There are definitely days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that can get to be extremely crowded. You can still have a fabulous day and do a ton of the attractions and activities. Here are the top ten ways to survive a crowded day at Animal Kingdom:
10 – Arrive for Early Theme Park Entry – Resort Guests
In October 2021, Disney debuted a new benefit for guests, staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. This new benefit replaced the retired Extra Magic Hours and now allows resort guests to enter any of the four theme parks thirty minutes early. This may not sound like a lot, but it really makes a huge difference. Resort guests gain a huge advantage in getting in line to the most popular attractions, particularly Avatar Flight of Passage. At park opening, when non-resort guests can enter the park, the wait time for the attraction is often already over an hour. Getting in line during Early Theme Park entry might just save you money, too, since you may not need to purchase access to the Lighting Lane (see #9). Even if you are not a resort guest, we still recommend getting there at park opening since the lines will often get longer as the day goes on. If you’re not a morning person, the last one to two hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will often see shorter lines (see #7).
9 – Consider Purchasing Lightning Lane Access
On busy days, you might want to consider purchasing access to the new Lightning Lane. There are two Lightning Lane paid options that include different attractions. First, you can purchase Disney Genie+ for the day of your visit. This costs $15 per day, per person. With Genie+, you can access the Lightning Lane at eight attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. See the list below for the Genie+ attractions at the park.
Disney Genie+ Attractions:
- The Festival of the Lion King
- Expedition Everest
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Na’vi River Journey
- The Animation Experience
- Feathered Friends in Flight!
- Meet Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
A second option for purchasing Lightning Lane is the a la carte method. The attraction below is NOT included with your Genie+ purchase and must be purchased separately.
Individual A la Carte Lightning Lane Attractions:
- Avatar Flight of Passage
Keep in mind that you do not have to purchase either of these options to enjoy these attractions. Most of the attractions listed above have moderate wait times, and some regularly have low wait times. Using our other tips, such as arriving at park opening, you may be able to avoid having to purchase these options.
8 – Check out the walking trails.
There are various walking trails throughout Animal Kingdom, where guests can see different animals in their habitats. It is an opportunity for guests to learn more about these animals on self-guided exploration trails. On busy days it is a great way to explore the park instead of waiting in lines.
7 – Stay until park closing.
Many guests leave before park closing in order to get the kiddos to bed or get back to their resort after a long, tiring day. If you stay all the way up until park closing, you may experience lighter crowds for a little bit. You can also explore the park on your walkout with fewer guests to get in the way.
6 – Make Advanced Dining Reservations.
We definitely recommend that you enjoy a table service meal or two during a busy day. The food options are delicious, and you will welcome the break, especially on a hot day. If you dine at a restaurant, you won’t have to wait in line for your food or try to find outside seating. If you book one of the character meals, you can also meet and greet with characters while you dine.
5 – Take a break during the middle part of the day.
On a busy day, it may be a good idea to take a nap or rest back at the resort during the middle part of the day. This middle of the day is the busiest time of the day for the parks, so you can get a break from the crowds and rest up so that you can come back and stay out late. This is especially helpful if you also start the day early.
4 – Stay patient and positive.
I know that it can be frustrating when you are in a hurry to get to where you want to go, and I also know that you want to get the most out of your day in the park, but try to just slow down a little bit. Take a deep breath and just focus on staying patient and positive. Your whole group will have a better time if you all just stay positive and take in the surroundings instead of trying to rush everywhere.
3 – Plan easy games or conversation ideas for waiting in line.
You may spend more time in line, so try to think of ways to keep your group entertained so that they don’t get bored and impatient in line. You could play trivia using your phone, tell funny stories or jokes, look for Hidden Mickey’s, etc. Just have fun as a group and spend time together making memories.
2 – Check out the gift shops.
Busy days are great days for shopping. You can look around all of the merchandise locations and make your purchases. You don’t have to carry them with you since you can send your packages to the front of the park or back to your Walt Disney World resort.
1 – Earn your Wilderness Explorer badges.
Wilderness Explorers is a really fun way to explore the park and learn more about the animals and the wilderness. Guests of all ages can also play and earn stickers to fill up their Wilderness Explorers map. You may experience smaller lines at the Wilderness Explorers locations than at many of the attractions, too.
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