Disney’s Animal Kingdom is growing and becoming more popular. Following the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar, you must have a plan on how to tackle the park. Here is our Top Animal Kingdom Hacks for 2020. Our Animal Kingdom Tips & Tricks will help make sure you have a great vacation.
You can have fun even when it is crowded at the Animal Kingdom
The Animal Kingdom is getting more crowded. Even in off-peak periods, it is probably more crowded than you would expect. However, crowds do not mean you can’t have a great time at the Animal Kingdom.
Visit our Guide to Crowds at Walt Disney World for a selection of Animal Kingdom Crowd-Busting Hacks.
The Animal Kingdom is not just about rides and shows
Take your time exploring the Animal Kingdom; there is a lot to see and explore. Many guests miss the animal exhibits and ignore the street entertainment, but they are some of the best attractions at Walt Disney World. The theming of the park is spectacular and easily missed if you rush.
The Animal Kingdom has also become one of the best places to experience street food and snacks. Keep your eye out for a delicious lunch as you explore the park.
Don’t attempt to do it all in 1 day.
The problem with the Animal Kingdom is the whole park is excellent. Apart from 1 or 2 exceptions, you will want to do it all.
Since the opening of Pandora- World of Avatar, this is no longer a 1-day park. If you have time, visit on 2 or even 3 days. This will also make collecting FastPass+ reservations easier.
Have an Animal Kingdom FastPass Strategy
Visiting the Animal Kingdom requires a FastPass strategy. Fastpass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system. Fastpass+ allows you to book attractions in advance of your visit. Guests not having a FastPass reservation will join a longer standby line and inevitably ride fewer attractions.
You can only pre-book one FastPass for either Navi River Journey or Flight of Passage. Due to the popularity of these attractions, do not expect to get an extra Fastpass later in the day. The strategy is more straightforward if you are attending more than one day as you can book a reservation for each day of your visit.
In addition, you can make a further 2 FastPass selections. In our opinion, these should usually be Kilimanjaro Safaris & Kali River Rapids. While Expedition Everest can attract serious crowds there is a single rider option if you are prepared to ride alone.
We have created a guide to help you plan your Animal Kingdom Fastpass Strategy. Our guide includes hints and tips to plan your day.
Make sure the kids are big enough to ride!
Don’t create a plan to realize too late not everyone can ride. Disney does enforce height restrictions rigidly. At the Animal Kingdom the attractions which have height restrictions are:
- Avatar Flight of Passage at least 44 inches tall to ride
- Dinosaur at least 40 inches tall to ride
- Expedition Everest at least 44 inches tall to ride
- Kali River Rapids at least 38 inches tall to ride
- Primeval Whirl at least 48 inches tall to ride
However, if the kids are too small it does not mean older children and adults can’t ride. Visit our Guide to Rider Switch for more information.
Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential in Walt Disney World. The My Disney Experience App is your essential guide to wait times, maps, showtimes & a lot more. Plus you can reserve FastPass+ & make dining reservations on the App while you are in the park.
Check the My Disney Experience App before you visit
Not every day at the Animal Kingdom is the same. Attractions close for refurbishment, showtimes vary & park hours can change. Times can even vary on different days of the same week.
My Disney Experience is a great place to get the latest information. Skip over here to find out how to download the App.
Don’t Miss Pandora – The World of Avatar
You probably already know this, but Pandora – The World of Avatar should not be missed when you visit the Animal Kingdom.
Pandora opened to the public in May 2017and is believed to have cost in the region of $500 million. It is inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar which remains the highest-grossing film of all time.
The area contains 2 main attractions Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. Both attractions are superb and should not be missed. Also, there are Avatar inspired shopping and dining options throughout the land.
Plan meal and drink breaks
The Animal Kingdom always seems hotter than the other Walt Disney World Parks. Make sure you have plenty of breaks and drinks when in the park.
Dehydrated & tired kids, or grown-ups, are not fun.
Book dining reservations in advance & use mobile ordering
Dining reservations at the Animal Kingdom open 180 days in advance, and the most popular venues book up fast. Don’t expect to get a favorite dining location on the day, especially during free dining. If standby reservations are available, you will often experience length waits.
If visiting a counter service location, if available, use mobile ordering. It is a brilliant time-saver.
Don’t miss the shows at the Animal Kingdom
There are some sensational Broadway Style shows at the Animal Kingdom, and they are some of the best at Walt Disney World. A show also offers the opportunity for a rest and some time out of the sun.
Don’t miss the animal trails at the Animal Kingdom
Many guests skip the animal trails at the Animal Kingdom, but they are fantastic exhibits with informative cast members available to assist. There are three main trails to explore in addition to a selection of smaller exhibits around the park:
- Discovery Island Trails
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
Our Guide to the Animal Kingdom has further information.
Ride Kilimanjaro safaris in the morning
Typically the animals are more active in the morning.
However, no two safaris are the same if you have time, ride twice.
Use the lockers for Kali River Rapids
There is no longer storage for belongings on the ride.
Yes, We made that mistake!
Your belonging will get wet perhaps very wet. Lockers are free and located near the entrance to the attraction.
Consider skipping some attractions
If time is limited at the Animal Kingdom, you may need to skip the odd attraction. It is better to plan these than miss your must-do attractions.
Here is our list of attractions we would skip at the Animal Kingdom if time is short.
Consider skipping Rivers of Light
Now you probably don’t want to do this, but in our opinion, there are better shows at Walt Disney World than Rivers of Light. Even a recent revamp has not made it top of our list.
However, if you are short of time, and you only have 1 FastPass for Pandora, the wait will drop during Rivers of Light. It often is a choice between Rivers of Light or both Pandora attractions if you are only visiting for one day.
Experience Animal Kingdom at night
Don’t miss it & make sure you visit Pandora at night. At night Pandora offers an entirely different experience. It is magical!
Get to the Animal Kingdom early
Failed to get a Fastpass for Flight of Passage?
Get there for park opening. Lines will be quieter the first few hours each day. However, Pandora will still be busy, so there always will be a wait.
Be ready for every type of weather
Sunscreen, hat & waterproof all might be needed on any day. Have a plan for what to do it weather turns.
We have created a Guide to the Orlando Weather which has further information.
Do you have any other Top Animal Kingdom Tips? Why not leave us a comment below?
Our Guide to Walt Disney World is a great starting place to plan any Walt Disney World Vacation.