7 Rookie Mistakes People Make At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

By Caitlin Corsello

Walt Disney World is home to four theme parks and the largest of the group celebrates the beauty and importance of nature. Disney’s Animal Kingdom invites guests into a massive park to enjoy the splendors of nature and the environment and learn the importance of protecting them. Guests who spend time in the park can enjoy experiences like traveling back to the time of the dinosaurs, facing off with the Yeti in the Forbidden Mountain, going on an African safari, shrinking down to the size of a bug, and braving some serious rapids. With so many amazing things to experience in the park, guests will want to make the most of each moment they have. Guests who don’t do some research before visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom can end up making some rookie mistakes which can leave a guest losing a lot of time. By avoiding making rookie mistakes, guests are sure to have a fantastic time in the park! Here are seven rookie mistakes that guests make at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


7. Not Arriving For Rope Drop –

A rookie mistake that many guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom make is not arriving at the park for rope drop. Arriving for rope drop involves getting to the park shortly before it is set to open to the public for the day. By arriving early, guests can enjoy a welcome speech which hints at the excitement that is to be enjoyed once inside the park. In addition, arriving for rope drop allows guests to be some of the first inside the park leaving them with few crowds, low wait times, and barely crowded walkways.

6. Not Visiting Kilimanjaro Safaris First –

Guests who enter into the park at rope drop make a rookie mistake if they do not head to Kilimanjaro Safaris first! Located in the Africa section of the park, the attraction invites guests into the fictional Harambe Reserve for a two week safari through the jungles and savannahs of Africa. Along the way guests can enjoy unique sightings of animals including giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, and zebras. Guests should make sure to visit Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing in the morning as the temperatures are cooler and breakfast is being served meaning the animals will be more active and visible from the safari vehicles.

5. Not Using The Single Rider Line –

One of the best ways to save some time in Walt Disney World that often goes overlooked by rookies is using a Single Rider Line. Several attractions throughout the parks feature a Single Rider Line and it allows guests to experience the same attraction with a fraction of the wait. As long as guests don’t mind their party being split up, using a Single Rider Line is a great way to still experience amazing attractions while saving time that otherwise would have been spent waiting on line. Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom should use the Single Rider Line when visiting Expedition Everest which has guests to face off with the Yeti as they rocket through the Forbidden Mountain.

4. Skipping The Trails –

Two of the most underrated attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom often are overlooked by guests in a rookie mistake! The Maharajah Jungle Trek in the Asia section of the park invites guests to take a self-guided walking tour of the Anandapur Royal Forest where they can observe fruit bats, gibbons, and Asian tigers. In the Africa section of the park near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris is the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail which invites guests to wander through lush jungles and observe meerkats and playful gorillas.


3. Not FastPassing Dinosaur –

A rookie mistake guests make which can lose a lot of time in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not booking a FastPass for the thrilling Dinosaur attraction. Located in the Dinoland area of the park, the attraction welcomes guests into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back in time has been discovered. Since the attraction is so popular, it tends to regularly have a long wait time. Guests who book FastPasses for Dinosaur can experience the attraction with little to no wait time and use the time that would have otherwise been spent waiting on line to enjoy other areas of the park.

2. Skipping Festival Of The Lion King –

One of the best live performances in all of Walt Disney World can be found in the Harambe Theater in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Festival of the Lion King invites guests to relive the classic Disney animated film The Lion King. The story is told through familiar music and characters, live acting, fire dancing, aerial ballet, and amazing acrobatics. Guests who don’t enjoy The Festival of the Lion King are definitely making a rookie mistake!

1. Not Eating At Yak & Yeti Restaurant –

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to some amazing dining locations, and guests who don’t take the time to stop and enjoy a meal are making a rookie mistake. The Yak & Yeti Restaurant is run by a family who spent years traveling Southeast Asia collecting recipes and artwork, and guests can dine on options including Tempura Shrimp, Teriyaki Mahi Mahi, and Orange Beef. Guests will be sure to love the cuisine and atmosphere at Yak & Yeti Restaurant and should save room for the Fried Wontons for dessert!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.