park, and I've graded them three ways:
JMO: This is my preference, which is a balance between nostalgia and thrill, from the perspective of a 3'8" tall adult.
Thrill: This is for people who typically prefer Universal Studios, as the thrill of the ride is mostly what matters.
Kids: This is my perception of how a child would enjoy the ride. Kids generally don't mind getting dizzy or wet, and some are easily frightened by some rides.
A= Great B= Good C= Decent D = Avoid
Avatar Flight of Passage - This ride is AMAZING! It's like Soarin' on steroids. It does add 4D glasses, which is a detractor for some people. Also, you ride a bike, which is also a detractor for some. But, if you can get over those two things, it's arguably the most amazing 5 minutes you can spend in Disney World. The waits for this are just always insane though, so try to get there early and knock it out first thing.
Dinosaur - I really enjoy this ride. It's surprisingly jerky and intense, and it can be pretty frightening for kids. It does take your picture though, so at the scariest part you get to see the look on your child's face. It will be priceless.
Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain - This is one of the most fun rides in Disney World. Spoiler Alert: You go flying though the mountain backwards, and your stomach is about 10 seconds behind the rest of your body. This is one of the more intense coasters Disney has, so thrill seekers should approve. Pro tip- Sit in the front, not the back. You can request this when your group is called, and they'll put you in one last waiting line. It's worth it. You can see a lot better, see the track change, see how far you drop, and you're in the back when it goes backwards. This ride takes your picture as well.
Kali River Rapids - This is like playing Russian Roulette with waterfalls. Some guests get mildly wet, while others get absolutely soaked! There is a pretty intense drop, and the ride goes by relatively quickly. It's fun, especially if you're so hot that you want to get wet. There is a compartment to store valuables that don't need to get wet. I typically wear crocs and a bathing suit if I think there is even a remote chance I'll get on this ride.
Kilimanjaro Safaris - This is a really cool experience that can only be topped by a very long and expensive trip to Africa. Seeing how Disney has converted this portion of land and filled it animals from all over the world is just breathtaking. Every time you ride it, it will be different!
Na'vi River Journey - This ride was disappointing to me. I rode the Flight of Passage ride first, so I had high hopes. It's similar to Jungle Cruise, without jokes or a skipper. There is an expensive animatronic Avatar creature at the end, but that's a big sacrifice of time for little payoff. If the wait is under 30 minutes, it's worth it. If not, I don't think it is.
TriceraTop Spin - This is another Dumbo clone. If you love Dumbo, you'll love this! There is a rarely a wait, so it's an option for younger kids while the rest of the family rides Everest.
Animal Kingdom is very underrated in my opinion. Just walking around is awesome. There aren't many rides here, but there are a few very good ones. You can easily knock them out in half a day though, and then spend the other half park hopping or relaxing back at your room.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my other posts grading the rides in the other three parks!