Animal Kingdom is the youngest park at Walt Disney World. It’s also one of the most unique thanks to its zoo-like atmosphere.
Even though there are a variety of animals to see, including giraffes, zebras, and elephants, it’s far different than a zoo.
Animal Kingdom is known for having some of the best park food on property, thrilling attractions, exciting tours, and much, much more.
As the biggest Disney World theme park, there’s a lot to see and do, so why not take a deep dive into each land?
Here we take a closer look into the main park entrance and Oasis, which are the first 2 areas you’ll encounter as you first enter Animal Kingdom.
While the park entrance is pretty self-explanatory (you can find a shop and some dining here as well), the Oasis is the perfect introduction to the park.
The area is full of plants, trees, and animals. Once you get to the other side, a majestic view of the Tree of Life welcomes you to Discovery Island, Animal Kingdom’s main hub.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Oasis and park entrance.
Location: Animal Kingdom
Restaurants: 1 Quick Service (Joffrey’s); 1 Table Service (Rainforest Cafe)
Shops: Garden Gate Gifts, The Outpost Shop, Rainforest Cafe gift shop
Animals: Babirusa, Black-necked Swan, Southern Giant Ant Eater, Reeve’s Muntjac, Rosybill Pochard, Chiloe Wigeon, Wallaby
Popular snacks and drinks: Massive donut at Joffrey’s
Not-to-miss: DiVine, animals
Oasis & Main Entrance Map
The Oasis doesn’t have any dining, but you will find a Quick Service and Table Service spot in the main entrance area.
Quick Service Restaurants
Before you even enter Animal Kingdom, you can get your caffeine fix at the Joffrey’s stand. There are also snacks sold here, like the famous massive donuts that always hit the spot.
Table Service Restaurants
You’ve probably already heard of Rainforest Cafe, because there are locations across the country.
We don’t recommend you taking time to eat here, since it’s not exclusive to the park. Plus, Animal Kingdom has some of the best dining on property — both Quick Service and Table Service.
Yes, the life-size animals inside the restaurant and the rainforest noises (anyone else jump every time the thunderstorm starts?) are unique, but Animal Kingdom has way more unique food and drink options.
But, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Rainforest Cafe has a massive gift shop and fun areas for photo ops.
Tip: If you exit through the gift shop, you can enter into the Oasis here rather than using the main entrance.
There aren’t any seating areas in the Oasis, but there is one spot with benches that’s the perfect hidden spot.
Before you get to the bridge that goes into Discovery Island, there’s a cave with a bench. It’s somewhat secret and a great location.
The Oasis only has one shop. There is also a small merchandise stand in the main entrance area, along with Rainforest Cafe’s gift shop.
Garden Gift Gates
You can find different park essentials, like fans, strollers, hats, cooling towels, and more here.
This is also a Disney PhotoPass sales location, where you can purchase Disney PhotoPass products and pick up camera supplies.
Next door is also a wheelchair, stroller, and ECV rental location.
The Outpost Shop (temporarily closed)
The Outpost is a small shop located across from Joffrey’s before you enter the Oasis.
You’ll find a variety of merchandise, including Minnie ears, plushes, and even select banshees like the ones you can purchase in Pandora: The World of Avatar.
Rainforest Cafe Gift Shop
The Rainforest Cafe gift shop is connected to the restaurant.
You don’t need to eat here or have dining reservations in order to walk through the store.
If you’re looking for Rainforest Cafe-exclusive items, this is the shop you’ll want to explore.
Tip: If you exit through the gift shop, you can enter into the Oasis rather than going to the main entrance.
The Oasis has a unique and memorable form of entertainment that isn’t quite a show, but is definitely worth seeing.
DiVine is “the mysterious muse of nature.”
She is absolutely gorgeous — or some might even say, “divine.” She only hangs around the Oasis and you can find her showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.
Usually, you can spot her next to Garden Gate Gifts.
DiVine is easy to miss, so keep those eyes peeled. She blends in almost perfectly with the trees and plants.
You can find some animals as you walk through the Oasis.
Tip: You can also find select animals in the My Disney Experience app under the “attractions” category. Plus, at the park entrance next to the park guide map, there should be literature on the animals and their locations.
Save this map for future reference when you explore the Oasis:
The Oasis Exhibits
Inside The Oasis Exhibits, you’ll find several animals, which include:
Southern Giant Ant Eater
Rosybill Pochard and Chiloe Wigeon
Coin Press Machines
The Rainforest Cafe gift shop has 2 coin press machines, where you can pay $1.00 for Rainforest Cafe-themed collectible pennies.
Disney PhotoPass Photographer
There are 2 areas where you can find PhotoPass photographers — before you even enter the park.
The first is the entrance area in front of the sign that reads “Animal Kingdom” (sometimes this is a seasonal photo op, like during the holidays):
The second is the UP Step-in Frame (sometimes this is a seasonal photo op, like during the holidays), which is located to the right of the ticket booths:
Don’t forget to ask if they have any fun Magic Shots!
Remember: unless you have Memory Maker, Memory Maker Day One, or a PhotoPass entitlement with your Annual Pass, you will have to pay to download or print these photos.
There are restrooms near the UP Step-in Frame before you scan into the park.
You’ll also find restrooms near Guest Relations and the lockers after you scan into the park.
Other Things to Look For
There are a few other important items around the Oasis and park entrance that you may need to know about, including the following.
Designated Smoking Area
Near the Rainforest Cafe entrance, you’ll find a designated smoking area.
This is the only smoking area at Animal Kingdom. Like all of the other theme parks at Disney World, there are no longer smoking areas inside the parks. They can only be found outside park entrances.
Maps and Animal Guides
After tap the touch points and enter the park, you’ll see a stand with park maps and animal guides.
There is a Guest Relations right outside the entrance, near the ticket booths and prior to you scanning into the park.
Near Guest Relations and the restrooms, there are lockers available for rent.
Wheelchair and Stroller Rentals
You can rent wheelchairs, ECVs, and strollers next to Garden Gate Gifts.
Parking lot, buses, and rideshare
For those who need access to Disney buses, they are located outside the main park entrance. If you’re driving, the parking lot is here too, along with anyone using rideshare services and Minnie Vans.
Oasis & Entrance Checklist
What’s your favorite thing about the Oasis in Animal Kingdom? Tell us in the comments!
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