Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great place to explore no matter what your preferred pace.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some terrific walking trails that let you see animals up close and personal. If you don’t want to wait for the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction, and are up for the walk, head next door to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. You’ll get to see a few of the same animals you’d see on the Safari, plus a bunch more.
The Pangani Exploration Trail is presented as a research facility and conservation school. Throughout the trail, you’ll see notes, bulletins, and photos left by the researchers and students. (This is just another of Disney’s famous themed touches meant to immerse you in a different place.) School kids might be interested to see how the kinds of notes and observations they make in science class could translate to a real-world scenario.
The Trail leads you through forest habitats where okapi and monkeys dwell. A Research Center is home to naked mole rats, tortoises, bullfrogs, and some real creepy crawlies! Don’t be afraid to open the drawers, too – they house specimens ranging from bird wings to shells to insects.
Be sure to grab a bird-spotting guide when you enter the aviary. There are over 20 species of birds that could be flying or waddling around!
The big draw at the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is the gorilla habitat. Cast members are frequently at these viewing spots to impart facts and answer questions about the gorillas. You never know what they’ll be up to so keep an eye out. We’ve seen them grooming, sleeping, climbing trees, and even arguing.
There’s so much to learn on this trail. You can certainly get a lot out of just observing the animals and talking to the cast members. If you want even more info, stop and read the research notes along the way. This is a self-guided trek so take as much time as you like.
FL Next Gen Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.3, SC.K.N.1.2, SC.1.L.14.1, SC.1.L.17.1, SC.2.L.17.2, SC.3.L.15.1, SC.3.N.1.3, SC.4.L.17.4, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3