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Animal Kingdom

10 Rookie Mistakes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

10. Forgetting Heat Protection.

The Animal Kingdom has a reputation for being a really hot park. Maybe it’s a mental thing, maybe it’s the size of the park or maybe it’s the dense foliage trapping the heat. Regardless, park goer’s will agree that Animal Kingdom is a hot park. Do not brave Animal Kingdom without sunscreen, hats, comfy shoes and lightweight clothing.

9. Passing Up the Stroller.

This large park requires guests cover a lot of ground. In addition to the sheer size of the park, many animal attractions are walking attractions. Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and the dinosaur walking trail allow guests to walk through and explore at their own pace. Combining these factors may mean that small children on the cusp of no longer needing a park stroller may enjoy the day more from the comfort of a stroller. Generally, happier kids make for a happier vacation.

8. Not Arriving at Park Opening.

Arriving at “rope drop” at Animal Kingdom is a great way to beat the heat, hop on attractions while wait times are low and see more animals out and about for a morning feeding. Arriving at park opening to see Kilimanjaro Safari and Expedition Everest without the need of a fast pass is a great way to free up more of your park day to use fast passes and see other high traffic attractions.

7. Neglecting to Reserve Fast Passes.

Fast passes are golden at Walt Disney World. Reserving fast passes in advance to see your must do attractions are the key to ensuring you do not spend the entire day waiting in line. Reserve fast passes one hundred and eighty days in advance of your trip. Snagging fast passes for the morning will allow you to reserve additional fast passes using the Disney app in the park after you have completed your previously reserved passes.

6. Braving the Park Without Attraction Research.

Doing a bit of research before hitting the parks is always a good thing. While there is certainly no need to memorize a park map or show times, it is helpful to be a bit familiar with the park to navigate quicker, utilize shortcuts and understand the height requirements and details of attractions.

5. Hitting the Park Without a Plan.

Making a rough outline of your park day with the group before hitting the Disney buses is always a good idea. You can leave plenty of room for spontaneity and fun while eliminating any unnecessary walking that may happen when the group wanders between attractions.

4. Only Visiting Rides or Shows.

Deciding you are visiting Animal Kingdom to see the only the animals, or only the thrill rides, shows etc. is the park plan for some families. I would advise you to explore the entire park taking the time to enjoy shows, animals, rides and educational attractions.

3. Rushing Past Delicious Dining.

Guests often think Epcot when they talk about delicious park dining, Animal Kingdom has some pretty incredible dining options available in the park that guests may rush right past. Walk up dining options like Flame Tree Barbecue, Yak & Yeti Quick Service and Pizzafari are consistently crowd pleasers. Table service dining like Rainforest Café (the largest Rainforest restaurant in the world) Yak and Yeti Table Service, and the new addition to Disney fine dining, Tiffins are the perfect backdrop to a delicious evening.

2. Not Asking Questions About Animals or Attractions.

Cast members in Animal Kingdom love speaking with guests to answer questions about animals, conservation and the park. Walk through attractions like Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail are staffed with cast members to answer questions and educate guests. The Wilderness Explorer program gives kids an opportunity to learn, explore the park and interact with cast members as they earn wilderness badges, just like everyone’s favorite Wilderness Explorer, Russell from the Disney Pixar film, Up.



1. Passing Up Character Meets.

Consulting a show times guide sheet will confirm that there are some pretty incredible character meet opportunities in Animal Kingdom. Do not make the mistake of passing by these fun and often hard to find characters. The crew from The Jungle Book, Up characters, Pocahontas, and the Lion King gang are just a few of the characters waiting to meet your family in the park. Factor in time to meet these Disney favorites during your park day at Animal Kingdom.

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About Katie

I love talking and reading and breathing and everything Disney. I am married to an amazing man who also has a love for Disney. I love Walt Disney World and we try to visit as often as we can. I am thankful for a mom who raised me to have such a love for Disney and of course for Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse! My favorite characters are Minnie Mouse and Belle. I have an English Degree and I love to write so I am so excited that I am able to put my love of writing and Disney together. Thank you for reading my articles and sharing in my love for Disney!