Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite Disney parks in the world, not just the Disney world! It has a unique point of difference to offer guests who aren’t looking for the same-samey feel of Disneyland or Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a completely different feel to it. Even though it does have a centerpiece, the Tree of Life, the layout of this park makes you feel like you are entering different areas of the world and exploring the animal life and culture they have to offer. However, there are a few mistakes you want to steer clear of making while you are planning your time in AK. Let’s run through five assumptions you shouldn’t make about your trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Don’t Assume the Park Will Be Shady and Cool
Even though every image of this beautifully manicured theme park is filled with colorful foliage and natural-looking decorations, don’t assume that this is the perfect destination on a hot day. All of that greenery can have a different effect, causing rainforest-like conditions that spike humidity and increase how hot the park feels. Actually, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the hottest parks for this reason and can often leave people feeling overwhelmed if they aren’t adequately hydrated.
Don’t Attempt This Park for the First Time as a Half-Day Park
The youngest of the Walt Disney World theme parks often gets a bad rap online, with many calling it a half-day park, meaning you don’t need to spend a full day there. However, if you’ve never visited before, don’t make the mistake of allocating too little time to enjoy it. There is plenty to see and do that will fill your entire day and hopefully have you sticking around in the evening to catch a glimpse of Pandora – The World of Avatar as it comes to life after dark.
Don’t Expect This Park To Be Less Crowded
The way some return guests talk about it, you would be forgiven if you assume that this park will attract a significantly lower share of attendance. Even so, our forgiveness won’t help you when you are standing in the hour-and-a-half Flight of Passage line, wishing you had come earlier. Disney’s Animal Kingdom attracts a lot of guests, and though they disperse well within the designated areas, don’t make the mistake of assuming this will be a quieter overall experience. Go into the park with the same expectations as the other three, expecting crowds and long wait times for more popular attractions.
Don’t Write Off Character Experiences
When you think of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you might be thinking of attractions like Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and DINOSAUR. Just because this park doesn’t integrate as many of the cinematic characters as Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some unique interactions. For a full list of characters you can find in AK, click here. Character Dining is also available; more details on that one are here.
Don’t Forget To Check Height Requirements
The animal-themed Disney park has some fantastic attractions for everyone to enjoy, though it arguably doesn’t have as much variety as some of the other parks. With the more popular rides attracting a higher-than-expected height requirement, make sure you know what to expect if you have younger thrill-seekers who are expecting to ride. Here are the height limitations to keep in mind:
- Avatar Flight of Passage – Guests must be 44 inches (112 centimeters) or taller
- DINOSAUR – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – Guests must be 44 inches (113 centimeters) or taller
- Kali River Rapids – Guests must be 38 inches (97 centimeters) or taller
If you are in the planning stages of preparing for a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, those are my top five mistakes to avoid. If you need any more advice, head on over to our DISboards community or get in touch with your Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.