Disney Itineraries & Things to Do

Animal Kingdom Schedule – The Best 1 Day Adventure!

Our favorite animal kingdom schedule at Disney World

Oh boy, I’m back for some more Disney planning! I hope you enjoyed my Magic Kingdom schedule last week (if you haven’t yet, go check it out now!). There was a bunch of information but I hope I could help you figure out how to book Fastpass+ reservations and schedule dining to accomplish everything you want on your vacation! This week we move on to our favorite Animal Kingdom schedule!

Entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park

Animal Kingdom is tied as my favorite park with Magic Kingdom, but unfortunately we do not have enough time to do 2 days here. This can make things tricky with the addition of Pandora. But here is what a typical day at Animal Kingdom looks like for us!

The tree of life at animal kingdom

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links within. This means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from any link on this site. I only suggest products that I love and trust and think you would love too! I will receive this commission at no additional cost to you if you click on the product and make a purchase. This helps me to keep traveling and writing to keep this site running. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here!

Animal Kingdom Schedule

Same as in Magic Kingdom, we are not morning people, and we do not take advantage of early morning magic hours. This makes it easy to fit in Animal Kingdom into the weekly schedule any day that works.

11 AM to 12PM

As usual we aim to arrive to Animal Kingdom around 11-11:30. We will have our first Fastpass reservation scheduled for around 11-12. Let’s say this reservation is for Expedition Everest!

Expedition Everest at animal kingdom

After riding Everest, we will typically head back to the front of the park for lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue! It is soooo good. I will warn you, there is only outside seating but it is well worth it!

12 PM – 2 PM

After lunch we will head to Africa! Back in Africa we will use our next Fastpass reservation 1st for Kilimanjaro Safari! After the safari we will check out the gift shop near by and grab some chocolate covered fruit, YUM!

We will then walk the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail before hopping on the wildlife express to Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Rafiki’s Planet Watch includes the Affection Section, which is a small petting zoo style animal exhibit. This is also where the Conservation Station is!

I absolutely recommend taking sometime to explore this area and learn about ways to help protect other species. The Rainforest rooms are an absolute MUST! Every time I sit there listening to the sound of the chainsaw and the thud of the tree…then the silence of the animals while sitting in the dark…it ALWAYS motivates me to do better for other species…after making me cry! (Every. Single. Time)

The “Rainforest rooms” I’m talking about are shown to the right in this picture…not sure if they are really called Rainforest rooms…but they are about the rainforest and it’s a room sooooo.

Outside of my love for Disney, animal behavior and conservation are a really important part of my life! Let me know if you have any questions on ideas for how to help protect animals in your daily life or share with me some cool ways you already implement conservation techniques at home!

2 PM – 3 PM

Depending on when ur Fastpass reservations fall (they tend to be more complicated if we have a Fastpass in Pandora) we will try to fit in Festival of the Lion King while we are still back in Africa. This is a 30 minute show on a schedule. We usually try to get in line15 to 20 minutes prior to the show staring.

3 PM – 4 PM

Now we will finally use our last Fastpass for Flight Of Passage (or sometimes Na’vi River Journey). These lines are always so long so we only plan to ride these rides if we have a Fastpass reservation.

Pandora at night in animal kingdom
Even if you have early Fastpass+ reservations for either Pandora ride, be sure to check out Pandora at night!

Once we scan in for this Fastpass, we will check my Disney experience for anymore available Fastpass reservations!

4 PM – Close

Usually after using our third Fastpass we will be able to schedule one for Dinosaur! Sometimes we will even rotate Everest and Dinosaur Fastpasses for awhile if available.

Disney’s the tree of life at animal kingdom
Animal sculptures in the tree of life at Animal Kingdom

During this time we also have everything else to fit in! We will go watch it’s tough to be a bug and walk the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Animal Kingdom

If we have time, are really hot, and the line isn’t too bad, we might ride Kali River Rapids. But in all honesty we skip this ride most trips. The one trip we went to ride this, it was shut down 🙃 what luck!

Some other shows we love to fit in are UP! A great bird adventure and Finding Nemo the musical. Just like the festival of the lion king, these shows are all scheduled times and do not run all day long. This can make it difficult to fit them all in with all the afternoon Fastpass+ reservations.

Kevin from UP at Animal Kingdom

At Animal Kingdom we always skip the night show, we saw it once when it was The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, it was good but nothing we HAVE to see again (I know it’s a new show now but we still tend to skip it). We do however LOVE to catch the Tree of Life Awakens! This is a really cool experience and the stories are so cute!

As we head to the front of the park we will catch the gift shops on the way out! Animal Kingdom is probably my favorite place to shop! (Don’t even get me started on the Zawadi Marketplace at the Animal Kingdom Lodge ❤️)

Close – Dinner

We will schedule a dining reservation at The Rainforest Cafe for dinner about 30 minutes after the park closes. This way we can shop on the way out and still arrive to our reservation 15 minutes before the scheduled time.

I recommend making reservations for dinner after the park closes if you plan to eat at a table service restaurant. This way you can have more time in the park. This is also a great time to check out restaurants at the Disney resorts (we love ‘Ohana, but you can read about all our favorites here!)

Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom

Wrap Up

So there you have a typical Animal Kingdom schedule for one of our normal week long Disney vacations!

Tips to keep in mind:
  • Animal Kingdom has fun rides (many have height requirements) but exploring tends to be what is most important! There is so much to see, experience and learn!
  • There are a few experiences that do not run all day. Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo the Musical, Up! A Great Bird Adventure, and Rafiki’s Planet watch are some. So check the times and plan to do these earlier in the day.
  • Even though some things end early, I still recommend having afternoon Fastpass+ reservations so you can try to schedule more for the evening. But leaving larger gaps may be a good idea so you can accomplish more in between Fastpass+ reservations (or get them done really quick so you have the rest of the day for shows and exploring).
  • Rides at Animal Kingdom do not usually slow down like ride lines at Magic Kingdom. Depending on the time of year, Everest and Dinosaur will have 15 minute waits in the evening (early mornings also) but rides such as Kilimanjaro Safari and both Pandora rides will likely keep a lengthy wait time.
  • Have FUN! Learn about conservation and the AMAZING animals that coexist with us on this planet! They are truly incredible and need us to be more aware of the decisions we make and how they affect their homes and safety!

I hope you loved our daily Animal Kingdom schedule and can use it to help you have an awesome Disney vacation…all while sleeping in a bit!

Do you love Animal Kingdom as much as I do? Let me know what you think of our daily schedule and if you think it could work for you!

If you are looking to take the fun and adventure up a notch at Animal Kingdom, check out our experience on Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek Tour! You will not be disappointed!

The best 1 day Animal Kingdom Schedule at Disney World

And if you need some ideas to do with your little ones at Animal Kingdom, check out The Best Things To Do At Animal Kingdom With Toddlers at Moms Magical Blog and Stephanie will give you some great ideas!

Hi, I’m Denise! Wife, mom, professor, animal lover and Disney freak! I am a DVC member, former Disney travel consultant and now the face behind Enchanting Wishes. My family and I spend a lot of time in Disney and I hope to help you enjoy your Disney vacations by sharing my experiences and travel tips with you! Follow me on Pinterest for more Disney fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *