Here’s What Animal Kingdom is Like Now in Disney World!

Disney World has begun reopening its theme parks after a four-month closure.

Tree of Life

Earlier this week we attended the Annual Passholder Previews for both Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, which you can check out below! Today we will be adding in our experience, and any differences we saw from the grand reopening, so follow along!

We will continue to update this post throughout the week, so make sure to check back for updates! 

Reopening Day


Parking worked the same as we saw for the Passholder Preview. Cars were allowed to line up outside the parking booths beginning at 7:30AM, and were slowly let in.


Security and temperature checks also worked like we had seen at the Annual Passholder Preview! Animal Kingdom is currently using a new form of security and bag check where guests don’t have to stop or remove any items from their bags (other than umbrellas).

Animal Kingdom Security

The process is quick and simple, and one that has made entry into Animal Kingdom a lot easier in our opinion.


As we saw at the Annual Passholder Preview, everyone went immediately to Pandora. However, the line still moved quickly for Flight of Passage!

Flight of Passage Line

Wait times were low to start the day — at this point (about an hour after opening) Flight of Passage was listed as a 10 minute wait.

Flight of Passage Line

Wait Times

Wait times throughout the day have been very low, with Flight of Passage sticking around a five minute wait for most of the day!

1PM Wait Times

Occasionally rides will temporarily close, or get a slightly longer wait — these have typically been due to the periodic closures each of the rides get throughout the day for a 10 to 15 minute deep clean of all the vehicles.

1PM Wait Times

Read more about the wait times for Animal Kingdom’s reopening day here!

As a whole, Animal Kingdom’s crowd levels have been very quiet, with some spots around the park completely empty.

Animal Kingdom

Click here to read more about the crowd levels for Animal Kingdom’s reopening day!

Annual Passholder Preview


Parking is being staggered every other car.

Animal Kingdom Parking

We had a smooth process of getting into the parking lot and making our way to the park entrance, even in the absence of parking lot trams.


At the Annual Passholder Preview, we had our MagicBand scanned by a handheld scanner to enter the park for the Annual Passholder Preview. For the grand reopening, this was changed back to using the regular MagicBand scanner, though without having to also use your fingerprint.

Temperature Check

The temperature check process was relatively quick and simple, as we’ve seen at Disney Springs.

Temperature Check

The checks are conducted by AdventHealth professionals.


Animal Kingdom is using a new form of security and bag check where guests don’t have to stop or remove any items from their bags.

Animal Kingdom Security

When we approached security we were instructed to walk straight through with our bags. If we had umbrellas we were asked to remove them and hold them in front of us, but otherwise were not immediately asked to take anything out of our bags.



We had our MagicBand scanned by a handheld scanner to enter the park.

Scanning MagicBand

Since we are here as part of the Annual Passholder Preview, it’s possible that is why these were used in place of the traditional MagicBand scanners, but that is unclear at this time.


We found it was quite quick and easy to enter the park. It’s important to also note that Cast Members are checking to make sure that guests are wearing proper face masks. If they aren’t, it seems like they will provide them with disposable face masks to wear in the parks instead.

Animal Kingdom Entrance

The Wilderness Explorers area was open to guests with distancing measures in place and directional arrow showings people which way to enter and exit.

Wilderness Explorers

When you’re talking to Cast Members from the Wilderness Explorers, you’ll stand in a line distanced from them. You are still able to get the stickers at this time!

Wilderness Explorers

Flight of Passage was operating with distanced queue markers on the group that made the line appear a lot longer than it was. However, we were able to hop on the attraction within 10 minutes (but that can change depending on the crowds and distancing measures).

Flight of Passage Queue

Including the queue, the biggest differences we saw during our ride was that we only got to watch the first part of the pre-show in a modified way…

Flight of Passage Pre-Show

…and that our group was limited to three parties, which happened to be five people in our case.

Flight of Passage Attraction

Take a full look at a re-open Flight of Passage here!

While we were in Pandora, we noticed that a lot of the high-touch experiences were closed for the time being. Some of these included the Colors of Mo’ara Face Painting Station…

Colors of Mo’ara

…drumming spot…

Pandora Drums

…(that was equipped with stickers to make guests aware that the experience was suspended)…

Pandora Drums

…and the interactive Flaska Reclinata that was roped off.

Flaska Reclinata

Retail locations like Windtraders were open to guests to explore. While there weren’t many people in there, the store will most likely operate with a limited capacity when crowds pick up.


The check-out area had designated floor markers to put space between the guests.

New Shopping Measures

Pongu Pongu had plexiglass barriers and a hand-sanitizer station installed for guests…

Pongu Pongu

…as well as directional markers on the ground to direct everyone where to stand and where the designated entrances and exits were.

Pongu Pongu

The tables at dining locations also used distancing measures where certain tables had a placard to state that it was unavailable to use.

Pongu Pongu

Although we were able to hop on Flight of Passage with a short wait time, the crowds did start to pick up during Passholder Previews. Guests were directed by the Cast Members to the right for Flight of Passage and to the left for the river as everyone entered the area.

Animal Kingdom

The restrooms in the park currently look the same with only one sign asking guests to wash their hands.

Animal Kingdom Restrooms

The changing tables had no difference.

Animal Kingdom Restrooms

Water fountains were still available for guests…

Water Fountain

…as well as refillable water bottle stations.

Refillable Water Bottle Station

Pizzafari has been designated as one of the Relaxation Stations were guests will be able to take their mask off for a short period of time in the parks.

Pizzafari Relaxation Location

The tables in the area had some of the same distancing measures to keep everyone apart from one another.

Pizzafari Relaxation Location

The Nomad Lounge is closed at the moment, but we noticed that there were line markers to check-in to the location…

Nomad Lounge

…as well as a hand-sanitizer station at the entrance.

Nomad Lounge

Tiffins is also operating with similar distancing markers and hand-sanitizer stations…


…as well as the Mobile Dining Check-in feature.


During our visit, the Island Mercantile was closed to guests.

Island Mercantile

However, the penny pressing machine and FuelRod machine were available and working just around the corner of Island Mercantile’s entrance.

Island Mercantile

Discovery Trading Co. only had one entrance for guests to use. The store used distancing methods and hand-sanitizer inside.

Discovery Trading Co

If you’re craving a coffee in the morning or a cool drink in the afternoon, Creature Comforts has dots for guests to stand on and wait for their order.

Creature Comforts

What better way is there to celebrate the re-opening of Animal Kingdom than a toast with some Starbucks coffee? 😉

We’re Celebrating Disney World with Starbucks Re-Opening

Different quick-service restaurants were also setting out water cups ready to hand out to guests.

Free Cup of Water

Satu’li Canteen was operating with the same protocols as Cosmic Ray for Mobile Order. After placing your order and returning for pick-up, guests were lead to a specific bay number. Another Cast Member would get fountain drinks for guests who ordered them.

Satu’li Canteen

Cast Members were also spotted cleaning tables and wiping them down after guests dined at the restaurant.

Satu’li Canteen

While Magic Kingdom hosted Character Cavalcades down Main Street, Animal Kingdom showcased entertainment on the Discovery River. As the Discovery Island Drummers got everyone excited to be back in the parks with their great jams…

Discovery Island Drummers

…and characters were all very happy to see everyone back in the park.

Chip, Dale, and Goofy

Chip, Dale, and Goofy were all chilling on the boat in their Donald’s Dino Bash outfits to wave at all their friends onshore.

Character Cavalcade

On top of saying hello to our favorite characters, we hopped onto the Kali River Rapids now that Animal Kingdom attractions have re-opened! The rafts are limited to two parties…

Kali River Rapids

…while guests are required to still wear masks, and Cast Members must wear masks and face shields. The water cannons are turned off for the moment.

Face Masks on Water Rides

The Kilimanjaro Safaris have opened again to guests so they can spot their favorite animals sprawling out. Although the last tram sets off at 6 PM…

Kilimanjaro Safaris

…the limited hours doesn’t affect the ride’s safety measures, like partitions in the queues and trams…

Kilimanjaro Safaris

…and face masks and shields for Cast Members.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Look! It’s Nala and Simba!!

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Expedition Everest will only be using Stand-by lines at this time, but disability access and rider switch were also available during our visit.

Expedition Everest

The cars had plexiglass partitions in between them to promote more space between guests…

Expedition Everest

…but the ride was STILL just as fun as we remember it (we were even glad to see Disco Yeti)!

Expedition Everest

It’s Tough to Be a Bug was back open with short wait times, but multiple health and safety measures involved. A hand-sanitizer station was available at the entrance to the attraction…

It’s Tough to Be a Bug

…and there were circles for guests to stand on while they wait to enter the theatre.

It’s Tough to Be a Bug

Dinosaur was using taped distancing measure in the waiting area, but the pre-show was still happening. The attraction was also spacing people when they board to make sure that guests have appropriate spacing.


The Na’vi River Journey had glass partitions, barriers, and roped off sections in the queue leading to the ride to keep things running smoothly…

Na’vi River Journey

…before everyone made their way on a mystical journey to see the Shaman!

Na’vi River Journey

The Up!: A Great Bird Adventure show had its times available for guests to watch macaws and other majestic birds take flight.

Up Bird Show

Upcountry Landing has a Relaxation Station for everyone to chill out at for a little while in the Florida sun.

Upcountry Landing Relaxation Station

Guests stay separated from one another so they can take off their masks and relax.

Upcountry Landing Relaxation Station

The Anandapur Ice Cream Truck was open for guests to get a cool treat…

Anandapur Ice Cream Truck

…along with Flame Tree Barbecue for some crispy Pulled Pork Fries.

Flame Tree Barbecue

Over in DinoLand, U.S.A., Trilo-Bites was open with distancing markers and designated entrances and exits…


…along with Dino-Bite Snacks.


Over near Expedition Everest, Thirsty River Bar was open with drinks and snacks for everyone to have after they escape the Yeti (a cause for celebration obviously).

Thirsty River

Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes was another spot open for a quick bite…

Yak and Yeti

…with popcorn carts serving all that buttery goodness just around the corner. They were carefully refilling guests’ popcorn buckets carefully with as minimal of contact as possible.

Popcorn Cart

However, not every restaurant in Animal Kingdom is open at this time. Eight Spoon Cafe will not be serving some of our favorite mac and cheese (bummer)…

Eight Spoon Cafe

…and the Smiling Crocodile will also be closed during the initial re-opening. However, guests were being redirected to the Isle of Java and Flame Tree Barbecue for snacks and entrees instead.

The Smiling Crocodile

Although Tiffins was available for dining, Tusker House’s family buffet was closed during the initial park re-opening.

Tusker House

Drinkwallah was also closed as a health and safety precaution at this time.


When we visited DinoLand, U.S.A., we saw that many of the midway games were closed currently.

DinoLand USA

And, right around the corner, there was a Pin Trading station set up for guests to enjoy. Cast Members were there to grab pins and limit the amount of high-touch surfaces.

Pin Trading

We’ve had a blast being back in the parks today! While we will back soon to see if there is anything different at Animal Kingdom’s grand re-opening, we hope that you enjoyed seeing a sneak peek back into the park today with us!

Discovery Island

We will continue to update this post throughout the day, so make sure to check back for updates! 

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