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The Secret Entrance Into Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to some of the most immersive attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort. With Kilimanjaro Safaris bringing Guests right to the heart of the African savanna and DINOSAUR taking Guests back to the Cretaceous period, there are so many details to take in around Disney World’s largest theme park.

Speaking of detail, did you know there is a secret entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom? You might know about EPCOT’s second entrance at the International Gateway, but Animal Kingdom has an extra entrance of its own, too!

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The ‘secret’ entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is actually located very close to the main entrance, but it could save you some time standing in line if you visit the Park on a crowded day. As you pass through security and approach the gate, you will see several ticket and MagicBand touchpoints along with an exclusive entrance just for Annual Passholders.

While facing the main entrance to the Park, you will want to head off to the left. Before you approach where you would scan your Magic Band, you will arrive at the Rainforest Cafe, which is located just outside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

rainforest cafe

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Rainforest Cafe is the only restaurant at Walt Disney World to include a self-contained entrance to a theme park. The restaurant is technically located outside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but it is accessible from both inside and outside of the Park.

If you head towards Rainforest Cafe, you will be met with the option to enter the shop or visit the host stand to request a table, or you can enter Animal Kingdom through the restaurant’s own entrance. Likewise, if you are already inside Animal Kingdom and you head to Rainforest Cafe, you will need to re-enter the Park by scanning your MagicBand to go back toward the Oasis and Discovery Island.

tree-life

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The Rainforest Cafe entrance to Animal Kingdom is seldom crowded simply because most Guests are not going that way unless they plan to go to the restaurant (and even some who are going to the restaurant do not realize that it is accessible from outside of the Park.)

Animal Kingdom’s lines at the main entrance often move quickly, but if you are trying to rope drop Flight of Passage or are visiting during a peak week like Christmas week or Spring Break, you may find this secret entrance to be a helpful timesaver.

Since you’re going through the restaurant’s entrance, you may be looking to dine at Rainforest Cafe, too. This restaurant, while a chain that is available in locations outside of Disney World, is one of the most overlooked. The menu is reasonably priced in comparison to other table-service restaurants, and it is family-friendly both in food and in the atmosphere which features fun Animatronics of animals who live in the rainforest.

Rainforest Cafe can also be an easier table service reservation to snag on a last minute trip, so you might want to check it out!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."