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The Disney Character Experiences You Don’t Want To Miss In Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates everything related to nature and living things. Whether you are looking for thrilling rides, attractions for the whole family to enjoy, incredible shows to see, or interactions with animals, you’ll find it all in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Disney Park also has plenty of excellent quick-service and full-service restaurants to dine at and a wide choice of Disney snacks to enjoy.

When visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, one aspect that Guests look forward to is the opportunity to interact with Disney characters. We love to meet the Disney characters, share hugs, collect autographs and make memories. Character dining is also something we plan for every Disney vacation. There are several Disney character meet and greets in each Disney Park. Walt Disney World characters meet in all the Disney Parks, such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. However, unique characters can be found in specific Disney Parks, including:

  • Joy from Inside Out (2015), Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph! (2012), Alice from Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Mary Poppins meet in EPCOT.
  • Woody, Jessie, and Buzz from Toy Story (1995), Edna Mode from The Incredibles (2004), and Star Wars characters in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Tiana from The Princess and the Frog (2009) and Tigger in Magic Kingdom Park.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an excellent place to meet Disney characters. Let’s look at the Disney character experiences you want to experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

Tusker House

There is one Disney character dining restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tusker House is located in Harambe, Africa, between the Festival of the Lion King and Kilimanjaro Safaris. Open throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Disney restaurant. Enjoy a wide selection of African-inspired dishes from the buffet. While dining, you’ll be joined by Mickey Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, and Goofy in their safari gear. Tusker House may have walk-in availability. However, it is a popular restaurant among Disney Guests. Therefore, we recommend securing an advanced dining reservation to secure your dining experience.

Tusker House Characters, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills


Suppose you’re a fan of Up! (2009), you’ll know who Kevin is. If you have yet to see the movie, we recommend watching it before you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so you recognize some of the characters you will see around the Disney theme park. Kevin wanders between Discovery Island and Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She usually begins her adventure in Asia, close to Feathered Friends in Flight! Before she makes her way to Discovery Island is an excellent time to get a photo with her while she’s standing in one place. You may also have the opportunity to get a picture with her when she’s stood on Discovery Island. Otherwise, share a dance with her. Kevin likes to hang around where the Viva Gaia Street Band performs near Discovery Island Traders.

Kevin, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Adventurers Outpost

Located on Discovery Island, Adventurers Outpost is the place to meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse together. While the Disney attraction can attract a long line, Lightning Lane is available if you use Disney Genie+. Meeting Mickey and Minnie in their explorer outfits is a lot of fun. We recommend visiting the attraction early in the day for the shortest line. Adventurers Outpost is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. If you are a Disney Resort Guest and plan on using Early Theme Park Entry, you may consider riding attractions until 8 a.m. before visiting Adventurers Outpost. Expedition Everest, Na’vi River Journey, and Avatar Flight of Passage are rides to experience during Early Theme Park Entry.

Adventurers Outpost, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Donald’s Dino-Bash

In DinoLand U.S.A., you can meet Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Chip ‘n’ Dale. But, the Disney characters won’t be in their usual attire. Instead, they will be dressed in brightly colored outfits that are inspired by a prehistoric party. Each character has its own line. Typically, Donald Duck will have the longest line. He meets Guests opposite Triceratop Spin.

Meanwhile, Daisy Duck and Chip and Dale meet on the Cretaceous Trail. Follow the trail round to the left, and you will find where Daisy meets. Follow the trail to the right, passing Daisy, and you will find the chipmunks.

Donald's Dino Bash, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Discovery River

You will cross bridges over the Discovery River throughout your day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Each land has its own bridge that connects to Discovery Island. When crossing the bridges, look over the side to see if any Disney friends are cruising down the Discovery River. You may even hear them before you see them! While your interactions with the characters on the Discovery River differ from other meet and greets, you can wave to them, blow kisses and maybe even play a game of invisible catch. Have your cameras ready in case you wish to snap a selfie.

Typical Disney characters you will see sailing are:

  • Pocahontas and Meeko
  • Goofy and Pluto
  • Russell and Dug
  • Launchpad McQuack
  • Rafik and Timon
  • Discovery Island Drummers
  • Chip and Dale
  • Mickey and Minnie
Disney's Animal Kingdom Discovery River Flotillas
Credit: V Mills

Festival of the Lion King

The Festival of the Lion King is a popular attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While it’s a magical moment to meet the show’s cast, seeing the show gives you a chance to see Timon and Pumbaa. If you are sitting in the lion or the warthog sections near Pumbaa’s float, securing a seat at the end of the benches is worth it. During the show, Timon hangs out behind Pumbaa’s float when he isn’t performing. It’s fun to watch him and see what he’s up to, especially if you’ve seen the show already.

Festival of the Lion King, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Meeting characters is part of the Disney experience. Include these character experiences in your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!

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