Touring Tips for Disney's Animal Kingdom

We've updated our previous tips for Disney's Animal Kingdom bringing you more expert advice on this Park than ever. By far is one of the most unique theme parks that Disney offers, Disney's Animal Kingdom themed entirely around animal conservation, it showcases the love and dedication that Walt Disney himself had to conservation of our natural world.

The fourth Park to be built at the Walt Disney World property, Animal Kingdom offers guests so much more than your typical animal park. Deeply engaged in research Disney's Animal Kingdom has been at the forefront of many ground breaking scientific advancements for the animal world.

Touring Tips for Disney's Animal KingdomTouring Tips for Disney's Animal Kingdom

We asked our veteran readers to come up with their best tips for touring Disney's Animal Kingdom. These experienced Disney fans have put the hours in on the ground and they're sharing their best touring strategies with you!


  • There's a lot of ground to cover at this largest of the Disney Parks. Be sure to take some time before your arrival to get organized and figure out what the most important points of interest are to you. You'll probably cover more miles at Animal Kingdom than in any other park, be sure to wear your best walking shoes.

  • Good places to rendezvous if you get separated from your groups include the outdoor seating area of Tusker House restaurant in Africa, in front of DinoLand U.S.A.'s Boneyard, and at the entrance to Festival of the Lion King.

  • Because of it's dedication to the health and welfare of the animals, Disney's Animal Kingdom closes fairly early. If you plan on park hopping, start your day off here to make the most of your touring hours.

  • Many attractions are outside, don't become overheated. Be sure to stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle along and refilling it with water frequently. Don't be afraid to visit shops and restaurants in order to take advantage of the air conditioning.

  • Narrow winding paths and bumpy pavement can sometimes make it more difficult to navigate this park in a wheelchair. If you're touring with someone who needs mobility assistance it can be a good idea to rent an ECV here.

  • This is by far one of Disney's most photogenic Theme Parks, be sure to bring your camera to capture some of it's unique landscaping and cultural quirks, as well as the animals.

The Tree of LifeThe Tree of Life

Spring Blooms in the Kilimanjaro Safari QueueSpring Blooms in the Kilimanjaro Safari Queue


  • Kilimanjarro Safari line is usually shorter in the afternoon, however the animals tend to be the most active in the morning. Every ride on the safari is a little different experience, don't be afraid to enjoy it more than once during the day.

  • Be sure to use your FastPass+ ability to reserve a time for the most popular attractions, such as Expedition Everest and the Kilimanjaro Safari.

  • Everyone will get wet on the Kali River Rapids so it's a great place to cool down on a hot day.. If delicate electronic gear must stay dry you'll want to store it in a locker or leave it with a non-riding group member before getting on the ride.

  • While not a traditional rollercoaster, Dinosaur is a seriously rough ride that jostles guests considerably. Pay head to the medical warnings posted, and consider sitting this one out if you have even minor back problems. Seats on the inside in the front of the vehicles offer the smoothest spots in the car.

  • When the heat is getting too much for your group make your way to Finding Nemo: The Musical, or The Festival of the Lion King. These fun shows will offer you a 30 minute air conditioned break while keeping your whole crew throughly entertained.

Kilimanjaro Safari JeepKilimanjaro Safari Jeep

Elephant on Kilimanjaro SafariElephant on Kilimanjaro Safari


  • There's some really fantastic Counter Service Cuisine at Disney's Animal Kingdom. If you're looking for something to eat with a little more flair than the typical burger and fries why not give fan favorites Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Flame Tree BBQ, or Yak & Yeti Counter Service a try!

  • By that same token, Animal Kingdom is one of those Disney Parks that you can sip and snack your way through all day. If you're visiting in the hot and humid summer consider grazing your way through the Park rather than eating large meals.

  • The full service Dawa Bar is a fantastic stop to grab a cold drink in the shade. Located just across the path from Tamu Tamu Refreshment there's lots of table space for your group to take a mid-afternoon break and enjoy a Dawa Colada.

  • Rainforest Cafe generally has longer hours of operation than the park does. Make your dining reservation for just after park closing to extend your day.

Tamu Tamu RefreshmentsTamu Tamu Refreshments

Delicious Dawa ColadaDelicious Dawa Colada

These great tips only scratch the surface of touring Disney's Animal Kingdom. Do you have a Touring Tip for Disney's Animal Kingdom that you'd like to share? Leave a comment below and let us know what you can't miss to make your day at the park the best ever!

J wrote on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 14:00:

J's picture

Take advantage of the single riders line on Everest.

P. Lagowski wrote on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 14:00:

P. Lagowski's picture

I just dicovered The Lion King show this year. It is very good and I recommend it for everyone.

coreyp wrote on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 15:37:

coreyp's picture

I would suggest that at least once you do the Wild Africa Trek. It's a little expensive, but very fun, and worth the price. It's a 4 hour tour, so it takes up a lot of the park hours, but if you enjoy the Kilimanjaro Safari you'll LOVE the Wild Africa Trek. You go along most of the same paths as the Safari, but you stop and spend more time looking at certain animals, and you really get to learn a lot. You also get lunch as part of the price!

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 17:29:

Kristen K.'s picture

Awesome! Keep the great tips coming!

Matt wrote on Fri, 03/29/2013 - 00:23:

Matt's picture

Our first day we land , check in , put the bags down and go straight to Animal Kingdom and go on Dinosaur :) Can't wait till May 17th we'll be back !!!

Nicole wrote on Tue, 04/02/2013 - 12:40:

Nicole's picture

This is actually the one park that I don't feel the need to get to by rope drop. The park clears out after the 3:45 parade and during the times of year when the park is open after dark, it's amazing to be there. It's an entirely different atmosphere lit up.

Charles wrote on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 04:23:

Charles's picture

Thank You! for the tips! I will be there for 8 days starting 4/21!!!! I cant wait!

charissa wrote on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 13:17:

charissa's picture

Don't forget to keep your eyes open for Devine. The flights of wonder show is exellent, too.

Ouida wrote on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 14:22:

Ouida's picture

Go to It's a Bug's Life on the way out of the park. It's less crowded.

Clara Christensen wrote on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 14:47:

Clara Christensen's picture

Don't forget to watch for the Living Vine!! Amazing show and almost always in a shady area.

Mel wrote on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 20:15:

Mel's picture

Be a Wilderness Explorer! We went to parts of AK I had never been to in all my years of going. I learned a lot, too! Kept my book because I don't have all my badges.

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