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8 Pro Tips for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There are a lot of wonderful and engaging experiences to be had at Animal Kingdom. Attractions to ride, characters to meet, pictures to take, shows to see, and food to eat. To help you hit all the must do items on your list, we have put together a list of our own. Here are 8 pro tips for Animal Kingdom.

8. Make Time for the Shows

Animal Kingdom has some of the most colorful and fun shows offered at Disney. The two big shows are Finding Nemo The Musical, and Festival of the Lion King. Both are great fun for the family with familiar songs and fantastic costumes and puppets. Another fun and informative show is Flights of Wonder. It’s a smaller show in comparison to the other two, but it features a big cast of beautiful and endangered birds, such as macaws, cranes, and a bald eagle. This may be the only chance guests have to see these awe-inspiring birds up close.

7. Safari First Thing

If you visit the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction early in the morning there will be two major benefits. You won’t have to wait long in line, and typically there are more animals out wandering around for you to see. The mid-day sun causes many of the animals to seek shady corners making them more difficult to spot. It’s also a great idea to ride the safari early as well as later in the day. Chances are you will see different animals. The safari is never the same trip twice!

6. Quick-Service Meals

Animal Kingdom has an amazing selection of quick-service counter restaurants. Flame Tree Barbeque has delicious ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and chicken. Pizzafari is a great spot for pizza lovers, picky eaters and they offer gluten free pizza as well. The Smiling Crocodile is a kiosk that has just a couple snacks but the smoked cheddar grits with pulled pork are worth stopping for. The Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes has delectable options such as Honey Chicken, the Teriyaki Beef Bowl, egg rolls and cheeseburgers on the kids menu. The quick service meal options are endless at Animal Kingdom and you’ll spend less time and money, but feel just as satisfied.

5. Single Rider Line

Expedition Everest is one of the most popular attractions at Animal Kingdom and can have some lengthy waits at times. If you want to ride this attraction multiple times, or without a long wait, get in the single rider line. You’ll sit next to a stranger, but you’ll get on much faster and you’ll experience all the same thrills!

4. Tours

If you have visited Animal Kingdom a few times, or you’re a nature and animal enthusiast a great way to experience Animal Kingdom is to book a tour. The Wild Africa Trek is a VIP, three-hour guided tour that brings you closer to the animals, and you’ll also dine on delicious African- inspired snacks. The Backstage Tales tours takes guests behind the scenes and shows them how Disney cares for the animals.

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3. Bring a Poncho

A poncho is a good idea to have handy at any of the Disney parks, since Florida can have daily showers, but they’re a great idea at Animal Kingdom for one attraction in particular, and that attraction is Kali River Rapids. There is a chance you may stay relatively dry on this river raft ride, but chances are also very good that you will find yourself under a waterfall and get drenched! If you don’t want to wander around the park in wet clothes for the rest of the day, put a poncho on for this ride. On the other hand, if it’s the middle of summer and you fancy cooling down, then maybe forget the poncho.

2. Plan Your Character Meet and Greets

Grab a times guides, or check out the My Disney Experience app to see which characters you can meet, when and where. There are a number of characters who only do meet and greets at Animal Kingdom, like Pocahontas, Tarzan, Flik and Russell and Dug to name just a few. These characters only appear at certain scheduled times, so if you want to meet them and get photos, it’s best to do a little planning ahead. Or make a reservation to dine at Tusker House. They offer a character dining experience with Safari Donald Duck and Daisy and their friends. This is a great way to have a fun dining experience while also meeting characters.

1. Arrive Early

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but arriving early really does make a huge difference when visiting the parks, and Animal Kingdom is no exception. If you like riding the attractions multiple times, this is the way to do that. Get in the short lines early in the day, and use your FastPass+ selections later. Getting up early and heading to the park may not be overly appealing when on vacation but it will definitely allow you to fit more Disney into your day.

About Lauren Repei

Lauren lives in Hamilton Ontario, but dreams of one day moving to Orlando to be closer to the Magic Kingdom. She loves the atmosphere, the history, the magic of the parks and Dole Whips, so she’s always in the midst of planning her next vacation. In the meantime, she spends her days working for the family business as a baker, and as a travel agent specializing in Disney with ClicktheMouse. Lauren’s most memorable Disney moment by far, is when she became engaged in front of Cinderella Castle making it her best Disney vacation to date.