Today I’ll be finishing up my series on the “real” opening times of the parks versus the “official” opening times. For a review, here are links to the discussions on Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. Also, take a moment to check out my FASTPASS+ recommendations for Animal Kingdom.
Technically Animal Kingdom does not employ an actual “rope drop” anymore. BUT, guests can actually get through the park turnstiles about 15 minutes before the officially posted opening time for the park. To figure out the official opening time for the day of your visit go to Disney’s park calendar to look it up.
A good thing to note is that, because the walkways at the Oasis are tight, it’s a lot harder to pass people once inside. So it’s in your best interest to be one of the first guests in the turnstile line when they open up. This means getting to the park 30 to 45 min before the official opening time. Trust me, during busier times of the year the crowd in front of the turnstiles 15 min early versus 40 minutes early is waaaaay crazier. For a good visual, easywdw.com has pics of the crowds at the different times before turnstiles are opened up.
Insider Tip! The turnstiles located all the way to the right are reserved for guests with character breakfast dining reservations that are earlier than the park opening time. If you arrive after a large crowd has already formed in front of the turnstiles (before opening) then watch for those early breakfast turnstiles to convert to regular admittance turnstiles. Make a dash over there so you don’t have to wait in a long line.
A good thing to note at Animal Kingdom is that just because you’re in the park early doesn’t mean all the rides are turned on yet. Usually, only Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest and TriceraTop Spin are running before the official park opening time. Make a bee-line for one of these 3 and save the window shopping for later in your visit when the crowds are crazier.
Want more help planning your trip? As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I am here to answer all of your questions and make personalized recommendations for your family. I put together customized itineraries, book your advanced dining and FastPass+ reservations, monitor for discounts for your vacation and much much more! And did I mention my services are always free? Contact me today for a free quote for your next Disney Vacation!