The Reopening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 10 Things You Must Know Before Visiting

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World looks much different now than it did before COVID-19. They are doing everything they can to make sure that all their guests and cast members are safe. This includes temperature checks before you enter, and reservations to go to a park to keep capacity low. Here are ten things that you should know before your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


10. Face Masks

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, face masks are required while on Walt Disney World property, and that includes the theme parks. Face coverings must have at least two layers of breathable material with ear loops or ties. Gaiters or masks with valves are not allowed. They must fully cover your nose and mouth and fit securely under your chin. Face coverings must be worn at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking (but you should stay stationary at that time and maintain physical distance from other guests), or when taking an outdoor photo. It doesn’t hurt to have a few extra masks with you, since it does get hot in Florida.

Credit: Disney

9. Hand Washing 

Make sure to keep germs at a minimum by washing your hands regularly with soap and water. There are also hand sanitizer stations all around the park and before and after all attractions. It’s still a good idea to bring your own to keep in your bag so you can use it at any time.

8. Social Distancing Markers

While in lines make sure to pay attention to the social distancing markers on the floor. They have been measured for you so you are able to stay the safe six feet distance that is recommended to stop the spread of COVID-19. If the group in front of you takes up more space than you are comfortable with, feel free to stand back one extra marker.


7. No FastPass+

Normally Walt Disney World guests can book their FastPass+ reservations weeks in advance but for the time being they are not using the system. You will only be able to use the standby line, but since the park is limited capacity wait times are not as long as they would normally be. The FastPass+ line is being used for DAS (Disability Access Service), Rider Switch, and Club 33 Members, so you might see people in the line.

6. Mobile Ordering

For the safety of you and the cast members Walt Disney World is really pushing Mobile Ordering. It’s so you have less contact with other people and things will be touchless. It is very simple, you just go onto the My Disney Experience App. You will make your order and pay through the app. You will select a window of time when you would like to arrive and once you get there you simply go back on the app and let them know you are there and are ready. There are cast members outside to answer any questions you may have.

5. Park Closes Early 

Out of all the Walt Disney World parks Disney’s Animal Kingdom is currently closing the earliest. Make sure to check before you head to the park which you can do so easily on the My Disney Experience App. Park hours change at different times of the year depending on the crowd levels.

4. Flight of Passage Queue

Flight of Passage is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World. Usually FastPass+ goes extremely fast and the standby line is quite long. Wait times have been a lot shorter since reopening for this beloved attraction. Since FastPass+ is not being used for the time being you will get to walk through the standby line. There’s a lot more to see in the standby queue then there is on the FastPass+ side. There is so much more that you’ll be able to take in, including the floating avatar. You will have a new appreciation for this incredible ride.

3. No Character Meet and Greets

Before you start to panic, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get to see some of your favorite Disney characters. While you won’t be able to be up close and hug them, you will still be able to see them for Disney Character Cruises. They are at random times, but look along the Discovery River and you will see them floating by. They can see you, so make sure to wave because you will still be able to interact with them. The characters include Mickey and Minnie, Donald’s Dino-Bash characters, and Pocahontas. The Discovery Island Drummers will be by as well.  

2. Live Shows

For the time being Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo – The Musical are not taking place. UP! A Great Bird Adventure is also not playing, but there is a temporary replacement in the theater called Feathered Friends in Flight!. An agreement has been reached between Actors’ Equity Association and Disney, so hopefully the live shows will return soon. For now, they are listed on the Walt Disney World website as “temporarily unavailable”. UPDATE: Festival of the Lion Kingdom is scheduled to reopen “Mid-May”. We will be sure to announce a date when Disney releases that information!

1. Permanent Closures

There have been rumors for a while, but it is now official that Primeval Whirl has closed permanently. It was seasonal last year during the holiday season, but Walt Disney World has made the decision that it will not reopen. Disney has also made the decision to permanently close the show River of Lights. There is no word on whether a new nighttime show will replace it eventually, but with the early closing times it isn’t needed right now.

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