10 Rookie Mistakes People Make At Disney’s Animal Kingdom In Walt Disney World

Disney’s Animal Kingdom invites guests into a lush and gorgeous park which celebrates the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting it. Guests who spend time in the park can have amazing experiences traveling back in time to see the dinosaurs, flying on the back of a banshee, going on an African safari, reliving the classic story of The Lion King, and coming face to face with the fabled Yeti. With so many amazing experience to have in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests want to make the most of every moment in the park to see as much as possible. There are several rookie mistakes that should definitely be avoided to ensure an amazing day enjoying all that the park has to offer. Here are ten rookie mistakes that guests make at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World.


10. Skipping Rope Drop

A huge rookie mistake that many guests make at all four Walt Disney World theme parks is not arriving for rope drop. Guests who arrive for rope drop get to the park before it is officially open to the public. Before the gates are opened, guests generally are treated to a welcome ceremony which tells them all about the great day that is to come. Guests who arrive early for rope drop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ensure that they are some of the first guests inside of the park and are rewarded with few crowds and low wait times.

9. Not Heading Straight To Pandora – World of Avatar

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.

8. Not Going To Kilimanjaro Safaris Before Lunch

One of our favorite attractions of many in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris which take guests into the Harambe Reserve for a two week safari. Guests are treated to up close encounters with animals including elephants, lions, cheetahs, and giraffes making it an unforgettable experience. A rookie mistake is not heading to the Africa section of the park to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris as soon as possible after Pandora. By visiting the attraction early, guests generally get to see more animals since the temperatures are cooler and breakfast is being served on the savannah!

7. Not Using Mobile Order

No table-service reservations or just want to avoid the quick-service crowds and lines? It’s super simple to use Mobile Ordering at numerous quick-service restaurants throughout Animal Kingdom. Order and pay for your food and drinks from the My Disney Experience app and pick up your food when you arrive. It’s awesome! Quick-service locations accepting Mobile Ordering include locations such as: Flame Tree Barbecue, Harambe Market, Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus and Satu’li Canteen.

6. Skipping The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

Nestled in the Africa section of the park is a self-guided walking tour which allows guests to enter deep into nature and experience up close encounters with different animals. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail invites guests to explore beautifully themed paths full of lush landscaping while spotting animals including meerkat and gorillas. The gorillas are wonderful to watch as they have a massive hilly habitat in which they are regularly active and moving about. Guests who skip this trail are sure to miss out on an amazing experience.

5. Not Using The Lockers

Kali River Rapids brings guests on a thrilling rafting adventure where they are guaranteed to get soaked. The attraction brings guests into the jungle and demonstrates the destruction and devastation of deforestation. Since guests are likely to exit the attraction soaking wet, a rookie mistake is to not take advantage of the storage lockers located near the entrance to Kali River Rapids. The lockers are free to rent for two hours and a great way to protect items that should not get wet.

4. Not Using The Single Rider Line

Expedition Everest features a Single Rider line which allow guests to experience the attraction with a much lower wait time than the stand by queue. Single Rider lines require groups of guests to experience an attraction separately, but as long as they don’t mind it can save lots of time that otherwise would have been spent waiting on line.


3. Not FastPassing Dinosaur

Dinoland is a popular area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is home to a thrilling attraction which brings guests back in time. Dinosaur invites guests into the Dino Institute to bring them back to the time of the dinosaurs where they embark on a thrilling adventure to bring one particular dinosaur back to modern times. Since Dinosaur is so popular, the wait time can be high making it an ideal attraction to book a FastPass for.

2. Skipping Live Shows

Two live performances in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are so amazing that they should never be missed on a visit to the park! The Festival of the Lion King can be found in the Africa section of the park and shares the story of The Lion King through song, dance, aerial ballet, fire dancing, and acrobatics. Finding Nemo – The Musical brings the classic Pixar film to life through massive puppets and a musical number titled “Big Blue World.” Both shows are absolute must dos and a rookie mistake is to skip them!

1. Not Staying 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.

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.