Because the park hosts large crowds with only a relative handful of attractions, expect for all the attractions to be extremely busy, and for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest to be mobbed. Most guests arrive in the morning, with a sizable number on hand prior to opening and a larger wave arriving before 10 a.m. Guests continue to stream in through the late morning and into the early afternoon, with the crowds peaking at around 2 p.m. From about 2:30 p.m. on, departing guests outnumber arriving guests by a wide margin, as guests who arrived early complete their tour and leave. Crowds thin appreciably by late afternoon and continue to decline into the early evening.
If you decide to visit during the late afternoon, you'll almost certainly have to return on another afternoon to finish seeing everything.
Because the number of attractions, including theater presentations, is limited, most guests complete a fairly comprehensive tour in two-thirds of a day if they arrive early. Thus, generally speaking, your best bet for easy touring is either to be on-hand when the park opens or to arrive at about 3 p.m. (if the park stays open until 7 or 8 p.m.), when the early birds are heading for the exits.
How guests tour the Animal Kingdom depends on their prior knowledge of the park and its attractions. Guests arriving without much prior knowledge make their way to Discovery Island and depend on their handout park map to decide what to do next. Most are drawn to Africa and Kilimanjaro Safaris or Asia and Expedition Everest. A smaller number visit DinoLand U.S.A. first. Those guests who have boned up on the Animal Kingdom make straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa and Expedition Everest in Asia. DINOSAUR in Dinoland U.S.A., Kali River Rapids in Asia, and It's Tough to Be a Bug! in the Tree of Life are also early-morning favorites.
The Expedition Everest roller coaster draws 40% or more of the morning crowd to Asia. With so many guests heading first thing for either Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa or Expedition Everest in Asia, the remaining lands and attractions should be lightly trafficked backwaters until late morning. As the day wears on, the masses who have experienced Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest will turn their attention to other shows and attractions, and the crowds will become more equally distributed. Since its opening in 2006, Expedition Everest has significantly increased the Animal Kingdom's attendance figures. But the new Super Headliner attraction comes with a heavy price: the further jamming of the park's already severely clogged pedestrian walkways.
Get Current and Future Wait Times with Lines
To get a complete view of the actual traffic patterns while you're in the park, use our mobile application, Lines. The app gives you current wait times and future estimates in half-hour increments for today and tomorrow. A quick glance shows how traffic patterns affect wait times throughout the day.