Here is the Touring Plan for Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Orlando. I know like most people you have an idea what you like to do when you head to the Disney Parks. Most people try to squeeze out a couple rides on the the Big Name Attractions before the park really gets busy. Some people just go with the flow of people around the park. Other people buy guide books that teach them how to avoid the lines, I am going to show you mine for FREE!
Today I am going to talk about The Animal Kingdom and over the countless visits to the park I have a set way of going around the park. I am not a big fan of crowds, nor am I a fan of lines. Most times when I goto Disney it is during the slow season. I have gone at Spring Break, July 4th and the other holidays when it has been super busy. The only time I have never gone was during Christmas as I know that is the busiest time of year. It doesn’t really matter when you go there are going to be people there and I think I have only experienced an empty park back in the early 90′s, most other times it is moderately busy.
Disney Animal Kingdom or DAK is HUGE! Covering over 500 Acres. While not all of that is places you and I will go it is still a pretty big park. I enjoy walking around and looking at all the details Disney put into this park. I have seen many behind the scenes specials on DAK and it is amazing what Disney has done with and for this park.
Here is a tried and tested Touring Plan that my family and I like to do when visiting Disney Animal Kingdom or DAK. I will be updating this in September after I check out Wild Africa Trek so watch for an update.
Get there early
We like to get here before Rope drop (9am) and make reservations at Tusker House for breakfast. You can get some great photos of the Tree of Life without anybody in it. Also the pictures of Donald & Friends at Tusker House in their safari gear is very unique. Be sure to grab a showtime guide when you first enter the park cause you will need it throughout the day.
Quick Tip – There are usually some Photopass photographers there taking pictures for all the early morning breakfast people. So be sure to bring your Photopass card with you.
Going on a safari
We usually finish breakfast around the time of rope drop. Which means people are making a mad dash to Expedition Everest. Luckily we are on the other side of the park from the mad dash of people. So we jump on the 2nd busiest ride at the park Kilimanjaro Safari.
Quick Tip – I haven’t done the Wild Africa Trek but our writer Melissa has a 3 Part Review available here. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This might be a good time to do this if you signed up in advance. Click here for more details.
After the safari we usually bypass every other ride and head straight for Expedition Everest. If you can ride Everest twice as it will be very busy by mid day, or grab a fast pass for later.
Quick Tip – If there is a long line try going in the single ride line. You may not get in next to the person you came with but at least you can ride the coaster. Also works well for families with toddlers or infants where the parents can ride swap the kids.
Nemo or Dino
Depending on the time you have 2 ways you can go. If you are in time for Finding Nemo the Musical head on over. If you just missed the first show take note of the next showtime and head to Dinoland USA till the next showing. Either way you go you will be in the Dinoland area at least till lunch time. Be sure to ride all the rides a few times if possible. If you have little ones let they run around in The Boneyard to get the wiggles out. Its good for those who are young at heart too.
Quick Tip – Be sure to stop by Dino-Bites for one my favorite snacks the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!!! This monstrous thing is only 1 snack credit!
Back to the beginning
After consuming your snack now its time to enjoy a show. We usually head back to the Tree of Life for It’s Tough to be a Bug. Check out this article In need of an upgrade – Its Tough to be a bug. This is my least favorite 3D show at Disney. The walk around the Tree of Life is spectacular with several great picture taking spots. Be sure to notice the attention to detail Disney Imagineers did on the Tree.
Get our your pens
Next head on over to Camp Minnie Mickey. This is another one of those instances where if you are in time head up to see The Festival of the Lion King or if we are to late/early get some character autographs.
Quick Tip – If you ate at Tusker House for breakfast you would already have Mickey & Friends in their Safari Outfit pictures and autographs.
Depending on what time it is you may be getting close to 3:45pm and the Jammin Jungle Parade. The Parade starts at the Tusker House Gate at Harambe Village. It then winds around Discovery Island, and returns to the Tusker House Gate. Also check out this article Disney Parade viewing spots from a wheelchair.
Quick Tip – Head up near the Yak & Yeti to see the parade so you are not locked into any specific area of the park. Atleast here you can get out and goto Asia or Dinoland USA and not feel like you are stuck.
Time to get wet
This part here is optional as you will get soaked on Kali River Rapids. If you are not into getting wet check out the Flight of Wonder Bird Show..Or like us do both :)
Check out some animals
Now is the time to relax and ride the train to check out the animals. Head up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and check out the animals. This is where you can sneak in some learning on your little ones. Walk around check out all the exhibits and animals and just have fun. But not t0 much fun as the park will be closing soon. Park closes at 5pm.
Now its time to say goodbye
Disney’s Animal Kingdom closes ALOT earlier than the other parks. Most days it closes at 5pm. Disney has to feed and tend to the animals which I totally understand. This works out great for us as we like to eat Dinner early so head over to my favorite buffet Boma – Flavors of Africa!!!
Quick Tip – If you purchased a park hopper pass be sure to check out some of the other parks. If not go Resort Hopping one of my favorite non park related activity to do.
Well thats about it for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I hope you liked this weeks edition of Chip and Company’s Touring Plans. If there is something I missed or if you want to share yours with us let us know in the comment section below.
Check out the Hollywood Studios Tips.
Learn more tips and tricks for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Destinations in Florida can also help you add tips and tricks to your next vacation.
(Thanks Chip and Company!)