Animal KingdomThe Parks

10 Ways to Survive a Crowded Day at Animal Kingdom

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 10 ways to survive a crowded day at Animal Kingdom:


10 – Arrive before park opening.

On days that you know the park will be extremely crowded, it is always a good idea to arrive before the park opens. If you get there early, you can get through security and be ready to go when the park officially opens. Then you can book it to one of the attractions ahead of many of the other guests. The park will also be slower for the first hour, or so, so you may be able to get a few attractions done.

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:

        1. A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
        2. Dinosaur
        3. It’s Tough to be a Bug!
        4. Kali River Rapids
        5. Kilimanjaro Safaris
        6. Na’vi River Journey
        7. The Animation Experience
        8. Feathered Friends in Flight!

A second option for purchasing Lightning Lane is the a la carte method. The two attractions below are NOT included with your Genie+ purchase and must be purchased separately.

Individual A la Carte Lightning Lane Attractions:

      • Avatar Flight of Passage
      • Expedition Everest

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. 

For more details including how to purchase Lightning Lane access, click here.

Inside Pandora Flight of Passage

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. 

There are many guests who 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 started 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.

Lush landscape at the Oasis Exhibit

3 – Plan easy games or conversation ideas for waiting in line.

You may spend an increased amount of time in line, so try to think of ways that you can 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 play and earn the stickers to fill up their Wilderness Explorers map, too. You may experience smaller lines at the Wilderness Explorers locations than many of the attractions, too.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!
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