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Tips for Staying Cool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a beautiful Disney Park. This beautiful Park is full of unique outdoor experiences for Guests to enjoy. Because so much is outside, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an extremely hot Park to visit. You won’t want to leave this Park early with so many great attractions, entertainment, dining, and shopping. Instead, use these tips to stay calm to enjoy everything Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers.

Credit: V Mills

Go Early

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens earlier than the other Parks, and you should take advantage of those early hours. The easiest way to avoid the heat is to get to the Park before it starts to warm up. Enjoy the morning hours, which aren’t as warm. If you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for early entry. This will get you into the Park thirty minutes before the official Park opening.

The mornings are also a great time to visit because the animals are more active. They get hot and tired during the middle of the day as well. You might see fewer active animals if you wait to ride Kilimanjaro Safari until the afternoon.

Hit the Park early in the morning to enjoy the cooler temperatures.

Mickey Tusker House

Enjoy a Meal

Enjoying a great meal is another great way to battle the heat at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some of the best dining options of the four Parks. If you are looking for a quick meal, try out Satu’li Canteen. This has an enormous indoor dining area for Guests to cool off while they have a great meal.

For a longer meal, consider one of the many table-service locations. Try out Tusker House for a character meal featuring Donald Duck and his friends in safari gear. This is a buffet option and provides a lot of unique options as well as some classics like chicken nuggets.

Tiffins is a signature restaurant that many Guests are shocked to find inside a Disney Park. Here you can have a high-end meal while enjoying great dishes, drinks, and a fantastic atmosphere.

Having a good meal is a perfect way to stay cool during your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Don’t forget to use mobile order or make a dining reservation ahead of time through your My Disney Experience account.

Nomad Lounge
Photo Credit: Disney

Visit a Lounge

Adults can relax and cool off at one of the lounges in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lounge. Both the Dawa Bar and Nomad Lounge have excellent drink selections. Grab a nice, cold beverage such as the African Bloody Mary while you relax.

Both bars provide small plates that are perfect for those hot days. Dawa Bar is an open-air bar found in the African section of the Park. This area has full shade and lots of fans to keep everyone cool. Over in Pandora, Guests can enjoy Nomad Lounge, which offers indoor and outdoor seating on a fantastic patio.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy some downtime at one of the fantastic lounges in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Festival of the Lion King
Credit: Disney

See a Show

A fantastic way to stay cool during the afternoon heat at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is to visit the outstanding shows. Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond are stunning shows that shouldn’t be skipped.

Both are located inside, making it perfect for catching some air conditioning while continuing to enjoy the magic of Disney. The Festival of the Lion Kingdom brings to life the beloved movie with heart-warming singing, stunning stunts, and beautiful aerial ballet.

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond uses larger-than-life puppets to bring this story to life. Guests join their beloved characters of Crush, Nemo, and Dory as they go on an adventure. The talent of these performers is stunning and shouldn’t be missed.

Enjoy both shows to have some much-needed air conditioning during the middle of the afternoon.

Dinosaur Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Ride an Indoor Attraction

Although many of the experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are outside, there are few indoor attractions for Guests to enjoy. Save rides such as Na’vi River Journey, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Dinosaurs for the afternoons when it gets the warmest in the Parks.

This will allow you to enjoy some air conditioning during part of your wait and throughout the ride experience. However, we don’t recommend waiting in long lines to do this, so use Genie+ to bypass the longer stays that could build in the afternoons, especially in Pandora.

Kali River Rapids
credit: Disney

Visit Kali River Rapids

To cool off during your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, ride on Kali River Rapids. This is a family-style raft ride that takes Guests down the river. The ride tells the story of logging and deforestation, but along the way, Guests are taken on an adventure.

This raft ride is full of bumps, turns, twists, and even a drop, creating splashes and waves that get riders wet if not soaked. If you need to cool off in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Kali River Rapids will get the job done.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with its beauty, has become an extremely hot Park to visit. Instead of skipping it altogether during your trip to Walt Disney World, use these tips to stay calm. There are a lot of unique experiences to have at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and you won’t want to miss out during your vacation.

Related: Stay Cool and Comfortable at Disney in the Heat

Related: Packing for a Summer Trip to Disney

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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