Disney Vacation Planning: Animal Kingdom

It has been said that Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be done in half a day. In my opinion, only if you eliminate most of the things there are to do. The one thing that is for sure when visiting Animal Kingdom, you must be at the park when it opens. Animals are much more active early in the morning, especially when the days are warmer.

Must Do’s – This will depend on ages involved, but following is a suggested list.

  • Kilimanjaro Safari: This is the ride for everyone who is an animal lover. No height restrictions and other than keeping little ones to the inside of the seat, since you are in an open jeep. The informational signs on the back of each seat help identify the animals you see along the way.
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail: As you get off the Safari, you can wander along the trail at your own speed to see gorillas in their nature habitat.
  • Kali River Rapids: This raft ride will insure you get wet along your trek into Asia. Caution, some will get soaked. There is a height requirement of 38”. Be sure to wear quick drying clothes and shoes.
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug: This 3D film is for honorary bugs. This show can be dark and for small children, putting them on your lap will help ease the fears. No restrictions.
  • Dinosaur: Take a ride back in the past via a Time Rover. There are some small drops, very bumpy and dark. Height restriction is 40”.
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the forbidden Mountain: This thrill ride does include big drops and some dark areas, especially when dropping backwards. Height restriction is 44”. The queue for this ride is one of the most detailed areas, it is almost disappointing when you can’t walk slow enough through it to read and see everything.


  • Flame Tree Barbecue: The most popular counter service has some of the best chicken, ribs and pulled pork sandwiches around. Desserts, soft drinks, beer and wine are also available.
  • Tusker House Restaurant: This buffet is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has African and American style food. There is character dining during breakfast and lunch. Reservations accepted.
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant: This Nepalese-style restaurant features pan-Asian food. Open for lunch and dinner. Reservations accepted.
  • Pizzafari: This is quick service dining with critters like peacocks and chameleons throughout. Pizzas, salads, draft beer, wine and fountain drinks available.

Your table service and character meals can be reserved 180 days before your trip. Have your list of Must Do’s ready for when you schedule your FastPasses. If you are a Disney resort guest, you will be able to set up your Fast Pass + 60 days before your visit. If you are staying off property you will be able to do your FP+ 30 days before your trip. Coordinating everything before arriving at Walt Disney World makes your trip a lot more relaxing. Don’t forget to also download the My Disney Experience app on your smart phone for a personal connection for times of parades and wait times.

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Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.

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