Wild, Wild Kingdom   2 comments

In honour of both Earth Day and the park’s 13th anniversary, I have a post all about  my opinions of DAK. I know, the 22nd was yesterday. Sorry, I just didn’t get around to posting!

My Opinions on DAK

What is Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK)? Is it a full day park? A half day? Not even worth it? Well, here are my thoughts on WDW’s largest yet least popular theme park.

DAK is missing more smaller attractions and things to do. It’s nothing but E-Tics spread much too far apart. Unlike the other Parks, attractions are not placed next to each other, and there are so few at DAK.I suppose that’s a nice thing, because it gives it a more open feel, but it means things are so far to trek to.

One of the only areas really meant for kids, Dinorama, is an ugly abomination. I guess kids like it, but it’s an eyesore regardless.

The walkways are much too small, especially behind the Tree of Life between Africa and Asia. To make things worse back there, Park Management thinks it’s the best place to have DeVine preform. She attracts so many gawkers to just stop in the middle of the already crowded walkway, resulting in a huge bottle neck for the two-way traffic of guests and strollers. Not to mention it’s right next to one of the best spot to get pictures of the Tree of Life.

But now to attractions:

  • Camp Minnie Mickey (there’s nothing in here but Lion King, so we’ll call it an attraction) needs to go. I think even Park Management agrees, seeing as they replaced the sign for the land entrance with one for Festival of the Lion King showtimes. (I’m not going to talk about how it needs to be Beastly Kingdome, that can go another time).
  • Kali River Rapids…Meh. I did it once. Its way too short and not fun to be that wet. Needs to be longer to be worth doing.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris is amazing, regardless of the changes made. It’s fun, and exciting. I highly recommend making it the first thing you do each day, as the animal are much more active then. I’m a little upset that the tipping bridge effect has been either removed or broke. It was cool, and now it’s awkward. “Uh-oh, another old rickety bridge, cross your fingers… *off bridge* That was terrifying! I’m going to drive away really fast!” I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear that the Wild Africa Trek trucks driving about somewhat detract from the story, but I’ll save judgment ’til I see it.
  • Everest is such an amazing experience, save the ‘Disco Yeti’ (as he has been called, because he just has a strobe flashing on him). But, I’ll cover that some other time. Many fans are very upset with the state that it’s in, they always complain and nit-pick every little effect that isn’t working when they visit. I will admit, the effects are very spotty, though some are becoming more common, such as the steam. I never saw the elusive bird until my most recent ride, and I can’t really see why people are mad it’s never there. Its just a bird, that doesn’t even move, on a stick. Yea, sure, I’ve read up about the story, and know it’s supposed to be an omen, showing that things are about to go bad….Its a bird. Come on. I do love the rails the train rides on, though. The lifts are silent and smooth. I was hoping Space Mountain would get those after its refurb. Not to mention the awesomeness of the rail switches to swap between forward and backward portions. Such an amazing, yet simple thing. They’ve always had rails that switch directions, but they had never thought to use them like this! So very creative!
  • The real hidden gem of this park is DINOSAUR (through the rest of this article, I will refer to it as CTX, which stands for ‘Countdown To Extinction’, the original name[which you can see on the walls, along with a WDI refrence]) CTX is such an amazing attraction.

    Yep, never anyone here. Maybe Dinorama scared them off?

    Ever since Everest opened, it lost CTX has lost it’s crowds. I haven’t even seen it over 5 minute wait. That is such a shame for this great attraction. The AAs in this attraction are so lifelike and terrifying. I would never want to get evaced, because I would have to walk next to the dinosaurs. The Carnotaurus that leaps at the CTX Time Rover (yay! references to the original!) is without a doubt the coolest working AA right now. It is my favorite, because of how real it is, and how close it gets. (I’ve seen it broken once, it was stuck in place, lurched out all the way, but still moving). Now yes, I have my problems with it, too(Just not as many as most others because I never saw it in it’s original form). Its much too short. There is way too much downtime in complete darkness. There are points (before the roundabout, near the pterodactyls, I think) where you can literally see the warehouse walls. The Carnotaur at the very end looks plastic and fake, especially compared to the others. Then again, that was installed with the DINOSAUR re-branding. Other than those things, CTX is one amazing experience. (now if I can go off-topicish, they once re-routed our bus to the hotel behind DAK. It was at night, so it was dark, but what I could see was the old statue that used to be out front of CTX before it was replaced with the Iguanadon!)

So is DAK really worth visiting? Well, that depends. If you’re a thrill junkie, then I say yes. If you’re a family with small children who love animals, then maybe, just keep in mind how little there is for kids. Is it a full day park? Absolutely not.


2 responses to “Wild, Wild Kingdom

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  1. You know AK is a wonderfully themed park, its very immersive. I was extreamly impressed with the animal exihbits which i visted two years ago. I agree with your main message there are a few great attractions and then few and far in between. Area’s like Rafikies wildlife station are a complete waste of time for the average geust, while having a good message, its pretty much a petting zoo a train ride away. Animal kingdom needs to follow the trend of Everest and put some more heavy investments to the parks attraction list. Great article though as always!

    James Demetriades
  2. I completely feel that Animal Kingdom is worth visiting! If not for the few great attractions, at least for the atmosphere and themeing. But this is by no means a full day park, unless you want to repeat the rides countless times (which I don’t have a problem with)
    CTX is the only ride in this world that has me legitamately scared. That being said, it’s one of my favourite rides ^ ^
    I think DAK could use something like a Jungle Cruise type ride. Not a tour though…. Hmmm this could be a project for me. Think up a new DAK attraction! ^ ^

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