Get the Most from Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

Florida - Animal Kingdom - Disney
Florida - Animal Kingdom - Disney

Several issues can factor into an ideal visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. How you handle the weather, your budget, your work schedule, or your kid’s school schedule, can all influence when and where you vacation. As a general rule, the best time to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom is January and February when the weather is pleasant, and most kids are in school.  

The best way to discover the best times to go to Disney’s parks is to download an app like Touring Plans. It can help you find the shortest line waits, step-by-step itineraries, searchable menus, restaurant and attraction ratings, and crowd calendars – to name a few. So, let’s unpack Get the Most from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 

Show Times at Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

A good number of shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are scheduled. So, this will help you to plan your day. This is a good time to start using your Touring Plans app, or you can pick up a Showtime Guide on your way into the park and figure out possible show times. If you don’t plan ahead, you might find yourself sitting through a show that has continuous show times and missing a final showing, such as the Festival of the Lion King.  

Get to Animal Kingdom Early 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens early. You may think that, since you’re on vacation, you want to sleep in. But that would be your first mistake.  

Disney’s Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a lot of attractions so the ones the park does have are known to get long lines quickly. So, step one, if you want to avoid standing in long lines – get to the park early.  

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In fact, you want to arrive at the park sometime before it opens, accounting for the time it takes to get through security and get to the front of the line before the park opens. We recommend that you get to the park at least 30 minutes early.  

Remember, if you choose to stay at one of Disney World’s resorts, you’ll want to make use of the Extra Magic Hours program. This allows resort guests to enter parks in the early morning and late evening hours when there aren’t any crowds. If, however, you are staying outside of Disney’s resort system, you’ll probably want to avoid visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom on days that offer Extra Magic Hours as the perk draws crowds.    

What is the Best Time of Year to Go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom? 

Summer months are generally the busiest times of the year at Disney World theme parks in Orlando. Larger crowds also mean higher ticket prices and longer lines. So, here is a breakdown by the season.  

  • Spring – this is a great time of year to visit as the crowds are small and the climate is pleasant. Try to time your visit for early May, before Memorial Day weekend. Weekends draw locals and season pass holders. It’s best to visit on a weekday if possible.   
  • Summer – this is the busiest season for all Disney parks. And of course, Florida summers are hot and humid. Unless you have no other choice, it’s best to avoid visiting Disney in the summer.    
  • Fall – Fall is great. Crowds get thinner between mid-September and up to the week before Thanksgiving when the youngsters return to school. Though September can still be hot, late fall is the perfect time to visit. Although, hurricane season is also an element of fall in Florida until the end of November.   
  • Winter – Once the holidays are out of the way, crowds dwindle. Between mid-January and March, Animal Kingdom can be quite enjoyable with milder weather and fewer crowds – except for weekends.   
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Florida - Animal Kingdom - Disney

Best Months to Visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom  

The following list of major holidays are known to draw large crowds to all Disney Parks and crowds increase ticket prices and wait times for rides:   

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)   
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (the third Monday of January)   
  • Presidents’ Day (the third Monday of February)   
  • Valentine’s Day (February 14)   
  • Easter Sunday (varies between March and April)   
  • Independence Day (July 4)   
  • Thanksgiving Day (the third Thursday of November)   
  • Christmas Eve (December 24)   
  • Christmas Day (December 25)   
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31)   

Again, if you want to avoid crowds, and subsequent higher rates, January and February are the best times to visit. 

Enjoy the Rides at Animal Kingdom but Don’t Miss the Animals! 

There are fewer rides and Disney’s Animal Kingdom than at the other Disney Parks like Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. But that’s because rides are not really what Animal Kingdom is about. It’s about conservation. 

As such, Animal Kingdom has over 23 exotic animals like lions, giraffes, elephants, and more. So, the animals are the central attraction of the park. And if you want an even greater Animal Kingdom experience, you’ll want to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge where you can watch Giraffes, elephants, and more directly from your window.  


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