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60 Things to Do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Without Going on Rides

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Here at TouringPlans, our raison d’etre is maximizing your time on the rides. But there are many times when going on rides, or at least some rides, is not the right way to spend time in a theme park. This may be because:

  • You’re pregnant and rides are contraindicated
  • You have motion sickness issues
  • You have sensory processing issues that are exacerbated by motion
  • You have some other medical issue that contraindicates rides
  • You’re the caregiver for someone with the above issues
  • You’re supervising a young child who is too short for some rides
  • You don’t like rides
  • You prefer non-moving attractions
  • You don’t feel like waiting in a line

Here are just some of many of the things you can do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom without going on rides. Note: Some of these items such as shopping, tours, and dining require additional purchases beyond park admission and some items may require advance reservations. Also note that some items may be temporarily paused or modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Hug a goat at the Affection Section.
  2. Lose some money and gain a stuffed animal at Fossil Fun Games.
  3. Have a close encounter with a tropical bird at Winged Encounters.
  4. Marvel at how much Baby Grace has grown (p.s. she’s not so baby-like any more).
  5. Earn stickers in the Wilderness Explorers experience.
  6. Pose for photos in front of the iconic Tree of Life.
  7. Dine with Donald Duck at Tusker House.
  8. Wave to some characters passing by on a boat version of a character cavalcade.
  9. Observe an animal surgery.
  10. Buy some animal-themed pressed pennies – an activity and a souvenir in one!
  11. Shop in the store with the best decor in all of Walt Disney World.
  12. Keep an eye on the anteater.
  13. Shop for African instruments.
  14. Bond with lemurs.
  15. Understand exactly why It’s Tough to be a Bug.
  16. Observe the cotton top tamarins.
  17. Pretend you’re being eaten by a terrifying plant.
  18. Learn to draw Disney characters at the Animation Experience.
  19. Pay your respects at the shrine to the Yeti.
  20. Buy a banshee.
  21. Be amazed at the Festival of the Lion King show.
  22. Practice your nature photography in the bird enclosures.
  23. Eat with a fake gorilla at Rainforest Cafe.
  24. Monkey around.
  25. Spike your Dole Whip.
  26. Learn about bird species at the Feathered Friends in Flight show.
  27. Speak with a keeper about feeding animals large and small.
  28. Watch an artisan wood carver.
  29. Eat a mango pie at Yak & Yeti.
  30. Grab a frozen Coke at Drinkwallah.
  31. Sip an adult beverage at the Nomad Lounge.
  32. Have a moment with Dinosaur Sue.
  33. Buy some African jewelry.
  34. Have an artist create a caricature of you.
  35. Learn about bat behavior.
  36. Nosh on the native foods of Pandora.
  37. Indulge your dinosaur nerd with dinosaur merch.
  38. Discover face painting.
  39. Eat some blue food.
  40. Talk dog.
  41. Learn about animal anatomy.
  42. Find the best photo wall in all of Walt Disney World.
  43. Find unique statuary.
  44. Experience some cute overload at Otter Grotto.
  45. Acquire some henna body art.
  46. Measure your height against a Yeti foot.
  47. Oooh and ahhh over naked mole rats.
  48. Get a replica of yourself as an Avatar resident.
  49. Buy some popcorn for the folks on your home planet.
  50. Talk about poop.
  51. Dig in the boneyard.
  52. Trade pins with cast members or other guests.
  53. Teach your kids about animal habitats.
  54. Drink a drink with a glow cube skull.
  55. Check out the latest version of the giant sand sculpture.
  56. Reenact The Lion King with a Simba popcorn bucket.
  57. Stare into the mist.
  58. Make some music.
  59. Get some shots in an old school photo booth.
  60. Try to make of list of every animal represented on the Tree of Life.

What are you favorite non-ride activities at Animal Kingdom?

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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