Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by far the most unique park at Disney World. Follow these tips on What You Should Explore When you first arrive.
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World is a whole land just waiting to be explored. Animal Kingdom is the perfect place to honor, celebrate and explore nature. It is almost the opposite of its predecessor Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s vast with lots of space between attractions. Due to the unusual “nature” of this park, There are some key tips that will help you enjoy a more well rounded day. Rather than simply rush from one FastPass to the next, savor the Animal Kingdom and enjoy all of the wonderful elements that make it unique. The best way to start is by doing these things first, as soon as you get into the park.
Pick up a Map and Show Schedule
Whenever you visit any Disney park, always pick up a map and a show schedule. It always comes in handy. You may be savvy with the My Disney Experience app but trust me, a full-size map that you can view at a glance in its entirety is essential. Especially at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is a very large and very scattered park.
I love my park maps. It’s a running joke in our family to see how many Disney Parks maps mom will come home with. Plus, they make fun souvenirs too. When I need a Disney fix, I can pull out a park map and dream of my next Disney World visit.
Stop in the Oasis
There is a small habitat at the immediate entrance that most people rush right past. Be sure to stop and explore this area. There are animal habitats scattered around the park for you to stop and enjoy. It’s a major element in the design of the park and arguably it’s the whole reason the Disney Animal Kingdom park was even built. Although there are some major attractions to ride in the park, flesh out your journey by looking around often and stopping where you can.
Go Right at the Island At Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Discovery Island operates as a hub between the various lands of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can either circumnavigate the park or cross through the island to get to other areas. Where you go is a matter of personal preference, but assuming that you will only get to visit each place once, I recommend starting on the right and working your way around to Pandora so you can see it at night. This is a time-saving way to explore and experience the park rather than zipping to and fro in the 500+ acre theme park.
Have an Animal Kingdom Treat
Here is another tip to recycle as you go. Like animal habitats, there are several snack stations located all over Animal Kingdom. This is another way to slow down and savor the lush environment and you should do this the first chance you get. If it’s a busy day and you are struggling to secure a Flight of Passage Fastpass, a snack or beverage helps you pass the time as you refresh your My Disney Experience screen looking for Fastpasses to become available.
Explore Dinoland USA
Dinoland USA is controversial, I know. So many people love to hate it. Not me. This section of the park is my favorite because it is so much more nuanced than it gets credit for. There are dual storylines in this area that interconnect and it’s really fun to indulge in the imaginative history behind Dino-Rama and the Dino Institute. Yes, it may have been inspired by budget cutbacks, but the creativity behind it is some of Disney’s best work in recent history. Do yourself a favor and drink in some of the details in this underappreciated section of the Disney Animal Kingdom park.
Catch A Show
In my opinion, some of the best shows at Walt Disney World are at Animal Kingdom. Try to catch at least one. My favorites at Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo The Musical and UP! A Great Bird Adventure. Watching a show is also a great way to take a break and cool off. Check out times guide for show times and locations.
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