Disney’s Animal Kingdom Touring Strategies

by Oct 28, 2022

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, enjoy the magic of nature with plenty of animals and wild entertainment. There are so many experiences that you won’t want to miss. Use these Disney’s Animal Kingdom touring strategies to help maximize your time in the park.

How Many Days to Visit?

In one day, most guests can see everything at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. If you have a park hopper ticket, it’s possible to hop and revisit your favorites or see anything that you may have missed previously. These Disney’s Animal Kingdom touring strategies

When to Arrive

Arriving early is the key at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This park generally opens and closes earlier than the other Disney parks.

If you are staying at a participating resort hotel, you have early access and there are benefits to using this. From shorter lines to the potential of seeing active animals, it’s worth it to come early! Plus, there is a great character breakfast at Tusker House. If you arrive early, head to some rides and then enjoy a delicious breakfast before exploring more.

Touring Plans

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is set up like the wheel of a bicycle. The Tree of Life is in the center of Discovery Island and the various lands are the spokes. It’s typically recommended to start your day in Pandora or Africa.

Two different touring strategies are included here. One is for guests touring the park with young children and the other is for a 1-day visit. These can be easily modified to your needs and interests. Talk with your travel advisor to plan the best fit for your visit!

Touring with Young Children

To view and download this touring plan, click here.

There are many things for young children to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With the return of character meet and greets, your children will love seeing Mickey and Minnie in their safari gear or dancing with Donald Duck and friends!

There are also several walking trails that feature animals from around the world. For example, the Discovery Island Trails are peaceful pathways that surround the Tree of Life, giving you a closer look at this beautiful park icon and the wildlife living nearby.

Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Use rider swap as needed if you want to experience an attraction and your child is not tall enough. See a cast member at the ride entrance to set this up.
  • There are animals found in different locations throughout the park. They are often most active first thing in the morning and late in the day. Be sure to explore the walking trails in both Africa and Asia!
  • Take the train over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to explore the petting zoo and Conservation Station.
  • Don’t forget the shows! Guests of all ages will love seeing beloved Disney characters and singing along to familiar songs.
  • The Wilderness must be explored! Did you know that your kids can do activities as they explore the park and become official Wilderness Explorers? Pick up a handbook as you enter the park!
1-Day Touring Plan

To view and download this touring plan, click here.

This touring plan is designed for a one-day visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s easy to see everything in this theme park in one day, especially if you arrive early in the day. Take advantage of the Early Park Entry if you are staying at a participating resort hotel. If you have a park hopper, you may find lower wait times later in the day. Keep in mind, though, that this park often closes earlier than the other theme parks.

Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • This park typically opens the earliest of the four theme parks. Plan to arrive early if you would like to
  • This park typically opens the earliest of the four theme parks. Plan to arrive early if you would like to “rope drop”.
  • Use the mobile order option in the My Disney Experience app to save time. You can order ahead and choose the time you would like to eat.
  • You may notice that the wait times drop in the afternoon for some of the attractions. If you plan to stay at the park for the whole day, ride some of these attractions later in the day.

Touring with Disney Genie+

Make sure that if you plan to purchase Disney Genie+, you do so before 7:00 am. This will allow you to select your first attraction promptly at 7:00 am. Always purchase Individual Lightning Lane entry first though!

Almost all the attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are included with the purchase of Disney Genie+, including the shows. Use the touring plan to help you choose the order of your selections, as it considers your location in the park. However, keep in mind that using a Genie+ return time for a show does not necessarily get you a better seat. It does allow you earlier access to the seating area though if you get in line in advance.

Things to Consider:
  • If the wait times are short when you arrive at the park, take advantage of this! You can use Disney Genie+ later to experience the attraction again or select a different attraction.
  • If you plan to park hop, you can select a Disney Genie+ attraction in your next park. You can also select an Individual Lightning Lane entry at a different park, for a total of 2 each day. Make sure that you purchase both starting at 7:00 am for the best availability.


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