Disney World Animal Kingdom Tips
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My niece reserved breakfast at Tusker House for 10:45 a.m. She realized that we could take advantage of early FastPasses and have more available later, PLUS breakfast starts to turn into lunch a little after 11 a.m. so we had the best of all worlds. - Helen F.
As great as zipper-top bags are for holding snacks, you might want to think about hard plastic storage containers for them or something equally sturdy. I've witnessed a squirrel literally rip a hole in a reusable supermarket bag to get at the chips inside, no matter how many times we shooed him away. Anytime you're in a show or a ride with a long line the squirrels and birds have PLENTY of time to mess with your stuff that you've left in your stroller or scooter. - Aren
Going through the metal detectors at the park entrances, you have to remove celebratory buttons and put them in the little bins with other metal objects. This can be a pain, especially if you're park-hopping! Consider wearing buttons on a lanyard or bag strap to make it easier to take them on and off. - Gilly R.
The Savor the Savanna experience at Animal Kingdom has undergone a food change recently. It was very different from the tin camp cans with a few bites of food. Now, it is set up as a sort of appetizer buffet. They said that the change came about to make it more like a cocktail party and less camp-like, like they do for the Wild Africa Trek tour. The offerings still include the spicy nut mix, and now there is also a selection of cheeses. We had a cheddar and goat cheese with grapes and strawberries. There are also fig cakes, pita, fennel and garlic hummus, cilantro lime shrimp, teriyaki beef jerky, prosciutto, edamame, and roasted cauliflower. For dessert, the offerings included a non-dairy brownie (which was more like a bite-size cookie), a strawberry cookie, an "African version" s'more with meringue and ganache, and another bite-size, bar-type cookie/treat. We found this set-up a bit more enjoyable. - Kelly Adams
During our recent visit to Walt Disney World, we learned from a cast member that several same-day FastPasses for the attractions in Pandora - The World of Avatar are released at 10:45 a.m. each day. So if you have been having trouble getting a FastPass, go to My Disney Experience around 10:45 and try to grab one when they are released. - Tami
My tip for any park, in regard to parking, is to take a photo of the parking row (ex. Goofy 12) so that you don't forget where you are. As a bonus you'll have a unique photo collection when you get home. I had all of my parking row photos printed out and put in a collage. - Jacquie Peskett
Here's a tip if you're staying in a Disney resort hotel. If you decide to take a nap or a shower, and some members of your group are still out and about but may return while you're unavailable, do NOT lock the deadbolt on your room door. The Magic Bands will not open the door if the deadbolt is engaged and your family or friends will be left standing in the hall until you hear them pounding on the door to get in! Ask me how I know! - Deb
When ordering from the new Satu'li Canteen in Pandora using the Mobile Order function in the My Disney Experience app, you can customize your Satu'li Bowl quite a bit. In addition to choosing your protein, base and sauce, you also have the following options: no base at all, no sauce or sauce on the side, no boba balls, no vegetable slaw, and beef well done (rather than medium). - John
Please be advised: I'm 6' and 310 lbs., and I could not fit on the new Avatar Flight of Passage in the new Pandora - The World of Avatar section of Animal Kingdom. You straddle seat like you are sitting on a motorcycle. A cast member told me that a test seat will be displayed out front in the near future, so that others can determine whether they'll be able to ride before going inside the attraction. - Anonymouse
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've been hearing from a number of readers who have previewed Pandora - The World of Avatar that they have found both Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na'vi River Journey less than accessible for people of size or those with a variety of physical disabilities.
The Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery, located in front of the Tusker House Restaurant, is now the location at which you'll find kosher counter service foods in Disney's Animal Kingdom. For years, you could find kosher dishes at Pizzafari, but this changed some time ago. Kusafiri has kosher hot dogs, pizza and other kosher "fast food," available with no advance notice. - AllEars Editor Deb Koma
I have read several tips about using water mister fans in the parks, but my family has found a way to cool off that we think works just as well with the added benefits of being cheaper and more convenient. We use the small (about 4" tall) pump-type bottles one can usually find in the "travel and trial size" section at the grocery store or pharmacy. The bottles are inexpensive ($1-$2) so it is not a big deal if one is lost (as happened to me on Tom Sawyer Island) and require no batteries. They are very lightweight, just a couple of ounces even when filled with water, and small enough to fit into a pocket. One or two quick spritzes on the face, back of the neck, arms and legs is all it takes to make even the hottest day enjoyable. To make it even better, the bottles can be used for other things after vacation is over, which really can't be said about the mister fans. - K.
We always carry a cinch-sack to the parks. To help us get through the security bag check a little faster, my husband put all our items in two large zipper-top bags before we put them in the sack. Several security guards commented that it was a great idea. It made their job easier by being able to just look at the bags instead of digging through the cinch-sack. - Chris
A tip "for when you are almost on the ride and it gets stopped for bad weather": This happened on our last visit. We were just about to board Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the ride was stopped due to storms. Although the wait was around an hour, my wife and daughter got chatting to others in the queue, and soon one of the girls opened up a game app on her phone. It kept quite a few people busy and the wait just flew by. It's worth loading a couple of games onto your mobile device for delays like this, especially if you have young children, to keep them occupied. - Tony M.
To survive large crowds, I suggest that you go out early, at the time the parks open. Bring just a snack for breakfast if you can't manage to get up early enough to eat breakfast at your resort. You then will have 3-4 hours of park time before lunch. Since lunch is when the crowd volume really picks up, this is when you should go back to your resort to refresh and relax by the pool, or you could go shopping. Then go back to a park after you eat dinner. Leave the park before any fireworks shows to avoid long waits at the bus stops. Of course, if you want to experience more, then you will have to get out in the crowds. I've been so many years (at all times of year) and I've learned my lesson. The one thing that will drain your energy and make you more ill and fussy, is fighting a crowd daily. That's no vacation. Find time to rest and relax. - Melody Moore
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Whenever I exit "It's Tough to be a Bug," I notice everyone is in a big hurry to get back out to the main path, but I like to pause just outside the exit doors, turn around, look up and admire all the wonderful animal carvings on The Tree of Life. There is a wide-enough fenced-in area to step aside from the crowds as they exit and just spend a few minutes enjoying the close-up view. - Gloria Weaver