Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World may be the hottest, most difficult park in which to cool down. Finding spots to rest and catch a break from the heat during Florida’s long summers is essential. Since Animal Kingdom is not (yet) open late, most of your time there will be during the heat of the day. It also seems to be more humid than the other parks. Most of the queues and many attractions are outside in the heat. Here is a guide to staying cool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Discovery Island is the central hub of Animal Kingdom. Island Mercantile, the best shop in the park, is large and cool. While there are no seats, some have been known to sit on the lowest shelf to briefly rest their legs. Pizzafari is a quick service restaurant that offers A/C and ample seating if you want a comfortable place to rest and have a meal or snack. The best spot on Discovery Island to cool down is at the attraction It’s Tough to Be a Bug. The queue and the attraction are cool and protected from the sun. The lines are usually fairly short. Reviews of the show are mixed. I like it. My wife does not. It can be intense for some little ones.
Africa has the lone mister in Animal Kingdom to spray you off and cool you down. It is located near Tamu Tamu refreshments. Mombasa Marketplace is sheltered from the sun, but not very large. Aside from these options, shade is about the best you will get. This can be found on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. The Festival of the Lion King is indoors, but the queue is not and can be long and hot. Part of Rafiki’s Planet Watch (not really part of Africa) is indoors and offers glorious A/C.
In Asia, Kali River Rapids will almost always cool you down as you are soaked with water. The line is often long, though. A well timed FastPass here would be a good idea. For shade, the Maharajah Jungle Trek is your best bet.
Dinoland, to me, is the hottest part of Animal Kingdom is with all of the concrete soaking up the sun. Fortunately, there are several places to cool down. Restaurantosaurus has A/C and seating, but the food is maybe the worst in the park. Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures is an indoor shop to escape to the heat. Much better than these, though, are the attractions Finding Nemo the Musical and Dinosaur. Finding Nemo is a wonderfully entertaining, live action show that offers 40 minutes of seating and A/C. The wait outside is not very shaded, and if the park is busy, you will need to get there early. A FastPass during the heat of the day would be well placed. The queue and ride for Dinosaur are both inside. The line is short during slow times, long at others.
I hope that this is a helpful guide to keep you comfortable at Animal Kingdom. Check out prior posts for Epcot (Staying Cool At Epcot) and Magic Kingdom (A Dad’s Guide to Places to Rest in Magic Kingdom). Any comments and suggestions are welcome. Follow us via email,twitter, Facebook, Instagram.