AK: too many shows and trails? Tell me what you like and don't like

I look at my Animal Kingdom Plan and it seems weak. I don’t want to fill it with stuff “just to fill it” and that’s what it feels like I’m doing. Perhaps I feel this way because there aren’t a ton of actual rides… I’ve never been to Animal Kingdom before, so perhaps all of the trails and shows are amazing and I should keep it as is. What is your opinion?

I have 2 little boys (ages 4 and 7) and they love animals, but would you do ALL of the trails/treks and BOTH Bird shows? I’m wondering if we should eliminate some stuff and go to the resort earlier in the evening to swim. The fact that Dinosaur & Triceratop Spin are at the very end make me feel like we could just not do those, STOP after Festival of Lion King if we are ready to go. Also, I wanted to add in the Dino-Party thing where Chip & Dale are dressed like Dinosaurs but can’t figure out what it’s called on TP because it’s called something different on WDW website. Give me your opinion on my TP in general!


Edit to Add: Thanks to you guys, I made some cut throat decisions and updated my plan (see ya UP! and Nemo). It looks a little better but will continue to tweak.

I would do all the trails, especially if they like animals.

Flight of passage is going to be a 30 min ordeal for each leg of your rider swap. Anything less and i will be shocked. This is 30 minutes from entering the line until you are leaving the ride. x2

This might make you a bit late for Tusker House.

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I’d skip the UP show, it’s meant to be dreadful.

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May want to reconsider It’s tough to be a bug too. Not suitable for all children.

No Expedition Everest? it’s one of Disney’s greatest roller coasters!

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Also, you may want to move your Lion King to follow your Tusker House ADR. They’re located so close to each other. If you keep FOTLK where it is, you’ll be backtracking.

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Does your family love Nemo? I feel like that show took up a lot of time and I regretted doing it. My sister really enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. I am sure that is an unpopular opinion.

I echo @SillySamsMom about EE. If this is your first time to AK I wouldn’t miss it!


We love love love AK! We are planning 2 days there this trip (with an optional 3rd). I think the trails and shows are great. We find that they are not as enjoyable though all in one day.
If it were me, I’d skip Discovery Island trails and one of the bird shows (one is shorter but standing, the other is sitting but longer, and neither is particularly do or die IMO). I would also choose either Nemo or FOTLK as a definite and then have the other as an option later just in case. We like both shows but find both in a day to be too much. I’d walk both Gorilla and Maharajah trails as they are nice and the kids could do Wilderness Explorers on the way. ITTBAB and Dinosaur are great for some kids and scary for others–so depending on your kids, those might be skippable. My littles liked Triceratops Spin even though it’s basically prehistoric Dumbo. And another note is that you will have a hard time getting your boys out of the Boneyard after 30 minutes as it’s huge with the dig site over the bridge so try to schedule something awesome afterwards to entice them out.


Good info! Thank you.

I plan to Single Rider it somewhere in there if we pass it and my boys want a snack. I’m not putting it in the plan as I will just squeeze in the Single Rider line when I can. My husband and boys won’t ride it :slight_smile:

I honestly considered removing it. They like Nemo, but there’s plenty of Nemo stuff at Epcot it seems. We don’t need THAT much Nemo.

@momfourmonkeys Thank you!! I’ll revise my Boneyard scenario. My 7 year old DEFINITELY will want to stay for hours if I let him.

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I think AK might just be my favorite park with the addition of Pandora. The lion king show is absolutely awesome. The Nemo show is great too IMO. Expedition Everest is probably my favorite Disney ride. The animal trails in Africa and Asia are fantastic but the discovery island trails can take a lot of time for not that many animals (and not the coolest animals either).

I only know about 1 bird show (Up) and it’s not great, so unless you have a lot of time or you are huge bird lovers, I think it can be skipped.

The Chip and Dale Dino Party is just like a regular character meet, with people lining up on the spot, except Chip and Dale wear dinosaur costumes. As all Chip and Dale meets, it’s really cool.

For me, Dinosaur and Triceratop spin (and primeval whirl) are a complete waste of time and also are not fun and are painful and/or nausea-inducing.

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I don’t like the film but I absolutely love the Nemo show, I think it’s amazing.


Here, here! That show was so bad I got up and walked out. It was horrible. If you need an UP fix, hunt Kevin down or meet Dug & Russell. They’re a much better use of your time.


Just remembered that other bird show. They send flights of parrots in the sky in front of the Tree of Life. Better than Up IMO and takes less time.

And I second @momfourmonkeys about the Boneyard. Awesome play area, very good to unwind and relax and just have fun with the kids.

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This isn’t always true. In the afternoons they move over to in front of the truck parked between the gift shop and where Donald meets and have a cute little dance party. I’ve encountered both the regular M&G in the morning/early afternoon and the dance party after 4pm. Both are cute. If you’re looking for autographs and pictures, go earlier. If you want to dance without those expectations, go later.


Oh…we missed that… :frowning:

I love UP beyond reason, but they ruined the wonderful Flights of Wonder bird show when they re-purposed it to the UP theme. Definitely should be on the could-skip list. I also now don’t do Dinosaur, and I think it might be too much for your DS4. And yes, the Boneyard is probably going to occupy them for more than 30 minutes!.


We have a hard time filling our day there. After lunch when i ask my kids if they want to stay and do more stuff or go back to swim, they akways choose to swim. This trip we are only going in the evening for KS, FOP, meet Mickey and Minnie and maybe Lion King show. I fell asleep last year during ROL. So this time we will sleep in and spend our day at the pool then head to AK.

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I did this once. Never again.

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AK is actually my favorite park…don’t know why. I do like the trails and my kids did when they were young too. I actually think your plan looks great, but if you have no other pool time scheduled or AK is later in your trip, maybe cut out 1 of the trails???

I cut out Nemo & UP! Gave me a little wiggle room so we can leave after dinner and swim. The day before and day after AK are pretty long days, so I’m hoping getting to AK at 10 am and leaving by 6 will allow for some “rest”

I think my boys are absolutely going to LOVE AK. I’m really looking forward to it! AK and HS have been difficult for me to “plan” though and I find myself needing help.


This is one of those questions that I think you’ll get a lot of different answers depending on preferences. There are some who LOVE AK and could spend multiple days there. We, however, have trouble filling up a day (prior to Pandora).

What we like:

  • Expedition Everest
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo

What we often do (although don’t necessarily love):

  • Kali River
  • Dinosaur
  • Primeval Whirl

One and done:

  • Bird show (before it was Up, we liked it, but never felt the need to see it again)

Not worth doing:

  • Train. I mean, if you just want to be on a train, fine. But there’s barely anything to look at. To us, one of the most boring trains I’ve been on in any amusement park.
  • Trails. Honestly, we’ve never finished a single trail. Just no interest. (We’ve started along the trails.) Not that there aren’t things to look at, but I can see WAY more at our local Zoo for a fraction of the cost (which we do). As zoos go, AK is a poor one at best. (In our opinion. But as I said, opinions vary.)

We are hoping that by next May they re-institute the Disney After Hours at AK, because then we can do the things we want in a much shorter time period (apart from the shows). But regardless, we are excited to finally experience Pandora.