Animal KingdomThe Parks

6 Must-Do Night Experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom’s additions of night experiences prove that wilderness and exploration never cease! You can head to Animal Kingdom now and enjoy night experiences that will bring out your adventurous side in so many wild ways! Here are our seven must-do night experiences at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park.


1 – Pandora – The World of Avatar

The land, the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, Avatar, which was released in 2009. The film was insanely popular, mostly due to Cameron’s amazing special effects. The land is an amazing spectacle of Disney Imagineering, creativity, and story-telling. As you explore the vibrant terrain sprawling beneath mountains that appear to float in the sky, you’ll see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools. Then you’ll discover two thrilling new expeditions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’ vi River Journey. Grab a bite to eat at the quick-service restaurant, Satu’li Canteen, or grab a drink and snack at Pongu Pongu. At night the land transforms into an entirely new experience. The bioluminescent plants of Pandora illuminate the land at night, giving breath-taking views of the Pandora landscape that are completely different from the daytime experience. You don’t want to miss Pandora after dark!

Photo Credit: Disney Photo Snapper.

2 – Tree of Life Awakenings

You may have seen the projection show on the Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom known as “Celebrate the Magic.” Well, now Animal Kingdom boasts a projection show on the iconic Tree of Life known as “Awakenings.” After night falls, be sure to look to the Tree of Life for a beautiful display of vibrant colors and incredible animal artistry. Thankfully, this show takes place every 10 minutes until the park closes so you’ll have several opportunities to see the Tree of Life awaken if not just once – but twice!

Photo Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

3 – Expedition Everest

If you were terrified of riding Expedition Everest before, chances are riding it in the dark will step up that notch of fear in the pit of your stomach. When riding Expedition Everest at night, it feels like you are experiencing a completely new attraction versus riding it during the normal daylight hours. With the darkness surrounding you, you’ll feel like you are going higher, faster, and well – slightly more out of control as you try to gather your bearings. Plus, no one put the Yeti to bed, so he is still angry and on the loose, tearing up the track!

4 – Kilimanjaro Safaris

Take a ride in an open-air vehicle to spot majestic animals of all sorts. The bumpy ride and exotic surroundings will make you forget you are in the Animal Kingdom theme parks and not off exploring Africa! At night, however, Kilimanjaro Safaris turns into a nocturnal hot spot. The animals seem to enjoy the late hours at Animal Kingdom as well, as they are very active in the dim yet illuminating lighting provided. Catching the Safaris before the animals are tucked into bed for the night is definitely a nighttime must-do at Animal Kingdom!


5 – Nomad Lounge

All that dancing likely made you thirsty! Head to one of the newest additions to Animal Kingdom – Nomad Lounge. This lounge is known for its specialty cocktails and exotic appetizers from around the world. Neighboring the newest restaurant, Tiffins, Nomad Lounge is the perfect way to enjoy some of the great selections at Tiffins in a lounge-style, small plate atmosphere. With non-alcoholic beverages, cocktails, wine, beer, small-plate appetizers, and the incredible “Taste of Tiffins” dessert – there is something for everyone at this popular new lounge.

6 – Kali River Rapids

Are you ready to end your night with a big splash? Then you’ll want to take a ride on the Kali River Rapids! This ride is dimly illuminated in the dark but still leaves a sense of wonder for what’s ahead. Travel down the water in the massive river raft and expect that you’ll be the one that gets drenched or at least mostly wet! Just think – you won’t need a shower before bed, after all.

What is your favorite must-do night experience at Animal Kingdom? We’d love to hear from you!

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Matt & Kim

We have had a long time love affair with Disney. We love the magic and the memories we've made at Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. From lodging to dining to Genie+ we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us.
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