This Animal Kingdom itinerary is designed to help the entire family have a magical day at a great Walt Disney World park. Animal Kingdom is the largest of the four Walt Disney World parks, it’s beautifully scenic, highly photogenic and simply put a fantastic park.
This Animal Kingdom itinerary is broken down helping you plan your trip prior to visiting the park, as well as planning a route and rides to help you maximise your day. The majority of the rides specified are suitable for the entire family, however, if a ride has a height restriction etc. then it’s located at the top of the rides brief to help you decide if it’s suitable for your family specifically.
Now you’ve planned your Animal Kingdom fast passes, it’s time to experience your Animal Kingdom itinerary. This itinerary is laid out based on the route we’d suggest you take around the park (which is done almost in a clockwise circle).
Meet Mickey & Minnie Mouse
First up on your Animal Kingdom itinerary is going to be a meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. If you don’t have a fast pass for this then I’d suggest checking the wait times upon your arrival at the park. If it’s over 40 minutes I’d suggest skipping this and doing this on your way out of the park.
Here you’ll find Mickey and Minnie all dressed up ready to go out on Safari. This experience comes with a PhotoPass photographer so you can capture those amazing memories on a super high definition camera. Alternativly, if you don’t have the memory maker the staff will always be willing to take a photo of the entire family, so you can be sure you’ve got a great photo of everyone.
It’s Tough To Be A Bug
One of my all time favourite shows at Animal Kingdom has to be It’s Tough To Be A Bug. It’s a classic, and always has a standby line of less than 20 minutes.
The show is set in 3D and lasts around 10 minutes. You’ll find the entrance to the show on your right as you head towards the tree when heading into the park, or on your right when coming out of Mickey and Minnie meet and greet heading towards Pandora. Fun fact, the carvings in this tree we’re all done by hand and include 325 animals.
Flight of Passage
Flight of Passage is currently the most popular ride at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom (and in the top 5 for all 4 of the main WDW parks). If you don’t have a fast-pass for this ride then you’ll expect the standby line to be somewhere around the three hour mark.
If you don’t have a fast pass for FOP and you would like to ride it we recommend arriving at Animal Kingdom prior to ‘rope drop’ and heading straight to Pandora and the queue for FOP as soon as the park opens. Be sure to have looked over the map so you know the route in advance.
Flight of Passage is a 3D simulation ride, however thanks to the latest technology it doesn’t make me as “queezy” as some of the other simulation parks at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando.
The Pandora region is relatively small and enclosed, therefore the entrance and exit of Flight of Passage is relatively close to that of Na’vi River Journey (the other ride inside Pandora – The World of Avatar) making it the ideal filler ride if you’re early for the FOP or if there’s a short standby line after you’ve finished FOP.
Festival of the Lion King
After wandering through Pandora, and taking a ride on one of the most fantastic rides in all of Walt Disney World it’s time to settle down with a showing of the Festival of the Lion King.
The Festival of The Lion King has multiple showings a day – times vary depending on when you visit, to see the times for your visit you’ll need to see the Walt Disney World website. There’s plenty of seating available so this is rarely a good use of a FastPass. The show lasts 30 minutes and is suitable for all ages.
After finishing up inside the Harabe Theatre with the Festival Of The Lion King it’s time to head back out into Africa. Here you’ll find one of the major quick service dining options, Tusker House. Offering a wide variety of food choices as well as mobile ordering to save on queuing.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a sit-down meal in this area then the Yak and Yeti situated around 300m further round is a great and highly popular choice. I’d advise if you wanted to eat here booking in advance.
Time to shout out my mums favourite ride in all of Walt Disney World, the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Suitable for the entire family (not recommended if you’re pregnant) this ride allows you to board a jeep and head out into the savannah in search of real life animals.
The standby wait times for this ride can be in excess of an hour so it’s one to certainly consider fast-passing. No two journeys out into the savannah are the same but on average a journey will last around 25 minutes.
If you’re a big animal lover consider riding this ride either first thing in the morning or last thing at night as that’s when the animals are most active. Alternatively, consider going behind the scenes on the Wild Africa Trek. This experience is an additional cost of $200, the tour lasts 2 – 3 hours and includes a group of up to 12 people walking around the savannah on foot.
Maharajah Jungle Trek
If you’re tired of walking around Animal Kingdom by this point then this experience might not be for you. The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a composition of footbridges and waterfalls in which you’ll be able to view; Asian Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Water buffalo, Gibbons and more than 50 species of birds.
Kali River Rapids
Prepare to get WET!
This ride is only suitable for those 38″ and taller. If this is a ride you’re looking at going on then be warned, the standby queue can be circa 100 minutes so you’ll want to try and get a fast pass where possible.
Lockers are available for you to leave your belongings just outside the Majarajah Jungle Trek. Here you’ll also find bathrooms (where you can change into a new outfit should this be required) and some human driers (I don’t know how else you’d describe these giant Dyson’s suitable for humans)
While the rides in the Pandora region of Animal Kingdom have won over the hearts of many, my favourite ride at Animal Kingdom remains to be Expedition Everest. If you want to experience this ride with the entire family during a trip to Animal Kingdom you’ll need to ensure everyone is above the height limit required of 112cm.
Based on the world famous Yeti, this ride takes you on a fantastic journey with a number of incredible thrills and spills in between. The shop at the exit of the ride is home to some great ride associated merchandise and is a haven for pin traders with a number of pin trading CMs and a pin trading board.
Finding Nemo The Musical
After a heart-pounding thrill ride, it’s time to take shelter in the airconditioned auditorium for Finding Nemo The Musical. The show times for this particular attraction can vary so I suggest checking the Walt Disney World website in advance to find the showtimes for the day, in particular, you’re planning on visiting.
The show lasts around 40 minutes and with a capacity of 1,500 guests, it’s highly unlikely you’ll need a fast pass reservation for this ride to guarantee your seats for the showing.
Dinoland is home to some of the best nachos in the whole of Walt Disney World, as well as two fantastic rides and a newly launched and highly extensive meet and greet area. If you have a young budding Dino fan then be sure to stop by The Boneyard. Designed to look like a real dinosaur dig children under the age of 10 are free to dig and potentially help excavate fossils from a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Inside Dinoland you’ll also find a number of fair style activities. These are pay to play with a chance to win a prize – although many of the prizes are sadly not genuine Disney products.
Meet Dug & Russell From Up
As you exit the park round by the front of the Tree of Life you’ll find the Wilderness Explorers. Here you’ve the chance to meet Dug & Russell from the Disney Pixar classic UP!
There’s no fast-pass available for this meet and greet, but standby times usually run between 10 and 30 minutes. There’s also a CM on hand to take photos (and add it to you’re Memory Maker if you have one).
That’s our one-day itinerary for Animal Kingdom, as always we’d love to know how you spend your days at Animal Kingdom. Let us know down in the comments. In the meantime, if you notice any changes to this guide when compared to the Animal Kingdom park be sure to contact us and let us know.