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The best places to relax at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The best places to relax at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Sometimes theme park crowds are too much and you need a break. Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers unique uncrowded spots to do that.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Credit: Maggie

There’s not another theme park in the world like Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here, the animals and nature are the focus with fun weaved throughout the park.

There are so many unique things to explore while visiting Animal Kingdom. Whether you’re looking for Disney merchandise, delicious food, fun attractions, or taking in the animal experiences and nature trails, there is something for everyone here.

The Animal Kingdom consists of these areas: Pandora, Dinoland, Asia, the Oasis, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Discovery Island. Take a look at EPCOT spots to avoid crowds HERE and Magic Kingdom’s best places to relax HERE. And don’t miss ways to escape Magic Kingdom crowds HERE.

The Oasis

Credit: Disney

When you enter or leave Animal Kingdom, you step into the Oasis. Unfortunately, many guests rush by this delightful area to catch an attraction or show.

But if you take your time here, you can enjoy secluded nooks, paths and beautiful nature. I (Susan) love to see animals in their habitats, especially baby ducks. They’re just so cute!

Credit: KtP

Make sure to check out Character Locator show times for the amazing Divine. She comes out of the closed fence on the right path as you enter the park. Then, before crossing the bridge to Discovery Island, look for shaded benches hidden in the rocks.

Be sure to catch Divine’s performance. She is so beautiful and graceful!


Credit: Disney

If you head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom early in the morning, you’ll see most of the crowd flocking to the Flight of Passage attraction first thing. Unless you’re toward the head of the pack, you may want to skip this attraction until later to avoid the massive crowds.

On the other hand, the Na’vi River Journey rarely has a wait first thing in the morning so that may be a better option. There is half wall seating at the restrooms also before you get to Na’vi.


Credit: Maggie

Dinoland is in a state of transition. Even though there have been hints that Zootopia and a Moana themed land, nothing has official been announced for replacing closed areas here.

At The Boneyard, a world of prehistoric fun awaits kids ages 10 and under. Here, kids explore across rope bridges, climb through mysterious caves and hurl down twisting slides. It’s one of the best play places at Disney World. Unfortunately, part of this area closed for refurbishment recently. Take a look HERE to see what’s open and what closed.

At the dig site, kids excavate fossils from a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Discover lots more dino-sized surprises as you have a blast digging up the past. Parents can enjoy a shaded seating area at the dig site, where large fans help cool things down.

Relax at the bet Disney playground, The Boneyard, on your next visit.


Credit: Susan

The Maharajah Jungle Trek trails are not to be missed. Not only will you see tropical foliage like Asian jungles, but you’ll also experience tropical birds, tigers, and Komodo dragons. Look for seated benches along the path too.


Credit: Katie P

The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is a self-guided walking tour. Meander along the winding paths through Pangani Forest and encounter African animals at every turn. Peer at a meerkat on a rocky perch, or a zebra on the savanna. Come face-to-face with a gentle troop of western lowland gorillas on a grassy hillside.

This area is seldom crowded and is a wonderful place to slow down your touring pace.

Credit: Susan

If you’re looking for an air-conditioning rest spot, then be sure to catch The Lion King show. In this show, guests delight in a larger-than-life 40-minute show filled with songs, pageantry and puppetry celebrating the classic movie, The Lion King.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Credit: Susan

Explore a variety of animal activities and experiences at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, including: 

  • Veterinary Treatment Room – Get a close-up look at the place we care for the animals—and even glimpse a procedure in progress. 
  • Nutrition Center – Watch experts prepare meals for the park residents. 
  • Amphibian, Reptile and Invertebrate Windows – Creep over to see some tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes and snakes. 
  • Science Center – Check out what resident scientists are working on. 
Credit: Susan

Also located at the Conservation Station, the Animation Experience lets your creativity shine as a talented Disney animator gives you step-by-step instruction on how to illustrate your own version of a popular Disney character. Class size is limited and you’re seated while you draw.

Inside and outside buildings at the Conservation Station, there are benches scattered throughout the areas.

Did you know that there’s a petting zoo at Disney World? Beside the Conservation Station is the Affection Section is the only petting zoo at Disney World. Meet a variety of unique, domesticated animals and interact with our animal care experts at this expansive, outdoor space. You’ll find seating here too.

Credit: Susan

Don’t miss the petting zoo at Affection Station.

To visit these areas, you need to take the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The last daily train departs from Harambe Station at 4:30 PM. The train itself is a fun and relaxing experience.

Discovery Island

Credit: Donna

While in Discovery Island, explore the nature trails that wrap around the Tree of Life. Here, you will see waterfalls, tunnels, and up close carvings on the animals within the Tree.

If you’re hungry and want a seated area with a view, look no further than Flame Tree Barbecue. This Quick Service restaurant serves traditional barbecue entrees and sides with lots of seating.

credit: Kenny

For a truly relaxing experience, eat outside at the waterfront seating area.  The fans and shade help keep you cool and you’ll have amazing views of the lake, wildlife, and the Expedition Everest attraction. You may even see a character Flotilla sailing across the river greeting guests!

Nomad Lounge is one of my (Susan) favorite places to escape the crowds and take a break in Animal Kingdom.  Located next to Tiffins, this lounge features a menu of small plates and drinks inspired by flavors across the globe.

Credit: Monica

There are many oversized chairs and couches to relax on, inside and out.  If you choose to sit on the oversized porch, you’ll take in views of Discovery River. 

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond is another wonderful air-conditioned spot to rest.

Credit: Susan

“Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!” is a 25 minute stunning show filled with puppets, singers and other performers set in Nemo’s underwater world. 

Have you found yourself needing a break at Animal Kingdom? If so, did you go to one of these spots or have another place to relax? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and share this with an Animal Kingdom loving friend.

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