8 Things You Should Definitely Do When You Arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a unique and amazing park.  It is unlike any of the other theme parks at Walt Disney World and it is definitely not a park to be missed. Once you arrive, here are 8 things that you definitely need to make sure that you do at the park:


8. Pick Up A Park Map and Times Guide

You definitely need to grab your own park map and Times Guide (maybe a couple extra if you are a scrapbooker) so that you can familiarize yourself with the park layout and the various shows and times for happenings and attractions.  You will save a lot of time and will be able to prioritize your day if you do a little bit of quick planning and discuss the plan with your family.

7. Head to Pandora – The 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.

6. Donate To The Wildlife Conservation Fund

At many of the merchandise locations you can donate $1 (or more) to the Wildlife Conservation Fund.  When you do that you help fund conservation efforts, and not only that you get a button you can wear around or save, too.  They make great keepsakes from your trip.  You get to do something good and get a souvenir!  It is a win-win!

5. Stroll Through The Exhibits At The Entrance

This is especially wonderful to do if you don’t have a need to be at Pandora – The World of Avatar first thing in the morning. There are so many guests who don’t even realize that there are animals and really neat sights to see right at the front of the park before you get to the Tree of Life. There are species that you can’t see anywhere else in the park, but guests hurry to get to the rides and miss out on learning more about these exhibits. There is even a rope bridge, a cave and other neat things to explore in the area, too.

4. Look For DiVine

DiVine is a really need “character” that you can see hanging out toward the front of the park.  You have to look very close for her, since she is actually a moving vine that will move slowly and infrequently throughout the greenery of the area.  She is beautiful and a very neat interaction to have.  You definitely want to look for her and get a couple pictures on your next trip.

3. Go On The Kilimanjaro Safaris Attraction

Outside of Pandora’s attractions, Kilimanjaro is definitely one of the most popular attractions in the entire park. We recommend Kilimanjaro as soon as you are able to in the morning. You get to board a ride vehicle and go on a ride through the African savanna and see the amazing and beautiful animals that live there.  There are elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes and so much more. You even get to be extremely close to some of the animals for great views and photos.



2. Take Your Picture In Front Of The Tree Of Life

You have to commemorate your trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a picture in front of the icon for the park.  The Tree of Life has various animals carved into the trunk of the tree, and is completely artificial, yet massive and impressive.   Disney PhotoPass photographers also have neat props and “Magic Shots” that they can do to enhance your pictures in front of the tree, so be sure to ask about that, too.

1. Earn Badges As A Wilderness Explorer

If you are familiar with the movie, Up, then you will know all about what the Wilderness Explorers.  Disney has brought Wilderness Explorers to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  You can earn your badges all over the park by completing various activities and learning more about the animals that live there and their care.  It is completely free to do, so be sure to meet up at the station close to the Tree of Life to get your map and get started.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!