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10 Things to Do in the Afternoon at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom holds the distinction of consistently being voted as the hottest park of the four theme parks. While others may disagree and argue that other parks are hotter, we can certainly attest that when we are wandering around Animal Kingdom in the afternoon, we know we are looking for shade and air-conditioning to keep us cool. Here are the top ten things to do in Animal Kingdom in the afternoon.

10 – Flights of Wonder – we love the outdoor, but covered stage for this attraction that introduces guests to many different varieties of birds. We love the interactive nature of the show, but also the message about the human impact on birds and their habitats, as well as other impacts humans have on the environment. Be sure to get there early enough that you can scope out the seat with the most shade!

9 – It’s Tough to Be a Bug – this attraction is designed for children from the movie, “A Bug’s Life.” We enjoy checking it out while we are in Animal Kingdom in the afternoons because the queue offers great views of the Tree of Life and the majority of the waiting for the attraction is done under the tree itself, so you are shielded from the sun. We also love the air-conditioning greeting guests, as well. Of course, the show is also great and we love the “surprises” awaiting guests during the show!

8 – Lunch (Tusker House or Yak and Yeti) – getting out of the sun and refueling for lunch is an easy task at Animal Kingdom, but can also be a difficult choice as guests have two great in-park dining options available to them for table service meals: Yak and Yeti or Tusker House. Both offer great meals, so the deciding factor for guests should be what cuisine they want to enjoy and whether they want the ability to meet and greet characters. We give Tusker House a slight edge in both departments, but Yak and Yeti has an expansive menu that will cater to any guest’s palette.

7 – Festival of the Lion King – we love the Festival of the Lion King in the afternoon – guests can sit down and get off their feet and cool off during the entirety of the show – it also certainly helps that the show is AMAZING and we can’t help but humming along to the songs and tapping our feet to the beat of the music! The show is offered almost every hour, so guests can check out the show multiple times if they want to!

6 – DINOSAUR – a great ride with a great INDOOR queue. The line for DINOSAUR is almost exclusively indoors in the air-conditioning. We love cooling off here and then heading into the gift shops after exiting the ride. DINOSAUR can be a popular ride, so you may want to consider using a FastPass, but that will only move you through the air-conditioning quicker – so you may want to check to see what stand-by is first!

5 – Finding Nemo: The Musical – this building has to have the best air-conditioning on property – the HUGE building was freezing the last time we were in it and guests can enjoy an amazing show while cooling off, too. Before entering the building, guests are outside, but some of the queue is shaded and there are myriad snack and beverage carts in the vicinity, so guests can grab something to cool off with before jumping in line!

4 – Drinks at Dawa Bar or Nomad Lounge – we love both of these establishments at Animal Kingdom. Both afford guests the ability to people watch, but to do so from shaded environs, all while enjoying fabulous drinks! The Dawa Bar is located outside of Tusker House facing the square where the Harambe entertainment takes place, while the Nomad Lounge overlooks Discovery River at the back of Tiffins. Either is a great choice for guests needing a tasty beverage and a break!

3 – Gorilla Falls/Maharajah Jungle Trek – both of these self-guided tours are great in the afternoon because guests can take as much or as little time as they want going through them. Even though they are outside, the Imagineers did a great job with the landscaping and having a variety of buildings, enclosures, and overhangs that guests can escape the sun while learning about all of the species of animals in the exhibit.

2 – Souvenir Shopping – Animal Kingdom is home to a variety of specialty merchandise and we love popping into each of the stores to take a look for a special souvenir, but also to enjoy the shade and air-conditioning. We enjoy the stores at the front of the park more, but guests are sure to find great options at any of the stores in the park!



1 – Kali River Rapids – the epitome of how to cool off and spend an afternoon in Animal Kingdom is to get soaked on this ride. Disney put an imaginative spin on your traditional raft ride with the message accompanying this ride that could leave you pretty dry, but also has the potential to wet you to the core! Be sure to put valuables in the free lockers provided near the entrance to the ride and hope for a refreshing wave of water. We love how guests can also get sprayed at the end by onlookers from the bridge. The queue is well-shaded, as well, so you won’t have to suffer the heat to enjoy the ride itself!

Animal Kingdom can be torturous if guests are languishing in the sun, but by going to these ten places during the afternoon, guests can get a well earned break from the heat and accomplish some amazing Disney attractions in the process! What is your must-do afternoon activity at the Animal Kingdom?

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About Tyler

Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!