Worth the Wait – Animal Kingdom in 2022

When you visit a theme park, you face a single unavoidable constraint. A park only stays open for about 12 hours above average.

Obviously, you want to experience all the attractions during your visit. You may not have time to work in everything at some parks, though.


You face some tough choices because of this problem. So, what’s worth the wait at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Plenty!

Avatar Flight of Passage – 100 Minutes

You’ll only wait a substantial amount of time for five attractions at the park. So, the decision-making here works quite differently than, say, Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

flight of passage

Photo: touringplans.com

You probably will have time to experience everything. However, that partially depends on how much time you spend interacting with the animals.

I have listed several walkthrough attractions like Gorilla Falls Trail or Discovery Island Trails. They could change the math a bit.

Flight of Passage

Credit: Disney

Still, the one thing I’ll say for sure is that you want to ride Avatar Flight of Passage, no matter the wait.

Imagineers outdid themselves on this one, which has remained among the three most popular Walt Disney World attractions for several years now.

flight of passage navi

Photo: Theme Park Tourist via Wikipedia

Cast members describe this ride as Soarin’ on Steroids. Everyone needs something like that in their life.

Na’vi River Journey – 60 Minutes

The more divisive subject is Na’vi River Journey. I consider the attraction of an Imagineering triumph and one of the most immersive rides in the world.

Photo: Disney

Some tourists simply don’t get the ride, though. They find it boring and fake and nowhere near as good as Avatar Flight of Passage.

I strongly disagree and vastly prefer Na’vi River Journey. Still, I’d be remiss if I ignored how others feel.

Photo: DigitalSpy.com

So, my answer depends on the actual wait time when you’re thinking about riding Na’vi River Journey. As long as it’s under 45 minutes, what’s the harm?

If you’re spending any longer than that in line, you may not believe the bang is worth the buck.

Navi River

Photo: Disney

Festival of the Lion King – 45 Minutes Total

I had a challenging time estimating this one. The current version of Festival of the Lion King lasts a little under 30 minutes.

You won’t have to wait long for a seat most of the time. Disney posts the showtimes, and you can plan to arrive about 15 minutes early on regular days.

However, the park does experience larger crowds on holidays and in summer. Therefore, you may need to arrive 30-45 minutes early in such instances.

That could block out 75 minutes of your park day, which is a lot. Nevertheless, the show’s excellent, and I highly recommend it.


Should you feel pressed for time, Festival of the Lion King is something you could skip. You’d really be missing out, though.

Kilimanjaro Safaris – 45 Minutes

This attraction counts as the heart and soul of Animal Kingdom. It’s a jeep ride through many of the park’s animal habitats.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Photo: Disney

You won’t fully appreciate the majesty of Animal Kingdom until you ride Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Out of everything at the park, this attraction works as the one you should never skip. I’m even including Avatar Flight of Passage in that.

Disney World reopening

Photo: Disney

I honestly don’t care how long you must wait for Kilimanjaro Safaris. You gotta do it!

Kali River Rapids – 40 minutes

This answer changes depending on the weather.

Kali River Rapids

Photo: Disney

Kali River Rapids provides a well-needed splash on hot days at Animal Kingdom. And there are PLENTY of those.

Sadly, a catch-22 exists. On hotter days, the lines swell to the point that you could wait 60 minutes or more.


Photo: Disney

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that sort of wait. Instead, you should pick an indoor attraction like Festival of the Lion King or DINOSAUR.

You can cool off just as easily there and with less hassle. However, on ordinary days where the line is in the range of 30-40 minutes, ride Kali River Rapids!

Kali River Rapids

Photo: Disney

Disney has done a great job with theming on this raft ride, and it’s especially fun to do with a large group.

Expedition Everest – 35 minutes

This attraction qualifies as one of the best thrill rides on the East Coast. It’s a spectacular roller coaster that will entertain you with its story.

Park Injury 2021 Q3

Photo: Disney

You’ll also feel scared out of your wits at one seminal moment. Seriously, this one’s a masterpiece that you should ride at least once.

Remember that Single Rider is always an option when the crowds are longer, too!

Yeti Expedition Everest

Photo: Disney

DINOSAUR – 25 Minutes

I’m an evangelist for this ride, which I believe is among the most underrated at Walt Disney World.

On DINOSAUR, guests live out the fantasy of time travel. We visit the age of the dinosaurs in the climactic moments before a comet strikes.

Disney attractions open

Image Credit: Disney

The problem is that we’re unable to control our departure time, which means we may suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs. It’s a visceral experience.

No ride this good should require a wait of just 25 minutes. This one offers tremendous value. That’s why we regularly ride it two or three times per visit.


Photo: Disney

It’s Tough to Be a Bug – 20 Minutes

Half the time you’ll spend here is finding a seat and watching the show, which only lasts about eight minutes.

You’ll rarely need to wait for more than one performance for a seat, as the theater itself is spacious in size.

It's tough to be a bug

Photo: Disney

So, the only question is whether you want to watch a show about the movie, It’s a Bug’s Life. I say yes, but it’s okay to skip if you’re on a time crunch.

Wildlife Express Train – 15 minutes

Do you want to visit Conservation Station? If so, you don’t have a choice here.

The Wildlife Express Train connects the Africa themed land to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

You’ll want to spend some time here, especially if it’s your first trip to Animal Kingdom.

After all, it’s a theme park with a zoo. You’re missing the point if you skip Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Take the time to do this, my friends. Plus, the train ride is gorgeous!

Rafiki's Planet Watch

Photo: Disney

Tricera Top Spin – 10 Minutes

This conversation comes in two forms. The first is whether you can easily hop on Tricera Top Spin. That answer is yes!

The second is whether you want to ride TriceraTop Spin, and your answer likely depends on whether you have children.

Shortest Wait Times

Photo: Disney

This ride is no different for parents than Dumbo the Flying Elephant or Magic Carpets of Aladdin. So, it lacks excitement.

However, the nature of our discussion is whether something is worth the wait. In this instance, there’s little to no wait. So, I guess I have to say yes.

Triceratop Spin

Photo: Disney

I’m obviously not a fan of Tricera Top Spin, but it still beats the former Primeval Whirl, which was the worst attraction at Disney, in my opinion.

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Feature Photo: Disney

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