Want to see how the touring plan works with over 100 pictures and explanations of each step? See this post.
The information below is available in an easily printable PDF here. Consider downloading it to your smart device for easy referencing.
General Touring Philosophy: With the least number of attractions, touring Animal Kingdom is fairly straightforward. I like to begin at Kilimanjaro Safaris in the upper left hand corner and then work my way right through Asia and then DinoLand. You’ll find short to nonexistent waits through lunch if you follow the Ideal Morning below, in addition to minimizing walking. After lunch, relax and visit the low key attractions and stage shows when temperatures and humidity peak. Depending on crowds, plan to arrive 10 to 20 minutes early for Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King. Flights of Wonder is a charming, funny, and informative show that should not be skipped. More so than any other theme park, Animal Kingdom empties out by 4:15pm because there’s (currently) no nighttime entertainment to keep guests at the park. Stay through close and you’ll find low crowds in the last 60 to 120 minutes of operation.
Characters: Mickey and Minnie in Adventurers Outpost are the only priority and they are FastPass+ enabled. Meet them in the first 30 minutes or last hour of operation or use FastPass+. Russell and Dug next to It’s Tough To Be A Bug are the second highest priority.
Rope Drop: Animal Kingdom usually begins letting guests inside the park 30 minutes prior to open and holds them in front of the Tree of Life until 15 minutes before park open. Guests are then walked by cast members toward Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa, Expedition Everest in Asia, and DINOSAUR in DinoLand.
- Kali River Rapids (when highs are 80+ degrees)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Expedition Everest
- Adventurers Outpost Mickey and Minnie Meet (Needs to be booked in advance)
- Kali River Rapids (when highs are less than 80 degrees)
- Primeval Whirl
- Finding Nemo the Musical
- Festival of the Lion King
- Flights of Wonder
- It’s Tough To Be A Bug
FastPass+ at Animal Kingdom:
It’s relatively easy to tour Animal Kingdom without FastPass+ if you tour efficiently in the first or last two hours of operation. Doing so will give you an opportunity to use FastPass+ elsewhere. Here, FastPass+ is best used at Kali River Rapids in the afternoon when waits are longest and temperatures highest and Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest, both of which can save 40+ minutes in the afternoon. Consider acquiring a 4th or 5th FastPass+ selection to one or both of the shows in the afternoon.
4th FastPass+ Availability: Attractions six through ten above should have plenty of availability around 12pm. Attractions one through five will have limited or no availability. Those skipping the thrill rides with height requirements should select Adventurers Outpost in advance.
- Disney Outfitters – On the right just after crossing the bridge into Discovery Island
- Island Mercantile – On the left just after crossing the bridge into Discovery Island
- Kali River Rapids – To the left of the entrance across from the lockers
- Harambe Breezeway – Next to Tusker House and on the walkway into New Harambe
Morning Touring Plan with FastPass+:
Use FastPass+ at the following attractions:
- Adventurers Outpost Mickey/Minnie Meet: 10:30am – 11:30am (Meet around 11am)
- Kali River Rapids: 11:30am – 12:30pm (Ride around 12:15pm)
- Your choice – Expedition Everest at 12:30pm would make a lot of sense
- Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris: 8:55am – 9:25am
- Ride Expedition Everest: 9:40am – 9:55am
- Ride DINOSAUR: 10:05am – 10:25am
- Ride Primeval Whirl: 10:30am – 10:45am
- Ride TriceraTop Spin: 10:47am – 11am
- Meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost with FastPass+: 11:05am – 11:20am
- Have lunch. Flame Tree Barbecue and Yak & Yeti are nearby, very good, and a little different. Pizzafari and Restaurantosaurus offer ample air-conditioned seating. Tusker House is a character meal in Africa that offers a wide variety of options.
- Ride Kali River Rapids with FastPass+: 12:15pm – 12:30pm
Morning Touring Plan without FastPass+:
- Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris: 8:55am – 9:25am
- Ride Kali River Rapids or Meet Mickey at Adventurers Outpost: 9:35am – 9:50am
- Ride Expedition Everest: 9:55am – 10:15am
- Ride DINOSAUR: 10:25am – 10:55am
- Ride Primeval Whirl: 11am – 11:20am
- Ride TriceraTop Spin: 11:22am – 11:35am
- Have lunch or see the 12pm Finding Nemo the Musical. Restaurantosaurus and Flame Tree Barbecue are nearby.
12:30pm – 3:30pm: Visit a FastPass+ kiosk to select a 4th attraction. Take it easy. Do It’s Tough to be a Bug, Wilderness Explorers, Pangani Trail, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Flights of Wonder, Finding Nemo the Musical, Festival of the Lion King, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Boneyard.
3:30pm – Park Close: While Animal Kingdom no longer offers a daytime parade, the park continues to empty as early as 3pm with no nighttime entertainment to keep people sticking around (until Rivers of Light opens) and few people park hopping. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour of operation to find far shorter waits than the afternoon.
Late Arrival Alternative with 6pm or Later Close:
Arrive between 10:30am and 11am. Use FastPass+ at the following attractions:
- Expedition Everest (12:30pm – 1:30pm)
- Adventurers Outpost Mickey & Minnie Meet or Alternative (1:30pm – 2:30pm)
- Kali River Rapids (2:30pm – 3:30pm)
- Visit Oasis Exhibits until 11am
- See It’s Tough to be a Bug on Discovery Island: 11am – 11:30am
- See Finding Nemo the Musical: 11:40am – 12:45pm (12pm show)
- Ride Expedition Everest in Asia with FastPass+: 12:50pm – 1:05pm
- Have lunch. Yak & Yeti and Flame Tree Barbecue are closest.
- Meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost with FastPass+: 2pm – 2:15pm
- Walk Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia: 2:20pm – 2:45pm
- Ride Kali River Rapids with FastPass+: 2:50pm – 3:15pm
- Grab a snack – carts and kiosks are available on the walk to Africa: 3:20pm – 3:35pm
- See Festival of the Lion King in Africa: 3:40pm – 4:30pm (4pm show)
- Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris: 4:35pm – 5:15pm
- Ride Primeval Whirl in DinoLand: 5:25pm – 5:40pm
- Ride DINOSAUR: 5:45pm – 6:10pm
- Return to Asia for Expedition Everest or a skipped attraction with a 7pm or later close
With a 5pm close, arrive at 10am and start with DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl before moving to It’s Tough to be a Bug and Finding Nemo the Musical. With a later close, you can push back your arrival by an hour or spend more time re-riding attractions in DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia with one hour to close.
Early Closures: Depending on time of year (particularly November – February), Kilimanjaro Safaris and the animal exhibits may close early due to darkness (usually between 4:45pm and 5:15pm). Check your Times Guide to verify. Most quick services close an hour before close. Restaurantosaurus, Flame Tree Barbecue, Harambe Market, and the sit-down restaurants should continue serving through close. Consider a dinner reservation right around park close at Tusker House, Yak & Yeti, or Rainforest Café and you’ll be able to walk out of the park with very few other people around.
Wait Times By Crowd Level