Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World is beautiful and offers fun for all ages.  But there are a few misconceptions about this park including that it is just a zoo (not true, but that’s another post for another day) and that you only need half a day in this park.

While all the parks paired back offerings in 2020, Animal Kingdom as a park has fewer traditional rides which leads many guests to believe that this park only needs a half of a day to see and do it all.  But let us break down why we think you should still spend a full day in this unique park.  To best understand this, we need to show you what all you can enjoy at Animal Kingdom.

First let’s talk rides.  The 2 big ticket attractions here are Flight of Passage in Pandora and Expedition Everest in Asia.  The other 2 rides that could fall in the thrill category are Kali River Rapids and Dinosaur.  Rides without any restrictions are TriceraTop Spin and Navi River Journey.  The other popular ride here that does not have a height restriction but can jostle guests so may not be a good choice for pregnant guests or those with health concerns like back problems is the Kilimanjaro Safari where you can ride in a “Jeep” and see animals up close.  There is also the attraction “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” which is more of a mini 4D show but warning this can be scary for children (and even some adults).

Animal Kingdom also boasts some spectacular shows for guests to experience.  Currently guests can watch Kite Tails at various times through out the day at the Rivers of Light Theater.  Feathered Friends in Flight is a fun show to learn more about birds and see first hand some of the amazing things they can do. Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King is also available for guests at various times during the day at the Harambe Theater and soon guests will be able to see a new version of Finding Nemo the musical.

For guests who do want to see amazing animals and learn unique facts about them can explore a variety of trails in the park including the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek.  You can see gorillas, hippos, tigers and even walk through a bird garden.

Don’t forget to hop on board the Wildlife Express Train and head to Rafiki’s Planet.  There is a petting zoo here as well as the Animation Experience at the Conservation station where guests can learn to draw a Disney character.  Keep watch on your train ride out as you go past the barns as you might just see more animals.  Also, on occasion guests can view Disney’s vet staff performing routine checks on animals in the Conservation Station.

With so much to see and do, you might wonder why Animal Kingdom is getting the reputation of a half day park.  The biggest reasons are because this park closes earlier than the others and does not offer a nighttime show at this time.  A number of experiences including the shows, Kilimanjaro Safari and Rafiki’s Planet all close earlier than the rest of the park as well.

However, a great reason to stay in the park is that after 2pm, the wait for most attractions drops dramatically as most guests that are park hopping switch to a different park.  Also, if you stay until dusk there is a beautiful show lighting up the Tree of Life- you do not want to miss it.  Two more reasons to stay- Animal Kingdom boasts some of the best food on property including amazing quick service options which do not require a reservation and this park allows you move at a more leisurely pace as you take in all the sites in between the attractions instead of trying to rush and only fit in a few options during half the day.

Want to learn more about visiting Animal Kingdom on your trip to Walt Disney World?  Reach out to your Goofy Getaways travel consultant today or email us at to be connected with your personal travel expert.