Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the latest Disney theme park in Walt Disney World and it’s a bit separated from the rest of the attractions on property. However, the Animal Park and Animal Kingdom Lodge alone are enough to occupy you for a few days at least.
In this out-of-the-way theme park, you can have a lot of fun, that you can’t find anywhere else. There are also some common mistakes you should try not to make when planning a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Forgetting Comfortable Shoes
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest theme park in the world at over 500 acres. Although a good portion of that belongs to the animals, there is a considerable amount of walking. Comfortable shoes are a must for a Walt Disney World vacation, especially if you plan to visit this special and unique place.
If you buy new shoes make sure you get them a couple of weeks early so you can break them in. You may also want to get in some walking practice as well to keep from getting sore from a day of hiking the trails of Animal Kingdom.
Forgetting the Animals
With major attractions like Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest to look forward to, it’s easy to forget the park is full of wild animals. The food, live entertainment, and thrill rides are enough without the added element of nature.
Disney has done such an amazing job incorporating cultural details into each land that it’s really easy to forget that animals are the main focus. Aside from the Kilimanjaro Safari, there are trails for animal viewing such as the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Gorilla Falls.
There are also animal habitats scattered around the entrance to the park and Discovery Island.
Eating at the Wrong Places
You can eat wherever you want, but don’t fail to plan it out. Pizzafari might be some people’s favorite go-to restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but don’t settle for it without knowing what’s available.
There are plenty of fun quick service options, including Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus. The first offers affordable and delicious food in good portions. The second offers terrific theming and is a good choice for pickier eaters.
For a table service experience, Yak and Yeti is always a solid choice. Tusker House offers a character buffet, and Tiffin’s is a signature restaurant with an excellent lounge next door.
Missing Rafiki’s Planet Watch
A whole section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom you could easily miss is Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Take a train from Africa to this remote location where you will find a petting zoo and a brand new experience showcasing how Animators work with live animals for inspiration. This little pocket in the heart of Disney’s Animal Kingdom goes unnoticed by many park guests, but it’s a can’t miss if you like to get up close with the animals and learn more about the planet.
Overlooking Dinoland USA
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes is underestimating Dinoland USA. This land is so much fun and loaded with backstory. Don’t let the corny atmosphere fool you. Dinoland USA has two themed areas with details all over to drive home the story of the land.
Restaurantosaurus is one can’t miss location for an example of brilliant theming. Hester and Lesters gas station gift shop is another master class in detailed staging. Besides the layers of exposition in this land, there is plenty of character encounters with Donald’s Dino-Bash. So, don’t skip this section of the park, or dismiss it too quickly.