PlanningThe ParksTips

How to Tour Disney’s Animal Kingdom Without Genie+

We have the best touring plan for you when it comes to navigating Disney’s Animal Kingdom without Genie+. Although Guests are welcome to purchase this feature through the My Disney Experience app, it can be an additional expense that many aren’t willing to pay. Because of this, we wanted to share how you can still have a magical time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom without spending the extra money on Genie+.

Family at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Get There Early

Our first step for successfully visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom is to get there early. This Disney Park opens the earliest. If you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you will also want to take advantage of the early entry offering. This gets you into the Park thirty minutes before the listed opening.

Remember that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is further away than most Disney Parks. This is important when planning your morning. Make sure you plan enough time to get to your bus and Disney’s Animal Kingdom before the Park opens. Doing this can save you lots of time in line throughout the day.

Being at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the morning can be essential to a successful rest of the day. Set that alarm, so you are ready to go.

Disney pros pandora
Credit: Disney

Pandora First

If your group needs to experience Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, you will want to head to Pandora early. This is where getting to the Park for early entry can put you ahead of the crowd. If the line looks long, know that it typically moves quickly and early in the morning.

You can purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage if it is essential to you, even if you choose not to purchase Genie+.

Enjoy one of the best Walt Disney World rides with Avatar Flight of Passage. You will have your breath taken away by the beauty of the ride as you soar through Pandora.

Na’vi River Journey is a calm boat ride that takes Guests through the bioluminescent rainforest. There is a lot of look throughout the ride, but the overall storyline gets lost along the way. One of the best autoanomotrics is located at the end of this ride if that is something that would be interesting to everyone.

Animal Kingdom Elephants

Go On a Safari

After enjoying Pandora, head to the Kilimanjaro Safaris; this ride will take you through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, where numerous animals live. We always recommend getting on the safari earlier in the morning or later at night as the animals are more active during this time.

This ride is an 18-minute exploration of the savanna where Guests can get up close to amazing animals. Giraffes, rhinos, hippos, cheetahs, lions, zebras, and so many more make this area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom home. Each ride is unique and different, and we love to experience it each trip.

cinnamon roll
Credit: Disney


After a few rides, it is time to refuel. We enjoy the breakfast options at Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery in Africa. Here we can find sweet options like the Mickey-shaped colossal cinnamon roll or some protein with a breakfast sandwich.

Breakfast items can be hard to come by, so make sure you have a plan before heading out onto your next adventure.

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

Before Lunch

Before lunch, there are a few options that you can enjoy. If you want to stick around in Africa, consider enjoying the first show of the Festival of the Lion Kingdom. This is a Broadway-type show that brings this amazing movie to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with fantastic singers, performers, and high energy.

Also, you can enjoy a nice walk around Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa. Here you will find the family of gorillas that make this area home. They are incredibly entertaining and a joy to watch/

If you want to keep experiencing rides before lunch, we recommend heading to Expedition Everest. This is the other E-ticket attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. An intense roller coaster, Expedition Everest, has it all. From an extreme drop to a rush through the dark, this coaster isn’t for the weak.

The other ride we suggest before lunch is Dinosaur. This is a quick race through time to capture a dinosaur. Guests are taken on a jerky ride as they try to find the ride dino along the way. Full of enormous dinosaurs, this ride can be intense for all.

Satu'li Canteen, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Meal Time

For lunch, there are numerous options throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We suggest mobile ordering either Sat’uli Canteen for a fresh bowl or Flame Tree Barbecue for some great smoked meats and sides. Both places are excellent options but are popular, so mobile order early in the morning to ensure your pick-up time.

Finding Nemo the Musical

After Meal Time

As the Park gets busier, enjoy some of the slower experiences that Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers. Head to the newly updated Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond. This extraordinary show brings the story of Dory, Nemo, and friends to the stage with unforgettable songs and puppets designed just for Walt Disney World.

Take time to explore some of the many trails. We mentioned the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, but the Discovery Island Trail also takes Guests up close to the Tree of Life and the Maharajah Jungle Trek, which gives Guests a close look at the tigers that make Disney home.

Enjoy relaxation at Nomad Lounge or enjoy a beverage while watching one of the many performers throughout the Park.

There are so many hidden gems around Disney’s Animal Kingdom that it is a great Park to slow down and enjoy all the magic.

Pandora at Night
Photo Credit: Disney


When staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom into the evening, make sure you head back into Pandora. This land transforms as the lights come to life. Enjoy the tree awakes as well. This projection show transforms the Tree of Life into a beautiful display you won’t want to miss out on.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a lot to offer Guests during their visit, and you won’t need to pay extra to enjoy it all. Use this outline to help you navigate the day 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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