The Internets #1 Tips and Tricks for Animal Kingdom!

Updated November 19, 2020

We all want to experience the Disney theme parks the best way possible: like a pro. Over the last 10 years, we’ve been piecing together the top tips and tricks from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. Below you’ll find the best of the best. Everything from the best bathrooms to where to sit on a particular attraction for the best experience. Level-up now…

Tips

  • When entering the Orlando park, use the path to the left as you go through the Oasis (just beyond the park entrance). It’s typically less crowded in the mornings and evenings.
  • The Tree of Life is “carved” with several animals, making up the roots and trunk of the tree. How many can you spot? Hint: There are over 320 animals!
  • Speaking of the Tree of Life, you can get much closer to it than the front viewing area. In fact, you can go all around it and through it! There are several “hidden entrances” to get closer. If you are going to see “It’s Tough to be a Bug” show, the path will take you down to the tree and through it. From the front viewing area if you head left towards Africa, hug the tree line and you’ll eventually come to a trail that leads you down to a really nice waterfall and a picturesque spot by the tree.
  • Everyone wants to meet Mickey and Minnie while they are at the parks! Head to Adventurers Outpost to meet the famous duo in their safari outfits.
  • You can join Russell and Doug and become an actual Wilderness Explorer during your visit to Animal Kingdom. As you come down from the Oasis, walking towards the Tree of Life, you’ll see a stand on the right side with the WE sign on it. Here you can take the WE oath and begin your hunt to discover some really cool things throughout the park. You’ll receive a guide to help you along your way. This activity is great for kids!

Attractions

  • On Kilimanjaro Safaris try to sit on the left side of the vehicle when you board. The left side has the best views and most of the animals. If you’re going to be boarded in the middle or right side, just ask to wait for the next vehicle!
  • On DINOSAUR after entering the big film room try moving all the way over to the other side of the room next to a plain set of double doors. This is the exit when the instructional film is done. The closer you are to it the faster you ride!
  • On DINOSAUR the scariest seat to sit in is the front left followed by every other seat on the left-hand side. This is where most of the scary Dinosaurs are. Of course, if you are really scared, make sure to sit in the middle and put your friend or child on the outside 😉
  • On Flight of Passage, there are different viewing/experience levels for this attraction. The preferred experience is on upper levels 1, 2, and 3. Ask a Cast Member to be put into one of those lines though be prepared to possibly wait a bit longer.
  • On the Na’vi River Journey, there are 2 rows of seats per boat. The best viewing experience is from the front row, especially with smaller kids. Just ask a Cast Member to be seated in the front. You may have to wait for an additional turn but it’s worth it.
  • We totally understand that not everyone goes on the big rides. No problem! There are plenty of fun stuff to do while you’re waiting. For instance, on Kali River Rapids you’ll cross over a bridge as you enter the ride. You’ll notice on both sides of the bridge that the ride runs under it. On one side of the bridge, you’ll see a button that when pushed, activates the elephants to squirt water on the people passing by in their boats. You get where we’re going with this….
  • Parents: Child Swap is a real thing and it’s amazing. When you visit the Disney parks and one of your little ones can’t go on a ride that has a height limit, you can do what’s called child swap (or parent swap). One parent goes in and rides the ride (whether through the Fastpass line or standby) and when they come out the other parent +2 can go through the Fastpass line to ride. Nice! You need to be sure to show up at the ride and ask the Cast Member who’s standing at the entrance of the ride for a child swap pass. If you don’t do this they won’t give you one later.

Food and Dining

  • You can get a Dole Whip inside Animal Kingdom…if you look hard enough…or keep reading. The shop is in Africa and it’s called Tamu Tamu Refreshments. They serve other tasty desserts like the chocolate waffle topped with mousse or ice cream. It’s amazing!
  • Tiffins isn’t just a fancy restaurant, it’s also a lounge open to anyone. The lounge section is called the Nomad Lounge and it consists of inside and outside seating. Their “bar menu” is extensive, including food. We suggest trying the pork ribs and Asian chicken wings with ranch and the Kiamma Mama (watermelon and Sprite). Amazing. 
  • The Satu’li Canteen in Pandora was the first restaurant to offer mobile order and pick-up. Download the Disney World app to have access to this service. It’s listed on the home menu. The reason we mention it is because it’s much faster than standing in line during the lunch or dinner rush. Order your food from their menu, customize what you need, and you’re done! You can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the app during the times they offer each menu.
  • The best place to eat in Animal Kingdom is the Tusker House Restaurant.
  • The most fun place to eat in Animal Kingdom is the Harambe Market.
  • The most casual place to eat at in Animal Kingdom is Flame Tree BBQ.
  • DO NOT buy water! $3.29 for a Dasani….geez! You can get free cups of water from ANY quick-service restaurant at Disney. Just walk up and ask for a cup of water…or 2 or 3! They’ll happily give them to you at no charge! We just saved you $10 a day. You’re welcome.

Single Rider Attractions

  • Expedition Everest
  • Flight of Passage

Get your tickets to Animal Kingdom today!

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