9 Best Tips for Animal Kingdom That You Can't Miss
In this guide, we will cover our best tips for Animal Kingdom to ensure that you arrive at the park extremely prepared, and know all of the 'hacks' to maximize your time and money.
1. Know About Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane
Although the days of Fast Passes are over, the days of Disney Genie+ have just begun.
A Disney Genie+ Pass is an additional cost that allows visitors to skip the regular lines to the majority of popular rides and shows at a Disney Park, by using the faster Lightning Lane line.
Visitors will be able to reserve a riding spot for the Lightning Lane line, and then they'll be given a time frame of when they can use it for that day.
However, guests can only book one ride at a time.
After a rider has used their Lightning Lane (or their window is up), they'll be able to book a Lightning Lane for their next ride of the day.
Lightning Lane selections must be made on the same day of your visit and can be used across several theme parks, which is extremely convenient for those with the Park Hopper options.
2. Use the Little Known Entrance to Quickly Get Into the Park
A secret tip that not many people know about is that there's a different (and faster) way to get inside the park.
If you go through the Rainforest Cafe gift shop and exit through the back, you'll be positioned right near the Animal Kingdom entrance turnstiles with much fewer people.
This will give you a very easy entry experience, which can come in a clutch, especially during crowded days.
3. Ride the Safari in the Morning
A trip to Animal Kingdom is not complete without a visit to the Kilimanjaro Safari.
As one of the most popular experiences at the park, the lines can get overwhelming.
By going earlier in the day, you'll avoid the heavy crowds, ride before the temperatures get too hot, and the best part is that animals will typically be more active at this time as well.
Ride When it is Raining
If you can't ride in the morning, you'll want to consider riding while it is raining.
As the sun is out of sight, the temperatures cool down, inviting the animals to be more active, and you may even see elephants playing in the mud!
4. Visit Pandora - The World of Avatar
This is hands down one of the most unique experiences that you'll ever have. There's an entire area themed around the movie Avatar, that took the world by storm due to their amazing special effects.
This 12-acre area features Pandora's Mountains (which are floating in the air), two attractions, shows, and even places to eat.
Even if you aren't planning on riding any of the rides in this area, it's a 'must-do' at the very least to walk around this unique area.
5. Know What the Best Rides are
If you take a look at the Animal Kingdom map, you'll notice that in this park, everything is pretty much evenly spaced out.
There's one main island located in the center by the Tree of Life, that connects all of the other smaller areas.
Our recommendation would be to visit Pandora the World of Avatar (located on the bottom left of the park) and work your way clockwise (to Africa) for the rest of the day.
Some of the most popular rides at the park can be found below.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Easily one of the most realistic rides that we've ever experienced.
This 3D ride will take you on top of a winged mountain banshee, and you'll fly around at high speeds and sharp turns through the moon.
You'll immediately appreciate how much work has been put into this ride, once you've taken one look at the scenery from the first drop.
Hop on a speedy train as you navigate through the icy Himalayan mountains.
Be aware that there's a mythical Yeti that is known to hang around this area, and good things have never happened to others who have encountered the creature!
Jump in a jeep-like vehicle and race against time as you try to save a dinosaur before the meteor hits.
This is a jerky ride with tons of twists, turns, and even avoiding deadly T-Rexes on the way.
6. Experience the Bugs Life Show
It's Tough to be a Bug
Every so often you'll experience a show that you'll immediately want to drag your friends to, to see their reactions.
This is one of them.
This 3D live show will show you what it's like to be a bug, while you're wearing 3D glasses.
Throughout the show, you'll feel bugs squirming behind your seats (harmless air is sprayed), and even smell the defense stench from a stink bug.
7. Know About Single Rider Lanes
If you're not able to purchase a Disney Genie+ option to use Lightning Lane, there's another way to skip the lines.
During a ride, there will almost always be an opening in a row for one person. This is due to groups of people wanting to ride together. For example, if a family of 2 gets in a 2-person row, naturally there's an empty slot.
This is where single-rider lines come in handy. You can volunteer to ride by yourself to quickly ride your favorite lines.
8. Grab a Dole Whip
When you go to the movie theater, you grab popcorn, when you go to Animal Kingdom, you grab a Dole Whip.
What is a Dole Whip?
A delicious dairy-free dessert that is built from a pineapple-flavored dry mix, combined with water, that directly comes out of a soft-serve machine.
Where to Purchase
You can visit the Tamu Tamu refreshments to purchase a delicious Dole Whip.
9. Visit the Nomad Lounge
The Nomad Lounge serves fantastic drinks and food within a relaxing treehouse ambiance.
In our opinion, it's the best place to stop by for drinks in the entire park. It's the perfect way to cool off from the sun while refueling before continuing your day.
Make some time for this in your day!