Disney’s Animal Kingdom is more than your typical theme park! The feeling you get when you walk through the jungle of the Oasis, over the bridge into Discovery Island…deciding whether or not you want to go to face the Yeti or find yourself on the adventure of a lifetime as you venture out onto the safari.
Each time you find yourself in the Animal Kingdom, you find new details and things that you’ve never seen before, and this is due to the fact that the park is a living and breathing organism that is literally never going to be complete!
One of the most popular questions we get from folks who are researching a trip to Walt Disney World is to lay out the things that you shouldn’t miss when you’re planning to be in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Let’s look at the Top 10 Things to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
THE BEST ATTRACTIONS AT THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
- Flight of Passage (Avatar)
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Kali River Rapids
THE BEST SHOWS AT DAK
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo: The Musical
THE BEST RESTAURANTS
- Satuli Canteen (Quick Service)
- Flame Tree BBQ (Quick Service)
- Tusker House (Buffet/Character)
- Yak & Yeti (Table Service)
- Restaurantosaurus / Pizzafari (Quick Service)
The Best Hidden Gems AND Details at the Animal Kingdom
STANDBY LINE AT EXPEDITION EVEREST
Why Standby? Well the difference is in the queue line details that the guests who are interested in the legend of the yeti get to experience. We spend so much time trying to bypass lines, however, the line at Expedition Everest is by far one of the coolest!
Do it early, as you can take your time without being stuck with a huge wait.
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TRAILS AROUND TREE OF LIFE
Grab a Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar and explore the amazing detail that went into the Tree of Life!
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FRONT ROW AT KILIMANJARO SAFARIS IN THE MORNING
The animals on the safari are more adventurous in the morning hours, so not only will you get more action for your photos. It’s also a great time to enjoy the part of the park that gets scorching hot the earliest.
Why “front row”? It’s completely due to the fact that you’ll get photos without the heads of random guests in the way. Plus it’s pretty cool to get pics with your driver in it!
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SPRAYING PEOPLE WITH THE GREEN BUTTON AT KALI RIVER RAPIDS
Kali River Rapids isn’t for everyone, although the ride itself is refreshing on a hot Florida day. Do you like making sure that others have the opportunity to be refreshed at the best possible moment? Well when guests are thinking that the attraction is almost over…you can add a little bit of extra “refreshment” by pressing a little button.
Go to the bridge by the exit of the attraction and you’ll see a green button that you can spend a decent amount of time pressing and spraying guests;) Have fun with it!
MEET AND GREETS WITH “HIDDEN CHARACTERS”, LIKE DAVINE, KEVIN (FROM UP!), RAFIKI, AND TARZAN
There are character meet and greets hidden around the park that most guests don’t realize are available. You can see more characters by planning your time correctly and by having the advantage on your side of insider knowledge!
Check the Times Guide when you first arrive at the park to see who’s available and where you should go when.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Discovery Island, and Dinoland are the spots where you’ll find the most characters.
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QUICK SERVICE MEAL BY THE WATER AT FLAME TREE BBQ
One of the best places to get away from the crowds and the heat is on the patio of Flame Tree BBQ, which overlooks the lagoon with Expedition Everest in the background. Take your time, enjoy the food and the majestic views of the Animal Kingdom!
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BECOME A WILDERNESS EXPLORER
The Wilderness Explorer brings the characters from UP! into the trails and lands of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Do a little research of the game before you go, but it’s a great way to learn about the details of the park.
Start early, and don’t be afraid to spread out the tasks throughout your trip.
STAY LATE TO SEE RIVERS OF LIGHT AND THE BIOLUMINESCENCE OF THE TREE OF LIFE AFTER DARK
As we move into the next life of Disney’s Animal Kingdom with the addition of Pandora: The World of Avatar, the evenings will be a great time to explore the park!
Remember to nap mid-day, as you’ll be wanting to fully experience the details that the Imagineers have wanted to showcase from the very beginning!
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ADR LUNCH AT TUSKER HOUSE FOR 11AM
Not only is Tusker House a great character meal, an awesome buffet, and a hidden gem…it’s also a great place to get a little breakfast with your lunch!
What does that mean? If you are in the dining room at the right time, you may get an opportunity for a couple mickey waffles & bacon before turning your attention to the amazing lunch cuisine that the Disney chefs are known for!
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Spend some time and take a few “wrong turns” to hang out with the Alligator in Dinoland USA, Turtles on Discovery Island and Tigers in the Maharajah Jungle Trek. People watching in Pandora with your shoulder banshee is a past-time that folks have started to enjoy a lot!
The Animal Kingdom is filled with hidden gems for guests to truly enjoy! Animals, characters, merchandise, pin trading and many other things that make DAK a truly memorable experience and one of my favourite parks on property!
DID WE MISS ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE?