Is Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World’s Best Theme Park?

In this post, I’m gonna take a bold leap and attempt to make a case that Animal Kingdom could be Walt Disney World’s best overall park at the moment. I’m sure I’ve lost a great deal of you already, but I really think it at least merits consideration.

DSC_0553

I’ll start right out by saying, Magic Kingdom is still my favorite of the Florida Parks. That however, is deeply routed in nostalgia. Magic Kingdom is what everybody thinks of when the first hear Disney World, and it undoubtedly the most “Disney” if there is such a thing.

Over the past few years, Animal Kingdom has risen from my least favorite of the 4 parks, to an easy 2nd place. Part of this has been the decline of Epcot and (especially) Hollywood Studios in recent years. A bigger part however, is some great additions to Animal Kingdom, as well as a new appreciation for the level of detail the park offers. We could spend hours in AK without doing a single attraction and still be perfectly happy!

DSC_0662

Magic Kingdom will always be our favorite WDW park. When looked at objectively however, I think a case can be made that Animal Kingdom is the better overall park. Here are 11 points (with photo evidence) in Animal Kingdom’s favor when deciding on the best theme park in Walt Disney World.

Cohesive Theme

No other park in Walt Disney World stays more true to it’s overarching theme throughout.

40735385693_c9e83e28bb_k

DSC_0666

DSC_0256

DSC_0567

DSC_0563

DSC_0571-2

DSC_9581

DSC_0584

 

Attention to Detail

From the meticulous wood carvings in the Tree of Life, to something as simple as a lamp post; Animal Kingdom features some really incredible attention to detail. The queue alone for Expedition Everest is museum worthy.

DSC_9436

DSC_9474

DSC_0272

DSC_0265

DSC_9589

DSC_9588

DSC_9583

 

Gorgeous Views Everywhere You Look

There are beautiful vistas all around the park, with lots of little quiet areas off the beaten path to enjoy them!

DSC_0575-2

DSC_0662

DSC_0583

DSC_0543-2

DSC_0546

DSC_0774-HDR

 

The Park is Even More Pretty at Night

Disney really nailed the night time lighting here. All the parks are most beautiful at night, but Animal Kingdom may be our favorite in that regard!

DSC_0037

DSC_5670

192

 

Best In Park Dining

The park has top 5 options in both table service and quick service options with Tiffins, Tusker House, Flame Tree BBQ and Satu’li Canteen respectively. Yak & Yeti and Harambe Market are great options as well. No other park comes close in terms of quality dining.

DSC_9566

DSC_9533

Sliced Berbere-rub beef and rice on a plate

DSC_0570

The Flame Tree Barbecue housed in a traditional African style building with an outdoor service area, consisting of a patio sheltered by a corrugated tin roof, a sign with the restaurant name on top of the roof and a menu board located to the right side as you approach

satuli 4

 

Wild Africa Trek

An upcharge that we 100% recommend if you can fit it in your budget. Read our full review here!

Wild Africa Trek 022

740

052

Pandora: World of Avatar

This is the one of the best theme park lands ever built, and features a world class attraction in Flight of Passage. You don’t need to be a fan of the film franchise to appreciate the stunning visuals and quality attractions.

DSC_9600

DSC_0640

Image result for flight of passage

24231879517_3171543707_k

 

Kilimanjaro Safaris

One of the best rides in all of WDW, Kilimanjaro Safaris is the signature experience in the park. We have been on countless Safaris over the years and it never gets old.

DSC_0319

DSC_0346

DSC_0706

DSC_0405

DSC_0445

 

Walt Disney World’s Best Roller Coaster

Space and Big Thunder Mountains are great, but Expedition Everest is the best coaster at WDW when it comes to both theme and thrill.

DSC_0249

40735385653_171469301a_k

33824508258_b613f91a71_k (1)

 

Stage Shows

Festival of the Lion King is possibly the best everyday stage show in WDW. Add Finding Nemo to that and its a great 1-2 punch. Even though much we preferred Flights of Wonder, the new Up! bird show is still quite entertaining as well.

DSC_9798-2

DSC_9698

DSC_0494

Image result for finding nemo the musical

Image result for finding nemo the musical

Streetmosphere

All the parks have great streetmosphere… Dapper Dans at MK, World Showcase performers, Citizens of Hollywood… all great. But in addition to some great acts throughout the park, Animal Kingdom has Kevin from Up! to take it to the next level!

DSC_0573

DSC_0315

DSC_9429

DSC_9498

DSC_9487

So there you have it…

This post is in no way making a definitive statement that Animal Kingdom is the best park in Walt Disney World. It is however, stating that it at least belongs in the conversation. In the end, everything is subjective anyway. Magic Kingdom will always be the most popular park in the world. If you only have 1 day at WDW, it should be spent there. It’s the quintessential Disney World experience. Still, its nice having other parks at such a high quality that they objectively give MK a run for its money.

Advertisements

One thought on “Is Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World’s Best Theme Park?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s