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, points of interest with extra restricted schedules, and extra. Plus, suggestions & tips for beating the crowds and avoiding instances of day when attendance is highest.
Should you’re planning a go to to Animal Kingdom months from now, the very first thing you should know is that hours are added to DisneyWorld.com’s 5-day calendar on a rolling foundation, usually 60 days prematurely. Walt Disney World additionally has a month-to-month calendar that isn’t as straightforward to seek out, and this presently has hours dumped in ‘batches’ a lot additional prematurely.
Walt Disney World’s regular follow is to launch boilerplate or placeholder hours earlier than extending these primarily based on attendance and resort occupancy projections. For some time, the preliminary launch of park hours was virtually meaningless, as each single park and date would see extensions. That is less-pronounced of a follow now, and the hours which might be launched are very often the ultimate hours.
By way of regular park hours, Animal Kingdom often operates based on the next schedules:
- Monday by way 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. Anticipate these to be prolonged in step with the above schedule for no less than Friday by way of Sunday, plus weekdays throughout common journey dates.
Extensions are nonetheless comparatively frequent at Animal Kingdom, they only 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 situations, extensions can happen about just a few weeks to about two months prematurely. We’ve seen precisely this situation play out round Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Yr’s, Presidents’ Day, Spring Break, Easter, and many others.
With the conventional schedule out of the best way, let’s flip to the further Animal Kingdom park hours for company of on-site lodges, which is named Early Entry–the substitute for Additional Magic Hours, who skilled that previously. Early Entry is just not really further hours, plural, however relatively, further minutes–30 of them. Should 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 look like 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 need to get up and be out the door of their resort room at that hour, or actually can’t as a consequence of youngsters. Because of this, it’s straightforward to breeze by way of each Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey–the 2 common Pandora points of interest–earlier than the park opens to common company.
For that very same cause, conventional rope drop additionally works fairly nicely at Animal Kingdom for the very same cause–it’s sooner than most individuals on trip will arrive to the park. On busier days, you’ll must prioritize one thing apart from Avatar Flight of Passage, however in any other case, brief waits abound at Animal Kingdom for the primary couple hours of the day.
It’s additionally price noting that not all points of interest begin working at park opening time. Probably the most notable examples are leisure, meet & greets, animal reveals, 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 every thing involving reside animals closes earlier than sundown, which means that Kilimanjaro Safari and all trails can shut 2-3 hours earlier than the remainder of the park sure instances of the 12 months. (All of it is determined by the timing of sundown v. park closing–winter is worst for this.)
On a constructive observe, Animal Kingdom’s working hours coupled with the park’s restricted experience roster make it the simplest park for beating the crowds. Technique for Animal Kingdom primarily quantities to “don’t go through the center of the day and stand in lengthy strains,” which appears to be what the overwhelming majority of company do for some odd cause.
Keep away from the hours of 11 am till 2 pm if in any respect potential, or no less than don’t do common rides throughout that time-frame. Because the park operates from 8 or 9 am till 7 or 8 pm most days, this needs to be comparatively straightforward. Both go early or keep late–or each, and do a desk service lunch plus stage reveals and animal reveals through 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 popular park at Walt Disney World, and hitting it when the solar is decrease knocks a great 10-20 levels off the looks like temperatures. The ambiance at sundown and evening can be implausible, and one thing few followers see.
Wait instances are decrease in the previous few hours of the day at Animal Kingdom. You’ll typically discover every thing besides Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey has an precise wait time of beneath quarter-hour after 5 pm. A lot of these points of interest 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 regularly leap 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 often 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 need to see that–particularly devoid of individuals!
Should you’re nervous 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 inform you.
Unofficially, transportation after park closing continues so long as persons are contained in the park. Disney gained’t go away you stranded at a park. Solid Members are methodical about clearing the parks and radio to bus drivers to verify they stick round till all the stragglers are accounted for. Regardless of it’s earlier closing time, Animal Kingdom is often cleared sooner, 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 potential is the very best plan of action. You get to take pleasure in park closing serenity and usually tend to have a bus all to your self!
In contrast to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there is no such thing as a nighttime spectacular at Animal Kingdom. That is a part of why Animal Kingdom will get cleared sooner than the opposite parks, with the opposite massive causes being a scarcity of late evening Advance Eating Reservations and the easy actuality that almost all company depart voluntarily sooner at Animal Kingdom than another 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 often begins round nightfall every evening 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 disenchanted when you camp out and look ahead to it to start out.
As a substitute, the Tree of Life Awakenings is healthier handled as a diversion or one thing that you must encounter. The purpose from a park hours perspective, although, is that there’s no nighttime spectacular that impacts working hours at Animal Kingdom. There are lots of 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 alter till a bona fide nighttime spectacular returns to Animal Kingdom, which gained’t happen at any level in 2023 (until there’s an out of left subject announcement that isn’t even being rumored). With that mentioned, Prolonged Night Hours can be a stable strategy to do each EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. (See our Information to Prolonged Night Hours at Walt Disney World for extra.)
One other ‘presently unavailable’ strategy to keep late is the After Hours at Animal Kingdom. This was a tough ticket occasion supplied pre-closure, and it was an particularly nice strategy 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 time or vacation season?
On the subject of the interaction of park technique & hours, another choice is Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. We virtually by no means advocate that company 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 well worth the cash.
To that time, for Animal Kingdom technique & planning perception see the next posts:
In the end, that ought to cowl what you should learn about park hours at Animal Kingdom. Now it must also be clear why there’s numerous nuance and quirks which might be price understanding past simply the fundamentals that DAK often is open from 8 or 9 am till 7 or 8 pm.
Past displaying up late and enduring peak wait instances through the center of the day, one other frequent pitfall for company 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 reveals and eating places. Suffice to say, selection is necessary–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!
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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 reap the benefits 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 attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!