The Central Florida climate can be delightful during most of the year. It can also be oppressive during the extreme heat and humidity of Florida's extended summer. So guests to Walt Disney World will want to know where they can find comfort in the middle of a busy and exciting, yet hot, day at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
We have provided a listing of each of the attractions and restaurants at Animal Kingdom that have air conditioning. Most stores have air conditioning, so they are not listed separately. By coordinating your touring plan with air conditioned locations, you will find that the hot Florida summer isn't nearly as oppresive as it otherwise would be. Good luck!
ATTRACTIONS - Air Conditioned
* - Note - During extremely busy times of the year, some of the air conditioned line areas will extend outside.
Conservation Station at Rafiki's Planet Watch
DINOSAUR - Ride and line
Finding Nemo-The Musical - Attraction only
It's Tough To Be A Bug - Attraction and Line
DINING - Air Conditioned
Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery
Rain Forest Cafe
Tusker House Restaurant
Yak & Yeti Restaurant
At Animal Kingdom, you are likely to see hundreds of animals, and many of them are listed on this guide. Along with maps and guides posted throughout the park, the animal guide will help you know what you are seeing.
There is only one ATM at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It is located on the right side of the entrance plaza, prior to entering the gates.
There are five attractions at Animal Kingdom that have restrictions, either minimum height requirements or physical (general health) considerations, or both.
Here is a list of these attractions and the restrictions they have:
DINOSAUR in Dinoland U.S.A. – Minimum Height is 40 inches – Physical Considerations
Expedition Everest in Asia – Minimum Height is 44 inches - Physical Considerations
Kali River Rapids in Asia – Minimum Height is 38 inches – Physical Considerations
Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa - Physical Considerations
Primeval Whirl in Dinoland U.S.A. - Minimum Height is 48 inches - Physical Considerations
At Walt Disney World, the following definition is given for "Physical Considerations" –
"WARNING: For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back and/or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride."
BABY CARE CENTER
There is a Baby Care Center at Animal Kingdom located on the left side of the main promenade on Discovery Island, just before you cross the bridge to Africa. It is next to the First Aid Center.
For those who are breastfeeding young children, theme parks can be a tricky place. So we have looked at our own experiences and those of other Walt Disney World guests to give some suggestions that we hope are helpful to you.
Here they are:
Baby Care Center - on Discovery Island near the Africa bridge - the prime location at Animal Kingdom - but it's not always possible to be there.
Festival of the Lion King - Africa - partially dark theater - bench seats - air conditioning - 30 minutes. Finding Nemo-The Musical - DinoLand U.S.A. - dark theater – bench seats - air conditioning - 35 minutes.
We hope this helps. Good luck.
Characters are not as prevalent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as they are at the Magic Kingdom, but this is still Walt Disney World. And characters are a key part of your experience. At Animal Kingdom, you will probably see Goofy or Pluto, on safari of course, as you enter the park. From there, characters can be found wandering the streets throughout the park
There are seven spots listed by the Animal Kingdom brochure as Character Greeting spots.
In Asia, next to Mr. Kamal’s along the main promenade and near the entrance to Africa.
There are two adjuacent spots in DinoLand U.S.A. at the end of the path between Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama and Chester and Hester's Dinosaur Treasures.
On Discovery Island near the bridge to DinoLand U.S.A.
On Discovery Island next to the entrance to It’s Tough to be a Bug.
On Discovery Island at Adventurer’s Outpost.
On the Discovery Island Trails.
In Rafiki's Planet Watch inside Conservation Station.
There are some other spots that we often see characters setting up shop.
At the front entrance plaza outside the main gates on the right side (as you face the entrance).
In Africa near the Tusker House Restaurant.
In Asia in the Expedition Everest plaza. On Discovery Island along the main promenade.
CLOSURES AND REHABS
Currently, Animal Kingdom is fully open. Of particular note is the grand opening of Pandora-The World of Avatar, which is scheduled for May 27, 2017.
The entrance to Animal Kingdom is a beautiful, lush plaza with palm trees galore. You definitely get the feel that you are entering a different kind of park, which you are. As you get to the entrance plaza from the parking lot or bus line, there are kiosks selling merchandise, drinks, and other items scattered about. On the left is The Outpost Shop and the exterior entrance to the Rainforest Cafe. On the right is an ATM and locker rentals. There is a character greeting spot on the right side.
There are six attractions at Animal Kingdom that use FASTPASS.
DINOSAUR in DinoLand U.S.A.
Expedition Everest in Asia Festival of the Lion King in Africa
It's Tough To Be A Bug on Discovery Island
Kali River Rapids in Asia
Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa
Primeval Whirl in DinoLand U.S.A.
The first aid center at Animal Kingdom is on the left side of the main Discovery Island promenade past Pizzafari and just before you cross the bridge to Africa. This is where to go if you need a Band-aid, some medicine, or other minor medical treatment. It would also be the first place to go for something more serious, as they will get you from the first aid center to a local medical center.
Guest Relations at Animal Kingdom is located to the left of the entrance gates, in the Oasis entrance plaza. It is near the locker rentals and restrooms.
The layout of Animal Kingdom is quite similar to the other Walt Disney World theme parks, with one significant exception. The middle of the park is Discovery Island, and it is a real island.
Upon entering Animal Kingdom, you are in the Oasis. You move forward in the Oasis to the bridge to Discovery Island. By crossing this bridge, you are on Discovery Island and now have access to the rest of Animal Kingdom. Standing directly in front of the Tree of Life, Animal Kingdom's primary symbol, you are on the main Discovery Island promenade. From that point, DinoLand U.S.A is to the right, then another right, and over the bridge. Asia is to the right, and follow the promenade as it curves to the Asia bridge. Africa is to the left, and follow the promenade as it curves to the Africa bridge. Rafiki's Planet Watch is accessible through Africa.
There is a promenade that runs around the side of Animal Kingdom, from DinoLand U.S.A. to Africa.
Animal Kingdom's layout is basic, but can seem tricky with all of the trees and lack of vision. Just remember that the Tree of Life and Discovery Island are the center and everything else revolves around them.
There are two locker rental centers at Animal Kingdom.
The first is on the right of the entrance plaza, by the ATM, before you go through the main entrance gates.
The second is on the left, between the restrooms and the interior entrance to the Rainforest Cafe, after you go through the main entrance gates into the Oasis.
You may rent a locker for a small fee ($5 to $20 per day, depending on size)
Memory Maker is a really nice service offered by Walt Disney World and it is very common at Animal Kingdom. There are two ways it is primarily used. First, on some attractions your picture is taken as you ride. You then have the option to buy the picture as you exit the attraction. Second, a Disney photographer will take your picture anywhere in the park - in front of attractions, with characters, etc... They will give you a card. With that card you have thirty days to go online and order your pictures. You can also use this card at the attractions. So you can wait until the comfort of home to decide which pictures to order and Disney will send them to you.
At Animal Kingdom, photographers are present in many places. They are most common by the character spots and the entrance plaza. Pictures can be picked up at Garden Gate Gifts in the Oasis. To use Memory Maker, you'll need to have your ticket or your Magic Band.
There are two attractions at Animal Kingdom that have a Memory Maker center.
DINOSAUR in DinoLand U.S.A.
Expedition Everest in Asia
The opening ceremony at Disney's Animal Kingdom usually takes place between 8:45 a.m. and the official opening time of 9:00 a.m. The exception to this is when Animal Kingdom hosts Walt Disney World's Extra Magic Hours and is open at 8:00 a.m. for Disney resort guests. On regular days, guests are allowed through the entrance gates and can work their way through the Oasis onto Discovery Island. They then congregate at the entrance to Discovery Island. With the Tree of Life as the backdrop, guests are treated to Disney music and instructions. At 8:55, a caravan will enter the area carrying various Disney characters. Then, at 8:59, Mickey Mouse rises up from in front of the Tree of Life and welcomes everyone. Animal Kingdom then opens and guests can make their way throughout the park.
Package pickup at Animal Kingdom is located next to Garden Gate Gifts in the Oasis. To get there, head to the right of the entrance plaza after going through the gates. As you leave, go left before you reach the exit gates. It is in the same area as the stroller and wheelchair rentals.
The parking lot at Animal Kingdom to the right off of Osceola Parkway, just past Buena Vista Drive. This is toward the southwestern corner of the Walt Disney World complex and is easily accessible from World Drive and Western Way. Once you turn into the parking lot, you are led around the proper parking area based on how full the lot is. There are trams available to take you to the entrance plaza. You can also walk by going to the center area of the parking lot and following the walkway to the entrance. When you exit, you are led back to Osceola Drive heading east.
Walt Disney World Theme Park Parking Rates for 2017:
Auto Standard: $20.00
Auto Preferred: $40.00
Auto with Trailer: $22.00
It is quite normal for a guest at Disney's Animal Kingdom to get a little tired. In fact, some, especially on a hot Florida day, are ready for a nap around 2:00 in the afternoon. So we thought we should mention a few places that are ideal for resting. There are benches throughout Animal Kingdom and most of the restaurants have seating.
Here are some additional locations for resting:
On Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa. The ride takes 22 minutes, so if you can make it through the line, there is time to rest.
In Asia, there are a number of places to sit while watching Expedition Everest or Kali River Rapids.
In Africa, the Festival of the Lion King is a 30 minute show in an air-conditioned building.
In DinoLand U.S.A., Finding Nemo-The Musical is a 35 minute show in an air-conditioned building.
There are a number of places on Discovery Island to sit and relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Throughout Animal Kingdom there are shaded areas, as the park is full of trees and plant life.
There are thirteen public restroom areas at Disney's Animal Kingdom. There are also restrooms in some of the restaurants that are only open to guests at that restaurant.
The following is a list of the thirteen public restroom areas:
In the Animal Kingdom entrance plaza on the right side by the ATM.
In the Oasis on the left just after entering through the entrance gates, next to Guest Relations.
On Discovery Island across from Flame Tree Barbecue.
On Discovery Island next to Pizzafari.
On Discovery Island just prior to entering Africa, next to the Baby Care and First Aid Centers.
In Africa next to Mombasa Marketplace on the right side of the main Africa promenade.
At Rafiki's Planet Watch in Conservation Station.
In Asia next to Bradley Falls, on the left just after entering Asia from Africa.
In Asia near the entrance to Maharajah Jungle Trek, on the left side of the promenade.
In Asia along the main Asia promenade, next to the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck.
In DinoLand U.S.A. next to Finding Nemo-The Musical.
In DinoLand U.S.A. next to Chester and Hester's Dinosaur Treasures, across from Primeval Whirl.
In DinoLand U.S.A. next to Restaurantosaurus, across from the entrance to DINOSAUR.
Unlike at the Magic Kingdom, there really aren't many true shortcuts or unknown ways to get quickly from one place to another at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As this is the newest of the four Walt Disney World theme parks, the setup is relatively straight forward. The only shortcut of much consequence is that you can take the Discovery Island Trails behind the Tree of Life and cut a chunk of time off of getting from one side of Discovery Island to the other.
Strollers may be rented at the rental center next to Garden Gate Gifts on the right just after you go through the main entrance gates into the Oasis.
You may rent a single stroller for $15 per day or a double stroller for $31 per day. If you purchase a multiple day ticket, usable at all four theme parks, you may rent a single stroller for $13 per day or a double stroller for $27 per day. Strollers are limited and are on a first come basis. Also, we strongly suggest you bring some string or ribbon or something to tie around the arm of the stroller or in some other way uniquely identify your stroller. Strollers are rarely stolen, but often mistaken.
Times Guides are vital to having a well-planned day at the Walt Disney World theme parks. Makes sure you pick one up as you enter the park.
Below is a sample Animal Kingdom Times Guide:
There are two methods of transportation to Animal Kingdom:
(1) driving and parking in the main parking lot, or
(2) being delivered to the entrance by Disney bus or other delivery system.
WHEELCHAIRS AND SCOOTERS
Wheelchairs, Scooters, and ECV's may be rented at the rental center next to Garden Gate Gifts on the right just after you go through the main entrance gates into the Oasis.
You may rent a wheelchair for $10 per day. You may rent an ECV (Electric Convenience Vehicle) for $45 per day plus a $20 refundable deposit. The ECVx are very nice and are also very popular.