Disney's Animal KingdomPlanningThe ParksTips

9 Secrets for a Magical Morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Mornings are our favorite time to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There is something magical about watching this park begin to wake up. Not only do we appreciate the cooler temperatures as we start our morning, but we also appreciate the calmness of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the morning.

We have nine secrets that we are sharing with you. These secrets will help you have a magical morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Remember, to take advantage of these secrets, you must get to the park early. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Disney park that opens the earliest. This means your alarm might be set earlier than you would want, but we promise it will pay off in the long run.

Tree of Life
Credit: V Mills

Take in the Tree of Life

When you arrive early in the morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, use this time before rides are running to enjoy the beauty of the Tree of Life. Get your picture taken in front of it with fewer people. As the park opens, you will find the fantastic Disney PhotoPass Photographers waiting to capture your magical moment.

After capturing your picture, slow down and take in the details and beauty of the Tree of Life. There are hundreds of animals carved into the tree. See how many you can discover while you wait for rides to open.

Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Ride Avatar: Flight of Passage

The morning is a perfect time to soar on the back of a banshee in Pandora. Once you are allowed into this land, head to Avatar Flight of Passage. Even if a large group is headed that way, your wait time will be low compared to the rest of the day.

Avatar: Flight of Passage is a breathtaking ride that puts guests on the back of a banshee as they soar through the gorgeous land of Pandora. Years after opening, this ride remains one of the most popular in Walt Disney World. Experiencing this ride will add magic to your morning.

wilderness explorers
Credit: Disney

Become a Wilderness Explorer

Before heading too far into Disney’s Animal Kingdom, stop and visit the Wilderness Explorer Station. Here guests of all ages can learn about what it means to be a Wilderness Explorer and pick up the map that shows where badges can be earned throughout the park.

This fun, interactive activity will teach you about the animals that make Disney’s Animal Kingdom home. The cast members at each station are full of knowledge and passion. Their joy will add some magic to your experience around the park.

Credit: Disney

Experience Kilimanjaro Safaris

Another magical experience for your morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris. A morning safari ride is a great experience as animals are typically more active as they start their days.

Each safari ride is extremely unique as guests are taken out onto the Harambee Reserve, where animals such as giraffes, rhinos, zebras, lions, and more are present. A truly magical experience as you get up close to amazing animals.

Discovery Island Trails, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Enjoy the Trails

During the morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, enjoy the many trails. The park has three main trails: Discovery Island Trails around the Tree of Life, Maharjaha Jungle Trek that includes tigers, and the Gorilla Falls Trails, where guests can watch the gorillas from various view spots.

These trails are quiet and less hot during the morning hours at the park. Like with the safari ride, the animals are more active in the morning hours before the heat of the day. As you wait for your next ride or show, these trails are an excellent way to explore the details of the park.

Tusker House, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Eat Breakfast at Tusker House

You can start your morning off with an early breakfast at Tusker House. This character breakfast features Donald Duck and his friends ready for adventure in their safari gear. The buffet provides classic breakfast items, such as waffles and unique flavors, for those seeking experience.

This is a popular dining experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so book those reservations early.

Related: What to Eat at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Mickey and Minnie
Photo Credit: Disney

Visit Mickey and Minnie

If you don’t want to book a meal at Tusker House, you can still enjoy a magical moment with Mickey and Minnie in their safari gear. At Adventures Outpost, Mickey and Minnie greet Guests together in their safari gear.

You can find other characters throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom throughout the day. Visiting beloved characters is a fun way to start the day.

Expedition Everest, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Single Rider on Expedition Everest

For those seeking thrills to start their morning, head over to Expedition Everest. This intense coaster takes guests on a thrilling adventure, including a huge drop and a backward section in the dark.

Expedition Everest offers a single-rider option. For those traveling solo or those guests who don’t mind being separated, using the single rider is a fantastic option, especially in the morning. Typically, this queue doesn’t get long in the morning, making it easy to ride multiple times if you choose to do so.

Genie Tip Board

Set Up Your Tip Board

As you begin your morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, please set up your tip board in My Disney Experience. It is here that you can make selections on rides, shows, characters, dining, and other experiences that are important to you.

Once selected, the complimentary Disney Genie feature will provide tips and suggestions throughout the day. This is a great way to navigate the park. Disney Genie will use your tip board selections and recommend when to experience rides, shows, and attractions based on projected wait times.

Set this up in the morning to help you have a magical day.

Those are nine secrets to having a magical day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We hope you can use them during your next visit to Walt Disney World.

Related: 5 Free Things to Do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom



Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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