An animal-conservation theme park with Disney’s patented over-the-top twist, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park was opened in 1998. The park, home to 250 species and some 1700 animals, is divided into seven “lands” – Africa, Asia, Discovery Island, Oasis, Camp Minnie-Mickey, DinoLand U.S.A. and Rafiki’s Planet Watch – with Africa and Asia being the most visually impressive, each re-creating the natural landscapes and exotic atmosphere of these two continents with admirable attention to detail.
The best-realized attraction is Africa’s Kilimanjaro Safaris, where a jeep takes you on what feels very much like a real African safari, to view giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, gazelles and rhinos, as well as take part in anti-poacher manoeuvres. Elsewhere in Africa, the troop of lowland gorillas at the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail are definitely worth a look. Crossing over to Asia, you’ll get an astounding up-close look at the healthiest-looking tigers in captivity at the Maharajah Jungle Trek. DinoLand U.S.A.’s Dinosaur is a slower but still exciting ride full of small drops and short stops in the dark while scary dinosaurs pop out of nowhere.