Uzima Pool

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of those places that is chock full of things to explore and learn. So we’re giving you bite-size pieces, starting with Uzima Pool. This main feature pool at Jambo House was one of the first on Walt Disney World property to be built with a zero-depth entry point to mimic a real beach. Visiting the pool is always a great, relaxing way to spend some vacation time. But when you’re at Uzima, be on the lookout for special signage that teaches a bit about the circle of life.

Pool Post Pool Info

Just beyond Uzima Springs pool bar is a singular post with four in-depth facts about how animals and plants depend on each other and their environment for survival. There are explanations of certain animal behaviors, such as how animals recycle in the wild and why they develop co-dependent relationships. You can also read about breeding seasons and how seeds travel miles and miles to be planted as food for future generations.


FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.1.L.17.1, SC.2.L.16.1, SC.3.L.17.1, SC.4.L.17.2, SC.4.L.17.4, SC.5.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.912.L.17.6

Flame Tree Barbecue

This quick service restaurant is not only a great spot for a barbecue fix (they’re famous for their Flame Tree BBQ rub), it’s also a hidden learning opportunity.

Flame TreeAfter ordering and picking up from the main building, make your way to one of seven colorful pavilions for a table. Each pavilion is themed around a different predator/prey pair. This place is about eating after all! Look up and around you to find out who is chasing whom. This can be especially fun for younger children who may be drawn to the whimsical animals and the concept of matching.

Flame Tree3 Flame Tree2 Flame Tree9

As you check out each pavilion, keep your eyes open for birds, anteaters, rabbits, spiders, fish, and more.


FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.1.L.17.1, SC.3.L.15.1, SC.4.L.17.2, SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.912.L.17.6

Flights of Wonder

Most guests are sure to make a stop in Asia during their visit to Animal Kingdom. Many of them head straight to Expedition Everest, definitely a worthwhile attraction, but some folks may not know there is a stellar live animal show to take in as well.

Toward the entrance to Asia you’ll find the Caravan Stage. This venue is home to the Flights of Wonder bird show. The story goes that this location was once where the maharajas kept their exotic birds. Now these ruins are a conservatory and research center. The hosts of the show are trainers who will introduce you to several species, giving facts about what endangers the birds in the wild and what conservation efforts are being made today. A tour guide character, who happens to be afraid of birds, provides some comic relief, too.


FOW3This show is interactive, and lucky audience members may be chosen to participate on stage as the hosts help to show off some of the birds’ fascinating natural behaviors. They pack in a lot of neat facts and there are countless photo opportunities from any seat in the audience.


Flights of Wonder is a great show for all ages. The antics of the tour guide are funny for kids, but the birds themselves are amazing for everyone. The Caravan Stage is open air and well shaded so it makes for a nice break during the day. Of course that means the show is also subject to weather, so be prepared. Some of the birds take flight in the amphitheater and they come quite close, so if you have a fear of birds, this may not be the show for you. The hosts will stay after the show with some of the birds for more pictures or to answer questions. It’s a cool experience for any animal lover.


FL Next Gen Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.3, SC.1.L.17.1, SC.2.L.17.1, SC.4.L.16.3, SC.4.L.17.4, SC.7.L.17.3

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

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. IMG_3161

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.

IMG_3171The 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.

IMG_3169 IMG_3196There’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

Rainforest Café – Marketplace

The Marketplace is a great place for shopping and dining with the whole family.  But you may not know there are some hidden learning opportunities here, too!

The Rainforest Café is a fun place to eat with the wild décor and animals throughout the dining rooms.  But if you head into the merchandise location, you’ll find Tracy Tree.  She may be snoozing when you first see her, but every couple of minutes she awakes to offer facts about the rainforest.  With so much activity and so many sounds in the shop, it can be a little hard to hear her sometimes, but you may just catch a fun fact you didn’t know before.

The Rainforest Café also hosts a bird show daily from noon to 2pm just outside the restaurant entrance.  (Ask a host or hostess to be sure the show will go on that day.)  A company of parrots demonstrate tricks and mimicry while their handlers give information about the birds and answer questions.  It’s a fun treat for animal lovers old and young.


FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.2, SC.K.L.14.3, SC.2.L.17.2, SC.3.L.15.1, SC.4.L.16.3