Animal Kingdom is my favorite park, so it’s hard for me to say that you should skip anything! However, even I will admit there are attractions I almost always skip here. And if you’ve only got 1 day in this park and you want to maximize your time, there are definitely some things that are better than others!
I’ve already shared what to skip at Magic Kingdom and what to skip at Epcot, so now it’s time for my advice on what to skip at Animal Kingdom!
This is a ride that we’ll do if we have a little extra time and wait isn’t long, but we never go out of way for it. The themeing of Chester and Hester’s always fell a bit flat for me. While it’s a neat idea to put a “typical” carnival style section in there, and it has a good backstory, at the end of the day it’s still just a wild mouse coaster.
This is just Dumbo with dinosaurs. If you’ve done Dumbo or the Magic Carpets of Aladdin you don’t need to do this one. And the one time I rode it my dino was broken and didn’t even go up and down, so that was disappointing.
It’s Tough to be a Bug
I avoided this show for a long time because I had been scarred by Honey I Shrunk the Audience but when it was in Epcot. No more 3D shows for me! It’s Tough to be a Bug shows a lot of age now. The screens look worn, the technology is old, and I do feel like this show can be too scary for younger ones (due to them creating the sensation of bugs running through your feet, yuck!) and feel too young for older people. I never find it a must do.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
With all the times I’ve visited Animal Kingdom, I believe I’ve only been here once. I will say that if you have young kids and you might be skipping some of the bigger attractions (like Dinosaur and Expedition Everest), you probably do want to check it out. But for the rest of us, it’s a skip for two reasons. The first is that it’s geared towards younger ones. There is a petting zoo, an area with monkeys, and the Conservation Station, which is an area where you can learn about different things relating to animals, see some reptiles, etc. It’s certainly not a bad experience by any means, but it is more similar to what you might find at a local zoo. The second downfall is that you can’t just walk over and check it out. The area is more removed from the rest of the park, so you have to take a little train to get there. This makes it more inconvenient and takes more time.
There are two other things worth considering: you can meet Rafiki here, and at certain times of the day they do veterinary procedures you can watch, if that interests you.
Kali River Rapids (season dependent)
There is a very good chance that you will get soaked on Kali River Rapids. Because of that, I always skip it unless it’s super hot out. And even then, we’ll do it when we know we’re heading back soon so we can change. There are similar rides at other theme parks that have river rapids attractions, and while Kali is much more beautiful and well themed than those, it also feels perhaps too short? Especially during the summer when you do get really long waits because of those trying to cool off.
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail (if you run out of time)
In my opinion the coolest thing about Animal Kingdom is the actual animals! There’s the safari ride and several trails to walk through. The animals are beautiful, fascinating, and always up to something different. So in general I don’t recommend skipping any of the trails. But if you’re running out of time and you can only do one – either Gorilla Falls or the Maharajah Jungle Trek – I’d choose Maharajah. I love the tigers, and the new babies might be out now!
Thanks to the new Pandora attractions, there’s more to do in Animal Kingdom than there ever was before. So unfortunately, that means certain things need to be skipped! Even skipping all of these things you may have to sacrifice others as well, especially depending on how many hours you’re staying in Animal Kingdom and how long it’s open. But my biggest piece of advice – don’t rush, and enjoy everything around you. Animal Kingdom is an amazing place with so much to take in.
What do you choose to skip at Animal Kingdom?