6 Things You Must Do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

6 Things You Must Do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park has a lot to offer guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle of their otherwise hectic trip.  This is the park where you can relax, unwind, step away from the big crowds and take in the beauty of nature. 

Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Animal Kingdom Park has fewer “rides” than the other 3 parks, but it may have more to see and do overall to really tap into that vacation feeling.  Here are 6 “must do” activities to check off your list to get the best of this theme park.

For a more in depth look at all that Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer, check out The Best of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

Purchase an Individual Lightning Lane Selection for Flight of Passage

While I don’t believe it is necessary to purchase Genie + for your visit to Animal Kingdom Park, I do think your money would be well spent on an Individual Attraction Purchase for Flight of Passage.  This attraction is extremely popular, and the stand-by line can get up to over an hour quickly depending on the crowds.  This attraction has a 44-inch height requirement.

At Pandora- The World of Avatar
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

So, when you wake up at 7am as a resort guests (or the time of park opening for non-resort guests) open that My Disney Experience App and make the purchase.  You will be glad you did when you are scooting past that long line at a scheduled time to experience a simulated flight on a breathing banshee through the world of Pandora.

Relax and Unwind at Animal Kingdom Park

To relax and unwind at a theme park, you must slow down!  In this park, you will find an easy pace among the pathways surrounded but lush greenery, soft music, and beautiful animals. That is the focus of this heavily themed land.

A quiet sitting area along the water with a beautiful view of the Tree of Life
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

So, while you are waiting for your time to ride Flight of Passage, grab a coffee at Creature Comforts, the Starbucks location at the front of the park on Discovery Island.  Then you can stroll among the roots and branches of the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom Park- The Tree of Life.  Grab a seat in any one of the numerous sitting areas along the waterway and watch the character flotillas go by.

Along the pathways of The Tree of Life Garden
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Most importantly, take time to notice the details around you!  This park and its attractions are exquisitely detailed for the highest level of immersion.  The landscape, buildings, music, live entertainment and cast members are integral pieces to bring the beauty of the lands to you.

tiktok: @dizndonohues

Slow Down to Enjoy Some Great Food

Have a meal or even a snack at any one of the amazing food service locations around the park.  Animal Kingdom Park has some of the best food in Disney World and best yet, you can take your time to enjoy it.  Some favorites include:

  • Tusker House: Enjoy breakfast or dinner at this table service character meal featuring Mickey and friends in their safari gear
  • Mr. Kamal’s: a food kiosk between Asia and Africa that serves seasoned fries and honestly some of the best falafel I’ve ever had. 
  • The Smiling Crocodile: a food kiosk on Discovery Island that serves street tacos (amazing!)
  • Flame Tree Barbecue: a quick service location where you can get all things smoked and sauced.  Try the pulled pork mac & cheese! 
  • Yak & Yeti: a table service restaurant in the Asia section with Pan/Asian cuisine
  • Satu’li Canteen: A quick service restaurant where you can mobile order ahead of time and enjoy bowls you create of grains, fresh vegetables, and your choice of protein.  You can also get a craft beer made specifically for this location- The Hawkes’ Grog Ale!
  • Nomad Lounge: Join the walk up wait list at opening at this lounge just outside of Pandora and when it’s your time, you will be lounging in a comfortable seat, with beautiful views, enjoying some great small bites and cocktails.

Those are just a few!

Relaxing at Nomad Lounge
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Wander Among the Majestic Animals at Animal Kingdom Park

While waiting for your time to return to the Nomad Lounge, venture to Africa and stroll through the Gorilla Falls Trail.  This trail will lead you past aquariums of exotic fish, meerkats and of course a family of Gorillas among other species of animals.

along the Gorilla Falls Trail Photo:
@bizzyrunninganddizn

If you are in Asia, you can wander through the Asia Trek to see Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Elds Deer and Water Buffalo along the way.  These beautiful peaceful trails are often overlooked and not crowded.  

Kilimanjaro Safari

Take a safari truck ride through the African Savannah on Kilimanjaro Safari.  This 110-acre trip among 35 different species of wildlife native to Africa will amaze and delight both kids and adults. 

To be fair, this attraction is best done first thing in the morning or later in the evening when the animals are more active.  So, keep that in mind when you are planning your day.

Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom Park
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

It’s important to note that the safari doesn’t always open with early park entry for resort guests and will close earlier than park closing.  Keep an eye on the stand-by line wait time if you choose not to purchase Genie+.  The wait time will drop toward the end of the day.

Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

This is a fan favorite rollercoaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and brings all the thrills and chills as one of the best attractions in Disney World!  You will ascend the highest peaks of the Tibetan Mountains and plummet back again after an encounter with the mythical Yeti

This ride has a 44-inch height requirement.  The queue moves quickly, so wait times are generally bearable.  Better yet- there is a “single rider” line available if you don’t mind riding separate from your family/friends to get on faster.

More to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There are other attractions, dining locations and places to visit inside the Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Disney World.  Some of them include:

  • Dinosaur: dark ride through the prehistoric age to help capture an iguanodon
  • Navi River Journey: Ride a boat through the bioluminescent forest of Pandora
  • Winged Encounters: Watch beautiful Macaw’s free fly in a show around the Tree of Life
  • Feathered Friends in Flight: Get a “behind the scenes look at the birds of Animal Kingdom
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Take a train ride to an area where you can learn more about Disney’s Animals, learn to draw Disney Characters and visit a petting zoo

and much more!

A seating area at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

This list is not to suggest that any one thing is more important than the other.  It is simply a tool to help you get an idea of what Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer.  I’ve listed some of the big hitters for you so you can make the most of your time at the park.

If you would like highlights of the other Disney Theme Parks to help plan your vacation, please visit:

Disney Springs- Beyond the Theme Parks

How to Maximize Your Day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

The Best Way to Maximize Your Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Why Epcot in Disney World is a Hidden Gem

If you would like to learn more about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park or have a good suggestion as well, leave a comment below.  This is the first in a series of highlights on each park at Disney World.  If you would like assistance planning a trip to Disney or anywhere, we are here to help you!

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