Don’t forget to include Animal Kingdom at night when you’re planning your next Disney World itinerary. It used to be that a visit to the Disney theme parks included a trip to Animal Kingdom during the day, then it was off to the other parks for the fireworks and other popular nighttime attractions. Find out why this is no longer the case and the top 5 reasons that a visit to Animal Kingdom at night should be high on your to-do list!

Rivers Of Light is a big reason to visit Animal Kingdom at night

Don’t miss the beautiful Rivers Of Light attraction showing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

 

It used to be that whenever we visited the Disney theme parks, we’d do Animal Kingdom during the day and once the sun went down, head to another park for the fireworks and other nighttime shows. That’s no longer the case. Disney has added so many nighttime attractions at Animal Kingdom that you don’t have to go anywhere else. Now you can have just as much fun at night as you do during the day. Keep reading to find out the top five reasons we love Animal Kingdom at night!

#5: Party at the Discovery Island Carnivale

We always love a good party and the Discovery Island Carnivale is lively and fun! We actually stumbled upon this one night while waiting for the Tree Of Life Awakenings to begin. Performers in brightly colored Carnivale clothes sing, dance, play music and even prance around on stilts. Audience participation is encouraged, and kids and adults alike had a great time.

Visit Animal Kingdom at night and join in the Discover Island Carnivale

Kids and adults alike will enjoy the Discovery Island Carnivale Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

There are a number of parties throughout the night so just check the Animal Kingdom schedule if you want to join the Carnivale.

#4 Get Wet On Kali River Rapids At Night

Everyone in my family loves this ride…except my husband. It doesn’t matter where he sits, he is always the one that gets so drenched that he leaves a trail of water behind him as he walks off. My little Keira loves sitting next to daddy because it means she gets soaked too. Now the girls and I have another reason to love this ride because we can ride it at night for a completely different experience. According to Disney, Kali River Rapids at night reveals even more mysterious twists and turns through the rainforest. I wonder if that means more waterfalls for my hubby to get stuck under? Thank goodness he’s a good sport!

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

Another reason to visit Animal Kingdom at night: the Kali River Rapids will take you through a dark and mysterious rainforest Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

TravelingMom Tip: You may want to wait until warmer weather to try this out because even sunny Florida can get chilly at night.

#3 See The Animals At Night On Kilimanjaro Safari Nocturnal Encounters

This is at the top of my list for our next visit to Animal Kingdom. In the past, the Kilimanjaro Safari stopped running when the sun went down. We always had a great time, but the nocturnal animals were often sleeping or hiding out of sight. Now we’ll be able to see what they get up to when the sun goes down. I also think it would be fun to take the tour during the day and then again that night to get the best of both worlds!

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

Visit the Animal Kingdom at night for a Kilimanjaro Safari Nocturnal Encounter Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

#2 Watch The Tree Of Life Awaken In Animal Kingdom At Night

I love the Tree of Life. It’s the perfect symbol for what Animal Kingdom represents, and we love finding new animals among the over 300 carved intricately into the tree.

However, we’d never seen the Tree Of Life quite like this! Every 10 minutes from the time the sun goes down until the park closes, the Tree Of Life “awakens.” It begins with the tree being lit with an array of beautiful colors. Pictures don’t even do it justice. It’s absolutely stunning in person!

It's worth a visit to Animal Kingdom at night to see the Tree Of Life beautifully lit

The Tree Of Life is a must-see at night Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, hidden animals suddenly come to life! Hummingbirds fall in love, a young deer begins an exciting journey and a cute little fox pops its head out.

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

If you visit the Animal Kingdom at night, be sure you stay to watch the Tree Of Life “awaken” Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

It’s fun to hear the crowd “ooh” and “ahh” as new animals appear and it almost starts to feel like they’re real! This ranks among my favorite Disney attractions and it’s definitely worth staying up for.

#1 Experience The Beauty Of The Rivers Of Light

Disney’s Rivers Of Light Nighttime Experience is the new nighttime show that just debuted February 17th. While I enjoyed the Jungle Book show from last year, this show goes above and beyond! As soon as I saw the brightly lit lotus flowers floating across the lake, I knew this would be good.

Rivers Of Light is a must-see if you visit Animal Kingdom at night

Rivers of Light is a beautiful addition to Disney’s nighttime shows Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

The lotus flowers open up for more Disney magic.

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

The lotus flowers are one of the many highlights of the Rivers Of Light show Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

Keeping with the nature theme of Animal Kingdom, there were brightly lit wild animals floats as well.

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

Rivers Of Light also features beautifully lit wild animals Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

However, my favorite part had to be the images reflected on the water as it’s sprayed against the sky. It’s pretty amazing how they pull it off and the effect is spectacular. If you pay close attention, you’ll even catch previously unseen footage from Disneynature films.

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

The images reflected off sprays of water are spectacular and a very good reason to visit Animal Kingdom at night Photo Credit: Lisa O’Driscoll / Do It All TravelingMom

TravelingMOM tip: If the kids are tired, sit near the back to make a quick getaway once the show ends.

If you’re excited about these attractions, just wait! Pandora – The World Of Avatar opens on May 27 and from the sneak peeks I’ve seen, it’s going to be spectacular!

With new after dark attractions and stunning nighttime shows, find out why you can't miss visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at night.

Visit Animal Kingdom after May 27th to enjoy Pandora – The World Of Avatar Photo Credit: WDW News

Planning a trip to Disney World? Don't just go to Animal Kingdom for the day. Stick around after the sun goes down and check out the amazing new attractions and show!

Have you been to Animal Kingdom at night lately? If so, what were your favorite attractions?