Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a beautiful mix of rides, shows, and food for Guests to enjoy during their visit. The hard part is determining how to tour the Park to get it all in during the day.
We will share a touring plan for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so you can get the most out of your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom while visiting Walt Disney World.
We aren’t going to use Individual Lightning Lanes or Genie+ for our touring plans; however, if you want to do so, you could use them to your advantage throughout the day to get onto the rides when even lower wait times.
One of our biggest tips for any Walt Disney World Parks is to take advantage of early entry. If you are staying at one of Disney’s Resorts, you can enter the Park thirty minutes before the listed Park opening.
These thirty minutes can make a huge difference in getting ahead of the crowd. Start at the bus stop around 90 to 60 minutes before early entry. This should get you onto the first bus headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
You can get through the touchpoints and start lining up for your day’s first ride. During early entry, we highly recommend heading to Avatar: Flight of Passage if you have riders that are tall enough to ride. For those that don’t have riders tall enough to ride Avatar: Flight of Passage at the 44-inch requirement, you can also head to Pandora and instead check out Navi River Journey.
After navigating both rides in Pandora, we recommend heading back to Africa. Kilimanjaro Safari is the iconic ride in this Park and shouldn’t be skipped. As a longer ride, running here early on during the day is good.
Lines will be shorter, and you can enjoy the animals being more active as they begin their day. Giraffes, rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, lions, and so much more can be encountered during this ride.
Once you have seen the animals, grab some breakfast or snack. We like a lot of the options in Africa. The Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery is the Starbucks location for those that need their coffee in the morning, We also enjoy the colossal cinnamon roll here as well.
Expedition Everest and Dinosaur are the next two rides we recommend enjoying before lunch. Expedition Everest has a single rider as an option for those traveling with a group that could use this option.
As the other two more thrilling rides in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the lines for both Expedition Everest and Dinosaur will build in the afternoon. Having them done before lunch can help you miss those long lines.
Typically you can do one more thing before lunch. This can depend on what your focus is for the day. If you want to see some more of the animals that make this Disney Park home, we recommend taking a walk on either the Maharajah Jungle Trek or Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. These fantastic paths allow Guests to see either tigers or gorillas that make the Park home.
For those interested in the shows, visit either Festival of the Lion King or Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond. We highly recommend seeing these two incredible shows at some point during your Animal Kingdom day. The Festival of the Lion King tends to fill up quickly, so this might be a good option before lunch.
Finally, visit Kali River Rapids before lunch if you are focused on the rides. This is the water ride in the Park. Keep in mind that some might get soaked.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom provides numerous options for lunch. There are a handful of quick-service and table-service locations that all offer excellent menus.
The two most popular options for quick-serviced dining are Flame Tree Barbecue and Satu’li Canteen. Flame Tree Barbecue has excellent entrees such as chicken, ribs, and delicious mac and cheese.
Satu’li Canteen has the popular cheeseburger pods and protein bowls. Guests can choose their base, protein, and sauce, giving them more options.
When it comes to table service meals, there is one character meal. Tusker House is open throughout the day, and Guests can experience fun with Donald and friends throughout their meal.
For a fancier option, Tiffins is a signature dining experience. Guests will find high-end dining at this restaurant. Next door, Guests can enjoy Nomad Lounge, which has excellent drinks, a fantastic view, and a great menu.
Remember to use mobile ordering for your quick service locations, and table service locations need reservations that can be made at 60-days before check-in.
It gets hot at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Because of this, you will want to visit the shows in the afternoon. We already mentioned the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond as excellent options. You can also see the Feathered Friends in Flight, an interactive show that teaches about some fantastic birds.
To get out of the crowd, consider taking the Wildlife Express Train. This will take Guests back to the Affection Section, where they can interact with some animals.
If you are traveling with Guests that aren’t afraid of bugs, you can also get some air conditioning by visiting It’s Tough to Be A Bug. This is inside the Tree of Life, but remember that this show can be intense for some Guests.
Consider any of the options we mentioned before for dining. Choose what works best for your travel party regarding a quick or table service meal.
As the evening starts to cool down, make sure you take time to visit the trails. Our favorite is the Discovery Island Trail which takes Guests around the Tree of Life. We find the tree fascinating and enjoy slowing down to take it all in.
Pandora is also the land we highly recommend visiting during the evening. This land comes to life in a whole new way with the bioluminescent lights.
Evenings are a great time to revisit some of your favorite attractions of the day. Keep in mind that rides like Kilimanjaro Safari close early.
Finally, don’t forget to catch the Beacons of Magic that lights up the Tree of Life at night.
That is a quick overview of how we recommend touring Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We hope it will help you navigate the day of your Walt Disney World vacation.