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9 Things Disney Insiders Do At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests who visit Walt Disney World love spending time in Disney’s Animal Kingdom which celebrates the beauty and importance of nature. The park features several different distinct areas which are filled with attractions, live performances, dining options, and shopping locations for guests to enjoy. With so many amazing things to see on a day in the park, guests want to make the most out of each moment and can do so by following a few tips and tricks that Disney insiders love. By following these few simple steps, guests can save time and frustration while enjoying the park and have the best time possible there. Here are nine things that Disney insiders do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

9. Rope Drop –

One of the best Disney insider tips for any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks is to arrive for rope drop. This involves arriving at the park shortly before its official opening, which ensures that guests are some of the first people inside and are treated with few crowds and low wait times. Arriving for rope drop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom allows guests to enjoy the park with little to no wait time on attractions and also be more comfortable as the temperatures are cooler in the early mornings.

8. Visit Pandora – The World of Avatar 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 (Valley of Mo’ara) 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.

7. Head To Kilimanjaro Safaris Before Lunch –

A flagship attraction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Africa section of the park. The attraction invites guests into the Harambe Reserve for a two week African safari complete with up close and personal encounters with animals including cheetahs, lions, giraffes, elephants, and hippos. By visiting Kilimanjaro Safaris in the morning, guests are sure to have lower wait times and also find themselves spotting many more animals than at a later hour. This is thanks to the lower temperatures leaving the animals more comfortable moving about as well as breakfast being served!

6. Single Rider Expedition Everest –

One of the most thrilling attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found looming over the Asia section of the park. Expedition Everest allows guests to explore the Forbidden Mountain where they find themselves desperately trying to escape the fabled Yeti. Since the attraction is so popular, the wait time can often exceed an hour on busy days in the park. Disney insiders love taking advantage of the Single Rider line to save themselves lots of time. Single Riders lines exist throughout Walt Disney World and allow guests to experience popular attractions with lower wait times as long as they are okay being split up. Guests who don’t mind their party being split up should definitely take advantage of the Single Rider line at Expedition Everest as it allows them to enjoy the same experience at a fraction of the wait time.

5. FastPass Dinosaur –

Aside from Expedition Everest, the attraction that is the most thrilling and popular is Dinosaur in the Dinoland area of the park. Dinosaur invites guests into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back to prehistoric times has been developed. Guests soon find themselves dangerously close to the massive asteroid impact trying to bring one particular dinosaur back with them to present times. Since the attraction is so popular, it can have high wait times on busy days in Disney’s Animal Kingdom so Disney insiders love booking a FastPass for it. By having a FastPass, guests can still visit Dinosaur but enjoy the experience with little to no wait time.

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4. Explore The Trails –

Two underrated experiences in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are self-guided walking tours which brings guests deep into the forest and temple ruins to explore beautiful details and observe majestic animals. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa invites guests to take their time enjoying a lush forest full of meerkats and gorillas. The Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia brings guests deep into the Anandapur Royal Forest which is filled with gorgeous temple ruins, Asian tigers, fruit bats, and dozens of species of birds. Both experiences are rarely crowded allowing guests to wander serenely at their own pace as they enjoy the animals and beautiful surroundings.

3. Dine At Yak & Yeti Restaurant –

Disney insiders know the importance of taking a break from the attractions in the parks to dine on some delicious cuisine. One of the best full service dining options in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Yak & Yeti Restaurant which serves up Southeast Asian cuisine in a wonderful setting. The backstory of the restaurant is that of a family who traveled around Southeast Asia collecting artifacts and recipes before returning home to open their doors to guests. Those who dine in Yak & Yeti Restaurant can enjoy options like Teriyaki Mahi Mahi, Kalbi Steak and Coconut Shrimp, Ginger Salmon, and delicious Fried Wontons.

2. Enjoy Festival of the Lion King –

Nestled in the Harambe Theater is the best live performance in all of Walt Disney World. The Festival of the Lion King brings guests into an immersive experience that relives the classic tale of the Disney animated film The Lion King. Guests are invited to join the fun with fire dancers, musical performances, beloved characters, aerial ballet, and plenty of audience participation. Disney insiders know that no visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is complete without seeing The Festival of the Lion King!

1. Stay For The Nighttime Entertainment – 

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.

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.