Animal Kingdom Day


#1

We have five day park hopper tickets. We only have four and a half days to spend in the parks. Our plan initially was to spend two days at MK, one day at EP, 1/2 day at AK and a 1/2 day at HS. We were going to use our last partial day as a slush day to go back and catch anything we really wanted to do again or missed the first time around.

With all of the additions to AK over the past few months, I'm wondering if we should now spend a whole day there and use our last partial day to visit HS. DD3 is terrified of anything Star Wars and most of our party are not thrill seekers, so I don't anticipate that there will be a ton we want to do at HS outside of TSSM, a few shows, and character meet and greets.

I can only think of two hitches to the new plan. We will be at AK June 19, so I am concerned about the crowd levels due to Pandora. We are on property, so we plan to take advantage of 7:00 AM EMH. Everything seems to say that EMH will cause higher crowd levels in the afternoon. Also, DD3 loves Minnie, so I have an ADR for Hollywood and Vine on the 19th. I also have one for Tusker House. If we ditch out on H&V, we miss out on Minnie, although I know there are other places we can see her.

I guess all of this leads to two questions. Should we spend a whole day in AK or plan to park hop in the afternoon? Has anyone done Tusker and H&V? I know the food at H&V is subpar, but we aren't foodies. DH is a picky eater and I don't know how the food at Tusker House will go down with him. It's more about getting the character interaction for DD. Is the character interaction better at one than the other?

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#2

I have not been to Animal Kingdom in years, but, like you, my husband and I are planning a trip in June (actually the day after you go). We are excited for Pandora but know there are going to be some crazy crowd increases due to the new world and new attractions.

When I went years ago, Animal Kingdom was definitely a half day park for me. However, a friend of mine who went last year said she had no problem spending the whole day there - especially with the new river of lights in the evening. She really built up seeing all the shows and the animal attractions.

We are planning to take the afternoon off when we do DHS and put in for the EMH long haul on the day we do Animal Kingdom. Here's hoping June in Animal Kingdom is not total mayhem!!!


#3

Because we have an amazing world-class zoo at home, Animal Kingdom was our least favorite park of all. Killmanjaro Safaris was a major disappointment; we see more animals with less hassle (and a less cheesy tour) at home. The shows were the highlight of that park, but in hindsight, we'd have been better off spending more time at Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.

We did both Tusker House and Hollywood & Vine, and the food was far superior at Hollywood & Vine. Tusker House's menu is much more exotic, so I suspect foodies probably would prefer Tusker. If your husband is picky, check the menus but I'd recommend going to Hollywood. Both character interactions were fine; at Hollywood, Daisy greeted us at the door for a Photo Pass family photo. That wasn't available at Tusker.

In defense of Tusker House, both Goofy and Donald tried to convince my son (unsuccessfully) to eat his supper that night. Great photos to be sure...but I'd rather have my son eat when dinner is costing $200 for a family of 4.


#4

I would consider skipping HS altogether. After two and a half days with the three-year-old in tow, you might be better off resting for a half day. We were similarly ambitious making a five day plan with DDs 6 and 3. On day two we realized we were never going to make it and reorganized. Since you are not into Star Wars or thrill rides, don't be sucked into feeling obligated to visit all four parks. Two days MK, one EP, one AK, and you still have a floating half.


#5

I agree with this.

Cape May at the Beach Club does a really nice breakfast with Minnie and friends. Could you do this and combine it with Epcot?

Hopefully others can confirm if there are other character meals with Minnie.


#6

I liked Animal Kingdom...There is some good advice on this thread...however the question is what is your family into. Since you are not Star Wars fans...I would say skip HS. We went to Disney in June and we had a five day. After 1/2 of HS, we were not impressed and left. The issue is that most of the park is closed to make room for Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land.

Also, we went to Animal Kingdom for 1 day and felt that it was not enough. We rushed through seeing the animals and we went to a couple of shows. The next time, we are skipping HS.

Last point, Tusker house was great. We liked it!

Bonus: If you go early June, bring sun screen and Ponchos. It can be hot and rainy


#7

I agree. Lots of good perspectives here. I'll just add that my family loves Animal Kingdom. We are planning two days at AK and one day at Hollywood Studios, became the FP options work out best for us that way. None of the 3 days will be long days for us. We will probably spend 4-5 hours in HS and 6-8 hours total in AK split over 2 days.


#8

We are also going in June. We also have a 5 day with only 4.5 days. Planning on spending 1.5 days in AK so that we can see Pandora and not be bugged by the crowds. One day for fast pass for Flight next day for River. Anything else will be a bonus. Reservations at Yak n Yeti and Sanaa.


#9

Where are you staying? If you are in the Epcot area, you might split your EP and AKs into two half days: AK, then EP one day and EP, then AK another day.


#10

Staying at Wilderness Lodge


#11

Haha! Oops! Thought this was an answer to my thread! Sorry to intrude on someone else's question! I am learning!


#13

There is excellent advice on this thread! Thank you everyone. There is so much to think about, and I want to make sure we have a wonderful time.

We are staying at POR.