Toggle Menu

Animal Kingdom Parade

Hot Spots for the Kids

Camp Minnie-Mickey: make sure to see the Festival of the Lion King.

DinoLand U.S.A.: Finding Nemo-- the musical.

Discovery Island: It's Tough to be a Bug! May be a bit creepy for some that aren't into bugs.


Animal Kingdom usually opens at 9:00 a.m. daily during off-peak dates. During peak times (summer and holidays) the park opens at 8:00 a.m.

Closing time varies with the season. During the winter months, with shorter days and no day-light savings time, it could close as early as 5:00 p.m. During the longer days of summer and with day-light savings time, the park may stop open till 7:00 p.m.

If you already have your tickets, the best opportunities can be found by arriving about 45 minutes before the official opening time during peak season and holidays. For non-peak season, arrive about 30 minutes prior to opening.

Sometimes the park will open early, especially the central Discovery Island with the other areas remaining roped off until the official opening times. This gives you the opportunity to make the long trek from the entrance to your planned starting point.

On days that are historically high in traffic, the park may open 30 to 60 minutes early from the scheduled time.

Live Animals

Disney has always featured exotic creatures in their theme parks, but Animal Kingdom is the only park to feature live animals in natural settings. Be warned though, this is different from all the rest of the themed parks. This is not a ride-centered experience. If you are expecting lots of rides, lots of characters, you will be disappointed. Animal Kingdom is really more oriented toward adults that appreciate seeing the beauty of nature. There are attractions for the kids, but not like the other parks.

Animal Kingdom in Orlando, is currently the largest theme park in Disney's bank of adventures and entertainment theme parks. This park alone is 500 acres with more than 1700 animals mostly exhibited in their natural environments.

If you think you've seen animals at your local zoo, wait till you see animals at Animal Kingdom. Gone are the cages and confines of limited space. Animal Kingdom offers plenty of space for spectacular vistas. Animal Kingdom has become the model for zoologists from around the world to strive to achieve.

Animal Kingdom is an educational experience, not a thrill park. It is a place to slow down and savor your surroundings instead of rushing to the next big thing. The park is divided into 6 sections:

  • Oasis
  • Discovery Island
  • Africa
  • Rafiki's Plant Watch
  • Asia
  • DinoLand U.S.A.
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey

Even though Animal Kingdom is the largest of the theme parks, it offers the fewest number of attractions (7 rides total), but it has the 3 best attractions in all of Disney World (according to some): Safari Tours, Dinosaur and for the strong of mind and body, Expedition Everest.

Plan on doing some walking. Because of the layout of the park, you'll find that you'll be walking through areas already visited, which is a bit of a negative. However, because there is so much to see, you'll probably not mind taking another look and seeing the area from a different perspective.

When you get the opportunity, talk to a cast member, they have lots of informative and fun information that will add to your enjoyment of your visit.

If you have the time, you might want to consider spending 2 days at Animal Kingdom. There is so much to see that trying to see it all in 1 day will leave the most hardy person exhausted. Day Pass Tickets

Character Parade

Disney Parade late in the day creates an exclamation mark for your day's adventure at the park. A host of characters and cast members start the parade from the Africa area, go across Discovery River to Discovery Island, circle the island, then re-cross the river into Asia and then back to Africa. Check the daily schedule for time, but it usually starts an hour or so before closing.

Animal Kingdom closes every day at dusk, so closing times vary with the seasons.

Bird Watching

Area Highlights


Oasis is the transition area from entrance to the major regions. Unlike the more famous Main Street, Oasis offers multiple narrow paths that deliver you to the bridge over Discovery River and Discovery Island. Look for streams, waterfalls and numerous colorful animals. At times, the animals may be hard to locate, so be patient and vigilant.


The island is the hub of the park with spoke-like roads leading to the other areas. It is also home to The Tree of Life which provides a visual anchor to the island and its importance.


This is where the Characters hang out. It also features a live stage production that features many of the Disney Characters.


Enter the wilds of Africa through the small African village of Harambe that sets the stage. From Harambe you can take multiple trails and loops that feature many different live animal displays. The main attraction is the Safaris Tour.


Enter this area through the village of Anandapur, a compendium of architectural styles representative of various far east regions. Here you can board the Kali River Rapids or scale the 200' Expedition Everest (actually you get to ride to the top and if you survive that, you can ride back down).


Dinoland is a quirky area designed especially for younger tourists in the crowd. There are several natural-history exhibits, and several attractions including Finding Nemo-- The Musical.