Best of Disney's Animal Kingdom for Tweens and Teens

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Thomas_Jung/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0 

It's not every day your kid gets to travel to Africa, Asia, and James Cameron's fictional planet of Pandora. Put these favorite experiences for tweens and teens at the top of your to-do list when visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom.

01 of 07

Ride a Mountain Banshee

Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

The crowning glory of Pandora is Avatar Flight of Passage, an amazing and incredibly immersive ride that delivers, for many riders, a transformative and emotional experience. Put this attraction at the top of your must-do list by reserving a ride time with FastPass+ so you can experience this ride with a shorter wait time. Avatar Flight of Passage puts you in a saddle atop a mountain banshee as you fly on the back of the dragon-like winged creature, soaring above Mo'ara's floating mountains, swooping through treetop canopies, skipping over sparkling water, and plunging into bioluminescent caves. Thanks to the genius of Disney Imagineers, this 3-D simulator thrill ride very convincingly makes you feel like you are really flying, as your senses awaken to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Pandora. Trust us: This is Disney World's very best ride and one you'll want to experience more than once.

02 of 07

Climb Mount Everest

Expedition Everest, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney Parks

Without a doubt, Expedition Everest is another must-do attraction for teens at Disney's Animal Kingdom. With its fantastic Himalayan theming and yeti backstory, combined with a roller coaster that goes both inside, outside, forward, and backward, this is easily one of the best thrill rides in Orlando.

03 of 07

Get Soaked on a River-Rafting Expedition

Disney World Animal Kingdom Kali River Rapids
Walt Disney Parks

When the Orlando heat starts wearing on you, hop aboard Kail River Rapids for a whitewater raft adventure that twists, turns and splashes down a river in the middle of a rainforest. Plan on getting wet—anywhere from splashed to soaked.

04 of 07

Dine at an All-You-Can-Eat Afro-American Buffet

Disney World Animal Kingdom Tusker House
Walt Disney Parks

Got a big teen appetite? Book a table at the open-air-market-styled Tusker House Restaurant for an all-you-can-eat lunch or dinner buffet of African and American dishes, including spit-roasted meats, couscous, and tasty chutneys. (Note: the dinner buffet is less expensive because lunch is also a character dining experience.)

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Go on Safari

Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safaris
Walt Disney Parks

Ever been on an African safari? Now's your chance. With Kilimanjaro Safaris, you'll ride off in an open-air vehicle for a tour of a lush African savanna and spot exotic animals such as lions, hippos, giraffes, zebras, and elephants.

06 of 07

Let the Hakuna Matata Wash Over You

Animal Kingdom Festival Of The Lion King
Walt Disney Parks

Don't miss an opportunity to see one of Disney's very best live shows for free. Catch the Festival of the Lion King, a big-as-Broadway musical show celebrating Simba and the Pride Lands. The show features amazing musical performances, spectacular costumes and pageantry, and a cast of performers including singers, acrobats, stilt walkers, and more.

07 of 07

Enjoy BBQ With a View

Disney World Animal Kingdom Flame Tree Barbecue
Walt Disney Parks

One of the best counter-service eateries in Disney World, Flame Tree Barbecue dishes up tasty BBQ and offers open-air seating with great views of Discovery River and Expedition Everest in the background. Favorite menu items include the St. Louis ribs, barbecued chicken, and pulled pork sandwiches.