Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom, which opened in 1998, is the newest of Walt Disney World's four theme parks. The park has been criticized by some as being too light of an experience, that it is only a "half-day" park. Others love spending a full day slowly working through the animal viewing areas and taking breaks with rides and shows (Festival of the Lion King remains extremely popular after many years). Expedition Everest opened in early 2006. The immediately popular roller coaster takes passengers forward and backward toward their inevitable confrontation with the legendary Yeti.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: Southwest corner of the Walt Disney World property.
  • Date Opened: April 22, 1998
  • Approximate Annual Attendance: 9.5 million
  • Size: 500 acres
  • # of Lands: 6
  • # of Rides and Attractions: 19
  • # of Entertainment and Shows: 5
  • # of Dining Locations: 23
Park Hours - Hide Section
  • Park Hours: Disney's Animal Kingdom is open seven days a week. Due to the needs of the animals, the park keeps relatively limited hours. Year-round the park will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at either 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. depending on time of year.
  • Early Entry: The Extra Magic Hours program offers guests of the on-property hotel resorts to enter one of the parks an hour earlier than the posted opening time. Only limited attractions will be open during the extra hour; see Disney's Extra Magic Hours Web page for the current schedule of Extra Magic Hours days. The only other program is available to concierge guests at Animal Kingdom Lodge. For a fee, such guests can sign up for an early morning tour of the park facilities that ends with breakfast in the park.
  • Late Departure: Evening Extra Magic Hours at Disney's Animal Kingdom have apparently been discontinued by Walt Disney World.
Facilities - Hide Section
  • ATMs: The park's only ATMs are next to the Garden Gate Gifts store just inside the park entrance.

  • City Hall: Located immediately to the right as you enter the park.

  • Disney Dollars: Disney Dollars are the private currency of Disneyland. Any cash accepting location inside of the park will accept Disney Dollars as well.

  • Equipment Rental: Strollers, manual wheelchairs, and Electronic Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) can be rented at Garden Gate Gifts to the right as you enter the park. Stroller replacements are also available (with receipt and on an as available basis) at Mombasa Marketplace.

    Strollers rent for $15 per day for a single and $31 for a double. Length of stay rentals are available for $13 and $27 per day. Manual wheelchairs rent for $12 per day or $10 per day for length of stay. ECVs are $50 per day with an additional $20 refundable deposit. No length of stay rental is available. If you are renting a wheelchair or ECV you may also want to stop by City Hall to request the Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities which will provide information on ride access and other issues.


    In-park rentals do not allow you take strollers out of the park, but rather you must get a new one at each park. Your rental receipt will allow you to get a new rental the same day (supplies permitting) when you get to another park.

    For additional information on getting around the parks with wheelchairs and ECVs, see our Walt Disney World Mobility page.

  • For rental strollers that cost less than Disney's, and that you can use anywhere you go throughout your visit, check out MousePlanet partner Magic Strollers. Affiliated with Owner's Locker, Magic Strollers will deliver your single or double stroller to your resort before you arrive and pick it back up when you leave. Magic Strollers delivers to resorts throughout the Orlando area, not just to Walt Disney World. Visit their site and check them out for yourself, or order now!

  • First Aid and Baby Care: The first aid station and baby care center are located behind the Creature Comforts store in the Discovery Island area of Disney's Animal Kingdom.

  • Lockers: Animal Kingdom has two sets of lockers, one right outside and the other right inside of the main entrance gates. Locker rentals cost $7 per day for a standard size locker and $9 per day for a large locker, plus a $5 refundable deposit.

  • Restrooms:

  • Kennel: Disney's Animal Kingdom (and all of the Walt Disney World parks no longer (as of September 1, 2010) has its own kennel facilities. Best Friends Pet Care is now operating a 50,000 square foot pet resort at 2510 Bonnet Creek Parkway in the Epcot resort area.


    In additional to single day visit or overnight boarding for cats and dogs the facility can also handle a certain number of other pets such as hamsters, birds, and pot-bellied pigs. It is not required that you either be visiting the parks to kennel your animal in the facility although a discount is given to people staying at one of the on-property resorts.

    Reservations are not required but are strongly recommended, especially during peak seasons. Hours vary but the center is generally open from an hour before that day's earliest park opening to an hour after the last park closes, so remember to take pet retrieval time into account when planning the end of your day.

    Overnight boarding starts at $37 for dogs ($34 if a resort guest), $23 ($21) for cats, and other animas range from $12-$23 ($10-$21) depending on size. Full day kenneling of dogs is $27 for basic kenneling, cats are $15; less than six hours is $16 and $15 respectively.

    For more information or reservations, call 1-877-493-9738 (877-4 WDW PETS) or visit their web site. See MousePlanet contributor Vance Cope's article (September 10, 2010) on the opening of Best Friends Pet Care.

  • Smoking:
The Lands (Areas of the Park) - Hide Section
Disney's Animal Kingdom vaguely uses the hub and spoke park layout, though it isn't so obvious as in other parks. You enter through the Oasis, and when you get to Discovery Island you can then branch to most of the other areas of the park.

Rides and Attractions (Yes, a Complete List) - Show Section
Entertainment and Shows - Show Section
Dining - Show Section
Special Events - Show Section
Park Tours - Show Section
In the Past... - Hide Section
Here you will find a list of selected lands and special events that have been removed from Disney's Animal Kingdom.

  • Lands
    • Camp Minnie-Mickey— Not a whole lot in this land other than character greeting and the wonderful Festival of the Lion King show.
Links of Interest - Hide Section

MousePlanet Links

  • Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda — Former Imagineer Paul Torrigino looks back at Dragon Towers, an attraction designed for Animal Kingom, but never built. Part 1, Part 2.
  • Behind the Scenes — MousePlanet columnist Jeff Kober looks at some of the stuff going on behind the scenes at Animal Kingdom.

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