How to Visit Disney's Animal Kingdom

Eight Parts:General Park visitThe OasisThe Hub island (Discovery Island)Dinoland USAAsiaAfricaRafiki's Planet WatchLeaving

If you've been to Walt Disney World but never have been to Disney's Animal Kingdom park, this article may open your eyes to visiting it. But this article doesn't stop there. Use this article as a guide to help you tour it's few lands that exist.

Part 1
General Park visit

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    Decide if you truly want to visit the Disney's Animal Kingdom. Discuss some of your other options that exist for the other nearby Walt Disney World parks or local attractions in the area. With other major possibilities being the Epcot, the Disney (Hollywood/MGM) Studios, and the Magic Kingdom and the mess of water parks and other activities that Disney sponsors, decide if this park is your best choice.
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    Drive and park at Walt Disney World. The address to the Disney's Animal Kingdom is located at 551 Rainforest Rd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 .[1] The cost to park your car at the Magic Kingdom will run you about $17 for cars and upwards from there (depending on complexity of vehicle)[2].Depending on how far into the lots it took you to get to park, you could be located in either the Butterfly, Dinosaur, Giraffe, Peacock, or Unicorn parking lots that are located on campus. [3]
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    Purchase your tickets at the gated entry just before you enter the park.
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    Enter through the turnstiles and into this park's first section called The Oasis.
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    Look at the set up of Disney's Animal Kingdom. This park is divided into about six lands around one central hub area/monument called The Tree of Life. These lands include The Oasis, Dinoland USA, Discovery Island, Asia, Africa and Rafiki's Planet Watch.[4]. Due to construction issues in Camp Minnie-Mickey, this land isn't included anymore in the park.

Part 2
The Oasis

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    Look around The Oasis as you enter the park. Notice that there are no rides or real attractions in The Oasis except a few animals. The Oasis houses only a few different kinds of animals. (The Oasis is an estuary 'per se.'.) Disney's Animal Kingdom is an 'animal sanctuary' and Disney wants to invite you to view some of its lovely animals it houses here, that it couldn't find housing for otherwise.
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    Notice that there are two paths, and each path includes different animals. There is one path on the west side and another path on the east side both joining at the same access point.
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    Let the kids explore around here. Keep your eye on them as you help them understand these animals. Be the narrator of what these animals' names are. There are placards on or near the railings near the animal's enclosure (if you need help). Some kids like it if you use the animal's real name.

Part 3
The Hub island (Discovery Island)

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    Walk across the bridge till you meet up at the Tree of Life.
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    Look directly at the Tree of Life, and find all of it's little carvings located on the Tree. This tree is the landmark item that Disney wanted to treat it's guests to in this park. Disney Imagineers added these little carvings to the Tree to give that tree it's own special "spark".
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    Look for Discovery Island Trails. The trails can provide you an up-close look at the carvings inside the tree.
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    Circle to the right of the tree, and you'll notice another landmark. If you enter through It's Tough to be a Bug's entrance, you will find that there is a 3D movie theater under the Tree. (Yes; there actually is a theater under the Tree itself, and a very tall theater for that reason too.) At the end of the movie, when you come out of the movie, you'll still be underneath the tree, but you'll be right in line for heading towards the next land, Dinoland USA.

Part 4
Dinoland USA

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    Have the kids explore and play in the Boneyard. No school age children ever not dreams of playing with the bones they dig up here. But wait a little while to retrieve your kids. Make sure they can be comfortably within walking with you once again (for security reasons).
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    Take a spin around TriceraTop Spin. If you've ever been on Dumbo at the Magic Kingdom, TriceraTop Spin is almost the same though the ride vehicles you ride on are different. The ride sequence though is a few minutes longer, but is still definitely bearable for many adults and children alike.
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    Make a beeline for Primeval Whirl if you want to ride a rather mild roller coaster that is combined with the action of a tea cup-styled ride. This ride surely will make your head spin!
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    Rev over on DINOSAUR if you love "time rover" expeditions.
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    Watch a performance of Finding Nemo - The Musical if your kids still haven't gotten enough theatrical performances so far.

Part 5

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    March back out to Discovery Island and take a right. This will lead you over a bridge and into the "Asia sector of the park.
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    Take a ride on Expedition Everest, if you want some high-volume roller coaster action. Expedition Everest is especially popular for most adults who come to this park, so try to be the first one in line if you arrive at the park gates at opening time.
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    Whitewater-raft down Kali River Rapids. Kali River Rapids is an exciting whitewater-rapid riding ride that thrills almost everyone who rides it.
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    Walk through the Maharajah Jungle Trek if you haven't done enough walking yet. Though you've put on many miles in your shoes, Maharajah Jungle Trek is a walking path which talks about various animal-based information.
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    Turn the corner that would lead you back into Discovery Island (onto the hub). Walk yourself in the direction of Africa. Though you'll find the next attraction still technically in Asia, it's around the corner inside the "hub".
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    Watch the Flights of Wonder show. With all the different birds and prey information they present, this is a popular show for some people looking for informative information about birds. Many people just bypass it in hopes of finding other "better" items to do at the park.

Part 6

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    Take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris. If this is your first safari, you're in for a treat. Although this safari ride is "kicked up a notch", it's not much faster than an average car ride over an average two lane road through an African safari village.
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    Take the Wildlife Express Train out to Rafiki's Planet Watch, if you would like.
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    Watch the exciting stage play called The Festival of the Lion King in the Harambe Theater. Formerly in the Asian area, this stage play has moved around and has now been relocated to this area of the park.

Part 7
Rafiki's Planet Watch

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    Become a wildlife expert, and see the park from the eye of one of its experts in the parks. Rafiki's Planet Watch is primarily a conservation station.
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    Take the train back to the Africa depot, once you are done exploring in Planet Watch..

Part 8

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    Walk back through the Oasis and out the exit gates.


  • Disney's Animal Kingdom first opened on April 22, 1998.[5].
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom, among many of the other Disney Parks, has several unnoticed cooling stations placed sporadically around the park. No, you won't see them because they are camouflaged so well, but there are cooling stations in the park (dressed as rocks and other weird things that you'd never thought would be a cooling station).
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom is rarely closed.[6] However, the only times it will close is when a hurricane is threatening the area.
  • When 4-8 year old kids get antsy in "Disney's Animal Kingdom" and it seems like your day is lagging behind, give these kids some options. Even though Disney's Animal Kingdom has a few areas where kids can explore and run out all their excitement, this may sometimes not be enough. If you haul around a double-seat stroller, and warnings just don't work, give them time in the stroller (kids up to age 8 should still fit [7]). If they don't, you'll need to find some other way to draw out their energy. They will thank you for helping them "take a load off their feet". These youngsters tend to draw energy out more quickly, and become cranky quicker.
  • Food and beverage options are available throughout the park. Between some food stands at certain areas of the park to the standalone ice-cream stands throughout the park, you'll never lose food options.
  • Restrooms might not be readily available, but, they are available in and near some of the buildings of the Disney's Animal Kingdom park in some way, shape or form. And if you have babies or infants, you can even change their diapers there (if they wear them).
  • Bring lots of money to purchase plenty of things from a bunch of the many Disney stores in this park.
  • Pin trading stations in this park are somewhat less defined than most of the other parks. They are fairly sparse, though there are some. Collect those pins, and if you have someone else in the park who is willing to trade with you, trade some of your pins for those you deem to be more collectible.
  • If you have a smartphone with you (that is either an iOS device or Android or an Amazon Kindle tablet), you really should download and use the MyDisneyExperience app on it. Not only can you find the ride wait-times on this app, but it also helps you determine other information about the park, you might have never known about, or might have forgotten over time. Use this app to your advantage.
  • The daytime parade they once had, has now become defunct. It will be replaced soon however. Keep your eye on your guide map to find other interesting events to do in the park during what would have been the time their parade would have take place.
  • Keep kids (under age 5) on kid-"leashes"/leads (arm straps) at all times. Don't allow your kids to remove them at any time. It's hard to see your kids leashed up like a pet, but with the 30,000+ guests in the park at any time, security is of utmost importance, and their leashes will help immensely. Don't even remove them, when your kids are in their stroller, as it can take only a few seconds for the kid to get out and become missing (the leashes only would allow the child to go so far as you'd allow them to go).


  • Everybody's tastes are different. You can skip some rides if you don't have time, or if the kids act up. While some are too churlish for some to even try to ride, skip those rides that aren't suited to you or your kids' tastes.
  • Be prepared in the event that a sudden rainstorm impacts the area. Rain is common, and your best bet is to run/walk into the nearest attraction and seek shelter. The rain should end (in most cases that is) shortly thereafter .
  • Take extreme caution, if and when you start to hear any rumbles of thunder.
  • Rides occasionally close and change at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. Don't fear if your favorite ride has changed or has become defunct. Something will be there to replace it, over time. Their replacements might be just as good as the ride you once loved.
  • On those attractions that have rides, don't worry if your ride vehicle stalls with you on it. If the time is worse than a few minutes, someone will be around to collect you and your belongings. In turn, they will give you a FastPass due to the inconvenience it may have caused you.
  • Always ride the ride with safety in mind. Use all safety devices the ride operator instills on you and your family.
  • Although this park doesn't have any ongoing specials at night, their have been times in 2014 that the park has stayed open to trial run an idea for a special event at night. They didn't want to run any nighttime specials since this parks inception due to the fact that this park has an animal-acquired nature.

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Categories: Disneyland and Disney World