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10 Suggestions For Having A Great Day At Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

1. Plan Ahead

If you’ve visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom in recent years, you may not have thought much about planning ahead. Unlike some of the other parks, you were generally able to get FastPasses and even dining reservations the day of your visit. With the park’s extended hours and the opening of Pandora: World of Avatar, this perception has finally begun to change. With Pandora still being an extremely popular land at Walt Disney World, lines for attractions continue to be about two hours long, and FastPasses can be very beneficial if you plan early enough to have them. You’ll also want to visit the park during the daytime and evening hours, and you may need to spend some time moving around your plans to make this happen.

 

2. Spend More Than One Day

If you have the time on your vacation, you will not be disappointed in spending multiple days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Evenings in the park offer a completely different experience than days, and you may find yourself wanting to visit more than once. If you cannot make it to the park twice in one trip, plan on spending the entire day in the park perhaps with only a break in the middle to take a break at the resort if you need to.

3. Try The Food

Animal Kingdom has really stepped up its game in terms of food, and some guests believe the park may even rival Epcot in terms of one of the best places to try new food while at Disney. The park’s unique quick service restaurants particularly in Asia, Africa, and now in Pandora make snacking on the go delicious and memorable, and favorite table service restaurants have been joined by the new signature dining experience, Tiffins and the Nomad Lounge.

4. And The Drinks

You’ll find specialty cocktails and craft brews all around Disney’s Animal Kingdom. New bars and lounges have also been popping up in recent years, and you will not be disappointed. For a relaxing ambiance, try Nomad Lounge in Discovery Island, but for a more festive experience stop for a drink at the Dawa Bar in Africa, and catch the nearby entertainment while you’re there.

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5. Check The Entertainment Schedule

Animal Kingdom is full of live entertainment that happens throughout the day all over the park. Grab a times guide on your way into the park or check the My Disney Experience app to see what entertainment is taking place during your visit. Not a planner? Visit Animal Kingdom in the later afternoon or early evening, as the streetmosphere performances really begin to pick up.

6. See The Tree Of Life Awakenings

The Tree of Life Awakenings take place beginning about an hour or so before the park closes each evening. While you may be busy rushing over to Pandora for your ride on Flight of Passage, you’ll want to be sure you make the time to stroll through Discovery Island to catch this show. The lighting on the tree is exquisite, and it is the best way to end an evening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

7. See The Animals

Far too many guests visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom and actually skip seeing some of the animals. The animals are why the park exists, and although you may not want to add any extra walking to a Disney trip, the animal walking trails are so worth it. Some of the animals you can see in the UP! The Great Bird Adventure show or on Kilimanjaro Safari, but others including tigers, gorillas, bats, komodo dragons, and more, you cannot see anywhere else besides the trails.

8. Donate To The Conservation Fund

Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund works directly with wildlife nonprofit organizations to protect wildlife all around the world. If you are looking for a way to help animals like the ones you’ve seen in the park, the conservation fund is a great way to do so because Disney covers all of the fund’s overhead costs, and the company matches each donation. You can donate as little as the change that is owed to you when paying for a transaction at a merchandise shop or quick service restaurant, or as much as you want!

9. Don’t Skip The Shows

In any theme park, rides always overshadow shows. Though this is understandable you would seriously be missing out if you allow yourself to miss out on shows like Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and UP! A Great Bird Adventure Show. Even It’s Tough to Be a Bug can be a fun experience that too many guests skip in favor of focusing on rides alone. Shows also do not really come with the wait times that rides do, so seeing the shows when the lines for rides are long is never a bad idea.

10. Take Your Time

It is tempting to rush through the park trying to see as much as you can during your visit, but for Animal Kingdom especially you’ll want to take it slow, especially in Pandora. The park’s newest land offers an entirely different experience at night, so you’ll want to come back and visit after dark and take your time to notice all of the details. Animal Kingdom’s other lands are full of details as well, and if you slow it down and take the time to notice them you are sure to feel fully immersed in an all-new place.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.