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How to Have the WORST Day in Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

How to Have the WORST Day in Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney/ Canva

Recently we covered “How to Have the WORST Day at EPCOT” we discussed guaranteed ways to be sure your trip to Walt Disney World’s most adult-oriented Park would be the worst you could remember. Today we’ll travel a few miles down the road and talk a little about Disney’s largest Theme Park. That’s right; today, we will discuss how to have the WORST day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not only Walt Disney World’s largest theme Park but also the youngest. Opening in 1998, Animal Kingdom is home to elaborately themed lands featuring landmarks and wildlife from Asia, Africa, and Avatar’s Pandora. Guests to Animal Kingdom can find fine dining, thrills, shows, and even dinosaurs. The Park is a masterpiece of Disney Imagineering. Billed as a “wild time,” Guests Animal Kingdom is much more than a zoo, although it remains loyal to its education and conservation roots. However, we aren’t here to debate whether the Park is a zoo or a traditional Theme Park. Instead, as satirical as we can be, we will ensure you know exactly how to have the worst Animal Kingdom day possible.

Wear The Heavy Clothes and Skip the Water

walt disney world ride space mountain test track expedition everest rock n roller coaster spaceship earth magic kingdom epcot animal kingdom hollywood studios average stall time to reopen

Credit: Disney

We want to be very clear: this is a joke, DO NOT WEAR HEAVY CLOTHES AND BE SURE TO DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS. Okay, now that we got that out of the way, we’ll mosey on back to the article’s theme. Animal Kingdom is hot; it reigns supreme as the warmest of the four Disney Theme Parks at Walt Disney World. Some say Animal Kingdom is kept a few degrees warmer on purpose, but we think it’s because the place is crawling with abundant flora. There are sections of Animal Kingdom that feel very much like a rainforest. Typically, rainforests are hot and humid. Animal Kingdom is also very hot and very humid. If you’re looking to have a bad day, not drinking water and wearing heavy, hot clothing will ruin your Animal Kingdom experience and could likely put you in the hospital. 

Pro-tip: Wear a Spirit Jersey, they’re perfect for displaying your love for Animal Kingdom.

Don’t Rope Drop Avatar Flight of Passage

avatar flight of passage

Credit: Disney

Animal Kingdom’s most popular ride is, without a doubt, Flight of Passage in Pandora. This attraction allows you to jump on the back of a banshee and experience flight through the valley of Mo’ara. Complete with realistic 3D and natural smells; you’ll feel like you’ve actually linked with a Na’vi avatar. It’s a fantastic experience that draws large crowds to the Park. Guests begin lining up way before the Park opens to be first in line to experience this attraction. This is called rope-dropping.

However, since you want to have the worst possible day at Animal Kingdom, you definitely want to avoid rope-dropping this ride. In fact, don’t bother riding it at all. You don’t need to spend the extra dough on an Individual Lightening Lane, and you definitely don’t care to experience the tremendous wait times of Flight of Passage. On busy days, they can reach three antagonizing hours!

Pro-tip: If you’re going to stand in line, make Na’vi River Journey a priority. 

Don’t Stick Around After Lunch; DAK is a Half-Day Park

lion king animal kingdom

Credit: Brian McGowan

If you’ve ignored our advice and gotten up early, chances are you’re having too good of a time and need to slow down. WORST DAY, not best! Although Animal Kingdom is billed as the largest Walt Disney World Park, much of this is due to the size of Kilimanjaro Safaris, home to many animals you’ll want to forget about seeing. By scratching this and a few other things, Animal Kingdom quickly becomes a half-day Park. 

There’s little reason to stay after lunch. Instead, head back to your room and get some work done. That big proposal isn’t going to write itself. This is a great way to ensure that your Worst day at Animal Kingdom goes as poorly as possible. Although Animal Kingdom is full of unique and fine details enjoyed by many who consider the Park the best out of all in Walt Disney World, you only have time to stick around and enjoy some of those things. Joe Rohde spent all that time traveling and researching the details for Animal Kingdom, big whoop.

Pro-tip: Don’t bother counting animals on the Tree of Life, Cinderella Castle is better anyhow. 

Your Feet Hurt, Skip the Animal Trails

Tiger on Maharajah Jungle Trek (Left), Tiger Sign on Maharaja Jungle Treck (Right). Credit: Jill Bivins

Outside of the safari, the best way to see animals at Walt Disney World is through the two trails at Animal Kingdom. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek are home to many animals you can view and appreciate. However, forget these trails as it is sweltering, and you’ve been walking around all day. Although they are heavily themed and have excellent information about a large variety of wildlife, you don’t need to see tigers and gorillas when you can sit in the air conditioning at It’s Tough to be a Bug. 

Although wildlife and education are a huge part of what Animal Kingdom has to offer since we’re trying to have the worst day possible, seeing and learning about these animals is optional. The same can be said for Kilimanjaro Safari. Chances are your ride vehicle will end up stuck due to rhinos or giraffes blocking the road; no one wants to deal with that when trying to have the worst day possible. 

Pro-tip: If you must ride Kilimanjaro Safari, ride around 1 p.m., dont’ worry about riding early in the morning or late in the evening. 

Character Dining is Expensive, Have a Generic Burger Instead

Tiffins exterior sign

Credit: Disney

Animal Kingdom has a lot of offerings in terms of food, from Tiffins to Flame Tree Barbeque, table service, and quick service options galore. You could plan a nice sit down at Nomad Lounge to enjoy a few drinks while you watch the boat drummers row by or hang with Safari Mickey over at Tusker House while you take in authentic African cuisine, but this is the worst day ever. Instead, you’ll want to grab a burger and fries over at Restaurantosaurus. Why grub on Tamarind-braised Short Ribor Lamb Merguez-stuffed Medjool Dates when you can have a chicken sandwich? 

Make sure you pass on those other tempting options like Yak & Yeti, Satu’li Canteen, or Drinkwallah; instead make sure that you try out the pizza at Pizzafari. Pizza at Disney World in the wrong place is a must for the worst Animal Kingdom day. Although the dining at Animal Kingdom (in the right places) rivals that of EPCOT and Disney Springs, you’ll want to ensure that you fill your belly with standard Theme Park grub.

Pro-tip: Instead of Pizzafari, Park Hop over to Hollywood Studios to enjoy PizzeRizzo’s instead.

Ensuring your Animal Kingdom day is a bad as it can be, doesn’t require much work or planning. It’s better to just jump in, be upset by the lack of short wait times, and skip all of the hidden treaures within the Park. Although some of the food and beverage options are amazing, they come with a hefty price tag and nothing equals a bad day like spending money. Make sure to pass on any of the live entertainment you’ll see pop-up around the Park as well. Instead of opening yourself up to new ideas and cultures, grab a Mickey pretzel and a beer. Animal Kingdom is only a half-day Park afterall.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!