9 Incredible Animal Kingdom Solo Tips (Beginner’s Guide)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a solo theme park traveler’s must!

Animal Kingdom has always been a great half-day theme park for those visiting Walt Disney World solo. However, it is now a park that is spectacular to discover for over a whole day.

The addition of Pandora – The World of Avatar has made Animal Kingdom a competitive theme park.

Lagoon overlooking Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

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Why is Animal Kingdom perfect for Solo Travelers?

Animal Kingdom is located in the Orlando area and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has more than 1700 animals on property.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great park to take your time, get lost, and discover so many different creatures of this world.

Safari overlooking grazing wilder beast at Animal Kingdom

For a solo theme park goer, all you need is your smartphone, a good Disney Podcast, your headphones, and you’ll be on your way to an out of this world theme park adventure!

Traveling solo to Animal Kingdom doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Since I started traveling to Disney parks alone, I’ve noticed I’m confident meeting new people.

Front Entrance at Animal Kingdom Celebrating 20 years in 2018 to 2019

I’m also able to let go just a little bit of my introverted side.

The Disney parks are just right for any solo adult traveler, meaning you’ll never have to worry about feeling lonely or afraid when going by yourself.

As a solo park hopper, Animal Kingdom offers many activities that are amazing, such as an African-inspired safari, terrifying yet amazing rides, and mysterious lands meant to intrigue and inspire such as Pandora – The World of Avatar.

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Do you think people will notice that you’re alone?

Or, do you feel you will not have as good of a time on your solo Disney trip when compared to going with a friend?

If this sounds like you, then I’m here to help guide you into the perfect solo day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

How can I go to Animal Kingdom in one day?

It’s definitely doable if you have a good game plan. Save the Animal Kingdom one-day cheat sheet to your phone below!

Disney one-day game plan itinerary
Download Disney one-day game plan itinerary by clicking image.

Access your copy of the Disney World itinerary here! Don’t forget that I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions about your Animal Kingdom trip.

9 Tips for Doing Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Solo

Now, allow me to welcome you to Disney’s version of a jungle oasis!

Let’s jump into the 9 first timer tips to get you started on your solo Animal Kingdom quest!

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life
Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

 1 – Ease Your Way into Solo Travel

Traveling this way can be unnerving to some Disney guests. I recommend starting small when it comes to solo travel.

Try arriving to Walt Disney World one day prior to your party arriving there, then do a couple of hours at Animal Kingdom to see if you like doing Disney by yourself.

This may just convince you to try a whole day at another Walt Disney World park, like Hollywood Studios, on your own.

Just for you, I now have The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide for theme park hopping alone.

Get the solo Disney guide. The Solo Theme Park Traveler's Guide
Click image to get your copy today!

A handbook I wanted to share with you to walk you step-by-step to planning that first solo Disney World vacation.

2 – Map Out Your Day at Animal Kingdom

The thought of going to Animal Kingdom Solo is probably too stressful for you to even think about, so I recommend mapping out your day in advance.

Having an itinerary relieves travel anxiety and keeps your mind occupied with all the delicious food and out-of-this world attractions you’ll be enjoying at Animal Kingdom.

Review Disney’s Animal Kingdom Map Below

Animal Kingdom Map PDF 2020
Animal Kingdom Map PDF Screenshot from Disney Website

3 – Book Your Top Animal Kingdom FastPasses and Reservations ASAP

FastPasses to the hottest attractions such as the Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom need to be booked like yesterday!

Trust me, you will thank me later for this.

Animal Kingdom World of Avatar Floating Trees in Pandora
Animal Kingdom World of Avatar Floating Trees in Pandora

FastPasses to both attractions in Pandora – World of Avatar are nearly impossible to get with last minute planning.

Hipster Power Tip: When choosing FastPasses for Animal Kingdom be sure to choose at least one of the following attractions due to popularity: Flight of Passage, Navi River Journey, or Kilimanjaro Safaris.

In addition to booking your FastPasses, you’ll want to make other reservations early too.

Walt Disney World is the top tourist destinations in the world. This is an advantage for you, because you will never have to think of what to do.

Animal Kingdom Asia Shrine
Animal Kingdom Asia Shrine

You’ll want to book your dining or special event reservation as soon as you know your Disney vacation dates.

Popular Animal Kingdom restaurants and annual events book up quickly.

Read: How to Make the Animal Kingdom FastPass Tiers Work for You

4 – Discover All the Lands of Animal Kingdom

Learn the different history of each land or area in Animal Kingdom.

There are so many unique hidden gems and facts that you’d love learning about as you walk through each highly themed area.

Animal Kingdom Safari with Elephants next to tree.
Safari Ride at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Lands and Sections

  • Oasis
  • Discovery Island
  • Pandora – World of Avatar
  • Africa
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Asia
  • Dinoland U.S.A

Pandora – The World of Avatar is a gem in its own right.

The world of Pandora immerses you and takes you automatically into a magical journey with the Na’vi people the Disney way.

You will automatically be happy to see how Disney incorporates their signature storytelling from the gates of Pandora and throughout the land.

Pandora Avatar Navi Language. #avatar #pandora #disney #pandoradisney

You’ll even receive a Pandora Field Guide to help you understand the Na’vi culture and language, along with Pandora animals and plants.

It’s sooo magical!

Read: 5 Best Disney Resorts for Solo Travelers

5 – Experience Your Animal Kingdom Must Do attractions

Since it’s your solo Disney trip, it’s a time to do Animal Kingdom your way!

This is the MAIN PERK of going to Walt Disney World alone.

Festival of the Lion King Entrance Animal Kingdom
Festival of the Lion King Entrance at Animal Kingdom

In order to get all of your Animal Kingdom must do’s, I suggest doing a bit of researching on the web and writing everything down you want to accomplish.

A “must do” at this park is the Festival of the Lion King show. No other theme park show compares to the high level of entertainment bliss the creators of this show put together.

Must Do Animal Kingdom Attractions and Dining

  • Conservation Station – Disney Animal Encounters, Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Asia
  • Festival of the Lion King, Africa
  • Finding Nemo, DinoLand U.S.A.
  • Harambe Wildlife Parti, Africa
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!, Discovery Island
  • Kali River Rapids, Asia
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris, Africa
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek – Disney Animal Encounters, Asia
  • Wildlife Express Train, Africa
  • Dawa Bar, Counter Service, $, American, Africa
  • Flame Tree Barbecue, Counter Service, $, American, Discovery Island
  • Kamal’s, Fast Casual, $, American, Asia
  • Nomad Lounge, Unique/Themed Dining, $$, Multiple Cuisines, Discovery Island
  • Rainforest Cafe, Unique/Themed Dining, $$, American, Main Entrance of Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Restaurantosaurus, Counter Service, $, American, DinoLand U.S.A.
  • Tiffins, Fine/Signature Dining, $$$, Multiple Cuisines, Discovery Island
  • Tusker House Restaurant, Buffet/Character Dining, $$ – $$$, African
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant, Unique/Themed Dining, $$, Multiple Cuisines, Asia

*Prices and dining experiences subject to change and may be offered seasonally.* $ ($14.99 and under), $$ ($15 to $34.99), $$$ ($35 to $59.99), $$$$ (over $60)

6 – Don’t Be Afraid to Socialize

I know firsthand what it’s like to be an introvert, but get out of your comfort zone.

Africa section of Animal Kingdom
Africa section of Animal Kingdom

Take the ThemeParkHipster challenge and introduce yourself to at least one person on your day at Animal Kingdom.

Get familiar with your social media community. There are lots of Facebook groups dedicated to Disney enthusiasts.

ThemeParkHipster Community #solotravel

You can join the ThemeParkHipster Facebook community here!

These groups usually have people in it who frequently travel to Disney parks solo.

They will become your very own theme park family and they will also help you out with the latest park news and their own personal theme park hacks.

Tiffins Restaurant Entrance at Animal Kingdom
Tiffins Restaurant Entrance at Animal Kingdom

Your Instagram community is another place to get to know your Disney family. Once these relationships are formed online, they may lead to long-term friendships.

Get the best price on your Walt Disney World Vacation Package… Guaranteed!

7 – Take Lots of Photos at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is one big attraction meant to captivate and inspire.

Take advantage of the PhotoPass system at Disney, where Cast Members will take photos for you that can later be retrieved digitally (on your computer or your phone).

Up Show at Animal Kingdom in Asia Section

Don’t forget to take photos with characters in the park.

Now that I’m a bit older, I love meeting all the characters in Animal Kingdom, such as, Baloo and King Louie.

I also love watching others dress like the characters they plan on meeting in the parks. It always makes for amazing photos!

8 – Know the Reasons Why Doing Animal Kingdom at Disney World Alone is So Incredible!

Perk #1: Freedom.

There’s an incredible sense of independence when you’re exploring the parks by yourself. 

Festival of Lion King at Animal Kingdom with Monkey Acrobats
Festival of Lion King at Animal Kingdom with Monkey Acrobats

You can watch Nemo and all his aquatic friends perform on stage at Animal Kingdom without anyone mocking you about your choice in entertainment.

A big plus is that your day will move a lot faster, meaning that you’ll do more without the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Finding Nemo cast at animal kingdom Disney Solo Trip
#Disneyside with Animal Kingdom’s Finding Nemo Cast

Perk #2: You Become a Better Problem Solver.

With the solo experience you gain the advantage of becoming a better problem solver.

Because it’s just you on this vacation path, you will have to come up with plan A, plan B, and plan C for some of the theme park events.

Africa section of Animal Kingdom Harambe Village
Africa Section of Animal Kingdom Harambe Village

When you’re with a group of people you may have many different opinions or solutions to problems that arise.

However, when it’s just you, you become the sole problem solver.

Perk #3: You Meet Incredible Solo ThemeParkHipsters

Since I started going to Disney by myself, I’ve noticed that I’ve become more confident in other social settings.

Nomad Lounge at Animal Kingdom

Traveling solo to Walt Disney World makes me happy, which makes me more comfortable introducing myself to others.

Read: 9 Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone to Disney World

9 – Remember You’re Home and Never Truly Alone

When you arrive at Walt Disney World you are home. The cast members, the characters, the Disney guests are all your family.

This is the most magical family reunion!

What to Know Before You Go

Once you’re ready to make that trip to Animal Kingdom, you should know a few key things.

NikkyJ of ThemeParkHipster in front of large Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom.
DinoLand USA Animal Kingdom

What is the best thing to do at Animal Kingdom?

Avatar Flight of Passage is an absolute must do!

There are no words to describe this majestic Disney ride that is perfect from your first step in the queue until your exit of the attraction.

What rides should your FastPass at Animal Kingdom?

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
Flight of Passage Queue Giant Avatar at Disney Animal Kingdom

What are hours for Animal Kingdom?

The Animal Kingdom park opens at 9:00 a.m. each morning and closes between 5 and 8 p.m. depending on the time of year (peak vs non-peak season).

How much is a day pass at Animal Kingdom?

A one-day REGULAR season Animal Kingdom ticket starts at $109* (prices do fluctuate based on the season).

Shrimp Topped Mac and Cheese Animal Kingdom
Shrimp Topped Mac and Cheese Animal Kingdom

What are unique experiences for Solo Travelers?

  1. Rafiki’s Planet Watch: This is one of my favorite areas of the park to getaway and experience a different side of Animal Kingdom when I’m traveling alone. Here youget in up-close view on how the animals are cared for at Disney. Plus, it’s a nice area to relax if you need a moment to regroup on your trip.
  2. Eating Your Way Around the Globe at Animal Kingdom: I recommend that you create your own version of foodie tour around the world at this incredible park. Read how here.
  3. Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience: During the evening hours, Disney offers a private safari, African-inspired tapas, beverages and more. This is one of the BEST tours you as a solo traveler can enjoy on a visit to Animal Kingdom.

Where are the best places to get a drink on your solo trip to Animal Kingdom?

Nomad Lounge cocktails at Animal Kingdom. Lamu Libation with Starr African Rum, Cruzan Banana Rum, Guava Purée, with Orange, Lime, and Pineapple Juices topped with Gosling's 151 Rum.
Nomad Lounge cocktails at Animal Kingdom

What is the Best Restaurant for Adult Travelers at Animal Kingdom?

Tiffins Restaurant is the best spot for any solo traveler to Disney World.

It is intimate with a warm and sophisticated global décor saturated in stories of adventures from the Imagineers and animal experts who built Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Tiffins Restaurant Exotic Animal Dining Room at Animal Kingdom
Tiffins Restaurant

Tiffins allows you to have your own experience of the adventurer’s club in the 3 elegant dining rooms inspired by:

  1. Africa
  2. Asia
  3. Exotic animals

The perfect time to visit Tiffins on your solo Disney trip is right after the lunch rush for a more relaxed experience.

It’s funny that I recommend going to lunch because “Tiffins” refers to the light lunch meal prepared for men working in India.

Tiffins Restaurant White Wine with Juicy Beef at Animal Kingdom
Tiffins Restaurant White Wine with Juicy Beef Short Rib at Animal Kingdom

You’ll even be welcomed to a fixed-prix meal if you want that allows you to choose one appetizer or dessert. Plus, you can also choose an entrée for one affordable price.

Hipster Power Tip: Be sure to visit the Nomad Lounge later in the early evening to relax in unwind. It is the lounge adjacent to Tiffins for anyone who wants the same rich flavors, but this time on your small plates and cocktails.

Lunch last from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and dinner from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (times subject to change).

Final Thoughts

Have I convinced you to go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom solo yet?

Be courageous, take the leap and go!

Don’t spend your life waiting for others schedule to line up with yours in order for you to make that solo trek.

Asia section of Animal Kingdom
Asia section of Animal Kingdom

If you want to go to a Disney park solo, then go!

Traveling by myself to theme parks is my Theme Park Therapy and I want it to become yours.

So, let me know below if you’ve ever went to Animal Kingdom by yourself or if you’re thinking about going at it alone in the comments below?

Tips for Doing Disney's Animal Kingdom solo with tree of life and giraffes looking directly at the camera.
Save on Pinterest for Later!

Planning a trip soon? If so, read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

NikkyJ

(Original Article Date: January 27, 2019/Updated February 26, 2020)

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