I will be the first to say that Animal Kingdom is not my favorite park. Honestly, my favorite thing about it is the Dinosaur Chip and Dale meet and greet. True story mom and I literally went to Animal Kingdom met Chip and Dale at their first meet and greet and then left and went to Magic Kingdom. Don’t get me wrong the rides and experiences are great, but it’s not something I have to do every trip. Anyways, this is a debate for another time.
The best thing about Animal Kingdom is we knew it wouldn’t take the whole day. Park opened at 8:00, and we made a point to be there around 9:00/9:30 to let the rope drop rush dissipate. To avoid the crowd we decided to go towards Dinosaur and make our way counterclockwise around the park instead of hitting up Pandora first. In the end, I stand by going that way because we were able to ride Dinosaur 4 times in a matter of 20-30 minutes. The “wait time” was truly us just having to get off the ride and walk through the queue again. Expedition Everest was a little more of wait, but I think it was about 15/20 minutes max, so we were able to ride that twice before moving on to Kali River Rapids. Our longest wait of the day was surprisingly at Kilimanjaro Safari. Truthfully, the only reason I believe it took longer was because we entered the queue at the beginning of their sanitation period, so there was about a 15 – 20 minute delay as they cleaned all of the jeeps. Once they began getting cars loaded, the line moved a lot faster. Safari they were loading every row of the jeeps, but I felt comfortable since there was a high divider separating each row, and we were in open air. Finally, we made it to Pandora – the rest of my family went and rode the Navii River Journey while Jeremy and I ate a quick lunch at Saulti Canteen before getting in line for Flight of Passage. I would say the entire queue and pre-show took about 30 minutes. We were the first group to board after a sanitation, so that added a little extra time to our wait, but it was nice to sit on newly cleaned seats. We were able to get the whole park done in about 5 hours which was great, but then it kind of sucks because you can’t park hop, so you have to plan to relax by the pool or visit Disney Springs if you’re looking for a more “full-day” experience.
Our biggest “issue” happened while we were dining at Flame Tree Barbecue, and I truly don’t think I would describe it as an issue but more of an inconvenience is finding a table eat. If you have never eaten at Flame Tree – it is an outdoor dining experience, so there are little pavilions and courtyards spread out with tables underneath them. We love eating there because the food is great, and you can also eat on the water. Once we received our food and found a table, we were frustrated because we could not find a cast member to come wipe it down after the family before us left which made me feel a little uncomfortable. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a cast member in sight who could wipe down the table. Thankfully, we came prepared with Clorox wipes, so we were able to use ours and wipe down the table and chairs before eating. Ideally, I just wish there had been cast members kind of nearby/wandering the dining area to wipe down the tables between guests. Overall, we had a “wild” time!