Animal Kingdom Touring Plan
For many Disney World guests, their vacation isn’t complete without a visit to the Animal Kingdom. This park offers a unique atmosphere that is a refreshing break from what you’ll find at the other parks. The laid-back atmosphere, the animals and the lush vegetation create an experience that you won’t find anywhere else on Disney grounds. However, due to the large size, it can take awhile to get from one side of the park to the other. So having a good Animal Kingdom touring plan can help you to maximize your time and enjoy the park to the fullest extent possible.
Currently, there is no tiering plan for the Animal Kingdom so you can choose any 3 attractions that you’d like. Here are our choices:
9:30-10:30 – Expedition Everest – Grab this fastpass for the most popular ride
10:30-11:30 – Kilimanjaro Safaris – Everyone loves this crowd favorite
Just after lunch – Festival of the Lion King – Times may vary on this show, so try to get a fastpass for the time period just after lunch, in the 1pm range if possible.
Animal Kingdom Touring Plan
Most people that arrive at the Animal Kingdom immediately head to the Safari. The idea is that the animals are more active in the morning and you’ll enjoy it more. Whether this is true is quite debatable. I personally haven’t experienced this, so this plan is designed without consideration of “active animal periods”, and is instead designed around “active human periods”. If the entire group is heading to the Safari, I’d like you to head the other way.
9:05 – Dinosaur – The line will be non-existent, and you’ll be able to get into the first show, then hop right on the cars. The scare is a good way to start the day for your kids too!
9:20 – Tilt-A-Whirl or Triceratop Spin – Do one or both of these rides. The height requirement for Tilt-A-Whirl is quite steep so perhaps some adults can take the small kids on Triceratop Spin while those that want to brave getting sick can try their luck on the Tilt-A-Whirl.
9:45 – Fastpass – Everest – Use your fastpass on Everest, which should have a decent line by now. If the line is short, don’t worry, just use your fastpass and ride it.
10:05 – Kali River Rapids – This attraction will get you wet! But don’t worry, you’ll dry off soon with the heat of the day approaching. If you don’t want to get wet, don’t ride this one!
10:30 – Fastpass – Kilimanjaro Safari – It’s time to use your 2nd fastpass of the day at the Safari. 10:30 is still relatively early, so even if the theory is true that the animals do better in the morning, the heat of the day is still a ways off.
11-12:30 – Take this time to stroll around Africa and enjoy the sights. This is one park where the experience is something you don’t want to miss. Let your kids dance in front of the music in Africa or Asia. For lunch, there are a lot of options. Flametree BBQ is incredible. There is great Asian/Chinese food that you can use counter service credits on, at Yak & Yeti. Just enjoy the atmosphere.
12:40 – Fastpass – Festival of the Lion King – In this example, the show is going to start at 1pm. Arrive 20 minutes ahead of time, even though you have a fastpass. It’s good to sit close to the show, in case you want your kids to take part in the fun.
Animals or Rides? Which Would You Prefer?
At this point, you’ve ridden the main rides and you’ve used your fastpasses. If you’d like, you can start getting more fastpasses and begin riding them again. Want to ride Safari, Everest or Kali River Rapids again? If so, get those fastpasses, check wait times and get going!
But we are going to build this plan around allowing you to do everything, so we are going to include some activities that some guests don’t always find appealing. Do what’s best for your group.
1:30 – Jungle Trek – See gorillas and other animals on this relaxing walk
2:00 – Rafiki’s Planet Watch – There is a petting zoo, Rafiki, and a number of zoo-like activites at the other end of a nice train ride to this area.
3:00 – Flights of Wonder – Again, check times for your day, but going to Flights of Wonder after these first two makes perfect sense in terms of where you are in the park. This is a neat show that you might not want to see every time, but is worth seeing once.
At this point, you have a few hours left to do whatever appeals to you. Once you start heading into the late afternoon, this park begins clearing out. We recommend It’s Tough to be a Bug, but just head there whenever it makes sense, as the wait times will be short anytime after 3.
Ride anything and everything you want, except Everest. Why? Because the last hour of the park is absolutely the best time to ride Everest. The park is quite empty, and you can usually ride it 5-10 times in a row, with little wait. It makes no sense to wait 20 minutes at 2 or 3, when you can ride it over and over at 5 or 5:30. It’s a highlight of our trip!
Hopefully this touring plan gives you a few tips for your vacation and keeps you from walking your feet off in the largest park in Disney. This common sense plan makes logical sense, allows you to see everything, and provides for a great day at the Animal Kingdom.