Animal Kingdom is unlike any other theme park. It has wild and exotic animals, but it’s not a zoo. It has thrill rides, lands based on real places in the world, and now a land that is based in fantasy. So it’s no wonder guests may be a little unsure of how to tackle this park. While it’s difficult to make actual mistakes at Animal Kingdom, there are better ways to get the most out of this park. Here are 11 ‘mistakes’ that guest sometimes make when visiting Animal Kingdom. If guests can avoid even half of these, they’ll find they have more time in the park, and experience more of the wonderful things Animal Kingdom has to offer.
11. Thinking Animal Kingdom is a Half Day Park
Even before Animal Kingdom had Pandora, I would argue that guests should spend a whole day here. Explore the trails, see the shows, enjoy a meal, and take in all the amazing theming Disney has done at this park. Guests will miss out on a lot if they don’t spend a whole day here.
10. Not Meeting Characters
There are a number of characters to meet at Animal Kingdom that guests won’t find anywhere else. Pocahontas, Flik, and Russell are just some of the characters guests can meet. Take a look at the app, or a park map and time guide to see where and when characters appear. It would be a shame to miss out on meeting these characters!
9. Not Bringing Poncho
It rains often in Florida, but that’s not the only way to get wet at Animal Kingdom. Kali River Rapids is a fantastic ride which shouldn’t be passed up, however chances are good you’ll get wet, or soaked! Bring a poncho along with you and avoid getting wet in the rain and on Kali River Rapids.
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8. Arriving Late
Arriving early at Animal Kingdom is the way to go, especially with Pandora drawing big crowds. Arrive before rope drop and decide where you want to head as soon as the gates open. Getting to the park early means fewer people, less time waiting in line and hopefully a chance to ride Flight of Passage with little to no wait!
7. Not Using the Single Rider Line
Expedition Everest is one of the few attractions at Disney World that has a single rider line. If you enjoy this ride, and you’re out of FastPasses, use the single rider line and you’ll find yourself face to face with the yeti in no time.
6. Missing Out on the Dining Package
There is a Rivers of Light Dining Package, which offers great value. If you’re making a reservation at Tiffins or Tusker House, make a Rivers of Light Dining Package reservation and get a VIP seating voucher for Rivers of Light that night.
5. Only Visiting Pandora Once
Pandora completely transforms as day turns into night. Guests will miss out on a lot if they only visit first thing in the morning and don’t return at night when the ecosystem the Imagineers have created come to life and glow. There are things to see here at night that really can’t be experienced during the day.
4. Sticking to Burgers
Animal Kingdom has some amazing and unique dining options, so it’s a great place to step out of your comfort zone of burgers and pizza and try something that might be a little different. The Yak & Yeti is a great restaurant that will appeal to those who like pan-Asian cuisine, Tiffins will appeal to those who like to try something new but also like signature dining experiences. There’s Harambe Market, which has walk up windows serving delicious items like African spice rubbed ribs and tikka masala chicken. There’s a little something different for everyone at Animal Kingdom.
3. Dining at Peak Times
Instead of having lunch or dinner at typical meal times, eat just a little earlier, or slightly later, and you’ll find shorter lines and more seating. Making this slight adjustment to your dining schedule will save you time in the park.
2. Using a FastPass+ on Shows
Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King are both incredible shows, and are worth seeing when visiting Animal Kingdom, but they are not worth using a FastPass+ on. The shows play at scheduled times throughout the day, and the theatres can seat a lot of people. For example 1,500 people can see each performance of Finding Nemo. Your FastPasses are better used on ride attractions with long lines.
1. Not Getting a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage
Without a doubt, get a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage. Because Pandora is still a very new land and this is the main attraction not just in Pandora, but for all of Disney, the lines are extremely long, and that trend will probably continue for quite some time. Grab a FastPass+ for this attraction, and save yourself a lot of time in the park.