I LOVE Disney’s Animal Kingdom!! It is intricately themed and has wonderful rides, shows and dining options. Much has been going on at Animal Kingdom recently, with the park transitioning into a night-time park and adding new dining options and new shows to be enjoyed! In 2017 the park will expand even more with the opening of Avatar Land!
Gideon and I are very much looking forward to going back to Animal Kingdom on our next Disney trip. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your day at Animal Kingdom:
Head to Kilimanjaro Safaris early in the day: Kilimanjaro safaris is a safari experience which takes you up close to lots of different animals, through swamp and savanna! It’s amazing any time of day and you will have a unique experience on every trip because the animals are constantly moving around. However, it is said that the best time to ride is early in the morning as this is when the animals are at their most active! Another advantage of riding early is that queues are generally shorter. This ride is the most popular in the park so often generates long queues.
Don’t skip the shows: It might seem easy to skip some of Animal Kingdoms shows such as Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Musical in favour of riding more attractions, but they are definitely worth seeing! Festival of the Lion King especially is an absolute stand out show which shouldn’t be missed in our opinion. The lesser known flights of wonder also bears mentioning as a hidden gem where you get to learn about many of the feathered friends that live in Animal Kingdom!
Try some of the unique dining options: Animal Kingdom has expanded its dining options lately with the addition of the Harambe marketplace which serves African inspired foods and the more upmarket tiffins restaurant. In each of the different parts of the park you will be able to find food options that are inspired by foods from that area, from Tusker house buffet in the Africa section to Yak and Yeti in the Asia section or just some good old BBQ at flame tree in Discovery Island. There is something for everyone at Animal Kingdom so explore your options well and don’t just settle for burger and fries (unless of course thats what you really fancy).
Fastpass Expedition Everest or use the single rider line: Expedition Everest is Animal Kingdoms top thrill ride and is not to be missed by rollercoaster fans! It is both exhilarating and has an excellent story and theming throughout. Naturally though it is also very popular and often generates long standby wait times, so use a fastpass for it or consider the single rider line if you don’t mind riding by yourself as this often cuts the wait time considerably.
Do the walking trails: It can be easy to skip some of the wildlife trails in favour of other attractions, but they are rarely crowded and can make a nice break from the busy main areas of the park. There are a variety of animals to see on the trails that you can’t see elsewhere in the park such as Tigers in the Maharajah jungle trek and Gorillas on the Pagani forest trail. Plus the areas have some really beautiful Disney details built into them, as evidenced by the below photos I took on the Maharajah jungle trek!
Consider a mid day break: Although there are some shaded areas, Animal Kingdom is very much an outdoor park and therefore in the hotter months the heat can get unbearable. If heat bothers you, consider taking a mid-day break and heading back to the hotel for a rest then coming back in the late afternoon, which you can now do easily thanks to the recent extension in parks hours. If that isn’t convenient, perhaps plan to do some of the indoor shows during the hottest part of the day so that you can have a break from the sun for a while.
Don’t miss the night time entertainment: Granted, we haven’t been since the park hours were extended to include those in the evening and after dark, but I cannot wait to experience all the new night time offerings the park has to offer. The tree of life awakening projection show looks particularly amazing, and I’m sure the new night time safari will prove to be a completely different experience to it’s daytime equivalent. I cannot wait to spend an evening at Animal Kingdom during our next trip and experience all the new night time offerings first hand!
There are so many other great things to see and do in Animal Kingdom which we haven’t really mentioned such as Dinosaur, It’s Tough to be a Bug and Kali River Rapids so carve out a whole day to spend here if you can in order to have the time to experience and enjoy it all!
What are your top tips? Let us know in the comments!