Talk to me about Animal Kingdom

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by JennaDeeDooDah, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. JennaDeeDooDah

    JennaDeeDooDah My oh my what a wonderful day!

    Mar 29, 2012
    Animal Kingdom has never really been my favorite park. In fact, I usually skip it on my vacations just because I like the other 3 parks much more. This December, I am going to WDW with my husband, DD2, sister(30), mother, father, grandmother, and grandfather. They have put me in charge of planning the trip and have requested going to Animal Kingdom. We have two mornings where we are planning to go to Animal Kingdom. Knowing this, what are you must dos and your skips? We are certainly planning on Expedition Everest (obviously not for the daughter or grandparents) and Kilimanjaro Safari. My dad also wants to do Kali River Rapids, provided the weather is good. Probably going to skip Rifiki's Planet Watch. Would you do Maharaja Jungle Trek and Panjani Forest Exploration Trails? I think It's Tough to Be a Bug would be good for most, but think it might scare my 2-year-old. I think we want to do Festival of the Lion King. Many will want to do Dinosaur, as well.

    So what would you do? What would you skip? What order do you think you would do everything in? Oh, and we have reservations at Tusker House for our second day at Animal Kingdom for 8:10 (park opens at 9).
  2. Robo

    Robo 1971 Castle in the Hub: Your lights are on!

    Nov 18, 2001
    1- Definitely.
    2- In general, yes. It has been known to frighten even older kids (and a few adults.) I still like the show.
    3- Absolutely.
    4- Very JERKY. Very LOUD. Designed to frighten guests. Use CAUTION.

    I'd add the Jungle Parade and Flights of Wonder show.
    Also, consider seeing Finding Nemo the Musical.
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  4. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

    Aug 30, 2011
    Agree with Robo. You may also want to see Nemo-The musical. it's a long show,but everyone seemed to enjoy it. It's not a do every year for a lot of people, but nice to see once. Definitely do the trails, we do them every time we are there. Keep an eye out for Ivy. Flights of Wonder is a great show about birds that the kids really enjoy.

    Have a great trip.
  5. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    So, I'm not a fan of skipping any parks. I do have parks that I favor over other parks but if time is not and issue I do each and every park.

    Same with things to skip. As a general rule we do almost every thing, if time is not an issue but some are "must do's".

    For AK our must do's are
    Kali river rapids
    It's a bugs life
    Festival of the lion King

    honorable mention: is expedition everest for my son's. I don't like the backwards thingy. LOL.

    Also I'm a "meanderer" which is why I like AK. We love to take our time and watch the flying monkeys (anyone know what they are?) We like checking out the animals at the entrance, we like the trail from India to Africa. So that burns up a lot of time also.
  6. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2007
    Here's how I like to organize my Animal Kingdom day, when it's quiet (ie. December)...

    Pick one of Josh's recommended days ( - he generally hits the nail on the head when it comes to choosing the least crowded park.

    Arrive just before park opening.

    Stroll casually in, stopping to chat with the CM's carrying little plastic boxes with critters in them. They've always got something interesting to show you!

    Meander through the trails, seeing if we can spot any animals. Hang a right toward Dinoland USA. (Read up on the themeing and backstory beforehand - it's a lot cooler when you know what's going on! and

    Ride Primeval Whirl, then proceed back to Expedition Everest (don't get sucked into the Nemo show on the way - there'll be time for that later!).

    After Expedition Everest (the line moves fast, and it's early, so you shouldn't need a fastpass yet), stroll across the park toward the Kilimanjaro Safari. Don't hurry - take in the sights along the way. Look at the monkeys!

    If the standby line is more than 20 or 25 minutes, grab a fastpass for the Safari and explore the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail while you wait.

    And that pretty much takes care of all the rides with the potential for long lines! (It'll be too cold to ride the Kali River Rapids, at this point of the morning, if at all.)

    If you want to see the Holiday characters and the Christmas Trees, head over to Camp Minnie-Mickey now before the lines get long. (The characters usually come out at about 10am.)

    Otherwise, check your Times Guide to see when the shows are on, and organize the rest of your day around seeing them and any other attractions you've missed. Dinosaur almost never has a long standby line... if you show up and there's a wait, it's probably just a tour group ahead of you. Just go do something else and come back later.

    Be sure to find a spot between Africa and Asia for the 3pm Jingle Jungle Parade! :thumbsup2

    And since a lot of people leave right after the parade, the 4 to 6 time period is perfect for re-riding Expedition Everest and the Safari, and maybe getting in that Kali River Rapids ride, since you'll be heading straight back to the hotel if you get soaked and chilled. Just be sure to check the Times Guide as some of the trails close early.

    One more thing - if your 2yo gets overwhelmed, you and she might enjoy a small play break in the Boneyard while the other adults head off to ride Dinosaur or Everest, etc...

    (Edited to add: Just noticed your Tusker House breakfast - is that on a different day from the one you intend to spend at AK, or the same day? If it's the same day I'd probably change the order of the morning to Safari, Everest and then Primeval Whirl, just to save on walking.)
  7. JessM

    JessM We all have a dream

    Sep 5, 2012
    I would definitely do both Trails. The gorillas are great, as are the tigers. I would also definitely make time for the FOTLK, it is the best show on property, IMO. I would check out Camp Minnie Mickey before the show, see the Character Christmas Trees so Cute! And the Characters all dressed up in their holiday garb, a great chance for some awesome group photos.

    AK really does have a lot of offer especially if your child has even the slightest interest in animals. I would probably skip Rafikis and ITTBAB but try to hit everything else!
  8. ann0d1

    ann0d1 Earning My Ears

    Jan 20, 2005
    Also the Nemo show is very good and entertaining for all ages. And our biggest surprise was Flights of Wonder, we really enjoyed that. We skipped Rafiki too. Others not to miss is Lion King, Kilamajara, EE, Bugs Life. Kali is a blast. We go on no matter what the weather!
  9. PSUGuy

    PSUGuy Bill From PA

    Jan 21, 2009
    We usually hit AK twice on each 8 day WDW trip, hopping to WS between noon and 1 pm. Every time I'll scoot down to EE to get a FastPass, wifey waits at Safari. We do Safari, then EE, on to Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl. By that time Flights of Wonder is on so we do that, then one of the animal trails, then off to WS. On our second day there we repeat EE and Safari, whichever trail we didn't do then whatever strikes our fancy, can't skip AK.

  10. Kae

    Kae DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2002
    When DS was 4 he left Its tough to be a bug on my head:lmao: Flights of wonder show is one of my must dos. We enjoy AK as a take your time look around park.

  11. kevdo

    kevdo Kevin Crossman

    Aug 27, 2011
    I'm sure your 2 yo will love Flights of Wonder. Don't skip that.
  12. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    Our two "must do's" are the Safari and the Festival of the Lion King.

    I have never been able to talk DH into going to Flights of Wonder. What makes it a "must-do"?
  13. Robo

    Robo 1971 Castle in the Hub: Your lights are on!

    Nov 18, 2001
    We skipped it for years.
    Then, took a chance one trip...

    It's not your typical "bird show."
    It's DISNEY!

    Just see it.
  14. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2009
    AND since you're going in December, don't miss Camp Minnie/Mickey where they will be dressed in their Christmas finery and the trees will be decorated too. The parade will also be a Christmas parade, so make time to see it on one of your days.
  15. Clippermama76

    Clippermama76 Earning My Ears

    Mar 30, 2010
    Find Devine!
    Flights of wonder is a very entertaining show.
    Lion King and Nemo show.
    Ride safari ride multiple times during the day if you can. Different animals are active at different times.

    Planet watch is cool especially if they are performing an operation on one of the animals. Nice break away from the crowds. Check out the rainforest sounds room.

    If at some point you want a nice break...check out the trails between the tree of life and the river. Cool views of the tree and never crowded.

    Other than that you hit the major ones. It is a cool park to take your time. Our families favorite park.
  16. PALionKingfan

    PALionKingfan Mouseketeer

    May 30, 2012
    i would definitely do flights of wonder and the nemo musical. both are fantastic and are something the whole family can enjoy.

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  17. rex008

    rex008 Mouseketeer

    Jan 9, 2012
    I'd second all the votes for Nemo. All my family really enjoyed it.

    Kali is fun, but you are pretty much guaranteed to get absolutely drenched. That may be a consideration.

    Oh, and the "Flying Monkeys" are Siamangs, which are apes, not monkeys (no tails). And yes, they can be fun to watch if they're out and about.

    If you had to choose one of the trails, I'd do the Maharaja over the Pangani - the tigers were impressive and quite active when we went.
  18. JennaDeeDooDah

    JennaDeeDooDah My oh my what a wonderful day!

    Mar 29, 2012
    Thank you for all of your advice and suggestions. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to fit everything in as best as possible. We have two different mornings at AK (have to park hop for the afternoon/evening due to dining reservation). The first morning will be Monday, December 10. AK has morning EMH on this day. The second morning will be Friday, December 14. We have 8:00 reservations at Tusker House this morning, so I'm assuming we will be done for rope drop at 9:00. Never done Tusker House before, though, so please tell me if I am wrong.

    Here's what I'm thinking. Completely open to anyone telling me that I have a horrible plan and how to fix it.

    Monday, December 10
    Arrive before RD
    Send everyone except me and grandfather to Kilimanjaro Safari (he has a bad back that could get aggravated by the bumps). Grandfather and I go get FP for everyone except DD2 and grandparents for Expedition Everest. Do they still do Fast Passes during EMH? Meet up at Maharajah Jungle Trek. Watch Flights of Wonder. Do EE whenever return time allows. Look for DiVine. Everyone to Discovery Island for It's Tough to be a Bug except for me and DD2. We go get FP for Dinosaur. Enjoy Tree of Life until everyone gets done. Leave park for midday nap and to go to the other park.

    Thursday, December 14
    In Africa for Tusker House Reservation. Go do Killimanjaro Safari and get FP to do a second time later in the day (any ideas with to do with grandfather during this time?). Pangini Forest Exploration Trail. Head to Dinoland USA for Primeval Whirl, Finding Nemo the Musical, and Dinosaur. Down to Camp Minnie-Mickey to check out the Christmas trees and watch Festival of the Lion King. Leave park for midday nap and to go to the other park.

    Does that look doable for only a half day each day? Too aggressive? Time to do everything? And where are these flying Apes?
  19. cannmom

    cannmom Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2008
    Another vote for Flights of Wonder! We also skipped it many times and it is one of our favorites now. It's something the whole family should like. Definitely hit the boneyard for the little one.
  20. Robo

    Robo 1971 Castle in the Hub: Your lights are on!

    Nov 18, 2001

    1- Likely, or nearly so.
    2- OK. Be sure that you have everyone's park tickets with you.
    3- Yes.
    4- Sounds good.
    5 & 6- Your FP Return for EE will likely be about 45-75 minutes after
    you picked up the FP's, so be careful about Flights of Wonder timing.
    7- Yup.
    8- Remember that Dino is very rough, loud and scary.
    9- Sounds good.
    10- Tusker House is just a few steps from the Safari entrance.
    11- Yup.
    12- Send him to scout Pangini Forest Exploration Trail.
    (Make sure he has a cell phone, and so do you.)
    13- Primeval Whirl is another ROUGH ride.
    14- Winner!
    15- Have fun!
    16- In "Asia."
  21. JennaDeeDooDah

    JennaDeeDooDah My oh my what a wonderful day!

    Mar 29, 2012
    Thanks, Robo!

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