Animal Kingdom is full of new attractions and excitement, all at night. Check out the top things to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night!

Things To Do At Disney’s Animal Kingdom At Night

Do you remember when Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park closing at 5:00 P.M., just before the sun went down? The whole park is centered around wildlife, and they couldn’t be seen at night. Thankfully, Disney is all about producing magic and making their guests happy. With a lot of imagination and hard work, Animal Kingdom comes alive at sunset.

There are so many wonderful things to do that it can be hard to choose what to do first. We’ve been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park several times over the years, and it’s by far my favorite park! Zayd’n and I just got back from a quick trip to Orlando. While there, we spent a day and a half at Animal Kingdom. We started on a Tuesday night, walking into the park just in time to catch all of the nightlife action. Then we went back the next day to check out the shows, rides, and other attractions.

We’ve put together a list of things to do at Animal Kingdom at night.

{photo credit: Disney}

Watch The Tree Of Life Awaken
The tree of life is majestic enough during the day but at nighttime, it becomes spectacular. Watch as flickering fireflies make their appearance and a little dog goes on a big journey. The whole tree lights up and in true Disney style, there’s amazing music to make the event even more magical. The whole trunk of the tree becomes alive with stunning animated imagery. The show happens every 10 minutes and lasts a little over 3 minutes. So if it is crowded the first couple of showings, come back a little later and you should be able to get a good view. Also, just a little warning, one scene does get a little dark and maybe scary for young children, but it only lasts a few seconds.

Rivers of Light Show: Go On A Journey That Connects Us All
There are a lot of magical things happening at the Animal Kingdom after the sun goes down but the most magical is the “Rivers of Light”. Set against the darkness of night, the Discovery River comes alive with light, water, and mystical storytelling. While watching you will be transported across Asian jungles, African savannahs, and North American mountains.

{photo credit: Disney}

Of course, animals are the star of the show. Watch as beautiful lights transform into majestic creatures. Expressions of love, hope, and playfulness will make you feel connected to all things, spirit, and alive. It is one of those experiences at Disney that stay with you long after you have left. Rivers of Light is open to all ticket holders and lasts approximately 15 minutes. *** note: be sure you check the schedule before buying your Animal Kingdom tickets. This particular show’s times may vary. You can also get a FastPass for this attraction.

Party In The Streets, Disney Style
This isn’t your typical neighborhood block party. When the sun goes down you will hear the distinctive beats of a Latin drummer as Animal Kingdom gears up for a big party. The band and a group of islanders welcome you the Animal Kingdom nature family and put on a show that is completely magical. Dance, laugh, and have fun while listening to music from around the world. When you have finished dancing with the islanders head over to Harambe, the African village tucked away in the park. There you will enjoy the songs and dancing of the Kariu sisters and the acrobat talents of the Harambe Village Acrobats. Of course, no party is complete without amazing food. While you are in Harambe make sure to taste the Ground Beef Kabob Flatbread and the Spice-Rubbed Karubi Ribs. Both are the perfect street food! If you are looking for a sweet treat make sure to try the African Milk Tart, it is to die for!

Kilimanjaro Safaris At Night
The Kilimanjaro Safaris are spectacular during the day but add the sunset to that and you have a whole new experience! Ride along the safari in your open-air vehicle and watch as the many animals come out to play in the glow of sunset. Your guide will give you valuable information about the animals and of course, keep you safe in the event of any mischievous animals. You could see around 20 different species of animals! A lot of people don’t know that safaris are more than an attraction. Disney is very dedicated to providing a safe haven for animals. They develop their own food for their animals using the help of top animal nutritionists and they provide a safe habitat for all their animal friends.

The Kilimanjaro Safari’s is a great way to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Just one word of caution, animals do have a mind of their own. Disney does not force their animals to perform, so some of the animals may not feel like playing when you are there. Don’t be disappointed if some of the animals are not out, they have free roam to come and go as they please.

Savor The Savanna and African Cuisine
If you want something more private and a little more special then you definitely should take advantage of the Evening Safari Experience. You will be able to view the park in a whole new light while taking a journey through the most private and secluded areas of the savanna. Your guide will take you to see attractions that are not available to the public and give you insightful information about the animals and the special care they receive at Disney. When the safari ends the fun is not over. Sit down and enjoy African tapas, specialty beer, and wines. Of course, no special experience is complete without a take-home keepsake. This private experience isn’t cheap though. It will run about $169 per adult. It is open to tweens, teens, and adults. Reservations are a must.

{photo credit: Disney}

The whole family is looking forward to heading back to Disney this year specifically for this new attraction. Here is a little more about it:
Glide down a gentle, mysterious river and feel a sense of wonder as the full beauty of Pandora reveals itself. Located within the Valley of Mo’ara, Na’vi River Journey offers explorers an experience that has to be seen—and heard—to be believed!

{photo credit: Disney}

Other rides in The World of Avatar include:

Behold A Land That’s Beyond Belief: Walkabout through the Valley of Mo’ara and get ready to discover a world like no other!

There’s more to Pandora than expeditions like Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey… much more! All around its enormous floating mountains, you’ll quickly uncover the valley’s one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experiences—along with sights, sounds and experiences that include:

  • Exotic plants that come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night
  • A Na’vi-built drum circle, containing instruments playable by all
  • Na’vi totems and other cultural items found throughout the land
  • Brand-new Wilderness Explorers challenges and badges to collect

{source: Disney}

If you still have some free time by the end of the night, hop over to Magic Kingdom (or find a good spot nearby) to watch the fireworks! They have the best fireworks show!

Tips to keep in mind while planning your nighttime adventure at Animal Kingdom:

  • Book your FastPass for the newest attractions before you arrive {this way you are guaranteed to check out the new attraction on the day you visit and avoid long lines!}
  • If you are staying at one of Disney’s Resorts, the exclusive magic hours are from 11 pm- 1 a.m. (this is a great way to ride the new attractions or go again. Most of the guests are gone, and the park is not as crowded/}
  • Extended theme park hours start on May 27th- July 4th, with Animal Kingdom staying open till 11 p.m.

There are a lot of fun nighttime activities at Disney, but the ones at Animal Kingdom are so magical that when you leave, you will feel a connection with the earth that is strong. If you have an animal-loving family or just want to see a different side of Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge at night is the perfect event!

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