Animal Kingdom is the park where my family goes when we just want to relax. Well, not literally, it’s hot there. But it is the park where we plan the least. We relax. We walk and observe animals. We do attractions whenever waiting times decrease. We see shows. But if we went to Animal Kingdom the week of the 19th, I would suddenly be less relaxed. Disney announced that Genie + will be released on October 19th. Boo! Now I have to find out if it is what I need and if so, how I will use it. If not, what impact will it have on me anyway?
Wondering what this Genie + is anyway? Check the FAQ if you need to catch up. Here at TouringPlans, we try to collect, analyze, and apply data to make your vacation go smoothly. But until the Genie release can’t help you with Genie’s data. What we can do is make some inferences based on historical data and offer you a strategy, if not a step-by-step plan. This week we have dedicated ourselves every day to offering you two strategies for each park. The first is a strategy for touring the park without Genie + and the second is a strategy to help you maximize your use of Genie + in this park. None of these strategies will assume or suggest the acquisition of Lightning Lane Individual Access. If you opt for this, just skip the steps for these attractions.
How can I tour Animal Kingdom without Genie +?
The good news is that Animal Kingdom has the fewest attractions eligible for Genie +. And there are only a lower number of attractions in general. Animal Kingdom has been labeled perennial as a “half day” park. I tend to disagree, but it means it should be easy to plan a day, even without paying to skip the ranks.
If you have early entry, you will arrive at the park at 7:30 am. If you dare to arrive so early, go ahead and drop Flight of Passage. Most people at Disney World won’t want to be in a park so early, so people on the rope shouldn’t be so bad. However, if you arrive at 7:45 a.m., save it for later. If you are driving Flight of Passage, also press Navi River Journey while you are there. Otherwise, skip them both.
If you arrive at 7:45 or later or if you arrived early and experienced Pandora, your next step is to go to Kilimanjaro Safaris. When you get back, head to Everest Expedition and then to DINOSAUR. It’s about walking very early in the day, but it eliminates all the attractions with possible waits and frees you up the rest of the day.
At 9:45, you are back near Discovery Island and you can see Winged Encounters. You can then head to Africa and catch the Lion King celebration at 10:30. If you’ve reached the rope, you’ve been to the park for 3 hours and you’ve already done 3 walks and 2 shows. Look what a go!
You’ve been awake for a long time and walking around a lot, so you might feel a little itchy when the show is over. Around 11, beat the lunch crowds and eat. You are right near the Harambe market, which is a good choice.
After lunch, we arrived at the hottest and busiest noon hours. It’s a great time to avoid the crowds and watch tailless animals. Take your time doing the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and then watch the epic Kite Tails adventure at 12:15. Then explore Maharajah Jungle Trek and be sure to go back in time for the 1:30 presentation of Feathered Friends in Flight. After the show, spend some time on the Discovery Island Trails and see how hard it can be to make a mistake.
In the mid-afternoon, take the Wildlife Express to enjoy the Conservation Station and Affection Section, another part of the park that not many people see. When you’ve finished this, it may be 3:30 or 4 and, after riding Kali River Rapids, you’ve already done the whole park. If you didn’t get on the ropes, now is the time to hit Pandora and experience Navi River Journey. If it came to the fall of the rope, now is the time … to take a nap. Or just a leisurely stroll through the park or a second (and third and fourth) safari. Prepare your time, eat some dinner and go to the night light.
You will definitely want to experience Pandora at night. Safaris near sunset are always a blast, and the 50th anniversary “lighthouses” at the Tree of Life are fun too.
How can I tour Animal Kingdom with Genie +?
A note before I start: This is the strategy I had the majority problems with. There are so few Genie + reservations that it will really save you time (especially on anything other than the busiest days). These are Navi River Journey, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids and Kilimanjaro Safaris. On crowded days, as it is supposed to be next week, this list is further reduced to Navi River Journey and perhaps Kilimanjaro Safaris. So I will put a strategy below, but mine real the strategy would be one of the following:
- Release the rope and do not use Genie + on the day of your Animal Kingdom.
- Don’t drop the rope, though do pay for individual Lightning Lane access for one-way flight only. For my family, this could save us significant money, as we would only pay for two people, instead of four humans needing Genie + for the day
- Buy Genie +, start the day at Animal Kingdom and try to make two Genie + reservations, then go to any other park, where I can make more use of Genie +
Here’s the good news about Genie + with Animal Kingdom – you’ll get up early anyway so you can go to the park when it opens. At 7 a.m., open the app and make a Genie + reservation, ideal for Navi River Journey. Your rope drop strategy will be very similar to the one that is not Genie. If you are there before 7:45, continue and head towards Flight of Passage. Otherwise, skip this step for now.
Then go ahead and take advantage of the low morning lines on Expedition Everest, as it is not suitable for Genie +. Then wrap it with DINOSAUR (and even Triceratop Spin if this is your jam). At 9am or earlier, if you’ve already been able to access Navi River Journey, you can pick up your second Genie + reservation. Go ahead and head to Kilimanjaro Safaris this time. Fill in any time from now until these slots open with things like Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, Maharajah Jungle Trek or Discovery Island Trails.
At 11 a.m., you can get your third Genie + reservation (or earlier, if you’ve already taken advantage of Kilimanjaro’s safaris). This time, Kali River Rapids will save you more time. Now is also a good time for early lunch as it has been spinning for hours. The Flame Tree BBQ is a good idea: the upside is that you can see a unique 11:15 KiteTails perspective and in addition, you’re also well positioned to quickly go to the 11:45 Wings dating program .
It’s hard to know what Genie + reservations you’ll have and when you’ll need to use them. Spend the afternoon using them as best you can and also look It’s hard to be an insect. If you have a great break between Genie + return times, it’s a good time to use the Wildlife Express to head to the Affection Section and Conservation Station.
If I’ve learned anything from writing these articles, it seems that (at least theoretically), Genie + will be the hardest to use, combined with a reliable plan, in Animal Kingdom. There are only too few options and this leaves out the flow of a “normal” day.
Are you planning to be at Animal Kingdom the week of October 19th? Do you have any idea whether or not to try Genie +? Let us know in the comments.