Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

(Article last updated: January 26, 2018)

Worried about long waits for Animal Kingdom attractions, especially with the addition of Pandora - World of Avatar?

Having well-organized touring plans that make good use of FastPasses is key to avoiding long line waits during your Disney World trip, including at Animal Kingdom.

Below, find an Animal Kingdom touring plan that fits your group, along with FastPass+ suggestions to make sure you're maximizing your time.

Let's take a look...

FastPass+ basics

New to making FastPass+ reservations? Check out how to use FastPass+ at Disney World to get you started.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ options and priorities

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

Here are your FastPass+ options at Animal Kingdom.

Top priority (visit early in the day or with a FP+) Second priority (great bonus FP+ options) Low priority (using FP+ not recommended)
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
Primeval Whirl
Finding Nemo - The Musical
It's Tough to Be a Bug
Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost

FastPass+ suggestions to save to your phone

Want to have the FastPass+ suggestions on your camera roll? Press the image below from your phone to save to your camera roll.

fastpasspluschartphone06222018 - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

Arrive before park opening

To make the best use of your time, arrive about 45 minutes before park opening.

Animal Kingdom usually allows people in up to 45 minutes before the official opening time. Guests are stopped in front of the Tree of Life until the park opens.

Between the time you enter and the time the park opens, you can get PhotoPass pics taken, shop, see DiVine (just to the right after you enter), and view the Winged Encounters just before the park opens.

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.

Single rider option

Expedition Everest also has a single rider option. Here's how single rider lines work.

hqdefault - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

Animal Kingdom touring plans

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 (with FP+ for Flight of Passage)

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

aktouringwithpandora - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

First hour:

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

Second hour:

  • 3. DINOSAUR (40" height req.)
  • 4. Use FP+ for Expedition Everest (44" height req., suggested FP+ time: 9:30-10:30)

Third hour:

  • 5. Kali River Rapids (38" height req.)
  • Lunch

Rest of the day:

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

General Animal Kingdom touring plan (withOUT FP+ for Flight of Passage)

Get FP+ for Na'vi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safari, and Expedition Everest

Note: extra important to arrive early for this touring plan because they often allow people in 30-45 minutes before park opening to start queuing for Flight of Passage.

AKwithoutFoPfastpass - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

First hour:

  • 1. Flight of Passage
  • 2. Primeval Whirl (48" height req.)

Second hour:

  • 3. DINOSAUR (40" height req.)
  • 4. Use FP+ for Expedition Everest (44" height req., suggested FP+ time: 10:00-11:00)

Third hour:

  • 5. Kali River Rapids (38" height req.)
  • Lunch

Rest of the day:

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

Animal Kingdom touring plan with toddlers (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)

AKlittleoneswithoutpandora 1 - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

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. Use FP+ at Kali River Rapids (38" height req., suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)

Rest of the day:

  • 6. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • 7. Use FP+ at Finding Nemo - The Musical (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
  • 8. TriceraTop Spin
  • 9. The Boneyard
  • 10. Rivers of Light

Animal Kingdom touring plan with toddlers (with FP+ for Na'vi River Journey)

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

aklittleoneswithpandora 1 - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

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. Use FP+ at Kali River Rapids (38" height req., suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)

Rest of the day:

  • 6. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • 7. Finding Nemo - The Musical
  • 8. TriceraTop Spin
  • 9. The Boneyard
  • 10. Use FP+ for Na'vi River Journey (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
  • 11. 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.

Screen Shot 2016 03 27 at 9.23.49 PM 600x399 - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

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.

Screen Shot 2016 03 27 at 9.25.50 PM 600x481 - Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)

⇢ Get access to Level 2 tools ⇠


Have questions on how to put together your Animal Kingdom touring plan? Please share your questions in the comments.

Sound like more than you want to tackle? Booking FastPass+ reservations is 1 of several services provided by Prep School Travel agents. Fill out the fields in the form below to be connected to an agent who will get back with you shortly.

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86 Comments on "Animal Kingdom touring plans for 2018 (with FastPass+ suggestions)"

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Hello! Thank you for the great tips, they are very helpful!
I have a question regard the touring plans for AK. I have a 8AM reservation for tusker house. I was planning to go to Kilimanjaro Safari as soon as the park opens, get fast passes for Flight of Passage, Everest and Dinosaur, then late in the day try to find a not so long line for Na’vi River Journey. Is this a good idea? Thank you very much!

I was looking at the MDE app and it shows that the UP! Bird show is a FP+ option, but it’s not on your list. Where would you put it in terms of priority? Is it hard to get a good spot or no? TIA!

The Lion king does not start until 11 you mention fast pass at 1030 am I missing something?

Do you have a recommended plan for doing the Safari first? We are have a character breakfast at Tusker House at 8 am. I’m not sure how long those usually last. Will the Kilimanjaro line be too long to wait for when we’re done with breakfast? I just don’t know if we should get a fast pass for it. I would like to do it in the morning.

The safari is something you should get a FastPass for. When we went, the lines were through the roof. But I wouldn’t be too insistent on doing it in the morning. You may not see as much as many animals might still be sleeping.

Tusker House is an awesome buffet, and you need to allow about an hour for it. Even with ADRs, you usually have to wait for a table. Then you have to schedule your trips to the buffet in between characters visiting your table so you don’t miss any of them.

Is there a possibility that Rivers of Light FP+ will be available later in the day after we have used our initial reservations? We were planning on doing it as a dining package, but there is not a showing on our planned AK day. I was thinking we could maybe park hop another day and get a FP+ for it midday? I know the FP+ are pretty limited for it. Thank you for any help!

We are going late Sept. Not staying on property so will have to be within the 30 day window for fast passes. my top 2 are the flight of passage and the safari. What are your recommendations and do you think we can do both? I made an early am reservation for breakfast at tusker house in hopes to get into the park early. I read that you should wait in line for flight of passage because there is a lot to see that you don’t if you fast pass it. Just stuck on what to do. Please help.

Safari FP+ should be obtainable at 30 days, but you’d have better luck winning the lottery than getting Flight of Passage staying off site. Even on site guests have a ridiculously hard time getting FP+ for it at 60 days out. Rope drop it and pray. I wouldn’t bother with Tusker House if you’re trying to get into Pandora early, there’s no advantage with it and may actually work against you.

We just left Animal Kingdom yesterday. Just an FYI. We arrived at the park 45 minutes before opening. They now allow guests to walk through the park prior to opening. We weren’t fortunate enough to get a fast pass for either of the Pandora rides, so got there early in hopes of hopping in line. OH NO. The line wrapped From Pandora all the way into Africa. With getting there 45 minutes early, the line was already at 2 hours. Hoping Disney can remedy this. On the plus side, Dinoland is a great place to start. We were a little… Read more »
We went in mid July this year. My daughter read online how to get on flight of passage without a fast pass. We got to the park a little after 7 and got in line. There were a few people in frt of us. A little after 8 they let us thru. Then you walk to a certain point and stop again. At a few minutes before 9 team members walk you down to avatar. It’s very narrow so you pretty much stay in the spot you’re in the whole way. They don’t let anyone run ahead or cut:). We… Read more »

But if you got in line for it a little after 7, you may have gotten on the ride as soon as it opened, but you still waited two hours to get on it.

If we have to be at Rivers of Light 60- 90 min before even with a FP, are we not going to be able to see Tree Awakenings? It says it starts after dark.

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

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?

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

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

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

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… Read more »

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!

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

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.

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.

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!

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… Read more »

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?

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!

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… Read more »

We Love the Lion King Show!

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

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.

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

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 ?

We are going to WDW Sept 28-Oct 2nd, 2014. On Monday, we will be going to Animal Kingdom in the morning and to Magic Kingdom in the afternoon/evening. This will be my daughters 5th birthday and we are having dinner in the castle. I also wanted to get Fast Passes reserved at the 60 day make for Anna and Elsa and Enchanted Tales with Belle, does that mean we would need to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning with no Fast Passes? Do you think that will be a problem getting that park done the first half of the… Read more »

Thanks for your article, I find it very useful.

My question is: of we want to enjoy a Water park in the morning, before which park would you suggest me to go?

I am creating my FastPass+ for Animal Kingdom. Can you tell me how long the Festival of the Lion King show lasts and does it cost extra to attend a show? I am trying to decide whether to FP (11:30 am – 11:50 am) before our lunch reservations at 12:45 pm at Tusker House or after FP (1:30 pm – 1:50 pm or 2:30 pm – 2:50 pm). Thanks! 🙂

I was also looking for a touring plan with fast pass plus at AK for late arrival…around 1:00.

I’m planning at late arrival in AK this Spring. How did you plan your day?

Shannon I know I am not crazy I remember reading somewhere a tour plan for 1/2 day AK…..Do you know where that was on this site? Looking to do the Animal Behavior Lunchen from 12 till 2 then AK park.THANKS!

We’re using previously received park hoppers (complimentary ones) to visit AK, aside from our reservation and tickets purchased through that reservation. Any idea if I can link those comp tickets to our reservations so we can get FastPass+? I’m not finding much online. Guess I could call 🙂

Hi Shannon! Gret article! Looking forward to the other parks! I made a few Fp+ res on the website. I’m having issues making them on the app. I have an iPhone that I never updated to ios7. Many of my dining res won’t link to the app and some days it doesn’t show my Fp reservations. I’m worried that I will have trouble in the parks. Do you think it is my phone or does everyone have these issues?

My family and i were there in december . My husband’s iphone is updated and my phone is not. I definitely had trouble with the app on my phone – couldnt’t pull up our reservations or wait times or make changes. I ended up using my husband’s phone as the app worked fine on it

Thank you for the input, Karen. I was waiting to update it since I didn’t know if it would be better or worse! I guess I will now 🙂

Are you sure about being able to rebook a fastpass after you have used it for the same ride? Have you actually done this? Disney had said you could not do this it had to be three different rides. Otherwise everyone would ride Toy Story and then rebook Toy Story.

Thanks for all the great info. We will be arriving at WDW on Jan. 29th!!!! I called WDW and asked how the FastPass+ was going to work for off site guests. One of things I was told was that if our (meaning everyone in my group)tickets were “linked” through the my Disney Experience app, then only one person in the group needed to go to the kiosk with their ticket and because all the tickets were linked, that person could make FP+ reservations for the group. In your post you mentioned making sure that the person making the FP+ had… Read more »

Great article! Reading it on the fly need to sit and study it BUT are you saying that once a main attraction ride is rode that you reserved AT ANY park (say space mountain MK) can I circle back around and remove a lower priority ride and request Space AGAIN for that same day?

Hi Shannon,
Lots of good advice here…thank you for your work.
I’m a newbie to all of this; taking my family of 4 (myself, hubby, 14 and 11 year olds in April ’14. Can I make 3 FP+ reservations per ticket (we’d have 4 tix) OR is it 3 FP+’s reservations per resort reservation (only 1 room!) Just thinking my hubby and 14 y.o. would probably prioritize their FP choices differently than my daughter and I!

SHANNON I still have FOUR questions: (FIRST) Regarding FP+ you said you will have to make 3 selections even if you only want 1 or 2. I’m not understanding this. Does this mean if a person only wants to do a FP+ for one thing, they’ll have to make 2 more phony selections, to get it? My husband & I are taking our 9 yr old granddaughter for 4 days 3/24 to 3/28/14. I can’t do rides as I have extreme motion sickness. So, then I would have to make a FP+ for something other than a ride, that we… Read more »
Thanks Shannon! I should have watched your video first and I would have caught how the system will automatically pick additional FP+ items for you if you don’t choose all 3 per park, that you’re allowed. Glad to hear that if you have a hopper, you can leave the park and return later that same day to use the balance of your FP+ selections. Thanks for the Wishes and Illuminations FP+ locations. I see you said “sit” in the Rose Garden. That would be nice for us “oldies” who are not in great shape, to be able to do. We’ve… Read more »

I am the same way with motion sickness. I plan to let my DD use my magic band to ride things twice…so I will make the reservation for party of 3 and she can enjoy the ride twice…..

I heard that you cannot switch magic bands. It is simply not allowed….is this true?

Very good advice! Thanks for the tips!

Hi Shannon–I have been reading your Disney World tips for some time now. I finally booked a trip to DW in May. We are taking my 5 year old granddaughter. My husband, adult son, and I have been there twice(many years ago), but she has never been there. We are staying at the Disney Art of Animation Resort for 7 nites. We have 5 day hopper passes, 3 Fast Passes, and the meal plan. We are very excited, but I am feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start first and I want this to be a wonderful experience for… Read more »

Great article with some good advice. We’re booked towards the last week of August and I was feeling like with FP+ I will be locked into my times, until I read your suggestion. We will definitely take your advice to change our times if we get there & the regular line is short, great advice!

I’m also glad that I watched your tutorial on booking FP+ times. I would have gotten on the website and figured I couldn’t change the times after looking at all the options they gave you for FP times. Thank you so much for all that info!

Do you get only three fast pass options a day or per park? for example if you do Park Hopper do you get three fastpass choices per park you visit or do you only get 3 for the day– that has to be split between parks you choose.

I think that they only allow FP+ reservations for one park a day is so interesting. Do you think it will change people’s minds about paying extra to have the Park Hopper option?

I will be staying off site ( a decision that I am begining to regret). Will I still be able to use the app to change my FastPass+ selections after initially making them at the Kiosk or will I have to use a Kiosk to make the changes? Just thinking about the point you made regarding changing a selection if the regular wait times aren’t that bad.

Hi Shannon,
I have been adjusting my FP+ within the app, and we are staying off-site. Just FYI.

Thanks for the great info! We are planning our trip for Christmas 2014, so I am super nervous about the crowds with two little ones! (will be 4 and 9 months) The last time we went at Christmas my husband and I were newly married and without children. We would like to try and see both Nemo and the Lion King show (it should be back open then, right?) Will getting a FastPass+ for the Lion King be an option as well?

If we already purchased the ebook, is it possible to get the updated map as a separate document?

Thank you!

Exellent article Shannon! It seems to me if you are prepared and plan ahead a little bit this system might actually make touring the parks less stressful and hectic.

Thanks for the article, Shannon! After reading it, I feel much less stressed about staying off-site this October. We stayed on-site last year at Poly and got to use the Magic Bands, so I was afraid we were going to be too spoiled to enjoy ourselves as much, but it sound like, although LESS convenient, it’s not completely impossible, with a little planning! Thanks again! 🙂

WOW ! Thank you a lot of excellent information !!

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