Do you know which Animal Kingdom tips are the best for your trip?
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a park filled with the wonder of the natural world, where it’s hard to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not.
The park is filled to the brim with exotic animals, thrilling attractions and delicious food.
If you’re planning a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on your next vacation to Walt Disney World you’re going to want to read up on these 13 tips on the park, including the best spots to eat, minimizing wait times on top-tier attractions, and where to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse!
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How to get on Flight of Passage Without Waiting Hours
Before we get into the main Animal Kingdom tips, let’s go over how to conquer the Flight of Passage. Without a doubt, Flight of Passage is the hardest FastPass+ reservation to snag at Walt Disney World.
The attraction has been open for almost three years and the lines are still hours long with people getting to the park extra early to get to the attraction as quickly as possible.
If you didn’t get a FastPass+ reservation don’t fret. There are three tried and true methods for getting on the attraction without having to wait forever.
Flight of Passage Tip 1
The first is to keep checking for FastPass+ availability throughout the day. People change what they want to do all the time and occasionally someone will cancel a Flight of Passage FastPass+.
Luck has to be on your side for this one.
Flight of Passage Tip 2
The second option is to get to the park about an hour before the official park opening for the day. This will get you through security and at the front of the line to get into the park.
Once inside head straight for the stand-by line of Flight of Passage for a minimal wait.
Flight of Passage Tip 3
The third option is to wait until the very end of the night to get in line.
The stand-by line wait time will still show a long wait, but the line inside will tell a different story, and most of the time the actual wait is about 30 minutes!
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13 Top Animal Kingdom Tips
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s go through the best tips to help you make the most of your time at Animal Kingdom.
1 – Take a Break Inside the Tree of Life
The Tree of Life isn’t just Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s park icon it also houses an adorable show based on the Pixar film “A Bug’s Life.”
The show is a great spot to sit down, cool off, and relax for a few minutes before heading back out into the park.
If the show is done and you’re still not ready to go back out into the park take a look around the Tree of Life.
There are exploration trails that show you all kinds of angles and you can get up close to the carvings that are on the tree depicting different animals.
2 – Go Back To Pandora- The World of Avatar at Night
If you’re looking for something fun to do at night at the park be sure to head back to Pandora- The World of Avatar at night.
The entire land has a completely different feel with the floating mountains in full color, and bioluminescent plants glowing throughout the land.
3 – Ride Kilimanjaro Safari in the Morning
The best time to ride Kilimanjaro Safari is in the morning before it gets to hot. This is when you’ll see the most animals active and walking around.
This is also a great time to see the lions up and moving and potentially even roaring at one another.
The later the day you plan to ride Kilimanjaro Safari the less likely you are to see as many animals.
And even though the attraction does operate after sunset, there are few animals out to catch a glimpse of.
4 – Don’t Forget to Take the Train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Right next to the exit of Kilimanjaro Safari is the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
This scenic train ride will show you some of the backstage areas of the park, and take you all the way out to a secluded pavilion where you can see live animal operations or check-ups, pet animals in a petting zoo, take an animation class and more.
Note that Rafiki’s Planet Watch closes early each day so check the times on the My Disney Experience app or with a times guide that you can grab around the park.
5 – Have a Cheap Lunch At Yak and Yeti
Getting a filling lunch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is pretty easy since there are so many yummy options around the park. One that won’t break the bank is the outdoor quick service restaurant Yak and Yeti, which is not to be confused with it’s indoor table service counterpart right next door.
For a cheap and filling lunch order a box of fried rice. The boxes are huge and can easily pass for a meal without ordering anything else. Take it just around the corner to eat under the shade at picnic tables.
6 – Wait in the Single Rider Line at Expedition Everest
Going to a Disney theme park as a solo traveler has it’s perks, including having a line just for you. Skip the regular stand-by line at Expedition Everest and get in line at the single rider line. This line is typically shorter and you don’t have to go through the entire queue to get on the ride.
Hipster Power Tip: Ride Expedition Everest while the nighttime show Rivers of Light is going on for even less of a wait!
7 – Don’t Skip the Exploration Trails
There are quite a few exploration trails scattered around the park. Don’t skip these. This is a fun opportunity to get up close to some of the animals that call Disney’s Animal Kingdom home.
There are trails in the Africa and Asia part of the park, and typically they are not very crowded even on busy park days.
8 – Enjoy a Live Action Show Reenacting Some Popular Disney Films
There are two live action shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The first is The Festival of the Lion King, which is located in the Africa section of the park. This is by far one of the best stage shows at Walt Disney World, and is not to be missed.
The other show is Finding Nemo the Muscal, which is based on the Pixar movie Finding Nemo. During this show you’ll see some of your favorite ocean friends and hear some catchy songs that you’ll be singing the rest of the day.
Both of these shows are a great spot to sit down and relax for a while in the middle of a busy park day.
9 – The Best Place for a Drink is Hidden Just Before Pandora- The World of Avatar
Just before the entrance of Pandora- The World of Avatar is Nomad Lounge. This bar and lounge is the best place to grab a drink at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
You can sit inside or outside on their covered patio, and the drink menu takes classic drinks like margaritas and adds a fun twist with watermelon and pink peppercorns!
If you’re hungry Nomad Lounge also has a wonderful food menu with tapas-style dishes. If you sit inside at the bar you can also order off the main menu from their sister restaurant, Tiffins.
10 – Play Carnival Games in Dinoland USA
If you’re in the mood for a little friendly competition with anyone you might be traveling with be sure to check out the carnival games that are located inside Dinoland USA.
This spot of the park is meant to look like a roadside attraction, with a “pop-up” coaster and games.
There are multiple games to choose from so walk around and see what your options are before committing to a game. If you win a game you even get a prize!
11 – Meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Special Outfits
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the only place you can see Mickey and Minnie Mouse in fun safari outfits. You can snap you photo with the lovable pair on Discovery Island just before the bridge to Asia.
The line to see Mickey and Minnie can be long so try to get a FastPass+ reservation if you’re really wanting to do this.
12 – Know That Some Attractions Close Early
One thing to know about Disney’s Animal Kingdom is that some of the attractions close early, so plan accordingly. Attractions that always close before the park include Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the exploration trails. On occasion Dinosaur will also close early.
All of the things that close early should have times next to them on the My Disney Experience App or on a times guide that can be picked up throughout the park.
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13 – Have Fun!
Your Animal Kingdom trip will be what you make it, so please try to enjoy yourself. Sometimes the unexpected or annoying points of your vacation make for the best stories.
A day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a day well spent at Walt Disney World. The park is filled with adventure and exploration if you’re willing to look a little deeper past the big attractions.
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
About the Author
Megan is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She covers all things Disney and Universal and runs marathons for fun.
She thinks you can tell a lot about someone by the name of their signature lipstick, and hers is NARS Dragon Girl.