I haven’t seen Avatar. Truthfully, I have no desire to see Avatar. Yet, I am so excited for the new Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. I think this park is AWESOME. It also has one of my favorite rides (Everest). However, for us it’s really a half day park, and that includes dining. I so want it to be more! I can’t wait for the expansion.
Nevertheless, right now it’s probably the most relaxing Disney park. There’s not a ton to do here, and a lot of it are leisurely walking trails. I step into Magic Kingdom or Epcot, and there’s just so much I want to do I never know where to start. Here though, there’s none of that omg how are we going to get it all done mentality, because hitting it all is easy. Here’s a look at our half day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
8:00 – Park Opens (with extra magic hours).
We were still sleeping.
9:10 – We rolled into the park.
We had some time before our 9:30 breakfast reservation, so we checked out the Oasis Exhibits and took pictures in front of the Tree Of Life.
9:30 – Breakfast At Tusker House
I have to admit, this restaurant both surprised me and was also exactly what I thought it would be. It was loud, crowded, and wild, and the character interactions were brief. But, at the same time, we were seated at a nice table for two in the back, where it wasn’t overwhelmingly loud or busy, our waitress was great, and while the food wasn’t amazing, it was far better than I was anticipating. I wouldn’t make it a point to return here every trip, but I definitely would return.
We ended up not being seated until 10, and were out at around 11. During the meal, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Mickey all stopped by.
11:00 – Our first fast pass, Kilimanjaro Safari (11:35-12:35). We first headed to the nearby Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Animal Kingdom is primarily an outdoor park, and I always thought it was so shady because of all the trees. I’m not sure what I was thinking. It was SO HOT and STICKY, and I was already feeling the heat, even though we hadn’t even done much yet!
11:20 – Still have time before our Safari Fast Pass, so we headed over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
To get towards the exhibits, you walk through Habitat Habit, which is basically another small trail. Chip and Dale were meeting outside the main building, but I was SO HOT I just wanted to head inside (Conservation Station) for the AC! Of course as soon as we stepped inside someone had a snake around their neck. I freaked! But, over on the other side, far, far away from that horrible creature, Rafiki was meeting, so we went to say hello.
After that, we headed to the petting zoo (Affection Section), but didn’t stay long because OMG THE HEAT. We then took the train back for our safari Fast Pass.
11:45 – Kilimanjaro Safari
I have to say this was probably the best ride we’ve had. The animals were OUT, and CLOSE. We actually were majorly delayed because of zebra’s blocking the road!
I was hoping the safari would be a nice, breezy cool off, but it wasn’t. Ugh, SO HOT. We got ice cream as soon as we got off.
Still in need of a cool off, we decided to head to DinoLand U.S.A., since Dinosaur is an indoor ride (AC!!). Of course, just our luck, there was basically NO WAIT. The one time I wouldn’t have cared to wait on a line. It was here that I discovered how GROSS and SWEATY I was. Ugh!
We really love primeval whirl, but unfortunately it was closed for refurbishment. This area of Animal Kingdom also has one of my FAVORITE meet and greets (because two characters pose together), but I just could not bring myself to stand outside any longer than I had to. It’s so funny, because last year we experienced FREEZING temps here (they were handing out hot chocolate instead of ice cream), and now it’s the EXACT opposite. We just can’t win!
12:30 – Kali River Rapids Fast Pass. Our Fast Pass here is for 12:35-1:35, so we made our way from DinoLand to Asia. We paused for a picture with Everest in the background, and while we passed it, we noticed it was only a 10 minute wait, so we went on, because 10 minutes!
1:00: After that, we headed to Kali River Rapids. It was definitely not the cool off I had hoped for. I was SO uncomfortable in the heat (I think it was mainly because of the collar on my dress). I couldn’t take it anymore! I went and purchased a shirt and shorts to change into.
1:30: Flights Of Wonder. After I bought new clothes and changed, we grabbed a snack and decided to check out the 1:45 Flights Of Wonder show.
After that, this happened…
Gosh, I just love Disney!
2:15: Our Everest Fast Pass is for now until 3:15, so we headed back over there. The wait was 15 minutes, so we decided to go on it without using our fast pass, and then hopped right back on with our fast pass. It was a great move, because when we went back the regular line was up to 25 minutes!
3:00: We used up all three of our fast passes, so we were able to get a 4th. We got Everest (obviously), starting at 3:30. To kill time, and since we were already in Asia, we decided to walk the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
3:30: Everest (for the 4th time today if you’re keeping track).
We still had an hour and a half before the park closes at 5. We did not do It’s Tough to be a Bug, which is that 3-D show inside the Tree Of Life, nor did we walk the Discovery Island Trails. We did not see the stage shows, Finding Nemo – The Music or Festival of the Lion King, nor did we do the “kid” rides over in DinoLand U.S.A. As much as I wanted to do the Greeting Trails over at Camp Minnie-Mickey, the heat was really getting the best of me. We debated hitting It’s Tough to be a Bug on our way out, because it’s indoors, but ultimately I wanted to get to our room to shower ASAP.
Overall, we felt like we hit everything we wanted. There were a few character things I would’ve liked to do if I wasn’t being such a baby about the heat, but other than that, I don’t feel like we missed out on anything.
This is actually the night we dined at Disney’s California Grill. Animal Kingdom is one of those parks that’s not open late (yet), so it’s not a terribly exhausting day. It’s the perfect opportunity to utilize your evening dining at one of Disney’s amazing non-park restaurants, so plan accordingly.