Disney's Animal Kingdom Top 3

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 113 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Top 3

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Run time 0:46:08

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Featured Topic - Disney's Animal Kingdom Top 3

In this week's feature, Mike and Mark discuss their Top 3 attractions, dining locations and live entertainment at Disney's Animal Kingdom. If you missed the Disneyland Top 3 from last month, why don't you check it out?

Top 3 dining locations

As always, we started with dining. Mike really wanted to vote for the cast cafeteria at the park, but Mark said that it had to be guest dining experiences. So Mike's number three choice is the Rainforest Cafe at the park's entrance. He likes having breakfast there before heading into the park. Mike prefers the location at Disney's Animal Kingdom to the location at Downtown Disney.

For his number three, Mark issued a caveat that there are multiple dining locations that have changed or opened recently, so he had to rule out including the Yak & Yeti Marketplace counter-service location or the newly-buffet service Tusker House. Instead, he opted for Pizzafari. For some reason, he and his family keep falling into Pizzafari to eat. He gave an honorable mention to the coffee and pastry cart as you come across the bridge onto Discovery Island because he eats breakfast there often.

Mike talked about how the coffee sold at Disney's Animal Kingdom is all shade-grown.

Mike's runner up is the Royal Anandapur Tea Company. As a former loose-leaf tea salesperson, he loves the tea. He says that it's the only place at Walt Disney World where he is completely satisfied with the tea service. He complained about being handed Lipton at both the China and Japan pavilions.

Mark's second choice is Flame Tree BBQ. Between the delicious food and the great view from the seating area, it's hard to beat this place.

Mike and Mark both agree that their favorite dining location at the park is now the new Yak & Yeti Restaurant. Mike specifically likes sitting and eating at the bar, though Mark likes the table service. The food quality and variety, the service, the decor and the location are all wonderful. Mike was also impressed by the drink menu.

Top 3 live entertainment options

Mark's number three entertainment choice is DiVine, because she does such a wonderful job of blending in, and it's such fun to watch people react to her when she actually moves.

DiVine is Mark's number three live entertainment at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photos by Mark Goldhaber.

Mike's third choice is the Flights of Wonder. He loves the tourist jokes and the birds. His runner-up is Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade.

Mark and Mike's number two and number one choices are reversed.

Mark's number two and Mike's number one is Festival of the Lion King. It was Mark's top choice until his number one opened. He loves all of the acts, and he loves listening to the singers. Mike, Lion King fan that he is, loves everything about this show.

Mark's number one and Mike's number two is Finding Nemo - The Musical. Mike would have had a hard time choosing between this and Tarzan Rocks! if the latter hadn't had to close to make room for the former. Mark has a real soft spot ofr this show, partly because the story strikes such a chord with him. Kristen and Bobby Lopez did a wonderful job in creating the show. He talked about interviewing the Lopezes in Episode 6.

Top 3 attractions

Mike picked the Maharajah Jungle Trek as his number three choice. He loves looking at the animals, he loves the theming and he loves big cats. (And they've got tigers!) In addition to the tigers, Mark likes the fruit bats and flying foxes (which inspired his son's fruit bat costume at Halloween a few years back).

Mark's third pick is the new Primeval Whirl. It's a great wild mouse coaster with the added dimension of spinning cars.

Mike and Mark agree that their second choice is Kilimanjaro Safaris. Mike doesn't care for the new story line, but he loves seeing the animals and how different it is each time that you go on it. He also loves that they won't disturb the animals and will stop the vehicle if an animal has one foot in the road. If you only have time to do one attraction in the park, he'd recommend it above his number one attraction. Mark also thinks that it's the best animal attraction in the park. If yo're not going to go to Africa on safari, this is your next best shot at that experience.

Mike and Mark also agree that their number one is the Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. (Since Mike used to work there, he has to use the complete name whenever he refers to it.) They both love the queue as well as the attraction. The only thing that they don't like is the "bird soaring on the air currents" at the top of the attraction. Mark did a photo tour of the attraction, mostly showing the queue, following the attraction's DVC/AP preview weekend. Mark and Mike agree that the short run-out after the encounter with the Yeti is a problem, and that the attraction could have used a longer run-out by about 10-30 seconds or so. Mike laments that most people don't realize that Everest itself is not the big mountain that attracts your attention, but rather the peak way in the back, which is supposed to be much further back, well beyond the Forbidden Mountain.

In next month's Top 3 segment, Mark and Mike will combine their respective Top 3 lists to come up with their combined Top 3 lists for all domestic (U.S.) Disney parks.

So what are your Top 3?. Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what your favorites are!

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