The Best Shows in Animal Kingdom

Shows at Disney World often get overlooked because most guests are eager to experience all the excitement and thrills of the rides. The shows in all the parks are worth a second look. They are relatively quick (think 45 minutes or less for most of them), offer an opportunity to sit down for a bit, and are highly engaging and entertaining! These are the best shows in Animal Kingdom at Disney World.

Parking entrance to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Must See Animal Kingdom Shows

In the Animal Kingdom, there are several “must see” shows you do not want to miss. Obviously, there are many great “street” performances such as Burudika in Africa, Chakranadi in Asia, and DJ Anaan in Asia.

However, I want to focus today on the attractions with consistent show times throughout the day.

Spend some time off your feet in Disney's Animal Kingdom! Check out these amazing, can't miss shows on your next Disney World vacation! #disneyshows #disneyworld #disneytraveltips

Festival of the Lion King-Africa

The first time my girls ever visited Disney World, they were enamored with Festival of the Lion King. This is a great show that only lasts about 30 minutes, and plays multiple times each day. Find it in the Harambe Theater, toward the left side of the Africa section of the Animal Kingdom.

It’s a musical extravaganza that takes you through the an abbreviated telling of the animated classic. If you’ve ever seen the stage production of The Lion King, the costumes will seem very familiar to you as they seem to have taken their cues from the Broadway show.

If you are visiting Disney World this year, I highly, HIGHLY recommend this show.

Finding Nemo-The Musical-Between Asia & Dinoland USA

Another show you won’t want to miss in Animal Kingdom is Finding Nemo-The Musical. Much like Festival of the Lion King, this musical features all your favorite characters from the Disney-Pixar movie of the same name.

This time however, most of the action takes places between live, puppeted characters with the puppeteers blending in seamlessly. After a few minutes, you’ll probably forget that there are actual people on the stage singing and dancing and not just the puppets.

Finding Nemo-The Musical is a little longer than most shows at around 40 minutes. It is a high quality production that will leave you feeling satisfied with time well spent.

UP! A Great Bird Adventure-Asia

A relatively new show, UP! A Great Bird Adventure pairs Wilderness Explorer Russell with his loyal friend Dug on a high flying adventure. Russell, Dug, and their troop leader learn all about bird species from around the world.

This show is a free flying bird show, so be prepared for swooping, soaring birds overhead. It lasts approximately 25 minutes and runs about five times a day.

It’s Tough to Be a Bug-Discovery Island

Next, we can’t miss the classic attraction It’s Tough to Be a Bug must be included, even if I’m not a huge fan of the show.

Based on the movie A Bug’s Life, the show is a 3D film and live animatronic show combined. There are dark and loud moments, so make sure you and/or your little ones are prepared!

Seating for this show is indoors “under” the Tree of Life. There is ample seating, so I wouldn’t waste a FastPass+ reservation on this one if I were you.

Rivers of Light-Asia

Finally, end your perfect Animal Kingdom day with its nighttime show Rivers of Light-We Are One. Featuring a new story line with footage from Disneynature films and animal-inspired Disney animated films, Rivers of Light: We Are One is about the journey we all share through the circle of life.

Water feature during the Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom

This show plays at 7pm and 8:15pm each night, subject to weather conditions, and it lasts 17 minutes. Seating for this show is outdoors, so poor weather can cancel or delay a performance.

Animal shadows during the River of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Do you have a favorite show at Animal Kingdom? I’d love to hear the “must-do” shows on your list!