Animal Kingdom touring plans and FastPass+ suggestions for 2017

(Article last updated: April 13, 2017)

With a whole new land available at Animal Kingdom plus a nighttime show, touring Animal Kingdom is a bit trickier than in the past which is why you need a good plan in place to make sure you can visit the top attractions without long waits.

Here's Animal Kingdom touring plans and FastPass+ suggestions to help you plan...

FastPass+ basics

New to making FastPass+ reservations? Expand the section below for more info on how they work, how to link park tickets so you can make FP+ reservations, etc.

How FastPass+ works
All guests - whether they're staying onsite or offsite - can make 3 FastPass+ reservations per day in 1 park ahead of time beginning at 7 a.m. eastern time. All guests can also make use of the app or kiosks in the parks to make or change FastPass+ reservations.

However, there are some differences between onsite and offsite guests:

  • On-site guests (and people staying at the Swan and Dolphin) can make FastPass+ reservations for their whole trip up to 60 days in advance of their trip's start date, beginning at 7 a.m. eastern time.
  • Off-site guests can make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance of the day they plan to be in the park (which means off-site guests will have to be online for multiple days in a row).

You can't make your first 3 FastPass+ reservations for the same ride twice.
Your first 3 FastPass+ reservations must be for all different rides.

However, you can get more FastPass+ reservations after you use the first 3.
Once your first 3 FastPass+ reservations are used or expired, you can use the My Disney Experience app or go to a kiosk and get a 4th. Once your 4th FP+ is used or expired, you can get a 5th. These additional FastPass+ reservations can be in the same park or a different park and can be for the same ride over and over, if you want.

Don't use FastPass+ reservations unnecessarily.
If you arrive at an attraction to use a FastPass+ reservation and the standby line is short (5 or 10 minutes), skip the FastPass+ line, get into the standby line and then change that FastPass+ to something else to use later. You can make the change on your phone or at a FastPass+ kiosk.

Link your tickets
All guests should make FastPass+ reservations online ahead of time. In order to do that, you need to have tickets on your My Disney Experience account.

If you are staying on-site and bought a package for your trip (which includes a hotel and tickets), they'll already be in your account.

If you are staying off-site and/or bought tickets separate from your on-site hotel room, you need to link them.

You can link your tickets by logging in to your My Disney Experience account, selecting "My Reservations and Tickets" from the menu, and then clicking the Link Tickets button.

From there, you'll be able to enter your ticket info, and there's helpful on-screen info about where to find the numbers you'll use.

You can also link your tickets using the My Disney Experience app. After opening the app, touch your avatar pic at the bottom, select My Tickets, click the plus sign at the top, and then choose "Link Tickets & Passes." From there, you can type the ticket number or scan the code.

After making FastPass+ reservations, you will be able to scan your MagicBands or RFID-enabled park ticket when you arrive to an attraction at your FastPass+ time.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ options and priorities

You can make 1-3 FastPass+ reservations ahead of time.

Here are your FastPass+ options at Animal Kingdom.

wdt_IDTop priority (visit early in the day or with a FP+)Second priority (great bonus FP+ options)Low priority (using FP+ not recommended)
1
  • Expedition Everest

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

  • Rivers of Light

  • Na'vi River Journey OR Avatar Flight of Passage (can only have 1 of these at a time)
  • Festival of the Lion King

  • Kali River Rapids

  • DINOSAUR

  • Primeval Whirl
  • Finding Nemo - The Musical

  • It's Tough to Be a Bug

  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost



Want to have the FastPass+ suggestions on your phone? Click over to this handy graphic and save to your camera roll.

What times should you make reservations?

The general idea is to start touring early and ride in the standby lines, and then use FastPass+ a bit later in the day. In the touring plans below, we've given suggestions on what time you might want to make your FastPass+ reservations.

Animal Kingdom touring plans

Rigid touring plans aren't really necessary at Animal Kingdom if you have FastPass+ reservations ahead of time. Your goal for touring should be to visit the highest priority attractions that you don't have FastPass+ reservations for first.

I like to organize my touring plans by hour because minute-by-minute touring plans can make you feel like you’re running from place to place without any flexibility, but grouping them by hour can give you some sense of timing as you plan.

Here are some example touring plans.

General Animal Kingdom touring plan (without Pandora attractions)

Get FP+ for Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Festival of the Lion King (fyi - if you want to ride Expedition Everest multiple times, it has a single rider line that you can use to avoid long lines)

Arrive at Animal Kingdom about 30-45 minutes before the scheduled park opening time. Guests are usually allowed in early and stopped right in front of the Tree of Life. After going through the turnstiles to get into the park, you can usually find Divine just to the right side which is a fun way to start an Animal Kingdom day. You can also check out the shops, get PhotoPass pics taken, and see the birds released in front of the Tree of Life before the park fully opens.

First hour:

  • 1. Primeval Whirl (48" height req.)
  • 2. DINOSAUR (40" height req.)
  • 3. Use FP+ for Expedition Everest (44" height requirement, suggested FP+ time: 9:30-10:30)

Second hour:

  • 4. Kali River Rapids (38" height req.)
  • 5. Flights of Wonder

Third hour:

  • 6. Use FP+ to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris (suggested FP+ time: 10:45-11:45)
  • Lunch

Rest of the day:

  • 7. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • 8. Use FP+ at Festival of the Lion King (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
  • 9. It's Tough to Be a Bug
  • 10. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • 11. Finding Nemo - The Musical
  • 12. Rivers of Light

General Animal Kingdom touring plan (including Pandora attractions)

Get FP+ for Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Flight of Passage

Arrive at Animal Kingdom about 30-45 minutes before the scheduled park opening time. Guests are usually allowed in early and stopped right in front of the Tree of Life. After going through the turnstiles to get into the park, you can usually find Divine just to the right side which is a fun way to start an Animal Kingdom day. You can also check out the shops, get PhotoPass pics taken, and see the birds released in front of the Tree of Life before the park fully opens.

First hour:

  • 1. Na'vi River Journey
  • 2. Primeval Whirl (48" height req.)
  • 3. DINOSAUR (40" height req.)

Second hour:

  • 4. Use FP+ for Expedition Everest (44" height req., suggested FP+ time: 9:30-10:30)
  • 5. Kali River Rapids (38" height req.)

Third hour:

  • Lunch
  • 6. Flights of Wonder

Rest of the day:

  • 7. Use FP+ to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
  • 8. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • 9. Festival of the Lion King
  • 10. It's Tough to Be a Bug
  • 11. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • 12. Finding Nemo - The Musical
  • 13. Use FP+ for Avatar Flight of Passage (44" height req., suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
  • 14. Rivers of Light

Animal Kingdom touring plan with little ones (without Pandora attractions)

Get FP+ for Finding Nemo - The Musical, Festival of the Lion King, and Kali River Rapids (fyi - Kali has a 38" height requirement)

Arrive at Animal Kingdom about 30-45 minutes before the scheduled park opening time. Guests are usually allowed in early and stopped right in front of the Tree of Life. After going through the turnstiles to get into the park, you can usually find Divine just to the right side which is a fun way to start an Animal Kingdom day. You can also check out the shops, get PhotoPass pics taken, and see the birds released in front of the Tree of Life before the park fully opens.

First hour:

  • 1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • 2. Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch

Second hour:

  • 3. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • 4. Use FP+ for Festival of the Lion King (suggested FP+ time: 10:30)

Third hour:

  • Lunch
  • 5. Flights of Wonder

Rest of the day:

  • 6. Use FP+ at Kali River Rapids (38" height req., suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
  • 7. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • 8. Use FP+ at Finding Nemo - The Musical (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
  • 9. TriceraTop Spin
  • 10. The Boneyard
  • 11. Rivers of Light

Animal Kingdom touring plan with little ones (including Pandora)

Get FP+ for Na'vi River Journey, Festival of the Lion King, and Kali River Rapids (fyi - Kali has a 38" height requirement)

Arrive at Animal Kingdom about 30-45 minutes before the scheduled park opening time. Guests are usually allowed in early and stopped right in front of the Tree of Life. After going through the turnstiles to get into the park, you can usually find Divine just to the right side which is a fun way to start an Animal Kingdom day. You can also check out the shops, get PhotoPass pics taken, and see the birds released in front of the Tree of Life before the park fully opens.

First hour:

  • 1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • 2. Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch

Second hour:

  • 3. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • 4. Use FP+ for Festival of the Lion King (suggested FP+ time: 10:30)

Third hour:

  • Lunch
  • 5. Flights of Wonder

Rest of the day:

  • 6. Use FP+ at Kali River Rapids (38" height req., suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
  • 7. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • 8. Finding Nemo - The Musical
  • 9. TriceraTop Spin
  • 10. The Boneyard
  • 11. Use FP+ for Na'vi River Journey (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
  • 12. Rivers of Light

What about Rider Switch (sometimes called Child Swap)?

The Rider Switch system allows parents to take turns riding things that little ones can't/won't ride. Please read my Rider Switch article so you can see how to use it and maximize your FastPass+ reservations.

Want to show up late or park hop?

Animal Kingdom used to be a super easy park to spend a half day and was a great candidate to park hop to or from, but with more attractions and a nighttime show, that's not as true anymore.

If you do want to show up late, just make sure you have FastPass+ reservations for headliners like Kilimanjaro Safaris and one of the Pandora attractions, and know that Expedition Everest has a single rider line to help you save wait time as well.

WDW Prep Members

Level 2 WDW Prep Members have touring plan tools to put together their own plans. The attractions indicate height requirements, if it's a good use of FastPass+, illustrations of ride vehicles so you can see how many people will fit (especially handy if the kids outnumber the adults), and when to visit each attraction.

And as you build your touring plans, they are grouped by hour (for the first 3 hours) and then your whole plan is plotted on a map at the bottom of the page so you can see how it all lays out.

⇢ Get access to Level 2 tools ⇠

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What questions to you have about Animal Kingdom touring plans? Please share your questions in the comments.

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Leave a Reply

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Carmen

I have an anual pass and i been trying to get fast pass for pandora like a million times but no luck. Any advice?

Julia A Marshall

I’ve noticed a few Facebook postings where folks have mentioned getting FPs for both the Land of Pandora rides. Do you think this is most likely a system glitch that will be corrected?

Tasha

I would like to see a touring plan with HS in the am with AK pm

Winsome seagrave

We are coming to wdw in august for the first time 2 adults and 2 children from the uk does Coronado springs resort have a email address we would like to request a particular room although we have a water view room we have read that they are not the best and because of walking difficulties we have read in reviews that cabana 8a is ideal location looking forward to your reply

Tom

We have found that a phone call to Disney reservations is the best way to request a specific room.

Adrea U

We’re going Saturday after Thanksgiving through following Saturday with 3 families total. 5 people in one family, 5 in another, and 2 people in the last. How do you suggest setting up fast passes for that many people? The day they come available I plan on being online at the crack of dawn. Do you suggest doing all the same plans for everyone and then changing the couple of people that plan on venturing off to do kiddie things or do you suggest another method? Thanks, Ive never tried to link this many people to try to do this many activities to satisfy so many people!

Tina

Do you think that evening hours for AK will still be taking place in October/ November? If so, would love to see a touring plan for splitting HS and AK with AK being in the evening!

Cora

Quick Q: Does AK have a show for rope-drop?

Thomas

Thanks Shannon for all the hard work! Does Flights of Wonder allow food to be brought in? Just wondering because we tentatively have it scheduled for after lunch and was wondering if we could bring it in if we were short on time.

Judi

I’ve seen a little bit on Disney’s site about Wilderness explorers, but I”m not sure what it is… Is it like a scavenger hunt to do throughout the park during your day or is it a stand-alone thing that our kids (ages 9, 7 &2) could do at the end of the day if there’s time? I was just wondering if it was worth checking out or not? P.S> We are going to be in AK Dec. 17. Thanks!!

Judi – It is a little scavenger hunt! It took our boys (4 and 6 at the time) about an 1.5 to complete. You visit little stations, there’s little books they fill out. It was pretty cute. Nice break from waiting in line.

We did it after doing the Safari, but TBH we didn’t plan our AK day very well, it was just kinda random and just did whatever. But we will do it again in April when we go back! 🙂 You could totally do it near the end of your AK day, after you do the main stuff.

Jane

We are headed to WDW for 8 days/7 nights and are trying to figure out the best way to navigate the four disney parks. There will be no kids with us and two days will be spent at Universal Studios. We have 5 day Park Hopper tickets and will be staying on property for the extra perks. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as it has been quite a while since either of us have been to the happiest place on earth. Thanks!

Kathryn

Hi! We’re visiting WDW in mid Sept. Instead of taking a break from the parks for an entire day, we’re going to take 1/2 day rests (touring from rope drop until after lunch and then heading back to our resort). Our AK day is set for our third day & we are thinking about sleeping in and enjoying the pool then arriving around lunch time & touring until park closing. We’ve got reservations at ‘Ohana that night so it makes more sense to take the bus directly to the Poly from AK instead of touring early in the morning, returning to our resort (Yacht Club) and then trying to get there. I know that arriving at a park later in the day isn’t the best strategy so I’d love some touring ideas. My kids will be 4 1/2, 10, & 11 – no interest in Bone Yard, Expedition Everest, or Primeval Whirl. We’re hoping to squeeze in one show (either Nemo or Lion King). Thank you! This site is the best!

Stephanie Cook

We only have 3 days. So 3 park hopper passes. What do you suggest for our schedule?
What parks? Can split 2 parks into half days?

Sydney Fischer

Hi Stephanie i hope this helps. You defenitley have to do MK and Epcot is always nice to go to. But if you can go to all the parks because they are worth it but it really depends on you and your kids if you have any. Will you guys have enough energy to keep going if not i would say choose between AK and HS to go to. HS is more for older kids but has great shows and AK is more for younger kids but they also have great shows. hope this helps!

Sarah

Hi, we are going in May 2015. We are doing a “morning only” touring plan with the whole family (hopping to MK in the afternoon after nap and lunch). Right now my plan is to do safari first with FP+, wander trails through Africa and Asia and jungle trek, then end up at DinoLand for the Boneyard and other things my 4 yr old can ride. We are skipping Kali River Rapids and will take turns doing single rider for Expedition Everest. We’d like to see one show, but can’t decide on Lion King or Nemo. Suggestions on which one a child might like better?

Sarah Carpenter

You don’t need to use a FP for Kilimanjaro if you’re there at rope drop and head straight there. You’d be better off using them on Primeval Whirl or Triceratop if you have the little one. Lion King is probably the best show at WDW and is more interactive for little kids. My parents who are 70 also love it. Isn’t Disney great.

Tasha

Lion King, for sure. Lion King and Beauty and the Beast are the 2 can’t miss shows!

Sarah Trout

We Love the Lion King Show!

Mo3girls

We are taking 5 kids ages 4-9. Is the touring plans for small children best suited for us? We don’t like intense rides. Also is the Boneyard an area where they get “lost” in? Thanks

Barbara

I thought I read somewhere that the Lion King show had been or was going to be discontinued . I’m going in Nov 2015. Should I take LK out of my plans ?

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