Hints & Hacks for Your Animal Kingdom Day

Are you looking for the best tips and hacks before your Disney vacation? We have you covered. Grab your camera and sunscreen; we are headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! This Walt Disney World Park is perfect for those interested in animals, culture, and the Avatar movie franchise. From animal walk-throughs and character meets to awesome rides, you’ll stay busy the whole day. Let’s amp up your Park day. Here are hints and hacks for your animal kingdom day

Disney Genie Considerations

Thinking through exceptionally high-traffic attractions and making decisions about must-see shows, rides, and character meets for your family is a helpful planning step. If your family is considering purchasing Disney Genie to reduce wait times and make your Disney World ticket go further, take some time to research the attractions you may want to secure with Disney Genie.

Some popular attractions with Disney Genie at Animal Kingdom Park are included here: Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Naʻvi River Journey, Kali River Rapids, and Kilimanjaro Safaris.


Credit: Disney

Shows like Festival of the Lion King, Feathered Friends in Flight!, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! and It’s Tough to Be a Bug! Character meets include Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost and The Animation Experience at Conservation Station. The wildly popular Avatar Flight of Passage has a lighting lane option for individual purchase. If you plan to purchase Disney Genie, take some time to plan which attractions you’ll visit and which ones you’ll dash to after rope drop for a short wait time. It would be best if you also decided which rides you will see during extra magic hours when wait times are shorter.

Arrive Early

African Painted Dogs at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

As a Disney Parks insider that has been visiting Animal Kingdom since it opened in 1998, I have to share my belief that this is the hottest Disney Park. Maybe it’s the dense foliage, pavement, or proximity. Regardless, some of my hottest-ever Disney Park days happened in Animal Kingdom Park. For this reason, I always recommend visitors arrive at the rope drop (Park opening). This maximizes the time you can enjoy the attractions with cooler temperatures. Not to mention you will be able to head to a high-traffic attraction first and save time in line!


Credit: Disney Dining

Rope Drop Kilimanjaro Safari

Even after years of visiting Animal Kingdom, I never miss a chance to ride Kilimanjaro Safari. Cast Member safari guides always say that no two safaris are alike, which is true. Live animals mean that you will get a unique safari each time. As you might imagine, the cornerstone attraction at the Park, Kilimanjaro Safari draws a crowd.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Credit: Disney

For this reason, and to avoid the hot ride line queue later in the day, my family chooses to “rope drop” this ride. Arrive before the Park opens and make a beeline to Kilimanjaro Safari in the Africa section as soon as the Park opens. Most importantly, you’ll shave your wait time substantially and may even walk onto the ride. But you may also see more animals before the temperature climbs.

Meet A Character


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♬ Let’s Go To Disney – Fairview

If you are new to Animal Kingdom, you may assume it is not the place for character meets. After all, the commercials and photos often feature Magic Kingdom as where Guests meet characters. Still, I’d encourage you to explore the characters available to meet at Animal Kingdom Park.

Hop on the Disney website to learn where to meet your favorite Disney movie friends in this Park. You may even meet characters unique to Animal Kingdom, Like Dug, Kevin, and Russel from Up! or sidekicks from The Lion King!

Related: Hints and Hacks – Magic Kingdom Edition!

Take a Break At Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom is a bit farther away from other Disney Resorts and Parks. After all, it is the largest Disney World Park. One nearby Resort that I recommend you visit is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Located just a short bus ride away, this is the perfect place for a midday break from the steamy Park. If you need to step away and enjoy air-conditioning without returning to your Disney Resort, a visit to Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great option.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Credit: Disney

Grab snacks like delectable zebra domes at The Mara quick service restaurant, play in the arcade, or admire the lobby and the animal observation decks. Touring Walt Disney World Resorts is an underrated Disney World vacation experience I will never miss.

Munch on Roasted Corn

Just a short walk away from Kilimanjaro Safari is a snack I always eat during the day at Animal Kingdom. Located in Harambe at the Harambe Fruit Market, you will find one of the most uncomplicated and delicious Walt Disney World snacks, roasted corn. The savory scent that wafts out over Harambe is so enticing most Guests have a hard time bypassing this snack.

Grilled Corn Harambe Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

You can enjoy a cob of grilled corn or a cob of grilled corn with delicious African spices for only $5.29. I always tell friends to try this snack early in the day, just in case they decide to have a second serving later. This roasted corn is one of the cheapest and most delicious snacks at Walt Disney World.

Related: Hollywood Studios Hints & Hacks You Need to Know

Do Not Skip Flight of Passage

 One of my favorite rides at Walt Disney World Resort is Flight of Passage in Pandora – The World of Avatar. Flight of Passage takes Guests through a winding and immersive ride queue before orienting them to fly on the back of mountain banshees on an eco-tourism adventure with Pandora conservation company Alpha Centauri Expeditions.


Credit: Disney Tips

Guests experience stunning, otherworldly views of swooping down over floating mountains and winging through the bioluminescent forest on the back of a breathing mountain banshee. I honestly have never experienced another attraction like it in any theme Park. You will smell the foliage of Pandora and feel the spray of jumping sea creatures on this ride; it’s all so incredibly real. One of my biggest Animal Kingdom tips is not to skip this ride. It’s just too great!

Flight of Passage queue-1807

Credit: Disney

Hopefully, these hints and hack for your Animal Kingdom day come in handy as you build your Animal Kingdom itinerary. Happy exploring!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.