Animal Kingdom

Dinosaur

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: April 22, 1998, under the name “Countdown to Extinction”

Location: DinoLand USA.  Dinosaur is located in the back of DinoLand USA to the left of Restaurantosaurus.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning

FastPass+: Yes – moderate priority. Most people will prefer Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and either Kali River Rapids or Mickey Mouse.

Type: Dark ride

Similar To: Test Track, Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland

Requirements: Must be 40” or taller to ride

Scary Factor: High. Dinosaur is one dark, loud, bumpy ride.  Although there are no drops more than a few feet and the vehicles don’t move particularly fast, this may still prove to be a more intense experience than Expedition Everest and the scariest ride at Animal Kingdom.

Is It Too Scary? DINOSAUR is not for those that had problems on any other Disney World attraction.  Don’t visit this attraction early in the day if your child is prone to fear or easily rattled.  It may “shut them down” for the rest of the day and they’ll be apprehensive about riding other attractions, no matter how innocuous they appear.  The atmosphere the ride creates is one of danger, panic, and pure terror as riders try to avoid meteors, dinosaurs, and ultimately their own extinction.  The ride is relentless and there is no time to stop and remind your youngster that they’re safe.  Dinosaur is also much rougher than Test Track or other comparable rides and you may want to think twice if you run the risk of injuring your back or neck.  Most adults and older children will enjoy the ride or at least not be frightened during it.

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Expedition Everest

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: April 7, 2006.

Location: Asia in between Kali River Rapids on the left and Finding Nemo down to the right.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning.

FastPass+: Yes – High priority.

Type: Roller coaster.

Similar To: Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, only outside and without inversions.

Requirements: Must be 44” or taller to ride.

Scary Factor: This section does contain spoilers after the second sentence. Medium.  Along with Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, Expedition Everest is one of the most intense thrill rides at Disney World.  There is a fairly substantial backwards drop through the dark and the ride is faster than any of the coasters at Magic Kingdom.  The Yeti also makes an appearance near the end of the ride, but he no longer swipes at passing vehicles.  If you don’t look up near the end of the ride, you may not even notice him.

Can My Kids and I Handle Expedition Everest? More Spoilers. Expedition Everest is intense for Disney World, but not compared to most of the coasters at Universal Studios, Six Flags, or other theme parks.  If you enjoyed Tower of Tower, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, or any other “big coaster” at another theme park then you shouldn’t have a problem with Expedition Everest.  It is a step up in terms of intensity from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Space Mountain, but most riders enjoy Everest, even if they went in scared or weren’t expecting to enjoy it.  There are no loops or inversions and the only real “uh oh” moment is when the coaster drops backwards.  The other positive is that the ride is amazingly smooth.  There is little jostling or jerkiness to be concerned about.

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Festival of the Lion King

by josh on September 2, 2010

Closed until the new theater opens in Africa. ETA is June 2014.

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Finding Nemo The Musical

by josh on September 2, 2010

Finding Nemo The Musical

Opened: January 2007

Location: DinoLand USA.  The entrance is located along the walkway that connects DinoLand USA and Asia.  You’ll exit the Chester and Hester portion of DinoLand USA on your way up to Expedition Everest and Asia and see Finding Nemo on your right in between the two areas.

Extra Magic Hours: No.

FastPass+: Yes – Low priority. There is no FastPass+ dedicated seating section. Guests with FP+ that arrive 30+ minutes early may be allowed to find their seats before standby. If the theater is filling close to showtime, cast members may close the standby queue and only allow FP+ users into the theater. Arrive 15 to 20 minutes before showtime and FP+ is unnecessary and will result in the same seats as standby.

Type: Musical theater show

Similar To: Unique in its scope and scale, but similar to Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Festival of the Lion King.

Requirements: None, other than the ability to sit through the performance that lasts just under 40 minutes.

Scary Factor: Low. Nemo gets into some trouble with a shark puppet, but that’s about it.

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Flights of Wonder

by josh on September 2, 2010

Flights of Wonder

Opened: April 22, 1998

Location: Asia, along the path that connects Africa and Asia in the back of Animal Kingdom.  The entrance is directly to the left of Yak & Yeti Restaurant.

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: No.

Type: Live bird, comedy show

Similar To: Unique

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero, unless you’ve been watching too much Alfred Hitchcock.

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It’s Tough To Be A Bug

by josh on September 2, 2010

Location: Discovery Island, inside the root system of the Tree of Life.  If you’re looking at the front of the Tree of Life, the entrance to It’s Tough To Be A Bug will be to your right across from Flame Tree Barbecue.  Leaving DinoLand USA along the path that connects it with Discovery Island, the entrance will be right in front of you.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning

FastPass+: Yes – Lowest Priority. There is no dedicated seating and FP+ is only useful if the standby line is cutoff because the theater is nearly full, which rarely happens.

Type: 3D Show

Similar To: Muppet Vision 3-D

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: This section does include “spoilers.” Low to moderate for most people 12 and older, but it may frighten kids younger than that.  Spiders, termites, beetles, hornets, and more make appearances and there are several effects that add to the terror including smoke that fills the room, a sting that comes from the back of the seat, insects dropping from the ceiling, and the sensation that bugs are running under your feet.  If you’re scared of bugs, this show may not be for you.  At the same time, all of the bugs are “cartoony” like in the movie, not particularly realistic.  If you want to avoid the slight “sting,” sit with your back away from the seat when the bees show up and Hopper (the mean grasshopper) tells the bees to “Arm your stingers.”

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Kali River Rapids

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: March 18, 1999

Location: Asia in between Yak & Yeti Restaurant and Expedition Everest.  From Everest, you’ll see it on your right just before you arrive at Yak & Yeti.  From Africa, you’ll see it on your left just after you pass Yak & Yeti Quick Service.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning, depending on season.

FastPass+: Yes – high priority. The majority of riders disembarking the attraction are soaked, making it a good choice to ride during the afternoon heat. Unfortunately, the attraction has a lousy capacity and everyone else wants to ride in the afternoon, leading to long wait times in 80+ degree temperatures. Use FastPass+ if you plan to ride between 11am and 4pm.

Type: Rafting ride

Similar To: Grizzly River Run at Disney’s California Adventure

Requirements: Must be 38” tall to ride

Scary Factor: Low. The ride starts off with a 90 foot uphill ascent, but there are no drops any more significant than the initial drop at Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Kilimanjaro Safaris

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: April 22, 1998

Location: Africa, in the very back of the area.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning

FastPass+: Yes – high priority.

Type: Safari ride

Similar To: Unique

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Low.  The animals look like they could stroll right up to the vehicles, but there are cleverly camouflaged barriers and drops protecting both the animals and passengers.

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Maharajah Jungle Trek

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: March 18, 1999

Location: Asia – the entrance is located behind Kali River Rapids.

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: No.

Type: Self-guided walking tour, zoo exhibit

Similar To: Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero – just don’t jump in the tiger pit.

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Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: April 22, 1998

Location: Africa – The entrance is located to the right of Kilimanjaro Safaris.  You’ll pass Kilimanjaro’s FastPass+ return queue and then take a left.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning

FastPass+: No.

Type: Self-guided walking tour, zoo exhibit

Similar To: Maharajah Jungle Trek

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero

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