When planning a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it can be difficult to decide how your day should be structured. Should you head to the rides first, look for the animals or take your time walking through the Discovery Island Trails or Pandora? While the list of things to see, explore and experience might seem daunting, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you should consider when you’re deciding what to do during your day in the park. While everyone’s list may be different, we have put together a brief list of some do’s and don’ts for your time in Animal Kingdom.
9. Don’t Ride Kali River Rapids In The Morning
This one may seem obvious, but unless it’s a scorching hot day, Kali River Rapids first thing in the morning may be a bad idea. You can expect to get wet on the ride and chances are good that you may end up soaked to the bone by the end of it. While you might bring a change of clothes (that you would require immediately), you will still feel the effects of the water long after you’ve exited the ride. No one wants to wander around Animal Kingdom feeling soggy, so save your visit to Kali River Rapids for later in the day when the sun is out in full force to dry you up.
8. Do Plan On Watching Shows Around Midday
While many of the trees in the park have grown and matured, there isn’t a ton of shade to be found in the park so during the hot Florida afternoons, watching some of the shows can be a perfect respite from the heat. The Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical both take place in air-conditioned buildings, giving your body a chance to cool off while enjoying the performances. Even Flights of Wonder gives you a break from the heat as most of the seating area is covered by a canopy.
7. Don’t Plan On A Quick Trip To Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Rafiki’s Planet Watch gives guests an opportunity to see behind the scenes when it comes to the care of the animals in the park. While the map indicates that it requires a train ride to reach the location, the time involved will almost always be a little longer than you expect. With a wait of around 10 minutes for the train, a journey of about 10 minutes and then a 5-7 minute walk from the station to the main building, your trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch could take a while. Once you’re there, there is a lot to see and do for guests of all ages, whether it’s encountering animals, watching the veterinarians in action or taking part in a number of different activities, you can expect to spend a while in this area, not to mention the ride back to the park.
6. Do Walk Through The Everest Queue
If you happen to enter the stand-by queue for Expedition Everest and it looks like you’ll be waiting a while, fear not, because the queue is filled with tons of artifacts and information about the mythical yeti. There’s tons of climbing gear and equipment used in the search for the yeti as well as personal accounts and research helping to tell the story of Everest. So even though you may be waiting, there’s lots to see and explore here to pass the time.
5. Don’t Skip The Walking Trails
Even though the Kilimanjaro Safaris is the easiest way to go see animals, the walking trails in Asia and Africa are not to be missed. The Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Asia and Africa respectively are filled with animals you won’t see out on the safari. It’s the perfect opportunity for guests to explore at their own pace, take pictures and see some amazing animals, from the zebras and gorillas to the fruit bats and Asian tigers.
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4. Do Try The Flame Tree Barbecue
As a regular fan-favorite, the Flame Tree Barbecue is not to be missed for first-time visitors. The Pulled Pork Sandwiches have a barbecue sauce so delicious that they have begun to sell it by the bottle for guests looking to take that incredibly flavor home with them. One of the other stars on the menu is the St. Louis Ribs which come with baked beans, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. They fall off the bone and will have you licking your lips as you savor every bite.
3. Don’t Eat Before Primeval Whirl
If you do grab a bite to eat at the Flame Tree Barbecue, or any other restaurant, the last thing you should do is ride Primeval Whirl immediately after. While the ride is a fun coaster with subtle dips and turns, it’s the spinning of the cars that might put you on-edge. It never seems to be overly vigorous to start, but especially towards the end of the ride, the spinning around each corner intensifies so to stay on the safe side, you should probably consider waiting for a while before riding if you’ve just finished eating.
2. Don’t Use A FastPass+ Selection On Flights Of Wonder
Even though the park may get busy during the day, Flights of Wonder is one of the shows you shouldn’t use a FastPass+ Selection for. With an average of 5 shows per day, Flights of Wonder never seems to fill up since it has a fair amount of seating. A FastPass would only give you priority seating, but with several shows playing each day, if it felt too crowded for you, you can always come back another time. Save your FastPass+ Selection for something with a typically longer wait time.
1. Do Ride Kilimanjaro In The Morning
While many guests rush off to Expedition Everest first thing in the morning, taking a stroll to the Kilimanjaro Safaris will give you an opportunity to maximize your chances of seeing the animals. In the morning, before the heat gets too uncomfortable, the majority of the animals will be up and about, taking advantage of the cooler morning air to explore the terrain. This gives guests a better chance to see and capture photos of the animals in their more active state before the sun comes out and they find a place to rest in the shade. Though the guides are correct in saying that each safari is different, visiting the attraction in the morning is a good way to start your day in Animal Kingdom.
What are your do’s and don’ts for Animal Kingdom? Tell us about them in the comments!