How to Make a Full Day Out of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

So, Animal Kingdom is back open — and things are a little different.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

With some attractions closed and changes to entertainment offerings, you might be wondering how much time you’ll want to spend in Animal Kingdom. After all, park hopping isn’t a thing right now, and Animal Kingdom is experienced by many as a half-day park, even before the current changes.

Well, don’t worry — we’ve got all the tips to make your day in Disney’s wildest park!

Here’s how to fill your Animal Kingdom day!

Ride the Rides

Obviously, you have to ride the rides — and a good number of them are open! These are some of the best rides in all of Disney World, and with lower capacities, you might have a better chance of riding them all. So it’s time to pick a favorite!

Flight of Passage

Hop aboard Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in Pandora, cruise on DINOSAUR and Triceratops Spin in Dinoland U.S.A., scream in fright on It’s Tough to Be a Bug on Discovery Island, adventure on Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids in Asia, and go animal-spotting on Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa!

Explore the Trails and Exhibits

After you’re done riding all of the awesome rides (or between a few, if you need a breather) you can explore the trails and exhibits. Animal Kingdom is certainly a walking park, and there’s something to see around every corner!

Tiger on Maharajah Jungle Trek

Most folks tend to miss out on some of the best pieces of Animal Kingdom when they do the park in a half-day. The exhibits and design of Discovery Island Trails and The Oasis Exhibits are stunning. Plus, we love the nature walks — Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek

Become a Wilderness Explorer

Did you know that you can become a Wilderness Explorer (just like Russell!) during your day in Animal Kingdom? Well, get pumped! You definitely can!

Wilderness Explorers

Meet up with the “worldwide organization” of Wilderness Explorers on the bridge to Discovery Island. These folks will get you all set to earn Wilderness Explorer badges as you learn about wildlife and conservation around the park.

Wilderness Explorers

This is a seriously awesome scavenger hunt that’s fun for kids and for kids at heart. If you’re gonna be in Animal Kingdom all day, you should spend some time collecting those badges!

Take a Trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch

When we do Animal Kingdom on a half-day, we’re definitely guilty of skipping Rafiki’s Planet Watch, but this is a mistake!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

The only way to get to Rafiki’s Planet Watch is via the Wildlife Express, which is basically a ride unto itself. During your train ride, you’ll pass by backstage animal barns and parts of Kilimanjaro Safaris!

Wilderness Express

Once you arrive at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you’ll be able to head into Conservation Station to learn all about the science of animals. As a bonus, you can take part in The Animation Experience and learn how to animate!

Go Egg-Hunting

Alright, so you’ve done all of that, and you still have some time. Well, let’s go egg-hunting — easter egg hunting that is!

Animal Kingdom is an absolute marvel of Disney design, and you can find all sorts of easter eggs all over the park. Need a little help? Check out our AllEars TV video to get started!

Try to Spot All of the Character Cruises

One big change about hanging out in a reopened Animal Kingdom is the way we’ll run into characters! Instead of traditional meet and greets, you’ll spot characters sailing the waterways in Character Cruises.


You can certainly pass some time trying to catch all four of the special cruises: Discovery River Character Cruise, Discovery Island Drummers, Donald’s Dino Boat Bash, and Mickey & Friends Flotilla! 

Hunt Down the Perfect Souvenir

If there’s one thing for sure, we hate being rushed when we’re shopping. Now you have all the time in the world to find that perfect Animal Kingdom souvenir. A ton of shopping is open, so get ready to head to a bunch of shops.

Discovery Trading Company

You can peruse the wares at Africa Hub Cart, African Heritage Wood Carving, Baby Care, Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures, Discovery Trading Company, Garden Gate, Gifts & Strollers, Kilimanjaro Safari Cart, Mandala Gifts, Mombasa Marketplace, Out Of The Wild, Serka Zong Bazaar, The Dino Institute Shop, and Windtraders.

Try Out Some New Dining Experiences

Plus, you can use this time to try out some lengthier dining experiences! Sure, there’s the plain old quick service locations that are open, but why don’t you spend some time doing something a little more upscale.

Nomad Lounge

We love kicking back for an hour (or a few hours) at Nomad Lounge, and if you’ve never eaten a whole fish at Tiffins, now’s your chance!

Try to Spot Every Species of Animal in the Park

Okay, so say you’ve done everything on this list and you still have time. For one, we’re impressed. But don’t worry, we have a way for you to round out your day.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Take the ultimate Animal Kingdom challenge and try to spot every single Animal Species in the park. There are around 250 species, so this might not even be possible in one day — but you can certainly try!

Do you think you’d be able to do all of these things in one Animal Kingdom day? Tell us in the comments!

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