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10 Tips For The Best Day Ever at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Guests who enjoy a Walt Disney World vacation often spend the majority of their time on property exploring all that the four Disney Parks have to offer. Each Disney Park is unique in its theme and the attractions, entertainment, dining, and more found there reflect that central focus. Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 and focuses on celebrating the beauty and diversity of nature while also aiming to teach guests about the importance of protecting the environment through entertaining and educational experiences. The park is the largest of the four Disney Parks and is filled to the brim with amazing experiences for guests to enjoy, making guests sometimes feel overwhelmed when trying to figure out just how to see it all. The key to having a perfect day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is heading in with a plan and some prearranged FastPasses and reservations which will help to save time, leaving more opportunities to enjoy as much as possible. Here are ten tips for guests to use to have the best day ever at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

1. Rope Drop Avatar Flight of Passage

The most popular attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Avatar Flight of Passage which is found in Pandora – The World of Avatar. Since the attraction is so popular with guests, it is often extremely difficult to score a FastPass for and also typically has very lengthy wait times in the middle of the day. The best way to enjoy the attraction is by arriving for rope drop at the park and heading directly to the experience where guests will encounter a wait on the standby line that is much lower than any other time of the day.

2. FastPass Na’vi River Journey

After enjoying Avatar Flight of Passage, guests should use a FastPass for the other attraction found in Pandora – The World of Avatar. The Na’vi River Journey is a serene boat ride that brings guests deep into the bioluminescent forests of the Na’vi. The journey features all kinds of creatures and supernatural looking plant life before ultimately revealing the Shaman of the Songs who is one of the most advanced audio-animatronics ever made.

3. Breakfast at Tusker House Restaurant

After enjoying the two attractions in Pandora – The World of Avatar, guests are sure to be hungry and there is a wonderful full service dining location found in nearby Africa. Tusker House Restaurant welcomes guests into a lively eatery that features an extensive buffet filled with the perfect combination of American classics and African inspired flavors. While enjoying the plethora of breakfast options available, guests can also meet Donald, Mickey, Daisy, and Goofy who are all wearing their safari gear and ready to set out of adventures.

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4. FastPass Kilimanjaro Safaris

Also found in the African section of the park is Kilimanjaro Safaris which is a very popular experience no matter what time of day. Guests who FastPass the attraction can enjoy the experience with little to no wait time and head straight into the Harambe Reserve for an unforgettable journey. The open air safari vehicles guest board allow for amazing encounters with animals such as giraffes, elephants, lions, and more, many of whom can be found roaming freely in their various habitats.

5. Check out the Walking Paths

A great way to slow down and enjoy the many beautiful details of Disney’s Anima Kingdom is by experiencing two self-guided walking paths that offer the opportunity for adventure and animal encounters. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is situated near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris and features the opportunity to observe many gorillas in their natural habitat. The Maharajah Jungle Trek can be found near Kali River Rapids and features beautiful temple ruins and the chance to see Asian Tigers playing in the hilly grass and fountains.

6. Single Rider Expedition Everest

Found in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a thrilling attraction that focuses on a daring escape from a mythical beast. Expedition Everest begins as a shortcut through the mountains towards Everest’s base camp, however guests soon find themselves plunging into the darkness of the Forbidden Mountain and rushing to escape the Yeti. With big thrills, Expedition Everest often has lengthy wait times, however the single rider line is always considerably shorter than the normal standby line and offers the same experience.

7. FastPass Dinosaur

Another thrilling attraction in the park is Dinosaur which is found in the rear of Dinoland. Guests are welcomed into the Dino Institute where they are to embark on a tour of a quiet time in prehistoric history. The experience soon takes a more thrilling turn as guests are sent on an unauthorized mission to bring back a dinosaur who is deathly close to the massive asteroid attack. With near darkness, bumpy roads, and lots of adventure, Dinosaur always has a long wait time making it a perfect option to use a FastPass for.

8. Eat Dinner At Flame Tree Barbecue

After such a busy day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests are sure to have worked up an appetite and there is a delicious quick service dining location on Discovery Island that is sure to thrill them. Flame Tree Barbecue serves up mouthwatering barbecue options that can be easily ordered at walk up ordering counters, however the highlight of dining at the location is the outdoor patio in the back. Guests can enjoy their indulgent meals while looking across the water at Expedition Everest in the distance!

9. Meet Minnie & Mickey

After enjoying a hearty dinner, guests can walk to the nearby Adventurer’s Outpost for an opportunity to meet two favorite characters. The location is themed to feel like an outpost for travelers to stop in at on their way to various adventures throughout the park, and the final room features Mickey and Minnie decked out in their safari gear. The two characters often spend several minutes with each guest posing for photos, signing autographs, and more, making this a wonderful experience for guests of all ages.

10. Get A Seat Early for Rivers of Light

The end to any perfect day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is enjoying a showing of the beautiful Rivers of Light. The show celebrates the beauty and various forces of nature that perfectly come together to form our world. Situated on Discovery River, there are plenty of great views to be enjoyed thanks to two halves of a massive amphitheater. Despite there being plenty of seating, Rivers of Light is a very popular show that tends to fill up well ahead of its start time. Guests who are looking to enjoy the perfect view for the show are smart to find a spot at least an hour early and enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere before start time.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.