Chip’s Animal Kingdom Touring Plan

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Chip’s Animal Kingdom Touring Plan

I get a lot of questions and emails on Chip and Company asking me the best ways to tour the parks. I wrote this Touring Plan to help make your Disney World Vacation more enjoyable. In case you missed Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios be sure to check them out and let us know what you think.

Disney Animal Kingdom or DAK is HUGE! Covering over 500 Acres. While not all of that is places you and I will go it is still a pretty big park. I enjoy walking around and looking at all the details Disney put into this park. I have seen many behind the scenes specials on DAK and it is amazing what Disney has done with and for this park.

Here is a tried and tested Touring Plan that my family and I like to do when visiting Disney Animal Kingdom or DAK.

Get there early

We like to get here before Rope drop (9am) and make reservations at Tusker House for breakfast. You can get some great photos of the Tree of Life without anybody in it. Also the pictures of Donald & Friends at Tusker House in their safari gear is very unique. Also be sure to grab a showtime guide when you first enter the park.

Quick Tip – There are usually some Photopass photographers there taking pictures for all the early morning breakfast people. So be sure to bring your Photopass card with you.

Going on a safari

We usually finish breakfast around the time of rope drop. Which means people are making a mad dash to Expedition Everest. Luckily we are on the other side of the park from the mad dash of people. So we jump on the 2nd busiest ride at the park Kilimanjaro Safari.

Quick Tip – I haven’t done the Wild Africa Trek but our writer Melissa has a 3 Part Review available here. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This might be a good time to do this if you signed up in advance. Click here for more details.


After the safari we usually bypass every other ride and head straight for Expedition Everest. If you can ride Everest twice as it will be very busy by mid day, or grab a fast pass for later.

Quick Tip – If there is a long line try going in the single ride line. You may not get in next to the person you came with but at least you can ride the coaster. Also works well for families with toddlers or infants where the parents can ride swap the kids.

Nemo or Dino

Depending on the time you have 2 ways you can go. If you are in time for Finding Nemo the Musical head on over. If you just missed the first show take note of the next showtime and head to Dinoland USA till the next showing. Either way you go you will be in the Dinoland area at least till lunch time. Be sure to ride all the rides a few times if possible. If you have little ones let they run around in The Boneyard to get the wiggles out. Its good for those who are young at heart too.

Quick Tip – Be sure to stop by Dino-Bites for one my favorite snacks the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!!! This monstrous thing is only 1 snack credit!

Back to the beginning

After consuming your snack now its time to enjoy a show. We usually head back to the Tree of Life for It’s Tough to be a Bug. Check out this article In need of an upgrade – Its Tough to be a bug. This is my least favorite 3D show at Disney. The walk around the Tree of Life is spectacular with several great picture taking spots. Be sure to notice the attention to detail Disney Imagineers did on the Tree.

Get our your pens

Next head on over to Camp Minnie Mickey. This is another one of those instances where if you are in time head up to see The Festival of the Lion King or if we are to late/early get some character autographs.

Quick Tip – If you ate at Tusker House for breakfast you would already have Mickey & Friends in their Safari Outfit pictures and autographs.

Jamming Jungle

Depending on what time it is you may be getting close to 3:45pm and the Jammin Jungle Parade. The Parade starts at the Tusker House Gate at Harambe Village. It then winds around Discovery Island, and returns to the Tusker House Gate. Also check out this article Disney Parade viewing spots from a wheelchair.

Quick Tip – Head up near the Yak & Yeti to see the parade so you are not locked into any specific area of the park. Atleast here you can get out and goto Asia or Dinoland USA and not feel like you are stuck.

Time to get wet

This part here is optional as you will get soaked on Kali River Rapids. If you are not into getting wet check out the Flight of Wonder Bird Show..Or like us do both 🙂

Check out some animals

Now is the time to relax and ride the train to check out the animals. Head up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and check out the animals. This is where you can sneak in some learning on your little ones. Walk around check out all the exhibits and animals and just have fun. But not t0 much fun as the park will be closing soon. Park closes at 5pm.

Now its time to say goodbye

Disney’s Animal Kingdom closes ALOT earlier than the other parks. Most days it closes at 5pm. Disney has to feed and tend to the animals which I totally understand. This works out great for us as we like to eat Dinner early so head over to my favorite buffet BomaFlavors of Africa!!!

Quick Tip – If you purchased a park hopper pass be sure to check out some of the other parks. If not go Resort Hopping one of my favorite non park related activity to do.

Well thats about it for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I hope you liked our Touring Plans. If there is something I missed or if you want to share yours with us let us know in the comment section below.

Chip’s Animal Kingdom Touring Plan


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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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