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10 Things No One Tells You About Visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom In Walt Disney World

Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings guests directly into nature and celebrates the beauty of the environment through many different themed areas. Guests who spend time in the park can experience everything from traveling back in time, going on an African safari, exploring the Forbidden Mountain, riding on the back of a Banshee, and interacting with dinosaurs. With so many things to see and enjoy on a day in the park, guests will want to make the most of their time in order to see it all. There are several things that guests can do to save time while in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and thus enjoy more that the park has to offer. By following a few simple tricks and tips, guests will be sure to have an amazing time exploring the park. Here are ten things that no one tells guests about visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

10. Rope Drop –

One of the easiest ways that guests can save time at any of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World is by arriving for rope drop each morning. This entails arriving before the park officially opens to the public. By being there so early, guests ensure that they are some of the first people inside of the park and are rewarded with few crowds and low wait times on some of the most popular attractions. Guests who arrive for rope drop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can hear a nice speech which welcomes them to the park and tells them of the exciting adventures to come.

9. 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 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. Kilimanjaro Before Lunch –

After visit Pandora, guests should head to the Africa section to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris. This is one of the flagship attractions of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, taking guests into the Harambe Reserve for a two week safari where they can get up close and personal with giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, and zebras. There are several advantages to experiencing Kilimanjaro Safaris early in the day. Guests experience little to no wait and are almost guaranteed to see more animals out and about since the temperatures are cooler.

7. Eat At Yak & Yeti –

An often overlooked full service restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is tucked away in the Asia section of the park. The Yak & Yeti Restaurant serves up Pan-Asian cuisine in an intricately designed location. The restaurant’s backstory is that a family spent time traveling throughout Southeast Asia collecting recipes, artwork, décor, and items which are now proudly served up and on display at the restaurant. Guests who stop for a meal at Yak & Yeti Restaurant can dine on options including tempura shrimp and delicious fried wontons for dessert!

6. Show Times –

Two of the most popular experiences in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are Broadway caliber live stage shows. The Festival of the Lion King in the Africa section of the park retells the story of the classic Disney animated film through live performances, aerial ballet, acrobatics, and fire dancing. Finding Nemo – The Musical is located in Dinoland and brings the classic Pixar film Finding Nemo to life with massive puppets and an exclusive song. These two performances are must dos on a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and some guests don’t realize that they only occur several times each day. Guests should be sure to consult a times guide at the front of the park and check show times to make sure that they don’t miss out on these two amazing shows.

5. Eat At Flame Tree Barbecue –

A great place to stop and enjoy a quick service meal in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Flame Tree Barbecue found in the Discovery Island area of the park. Guests who stop for lunch are dinner are usually drawn in by the delicious smell of barbecue foods including ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and turkey legs. After ordering up their meals, guests should head behind the counters for a lovely patio overlooking the river with a sweeping view of Expedition Everest. With great food, an amazing view, and a gentle breeze from the water, Flame Tree Barbecue is the perfect place to stop for a meal in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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4. Single Rider Line –

Throughout the four theme parks of Walt Disney World there are several attractions which feature a unique option that can save lots of time. A Single Rider line allows guests to experience the same attraction with a much lower wait time. Those who don’t mind splitting up their parties at the loading area should definitely take advantage of Single Rider lines and save themselves lots of time that otherwise would have been spent waiting on line. Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom features a Single Rider line and guests should definitely take advantage of it to save themselves time that they can use to explore other areas of the park.

3. FastPass Dinosaur –

The two attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom which tend to be the most popular and have the longest wait times are Expedition Everest and Dinosaur. Since Expedition Everest has a Single Rider line, guests should use opt to book a FastPass for Dinosaur instead. Dinosaur brings guests into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back in time and come face to face with dinosaurs has been developed. Guests who book a FastPass for Dinosaur get to experience the amazing attraction with a low wait time and use the saved time to explore the rest of the park.

2. Explore The Oasis –

The front portion of the park is called The Oasis and is full of beautiful lush plant life and various animal habitats. Often times, guests enter into the park and directly head to other areas to experience attractions or shows and they spend little to no time in The Oasis. Guests who are leaving Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the day should take their time moving towards the exit and enjoy all that The Oasis has to offer for the perfect end to a day in the park.

1. Enjoy 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.