Animal Kingdom Guest Mistakes

After Festival of the Lion King Crowds
After Festival of the Lion King Crowds - Photo by Steps to Magic

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is physically the largest theme park at Walt Disney World at over 500 acres, which means there are a lot of ways that you can walk in circles. From personal experience, planning your day at the Animal Kingdom is almost like going to a buffet when you’re hungry…because the options can overwhelm your FitBit counter!

Animal Kingdom Guest Mistakes

Please note – there’s no right or wrong way to have fun at Disney. You do you:)

We’re as guilty as anyone else for this one! Thinking that Expedition Everest is right next to Pandora: The World of Avatar…when really it’s a good 15-20 minutes walk across the park.

  • Expedition Everest & Kali River Rapids are in Asia
  • Flight of Passage and Navi River Journey are in Pandora
  • Kilimanjaro Safari and Festival of the Lion King are in Africa

This is important to know because with the conservation messaging for the park, you’re not able to get straws or lids for your drinks. In the instance when you need a straw, it’s actually paper-based and gives the Frappuccinos at Starbucks an interesting aftertaste;)

Use your FastPass reservations on things that you can’t just walk onto. This means that you should prioritize in the following order:

  • Flight of Passage
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Expedition Everest

Attractions that don’t need reservations:

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo The Musical
  • Its Tough to be a Bug
  • Dinosaur
  • Navi River Journey

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When Pandora: The World of Avatar opened, the lines for Navi River Journey and Flight of Passage were both crazy long standby waits.

After wasting (and I don’t say that word lightly) a FastPass reservation on Navi River Journey when I could have changed to a Flight of Passage reservation the week before our last trip…it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can do.

Rope drop should be used for Avatar (Flight of Passage & Navi River Journey) because the other attractions can usually be found on ‘day of’ FastPass+ reservations.

Nighttime is amazing in the Animal Kingdom! Extra Magic Hours and any time that you can be in the park after the sun goes down should be high on your “to do” list.

Notice how I didn’t tell you to just “wear” your poncho;)

On top of a poncho for each person in your party, you should have a poncho (or plastic bag) for your backpack and all your electronics & valuables (like your wallet). Kali River Rapids ride vehicles has a water-resistant section in the middle of the raft, but it’s held down by magnets and doesn’t really ensure that your stuff will stay dry!

Related Article – Attractions that you’ll get Soaked on at Disney

Animal Kingdom theme park is the hottest park at Walt Disney World! It’s mostly due to the sheer number of trees and vegetation, but you’re going to feel like you’re in a sauna for most of the day.

Just do me a favor and drink more FREE water than you think you’ll need. It’s the park that sees more dehydration mistakes than any other!

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Sometimes I feel like a broken record stuck on repeat, but if you’re wanting to save time (and stress) with your quick service dining options…use Mobile Ordering! Here are the locations that you should use it:

  • Flame Tree Barbecue @ Discovery Island
  • Harambe Market @ Africa
  • Pizzafari @ Discovery Island
  • Restaurantosaurus @ Dinoland USA
  • Satu’li Canteen @ Pandora

Are there any other mistakes that you think should be on the list? Share them with me via social media @StepstoMagic!

Animal Kingdom Guest Mistakes - #StepstoMagic
Animal Kingdom Guest Mistakes – #StepstoMagic
I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality! If you want more Theme Park fun - listen to the We Like Theme Parks Podcast at