Park hours at Animal Kingdom are extra constant and simple than anyplace at Walt Disney World. This information covers regular opening & closing instances, Early Entry, rope drop, sights with extra restricted schedules, and extra. Plus, ideas & methods for beating the crowds and avoiding instances of day when attendance is highest.
When you’re planning a go to to Animal Kingdom months from now, the very first thing that you must know is that hours are added to DisneyWorld.com’s 5-day calendar on a rolling foundation, sometimes 60 days upfront. Walt Disney World additionally has a month-to-month calendar that isn’t as straightforward to search out, and this at present has hours dumped in ‘batches’ a lot additional upfront.
Walt Disney World’s regular apply is to launch boilerplate or placeholder hours earlier than extending these based mostly on attendance and resort occupancy projections. For some time, the preliminary launch of park hours was nearly meaningless, as each single park and date would see extensions. That is less-pronounced of a apply now, and the hours which are launched are very often the ultimate hours.
By way of regular park hours, Animal Kingdom normally operates in accordance with the next schedules:
- Monday by means of Thursday (low season and regular crowds): 9 am to 7 pm
- Friday and Sunday (low season and regular crowds): 8 am to 7 pm
- Saturday and peak-season dates: 8 am to eight pm
Usually, Animal Kingdom’s boilerplate hours are actually 9 am to 7 pm. Count on these to be prolonged according to the above schedule for not less than Friday by means of Sunday, plus weekdays throughout fashionable journey dates.
Extensions are nonetheless comparatively widespread at Animal Kingdom, they simply are much less prone to happen throughout the board. Now, it’s extra focused to weekends, holidays, and particular days when the parks are forecast to be busier. In these eventualities, extensions can happen about a couple of weeks to about two months upfront. We’ve seen precisely this state of affairs play out round Thanksgiving, Christmas, New 12 months’s, Presidents’ Day, Spring Break, Easter, and so on.
With the conventional schedule out of the best way, let’s flip to the additional Animal Kingdom park hours for friends of on-site accommodations, which is called Early Entry–the substitute for Further Magic Hours, who skilled that previously. Early Entry is just not really additional hours, plural, however quite, additional minutes–30 of them. When you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the morning choice, study extra in our Information to Early Entry at Walt Disney World.
Thirty minutes might not seem to be a lot, however Early Entry is fairly important at Animal Kingdom. That is significantly true on days when regular park opening at Animal Kingdom is at 8 am, as a result of this implies Early Entry begins at 7:30 am. For the overwhelming majority of individuals on trip, that’s just too early.
They both don’t wish to get up and be out the door of their resort room at that hour, or actually can not resulting from children. Because of this, it’s straightforward to breeze by means of each Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey–the 2 fashionable Pandora sights–earlier than the park opens to common friends.
For that very same motive, conventional rope drop additionally works fairly properly at Animal Kingdom for the very same motive–it’s sooner than most individuals on trip will arrive to the park. On busier days, you’ll have to prioritize one thing apart from Avatar Flight of Passage, however in any other case, quick waits abound at Animal Kingdom for the primary couple hours of the day.
It’s additionally price noting that not all sights begin working at park opening time. Essentially the most notable examples are leisure, meet & greets, animal displays, and interactive areas. Moreover, Kali River Rapids and Conservation Station open after the remainder of the park.
Animal Kingdom additionally has fairly a bit that closes earlier than the remainder of the park, particularly months when the park closes after sundown. Just about all the pieces involving dwell animals closes earlier than sundown, that means that Kilimanjaro Safari and all trails can shut 2-3 hours earlier than the remainder of the park sure instances of the yr. (All of it is dependent upon the timing of sundown v. park closing–winter is worst for this.)
On a optimistic be aware, Animal Kingdom’s working hours coupled with the park’s restricted journey roster make it the simplest park for beating the crowds. Technique for Animal Kingdom primarily quantities to “don’t go in the course of the center of the day and stand in lengthy traces,” which appears to be what the overwhelming majority of friends do for some odd motive.
Keep away from the hours of 11 am till 2 pm if in any respect attainable, or not less than don’t do fashionable rides throughout that time-frame. For the reason that park operates from 8 or 9 am till 7 or 8 pm most days, this ought to be comparatively straightforward. Both go early or keep late–or each, and do a desk service lunch plus stage exhibits and animal displays in the course of the busiest time of day.
Personally, I’m a fan of doing Animal Kingdom later within the day (see Animal Kingdom Afternoon Arrival Technique). Subjectively, that is good as a result of Animal Kingdom is the most well liked park at Walt Disney World, and hitting it when the solar is decrease knocks a great 10-20 levels off the seems like temperatures. The ambiance at sundown and night time can also be implausible, and one thing few followers see.
Wait instances are decrease in the previous couple of hours of the day at Animal Kingdom. You’ll typically discover all the pieces besides Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey has an precise wait time of beneath quarter-hour after 5 pm. Lots of these sights are literal walk-ons.
We love to do the Pandora – World of Avatar rides within the final 90 minutes or so of the working day. The precise time is crowd-dependent, however we frequently bounce in line for Na’vi River Journey about 60-90 minutes earlier than park closing and Avatar Flight of Passage round 5 minutes earlier than park closing. This “final minute” strategy is right, as you possibly can line up for rides till the minute the park closes after which have your wait happen after the park has closed.
As an added bonus, you’ll exit the attraction when it’s darkish and get to see Pandora come alive in bioluminescent brilliance. That is normally even true in the summertime, when Animal Kingdom might in any other case have a closing time earlier than nighttime. Pandora is gorgeous and serene within the night, and also you completely wish to see that–particularly devoid of individuals!
When you’re anxious about transportation again to your resort when staying this late in Animal Kingdom, don’t. Formally, transportation to the theme parks begins roughly 2 hours previous to park opening time and runs till roughly 1 hour after the parks shut. That is the information you’ll discover on Walt Disney World’s web site, and what Solid Members will let you know.
Unofficially, transportation after park closing continues so long as persons are contained in the park. Disney received’t go away you stranded at a park. Solid Members are methodical about clearing the parks and radio to bus drivers to ensure they stick round till all the stragglers are accounted for. Regardless of it’s earlier closing time, Animal Kingdom is normally cleared quicker, however this could nonetheless generally take over an hour after park closing.
We have now left Walt Disney World theme parks lengthy after park closing many, many instances and have by no means had a problem. If something, delaying departure so long as attainable is the most effective plan of action. You get to take pleasure in park closing serenity and usually tend to have a bus all to your self!
Not like Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there isn’t any nighttime spectacular at Animal Kingdom. That is a part of why Animal Kingdom will get cleared quicker than the opposite parks, with the opposite massive causes being a scarcity of late night time Advance Eating Reservations and the straightforward actuality that the majority friends depart voluntarily quicker at Animal Kingdom than some other park.
The closest factor that Animal Kingdom has to a nighttime spectacular is the Tree of Life Awakenings, which is the projection present on the park’s icon. This normally begins round nightfall every night time and continues till shortly after park closing. There’s no set showtime schedule for this. Tree of Life Awakenings is just not a nighttime spectacular, and you’ll very a lot be disillusioned when you camp out and watch for it to begin.
As a substitute, the Tree of Life Awakenings is best handled as a diversion or one thing that it is best to come upon. The purpose from a park hours perspective, although, is that there’s no nighttime spectacular that impacts working hours at Animal Kingdom. There are various nights in the summertime when Animal Kingdom closes at or round sundown, and there’s merely no Tree of Life Awakenings on these evenings.
To this point, Prolonged Night Hours has not occurred at Animal Kingdom. We don’t count on that to vary till a bona fide nighttime spectacular returns to Animal Kingdom, which received’t happen at any level in 2023 (except there’s an out of left area announcement that isn’t even being rumored). With that mentioned, Prolonged Night Hours can also be a stable technique to do each EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. (See our Information to Prolonged Night Hours at Walt Disney World for extra.)
One other ‘at present unavailable’ technique to keep late is the After Hours at Animal Kingdom. This was a tough ticket occasion provided pre-closure, and it was an particularly nice technique to do Avatar Flight of Passage. Though After Hours at Magic Kingdom and DHS have already returned, the identical is just not true for Animal Kingdom. Maybe this summer season or vacation season?
Relating to the interaction of park technique & hours, another choice is Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. We nearly by no means suggest that friends buy Genie+ at Animal Kingdom, as it’s merely pointless when you arrive early or keep late. Nevertheless, one massive exception is when Park Hopping–if paired with one other park, Genie+ at Animal Kingdom could make sense and be definitely worth the cash.
To that time, for Animal Kingdom technique & planning perception see the next posts:
Finally, that ought to cowl what that you must learn about park hours at Animal Kingdom. Now it must also be clear why there’s lots of nuance and quirks which are price understanding past simply the fundamentals that DAK normally is open from 8 or 9 am till 7 or 8 pm.
Past exhibiting up late and enduring peak wait instances in the course of the center of the day, one other widespread pitfall for friends at Animal Kingdom is the dreaded animal fatigue. This typically happens when specializing in rides early within the morning, ending them up by 10 am, after which doing animal exhibit after animal exhibit, with the one reprieves coming from Animal Kingdom’s implausible stage exhibits and eating places. Suffice to say, selection is essential–don’t do all of the “animal stuff” back-to-back. Combine it up a bit so you possibly can beat the crowds and take pleasure in a satisfying and well-rounded day at DAK!
Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study accommodations on our Walt Disney World Resorts Evaluations web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations. To economize on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys put up takes a novel have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the most effective place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for all the pieces that you must know!
What do you consider regular park hours in 2023 at Animal Kingdom? Choose to reach very first thing for Early Entry, later within the morning, afternoon, or night? How do you make the most of the working quirks of DAK to beat the crowds? Do you agree or disagree with something in our information to park hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!