9 Best Tips for Animal Kingdom
In this guide, we will cover our best tips for Animal Kingdom to ensure that you arrive to the park extremely prepared, and know all of the 'hacks' to maximize your time and money.
Table of Contents
- Disney Genie vs Disney Genie +
- Use the Little Known Entrance
- Ride the Safari in the Morning
- Visit Pandora World of Avatar
- Know What the Best Rides are
- Experience the Bugs Life Show
- Know About Single Rider Lanes
- Grab a Dole Whip
- Visit the Nomad Lounge
1. Know About Disney Genie vs Disney Genie+
Fast Passes have been retired, but a new option that works similarly is being introduced as Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane.
It's important to know that Disney Genie and Disney Genie + are two separate things.
Disney Genie +
is an upgrade that costs $15 that allows riders to skip the regular line and access to the 'Lightning Lane' entrance. This is essentially the new fast pass.
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.
Disney Genie on the other hand is included with admission is essentially a live itinerary, that you can use to plan your day before arriving to the park, and while you're at the park through the My Disney Experience app or Disney app.
2. Use the Little Known Entrance
A secret tip that not many people know about is that there's actually a different (and faster) way to get inside of the park.
If you go through the Rainforest Cafe gift shop, and exit through the back, you'll be positioned right near turnstiles with much less people.
This will give you a very easy entry experience, which can come in clutch especially during the 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.
This is definitely an experience that you'll want to do early in the day. You'll avoid the heavy crowds, experience it before the temperatures get too hot, and the 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 definitely want to ride while it is raining. The animals will typically be more active and walking around, and you may even see elephants playing in the mud!
About the Safari
In this safari, guests will ride in an open-air vehicle and see wild animals in the 110 acre area.
Some of the animals that visitors will be able to see include hippos, giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs & crocodiles.
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 actually 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, that connects all of the other smaller areas together.
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) 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, in order to see their reactions.
This is one of them.
This 3D live show will show you what it's actually 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 in order 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 in order 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.
Definitely make some time for this in your day!