Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World and it celebrates the beauty and importance of nature and the environment. Guests who visit the park are treated to experiences like an African safari, the chance to dive into the ocean with characters from Pixar’s Finding Nemo, fly on the back of a Banshee, and even travel back in time to get up close and personal with the dinosaurs. With so much to see and enjoy in the park, guests want to save as much time as possible in order to see it all. There are several tips and tricks that guests can use to save time while exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom which will leave them more time to enjoy the park and discover some of the hidden secrets and details it holds. Here are ten tips and secrets to enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
10. Visit Pandora First –
Pandora – The World of Avatar is the newest land in the Animal Kingdom theme park. This is exactly why you’ll want to head to this part of the park as soon as you arrive in the morning – due to huge crowds! Here you will find two extremely popular attractions known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. You can expect a thrilling ride on Avatar Flight of Passage as you climb aboard a Banshee (dragon-like creature) and ride through the beautiful World of Avatar. The Na’vi River Journey is a perfect family-friendly attraction as guests boat down river and see just how beautiful the Na’vi tribe’s rainforest is with bioluminescence lighting and the latest animatronics. Unfortunately, you can only FastPass ONE of these two attractions. We recommend you FastPass one and head to the other the moment the park opens. Outside of these two attractions, the land is almost like an attraction itself with stunning beauty and ability to interact with guests… especially as it glows at night! Expect large crowds to be flocking to this area for quite some time.
9. Single Rider Option on Everest –
One of the best ways to save time in Walt Disney World is to take advantage of the single rider lines offered on popular attractions in the parks. These lines are separate from the standby lines and tend to have wait times that are much lower. Guests who don’t mind being split up once at the loading area of the attraction can save tons of time by opting to use the single rider line. Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom features a single rider line which can save plenty of time that otherwise would have been spent waiting on line!
8. Dinosaur’s Pipes –
Dinosaur takes guests into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back in time and rub elbows with the dinosaurs has been discovered. Guests find themselves on a thrilling journey close to a massive asteroid impact in an attempt to bring a dinosaur back to present day. While descending down a flight of stairs into the loading area, guests pass underneath an interesting set of pipes which pay tribute to the original sponsor of the attraction. The trio of pipes are red, yellow, and white and feature complicated chemical formulas. When simplified, the pipes represent ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise in a subtle tribute to McDonald’s who sponsored the attraction when it first opened.
7. Free Lockers –
Kali River Rapids in the Asia section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes guests on a thrilling journey down the Chakrandi River and shows the devastation created by illegal foresting. The attraction pretty much guarantees that guests will leave soaking wet. A great tip to remember when enjoying Kali River Rapids is to take advantage of the nearby lockers which are free for up to two hours. Guests can store personal belongings in the locker and enjoy the attraction knowing that their things won’t be soaking wet at the end!
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6. Secret Entrance –
On busy mornings in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the lines leading up the entrance of the park can become pretty long. Guests who are looking to save a few minutes and get into the park faster can utilize a secret entrance inside the nearby Rainforest Café. Inside the restaurant is an entrance into the park that rarely has a line as many guests don’t realize it exists.
5. Early Morning Treks –
Two of the most underrated and enjoyable experiences in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are self-guided nature walks through different environments. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa takes guests into lush jungles where they can observe gorillas and meerkets and the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia takes guests through lush temple ruins for beautiful views of Asian tigers, bats, and plenty of birds. These walks are rarely ever crowded since they are off the beaten path and guests who visit in the early mornings will often times find low crowds and active animals enjoying the cool temperatures and their breakfasts.
4. Hidden Mickey –
One of the largest Hidden Mickey’s in Walt Disney World can be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests who hop aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris at one point pass by a small island covered in beautiful flamingos. Those who look closely through the birds will notice that the island actually forms a classic Hidden Mickey!
3. Don’t Skip The Shows –
Two of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are live shows that are Broadway caliber and take guests into the world of classic Disney films. The Festival of the Lion King combines characters and music from The Lion King with live performers, acrobats, fire dancers, and aerial dancers for a production which is amazing. Finding Nemo –The Musical is a massive stage show which combines live acting and larger than life puppets to retell the story of Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Both shows are beautifully done and not to be missed on a day in the park, so guests should consult times guides to make sure that they are there for show time!
2. Look For Di’Vine –
This character is so hidden in plain sight that many guests pass right by her without even noticing! DiVine is a character up on stilts and beautifully camouflaged with vines, leaves, branches, and body paint so that she looks exactly like a living plant. She can often be found on the walkway between Africa and Asia and is a great character to stop and take a photo with.
1. Stay For The Evening Hours –
You don’t want to skip out early from Animal Kingdom! Now coming to life at night, guest have the opportunity to enjoy an amphitheater style show called Rivers of Light where nature is celebrated in an incredibly beautiful way! The Tree of Life Awakenings is a perfect way to cap off the evening with its projections and music lighting up the iconic Animal Kingdom symbol. And finally, the perfect evening experience is a visit to Pandora – World of Avatar to see this beautiful land glow at night! Truly remarkable.