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Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Complete Guide and Overview

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is probably going to be one of the least busy and stressful days of your entire Disney vacation. While it is very possible to spend a whole day enjoying this park, Animal Kingdom doesn’t have the same amount of traditional attractions that you can expect from the other parks. Animal Kingdom is, quite literally, a nature preserve and zoo. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which is an independent non-profit organization that ensures the proper care and welfare of animals in captivity. 

But where to start, what to do, and how to find it? Orlando Informer has you covered.

Skip to: Entrance | Security | Rentals |Guest Relations |Overview of Lands

Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Parking

Parking passes (which are good all day and for all four parks) are available for purchase at the entrance to the Animal Kingdom parking lot. The pricing is as follows:

  • Standard parking (car or motorcycle) – $25 per day
  • Preferred parking (car or motorcycle) – $45 to $50 per day
  • Oversized vehicle parking (shuttle, limo, camper trailer, RV, bus, or tractor-trailer) – $30 per day

Resort guests, Cast Members, and select Annual Passholders receive complimentary standard parking with proper identification. These groups all have the option to upgrade to preferred parking by paying the difference in cost between standard and preferred parking. 

Parking trams still have not returned to Animal Kingdom, but have been slated for return in 2022.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has four vehicle charging spaces, so please speak to a cast member for assistance. ChargePoint stations are on a first- come first-serve basis.

  • 4 spaces at the front of the Medical Parking Lot
  • Pricing: $0.35 per kilowatt hour, with a minimum service amount of $1.50
    • To use this service, you will need a credit card or a pre-ordered ChargePoint card—available at chargepoint.com.

Parking for Guests with Disabilities

A valid disability parking permit is required and standard parking rates apply. Please speak to a Cast Member for assistance.

Security at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The security process at the Walt Disney World Resort has changed since re-opening from the Covid-19 Pandemic closure. Where every bag needed to be individually checked in the past, there is now a process where you simply walk through a metal detector and are only required to do a physical bag check if the sensor is tripped. 

  • NOTE: Strollers/wheechairs/ECVs are not allowed through the metal detectors. These will go through a separate line where they will be physically inspected along with any bags stored within.
  • Pro-Tip: If you are aware of any kind of metal object in your bag – umbrellas, tins, cell phone – take the object out and hold it in front of you as you walk through the metal detector. This will allow the security guards to see that all metal has been removed from your bag and might save you a physical bag check. 
  • Some items at Walt Disney World are not necessarily banned, but their use is not permitted in the parks. Common examples include vapes and selfie sticks. 
    • Smoking and vaping are not allowed within the parks (designated smoking areas can be found just outside the front entrance of all theme parks), but you are allowed to have a vape so long as you are not found smoking it in the park. 
    • Selfie sticks must be in their fully closed position at all times. Any selfie sticks in their full extension will be confiscated by security. Extending a selfie stick on an attraction will result in the ride being stopped and the confiscation of your selfie stick following the attraction. 

When you make it to the entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Cast Members will be guiding you to the quickest lines for entry. Every member in your party who is old enough to have a ticket should be prepared to scan and complete a fingerprint scan.

  • NOTE: The “fingerprint scan” DOES NOT ACTUALLY TAKE BIOMETRIC DATA. It assigns your fingerprint image to a number, then that number to your park ticket. You are recognized by this number, not the fingerprint itself.

Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guest Relations is found just outside the entrance on the left. If you are aware of any issues that may prevent smooth entry into the park, you should preemptively head over to Guest Relations. There are generally GR Cast Members just outside the line who can either resolve your issue right then and there or let you know if you’ll need to join the line. 

  • If you do not realize there is an issue with your ticket before attempting to enter the park and getting a “blue” Mickey, there are GR Cast Members who are walking the area and will be ready to assist at the gate.

Smoking Areas

The smoking area is to the left, before the main entrance of the park and in front of The Rainforest Cafe. Remember that there are no smoking areas inside the park, so if a member of your party would like to smoke, they can do so before entry. If they want to smoke throughout the day, they will be allowed to exit and re-enter the park from the front entry.

Rentals

You can rent wheelchairs/ECVs and strollers from Garden Gate Gifts, just inside the front entrance to the right. The rates are as follows:

  • Wheelchair: 
    • Daily: $12
    • Length of Stay (multi-day): $10 per day
      • The daily rentals are transferable through all on-property locations. You only need to pay once per day. 
      • If you purchase a Length-of-Stay rental, it is only transferable between the theme parks. This service can be temporarily suspended during peak seasons. 
      • Wheelchairs cannot be reserved and are issued on a first-come-first-served basis
  • ECV:
    • Daily: $50 
      • A refundable $20 deposit is also required for ECV rentals. 
      • There are not Length-of-Stay rentals for ECVs
      • The daily rentals are transferable through all on-property locations. You only need to pay once per day. 
      • Wheelchairs cannot be reserved and are issued on a first-come-first-served basis
        • Please note that you are welcome to bring your personal assistive devices including wheelchairs and ECVs to the theme parks. 
  • Strollers: 
    • Single stroller (recommended for children 50 lbs. or less.) 
      • Daily: $15
      • Multi-Day (Length of Stay): $13
    • Double stroller (recommended for children 100 lbs. or less.)
      • Daily: $31
      • Multi-Day (Length of Stay): $27
        • Rentals are transferable for the theme parks with a receipt showing purchase
  • Lockers: Located just inside the entrance on the right. 
    • Small (12” x 10” x 17”): $10 per day
    • Large (15.5” x 13” x 17”): $12 per day
Entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The in-park Guest Relations for Disney’s Animal Kingdom is located just inside the park entrance to the left-hand side. Guest Relations can assist in many ways during your visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 

  • Setting up/troubleshooting DAS 
  • Setting up/troubleshooting Disney Genie+
  • Lost and Found
  • Cast compliments for exemplary service

Just about any issues you have throughout your day can be solved through a visit to Guest Relations, either at this location or at one of the satellite Guest Experience Team locations. 

First Aid and Baby Care

Disney’s Animal Kingdom First Aid and Baby Care can be found just past Creature Comforts (Starbucks) to the left.

All four of the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks have a “Baby Care” center. These are quiet spaces great for calming upset or over-stimulated children. These are also great for mothers who would prefer nursing in private (please note that nursing is in fact allowed anywhere at Walt Disney World). 

  • Pro-Tip: These centers do NOT have an age limit. It is a great option for those traveling with anyone who may be sensitive to large crowds, noise, and smells.
  • Pro-Tip: forget or run out of supplies for your baby? Baby Care has a small selection of basics, like diapers, wipes, sunscreen, etc., available for purchase. 

Overview of Animal Kingdom Lands

Oasis

  • Places to eat: Rainforest Cafe

 Discovery Island

  • Things to do:
    • Adventures Outpost (Temporarily Closed)
    • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Places to eat:
    • Creature Comforts
    • Eight Spoon Cafe
    • Flame Tree Barbecue
    • Pizzafari
    • Tiffins 

 Africa

  • Things to do:
    • Kilimanjaro Safaris
    • Festival of the Lion King
  • Places to eat:
    • Harambe Market
    • Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery
    • Tamu Tamu Refreshments
    • Tusker House

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Affection Section
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

 Asia

  • Things to do:
    • Kali River Rapids
    • Expedition Everest (Temporarily Closed)
  • Places to eat:
    • Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks
    • Yak and Yeti Cafe Window
    • Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe
    • Yak and Yeti Restaurant

DinoLand, USA

  • Things to do:
    • DINOSAUR
    • TriceraTop Spin
  • Places to eat:
    • Dino-Bite Snacks
    • Restaurantosaurus 

We hope this guide helps start off your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom smoothly! Keep looking through our guide pages to learn all the tips and tricks to having the ultimate Disney vacation.