Are you planning a trip to Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in 2021? Check out these tips for families visiting Animal Kingdom in 2021 and plan a fantastic Animal Kingdom itinerary with the best attractions. Though the park may feel a little different this year, you will still have a great time exploring Animal Kingdom with your family. As always, Disney World is continuing to evolve and change during our current situation, so be sure to take a closer look at their website to ensure the latest park information.
1. Make a Park Pass, along with buying your park tickets.
Be sure to check park availability before purchasing your park tickets. The parks have been filling up this spring, so it is necessary to ensure these are available before you plan your trip. Even with varying capacities in the parks, the popular attractions can still have long lines, so a plan will help ensure you have the best time in Animal Kingdom.
2. Get to the parks early and hit the most popular rides.
Most of the parks are opening early, about 45-60 minutes before the posted park opening time. Get to the parking lot or Disney transportation early, especially if you want to go to the most popular rides, like Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, or Expedition Everest. The lines increase in wait times throughout the day, so the earlier, the better. In general, lines are shorter either first thing in the morning at rope drop or later in the day, closer to when the park closes.
You will also want to check height requirements for the rides, if you are traveling with small children or older kids. If your child is not tall enough to ride certain rides, you will want to prepare them ahead of time, so they aren’t disappointed.
If you are contemplating an early morning, consider if you also want to see the nighttime shows in the parks. If you do, you might also consider taking a break in the middle of the day to keep energy up.
3. Make a park plan, one of the most important tips for Families Visiting Animal Kingdom in 2021.
There are still lines to be expected in the Disney parks, as there can be a lot of people in certain areas especially in Pandora, World of Avatar. Make sure you make a plan for your visit. Though the crowds are reduced, there are still people there! Take a look at the Animal Kingdom map online and plan your day. Also, consider taking lunch or dinner breaks at off times to avoid crowds at dining locations and ride the rides when everyone else is eating!
4. Plan a time to sit down to eat in the parks.
Animal Kingdom has so many fantastic places to eat! My favorite quick service restaurants are Satu’li Canteen and Flame Tree Barbeque. To avoid long lines, remember to use the Mobile Order feature on your cell phone via the My Disney Experience app. I would highly encourage you to order lunch early in the morning and select your return time when it works for your schedule. You can also select your dinner order after lunch time to make sure you have the time slot you prefer.
Nomad Lounge is a perfect place to sit down and cool off in the parks. Snag a reservation on the app for Nomad while you are in the parks. Sit down dining like Tusker House, Yak and Yeti, and Tiffins are also fantastic dining options in Animal Kingdom. You will need to make an advance dining reservation for these sit down options 60+ days in advance of your trip.
5. Enjoy the cavalcades and shows – Tips for Families Visiting Animal Kingdom in 2021.
Even though parades aren’t running right now and a traditional character meet may not happen, enjoy the character cavalcades. Our kids loved relaxing in the Rivers of Light amphitheater and watching the boats come through while they ate their snacks.
As stage shows return to Animal Kingdom, these are excellent options for cooling off and relaxing. Festival of the Lion King, Up! A Great Bird Adventure, and Finding Nemo (when it returns) are all fantastic shows within Animal Kingdom.
6. Use rider swap.
If your kids aren’t tall enough to ride the thrill rides in Animal Kingdom, consider rider swap. You and your partner check in at the ride and tell them you want to swap. The first person waits in the regular line, but after he finishes, you can come and tag your partner to go straight to the front of the line. We loved using this on Expedition Everest while we were there.
You can also take advantage of the single rider line at Expedition Everest if only one person in your party wants to ride, or if you don’t mind splitting up to ride. It is so much faster to get through the cue!
7. Grab a snack in Harambe Market.
When we visited, we enjoyed grabbing ice cream in Animal Kingdom and heading to Harambe Market to eat it. It was almost completely empty, so you can escape a lot of people. We had a perfect spot to settle in and rest.
While you are visiting Animal Kingdom, make sure to take a minute and take a closer look. The park is filled with artifacts and treasures from all over the world that Imagineers collected during their travels. Such a beautiful park!
8. Allow your kids to earn Wilderness Explorer Badges.
If your kids love to learn about animals, grab a Wilderness Explorer booklet and look for a cast member who can tell you more about the animals. Each location is marked in the booklet and has a sign above the location. Our children loved learning more as we went through the park and reflecting on what they learned after our visit.
We walked from Discovery Island to the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek looking for spots to learn! It kept our kids motivated to keep moving along all of Animal Kingdom’s walking trails. Make sure to check out the Tree of Life carefully as well to see all of the beautiful carved animals!
9. Enjoy Kilimanjaro Safaris
Make sure to include a trip to Kilimanjaro Safari in your plan. The animals are absolutely beautiful and you will be so closer to the animals! It is always a highlight of our trip.
10. Take the train out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch
We took the train out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch near the end of the day and had a car to ourselves! We all loved seeing the vets work on the animals at Conservation Station. Our little ones enjoyed the petting zoo with mom while our oldest went to the Animation Experience with dad. Their Dumbo drawings were amazing! It was a nice, quiet way to end our day at Animal Kingdom.
I hope these tips for families visiting Animal Kingdom in 2021 have helped you make a great plan for your next visit to Disney World! As the world reopens, also consider using a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations who will help you plan every detail, at no cost to you. If you are looking for ideas on visiting Magic Kingdom in 2021, hop on over to this post. Have a magical vacation!