Animal Kingdom Theme Park Guide
Animal Kingdom Theme Park lets you explore the realm of creatures who inhabit our world…and our imagination…and create your own adventure for an experience that roars with excitement. Prepare to be awed, inspired, thrilled and enchanted. From fantasy and discovery to roaring adventure, the imagination and magic of Walt Disney World Theme Parks will come alive all around you.
The fourth Walt Disney World theme park celebrates one amazing adventure after another with wild animals, exciting attractions, lavish stage shows and lovable characters! Highlights include an authentic African safari, a whirling white-water raft ride, and a thrilling race back in time to prehistoric worlds.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Admission
Deciding what ticket to get for your visit to Animal Kingdome is no simple matter. You can get a ticket with one-day’s worth of admission, a ticket with 10-days worth of admission or something in between. You can also add options like a Park Hopping orPark Hopper Plus (which includes water parks, miniature golf and golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex). Other admission options are available such as Walt Disney World annual pass, Florida resident passes and more. For detailed information on Walt Disney World admission options visit MFL’s “Walt Disney World Tickets” page.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Attractions
The fun gets wild at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Each section of the park features its own amazing theme that transports guests to Africa, Asia, or a whimsical land of Dinosaurs.
- Africa – Journey through the “wild” savannah on Kilimanjaro Safaris that seems to put you in the heart of Africa with lions, zebra, giraffes and other magnificent animals roaming freely.
- Asia – The beauty of Asia comes alive here. Adventure into a tropical paradise full of plants and trees, rushing waterfalls and wild animals.
- DinoLand U.S.A. – Here’s where the world’s fascination with dinosaurs comes to life.
- Discovery Island – The park hub and home of the towering icon, The Tree of Life.
- Oasis – The park’s main entrance. Along with providing various guest services, the Oasis features a number of animal habitats.
- Attractions: The Oasis Exhibits
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch (Rafiki’s Planet Watch is currently listed as seasonal.)
- Attractions: Wildlife Express Train, Habitat Habit! (exhibits), Conservation Station (Song of the Rainforest, veterinary and training exhibits, live animal cams), Affection Section (petting area), It All Started with a Mouse (Conservation Station’s “animal ambassadors,” including sheep, parrots, porcupines, birds of prey and Kunekune pigs help tell stories and make appearances)
- Pandora – The World of Avatar
Pick up an Animal Kingdom Times Guide as you enter the park for important information such as park hours, special hours, show times, parade, character greeting times and other park hours to help you plan your day.
Tree of Life Awakening
The park’s iconic Tree of Life undergoes an extraordinary “awakening.” Animal spirits come to life throughout the evening by magical fireflies. Each scene appears to emanate from within the tree itself and reveals stories of wonder. Guests are invited to watch in wonder as animal spirits within the Tree of Life awaken bringing with it a mesmerizing showcase of color and light. After night falls, the Tree of Life will begin to come to life approximately every 10 minutes until park close.
There are four different stories that are told throughout the night. Story number 1 allows Guests to gaze upon a graceful young doe that embarks on a thrilling journey. Story two sees love blossoming between a pair of hummingbirds. In story three, see a fox spreading gifts of love in a wintry forest. Finally, story 4 celebrates the eternal balance and harmony that exists in all living things.
Rivers of Light
“Rivers of Light” is a nighttime spectacular that is unlike anything that’s ever been seen in a Disney theme park. Guests will be able to get swept away in a timeless show that celebrates the beauty of all living things. The show combines live music, water screens and swirling animal imagery. During the show, a pair of mystical hosts come to the river bearing gifts of light and set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels for a dramatic dance of water and light to summon animal spirits. Before your eyes, clusters of lantern light shift and shape into stunning animal spirit forms—the Tiger, Turtle, Elephant and Owl. Spellbound, you’re transported across Asian jungles and tropical oceans to African savannahs and North American mountains. With the storytellers as guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” builds to a stunning crescendo. The show magically comes to life on the stage of the Discovery River, in between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. Rivers of Light lasts approximately 15 minutes.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Children’s Services
Mothers with infants can visit Animal Kingdom worry free with the services of the Baby Care Centers. The Baby Care Center is located behind Creature Comforts on Discovery Island (left of the Tree of Life before crossing the bridge to Africa). The facility offers Guests a place to feed, change and nurse babies. Highchairs, rocking chairs, nursing rooms, changing tables and a microwave to heat bottles and food are available. The Baby Care Center also offers formula, bottles, pacifiers, children’s Tylenol, cold and allergy medication, band-aids, Motrin, children’s undergarments, t-shirts and baseball caps for Guests to purchase in those “baby emergencies”.
Stroller rentals are available for single day rentals as well as length of stay. Visit MFL’s Stroller page for detailed information on stroller rental.
There’s nothing more frightful to parents than the thought of losing their child in the ocean of people inside a theme park. There are many fascinating distractions at Animal Kingdom and children can wander off in a blink of an eye. Be prepared so that you won’t spend precious vacation time frightened and in search of each other. Have a plan before your vacation, make and print some Kids Travel IDs. There are many designs to choose from, they’re easy to make, and children love to have their own ID cards.
When you enter Animal Kingdom at the beginning of the day, take a picture of your child from your camera, phone or by a Disney Cast Member on your Photopass so that you can readily show a Cast Member what your child is wearing and what he/she looks like if you should become separated from your child. Set up a meeting area in the park. Locate a Cast Member so that your child can meet a Cast Member “in person” and will not be afraid of them. Let your child know to look for Cast Members with Disney ID tags and to show the Cast Member their ID cards if they could not find you.
If you become separated, stay in the area and enlist the assistance of a Cast Member to search for your child. Most likely your child is in the same vicinity looking for you. If you have not located your child after searching the area, and there is more than one adult in your party, split up and have one go to the pre-determined meeting location while another follow the direction of a Cast Member. All lost children will be taken to Lost Children inside the Baby Care Center by a Cast Member if they can not locate the parents in the immediate area.
Throughout the park Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture guests caught up in the Disney experience. Disney’s PhotoPass and Memory Maker gives guests the opportunity to have great high-resolution photos taken by Disney Photographers using state-of-the-art digital equipment at picturesque locations. Even better, your photos can be accessed, shared, and ordered online. Visit our Disney’s PhotoPass Guide for more information on Disney’s PhotoPass service.
Animal Kingdom Attraction Height Requirements
Walt Disney World attractions require children under the age of seven to have someone age 14 or older with them in the “same” ride vehicle and in the “same” row or the row directly behind them.
Certain attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom also require guests to be of a certain height to ride. Visit our Height Requirement page for height requirements to all Walt Disney World attractions.
Walt Disney World offers Rider Switch so that all members of a group who meet the height requirement can experience an attraction.
MouseForLess Tip: When traveling with children it may be important to consider educational opportunities at Walt Disney World.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Extra Magic Hours
Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels can enjoy more time in the theme parks with the enhanced Extra Magic Hours (EMH) benefit. Each day, one of the theme parks opens an hour early, or stays open two hours extra after regular park hours. This benefit offers guests more time to enjoy shorter lines during these extended theme park hours. There is no charge for this Disney Resort guest benefit. Dates and times for EMH vary throughout the year. Go to Extra Magic Hours Schedule for the current schedules. Not all attractions are open during EMH. For details and a list of attractions currently listed as open during EMH go to MFL’s Extra Magic Hour Information page.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park FastPass
FastPass+ is a great system that lets you “eliminate the wait” at the most popular park rides and attractions. Nothing feels better than being able to bypass this wait and jump straight to the front of the line. FastPass+ allows guests staying at a Disney-owned resort to book up to 3 FastPasses+ selections per park per day up to 60 days in advance or off-site guests to book up to 3 attractions per park per day on the day of their visit.
For specific information, tips, and strategies about using FastPass+ in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, visit our guide.
Visit our FastPass+ Guide for more details on FastPass+, and great MouseForLess tips on how to use utilize this tool to its fullest. Visit our MyMagic+ to get information about using MagicBand during your park visit.
An official list of park rules and prohibited items can be found on Disney’s website.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Dining and Food
Guests to Animal Kingdom Theme Park may bring coolers smaller than 24″L X 15″W X 18″H. Coolers will be inspected and no glass containers or alcoholic beverages are allowed. For those who prefer to leave the cooking to Disney, the following selections are available. Click on the name below for menu. Visit our WDW Menu Page for a complete list of menus available for Walt Disney World. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan you can print out a pocket guide for Animal Kingdom in our Pocket Guide page.
- DinoLand, U.S.A.
- Pandora – The World of Avatar
- Discovery Island
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Lockers
Lockers can be found at two locations at Animal Kingdom. The Expedition Storage Lockers are near Guest Relations inside the park. Guest lockers have been upgraded at all Walt Disney World theme parks. The process for renting a locker has now changed, as each locker location is now equipped with a self-service kiosk. Guests paying with cash or credit card may now proceed directly to the kiosk to rent a locker. Guests paying with a MagicBand or gift card should see a Cast Member at the nearest merchandise location where the Cast Member will provide the Guest with a code to access one of the lockers. Lockers are available in Standard (12.5” X 10” X 17”) size for $7.00 and Large (15.5” X 13” X 17”) size $10 per day. Guests are no longer required to pay a deposit when renting a locker.
Two-hour complimentary locker rental is available for anyone riding Kali River Rapids who would like to store items to keep dry. Lockers are located near the ride and are not available for all day use.
Special Ticket Events
Disney After Hours is a specially-ticketed event held in Disney’s Animal Kingdom that gives Guests the opportunity to ride most attractions with minimal waits.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Tours
Guests who are interested in guided tours can take advantage of some exciting tours offered at the Animal Kingdom. “Backstage Safari Tour” offers an insider’s look at the innovative ways that Disney Cast Members care for its animal inhabitants.”Wild By Design” tells the story of how the creative wizards at Walt Disney Imagineering meticulously transformed Florida wetlands into the exotic and untamed landscapes of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. “Sunrise Safari” a private 45 minute tour and photo shoot of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve before park opening offered only to Club level guests staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. “Wild Africa Trek” is an immersive experience that offers Disney’s Animal Kingdom Guests a unique opportunity to enjoy unexplored areas of the Harambe Reserve and have an “up close and personal” experience with intriguing African wildlife species. “Caring for Giants” is a 1 hour tour that brings guest behind the scenes to learn about the elephants at Animal Kingdom. To reserve tours call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687. Visit the Animal Kingdom section of Disney Backstage Tours & Experience page for details, prices and restrictions for each tour.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Wheelchair Accessibility and Service Animals
For more information on Accessibility see our page Services for Guests with Special Needs. For the convenience of Guests with disabilities, wheelchairs and Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECV) are available for rent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The wheelchair rental location at Animal Kingdom is at at Garden Gate Gifts inside the theme park entrance.
Guests can ask for a Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities at Guest Services. Animal Kingdom can accommodate Guests with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities. Refer to the guidebook for more details on special restrictions and seating areas.
Trained service animals are welcome at Animal Kingdom and are allowed in most locations. Not all attractions can accommodate service animals. In those instances a member of the Guest’s party must remain with the animal. All service animals must remain on a leash or harness at all times. Animal Kingdom allows Guests to use backstage locations for service animal to take breaks and relieve themselves or to use the designated service animal relief areas. A Cast Member must accompany the Guest to the designated backstage areas. The areas allowed are Main Entrance near the Kennel Area, backstage behind the gates near Restaurantosaurus, backstage behind the gates near Kilimanjaro Safaris, entrance to First Aid next to Creature Comforts, backstage behind the gates to the Conservation Station, backstage behind the gates near Maharajah Jungle Trek, and on the Africa side of Pandora: World of Avatar.
Most restrooms are designed for access by Guests using wheelchairs. Companion-assisted restrooms are available at the following four locations: First Aid, Discovery Island opposite Flame Tree Barbeque, Harambe Village in the Mombasa Marketplace, Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures in DinoLand U.S.A. Asia near Maharajah Jungle Trek and Expedition Everest.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park Transportation
In addition to Walt Disney World buses running to Animal Kingdom from individual Walt Disney World resorts, Disney has added park-to-park buses on a permanent basis. Animal Kingdom guests can catch buses running to and from the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot at approximately every 20 minutes throughout the day. The direct bus to Magic Kingdom from any park still goes to the Transportation and Ticket Center and you have to take the ferry or monorail to the park.
For information about Parking at Animal Kingdom see our Parking Lot Information page.
Other Walt Disney World Parks: