Two-Day Plan for Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney Tips

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the four Disney Parks and invites guests to step into the beauty of nature and adventure through amazing experiences. Each experience in the par aims to teach the important message of conservation while providing entertaining moments that make guests forget that they are actually learning. Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom is so large and full of things to enjoy, there is no way that guests can experience everything in just one day. That is why it is a fantastic idea for guests to plan on two days to enjoy in the park on each Walt Disney World vacation. This amount of time, plus some good planning, will allow guests to see as much as possible and really feel as though they have explored all there is to explore. Here is a great two day plan to follow for Disney’s Animal Kingdom to enjoy as much as possible!


Day 1

1. Rope Drop Pandora – the World of Avatar: The perfect way to kick off time in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by exploring the park’s newest area, Pandora – the World of Avatar. The beautiful Valley of Mo’ara is home to floating mountains and all sorts of exotic vegetation and growth that makes guests feel as though they have traveled to the distant planet. By getting there at park opening, guests should head straight to the very popular Avatar Flight of Passage to experience the amazing standby line with the lowest possible wait and afterwards enjoy the also popular Na’vi River Journey.

Pandora – World of Avatar

2. FastPass Kilimanjaro Safaris: After enjoying Pandora – the World of Avatar, guests can explore nearby Africa and use a FastPass for one of the park’s most classic attractions. Kilimanjaro Safaris brings guests on an authentic safari experience in the Harambe Reserve where animals including giraffes, cheetahs, lions, elephants, hippos, and more can be found roaming. The open air safari vehicles give guests the chance to experience amazing photos and views of the animals, making this an unforgettable attraction.

3. Early Lunch at Yak & Yeti Restaurant: The Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to the Yak & Yeti Restaurant which serves up Pan-Asian cuisine in an immersive setting. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner and guests can enjoy two floors filled with authentic items that Imagineers collected while traveling through Southeast Asia. The menu features popular items including the Ahi Tuna Nachos, Honey Chicke, Bhaktapur Duck making it a favorite eatery of many guests.


4. Enjoy the Walking Trails: After lunch, guests can enjoy two self-guided walking trails that offer some of the most serene and quiet corners of the park in addition to animal encounters. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail can be found near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris and brings guests into the rolling hills where beautiful gorillas can be found eating, playing, and relaxing. Over in Asia, the Maharajah Jungle Trail allows guests to explore temple ruins in the Anandapur Royal Forest and check out Asian tigers and over fifty species of birds in a large aviary.

5. FastPass Kali River Rapids: After exiting the Maharajah Jungle Trek, guests can walk over to the thrilling Kali River Rapids for a fun and soaking adventure. The family raft-style attraction brings guests into the forest where they soon discover an illegal operation cutting down the area’s beautiful trees. With an important message of conservation, this attraction has guests dropping, spinning, and splashing their way through the water. Since Kali River Rapids is a popular experience, guests can use a FastPass to avoid a long wait time.

6: Single Rider Expedition Everest: Asia is also home to the popular Expedition Everest where guests can travel through the Forbidden Mountain on their way to base camp. While the experience begins in a serene nature, guests soon find themselves face to face with the Yeti and scrambling to escape his clutches. With thrills in the dark and a massive drop, Expedition Everest is a favorite experience of many guests, making its wait times lengthy. Luckily the attraction features a single rider line so that guests can enjoy the attraction with a much lower wait so long as they don’t mind their party being split up.

7. Dinner at Flame Tree Barbecue: A great quick service dining option on Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the perfect place to enjoy dinner after a long busy day in the park. Flame Tree Barbecue serves up mouthwatering barbecue favorites that smell just as good as they taste. Guests can dig into options such as the Smokehouse Chicken Salad, St. Louis Ribs Dinner, Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork, and ½ Chicken on the location’s back patio that offers beautiful water views with Expedition Everest in the distance.

8. Enjoy the Tree of Life Awakenings: After dark each night, the Tree of Life comes to life with a beautiful presentation that combines technology and nature. The Tree of Life Awakenings feature projections and special lighting that tell stories of nature right on the trunk of the massive tree. Featuring several different short nature stories, these special vignettes run every ten minutes and guests will definitely want to check out several!

9. FastPass Rivers of Light: The perfect way to end the first day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by using a FastPass to score the perfect seats to the park’s nighttime show. Rivers of Light celebrates the moments of nature that come to life at nighttime using a unique combination of familiar Disney music and characters, boats, floats, dancing water, fire, projected animation, and more. The circle of life is celebrated in breathtaking form in this unforgettable show that guests should not miss.


Day 2

1. Breakfast at Tusker House Restaurant: The second day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom should begin with breakfast at Tusker House Africa in the Africa section of the park. The full service restaurant serves up an extensive buffet that features American classics as well as African specialties and flavors. In addition to the wonderful food and marketplace theme, guests can meet Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy all of whom are decked out in their safari gear! This is the perfect meal to kick off the day’s adventures in the park!

2. Enjoy Festival of the Lion King: After breakfast, guests can enjoy the absolutely incredible Festival of the Lion King. This live show runs several times each day and it brings the classic tale of The Lion King to life in a new and exciting way. Familiar characters and music can be celebrated with fire dancing, aerial ballet, and acrobats, and the interactive and festive finale is amazing!

3. Visit Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Guests can then hop aboard the Wildlife Express from Africa and enjoy a serene train ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. There, guests can enjoy the Conservation Station where they can learn about the importance of protecting our planet and its inhabitants, observe veterinary treatments live, pet some friendly animals, and event enjoy the Animation Experience where they can learn how to draw some of their favorite characters!


4: Lunch at Restaurantosaurus: Lunch on day two in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be enjoyed in the Dinoland area of the park in a wonderful quick service location. Restaurantosaurus is open daily for lunch and dinner and serves up American classics in the local hangout of students from the Dino Institute. Guests can enjoy delicious items from the location including Breaded Shrimp, Spicy Southwestern Burger, Grilled Chicken BLT Sandwich, Chicken Breast Nuggets, and Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken.

5. FastPass Dinosaur: Dinoland is also home to the thrilling Dinosaur attraction which is housed in the Dino Institute. After learning that guests are going to be traveling back in time, they soon find themselves on a daring mission to rescue a particular dinosaur from the massive asteroid impact. With lots of bumps, turns, and surprises in near darkness, guests will absolutely love Dinosaur and should use a FastPass to help lower their wait time!

6. Enjoy Finding Nemo – The Musical: The Theater in the Wild in Dinoland features a live show that brings one of the most beloved Pixar films to life. Finding Nemo – The Musical uses larger than life puppets, special effects, and music to tell the story of Marlin traveling across the ocean to find his son Nemo. Running several times each day, guess should absolutely not miss this incredible experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

7. Dinner at Tiffins Restaurant: After a busy day, guests can relax and enjoy an amazing full service dinner at Tiffins Restaurant on Discovery Island. The location celebrates the spirit of adventure and cuisine with international flavors and ingredients that guests are sure to love. The décor features amazing artifacts and items from around the world that guests can check out while dining on options such as Surf and Turf, Tamarind-Braised Short Rib, Butter Chicken, Crispy Sadza, and Whole-Fried Sustainable Fish.

8. FastPass Kilimanjaro Safaris at Night: Once the sun sets, guests should head back over to Kilimanjaro Safaris to enjoy the attraction with a FastPass again, but for an entirely different experience! Nighttime in the Harambe Reserve allows guests the rare chance to observe the animals being much more active thanks to the cooler temperatures and their nocturnal tendencies. After a stunning sunset on the savannah, guests might glimpse the lions prowling, cheetahs stalking, and much more!

9. Enjoy Pandora – the World of Avatar at Night: After the nighttime safari, guests can end their day by exploring Pandora – The World of Avatar at night. While beautiful during the day, the area truly comes to life at night with bioluminescent lighting on the floating mountains, plant life, and even the ground! The beauty of the area can be appreciated with time spent exploring and guests might even get lucky and encounter Avatar Flight of Passage with a relatively low wait time!

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.