Whenever a Disney theme park opens for the day, there's a rush of people who run to the most popular rides. They know that the lines will only get longer, so getting into the queue first is essential to avoid standing in long lines. In fact, a good portion of your vacation at Walt Disney World will be spent on determining the best ways to avoid long lines. But there are plenty of attractions at the parks that are loads of fun that don't require a line at all.
Specifically, at Disney's Animal Kingdom, when the crowds are rushing to get on the Kilimanjaro Safari ? a simulation of an African truck safari that showcases lions, giraffes and elephants ? they could slow down and take in Discovery Island, which sits in the center of the park.
The walkways of Discovery Island are flanked by birds, turtles, monkeys and other exotic animals from all over the globe lounging in habitats easily viewable by any park guest. There are peaceful waterfalls, small ponds and other nature features that drown out the hustle and bustle of the busy theme park. It's an oasis for both the animals housed there and the guests weary of crowds.
But most kids want to see slightly more "famous" animals that are far likelier to capture their imaginations. Each of the major "continents" featured at Animal Kingdom, Africa and Asia, have walking trails that feature just such animals.
Gorillas are the main draw to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. There are multiple opportunities to see them, including a close encounter at their nests that they've built near a glass observation area. There are also areas with hippos, fish, birds and even smaller creatures like snakes and frogs.
On the other side of the park, in Asia, you can treat yourself to a view of tigers, fruit bats, dozens of species of birds and a flying fox on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
However, before you set out on your expedition with your kids, you may want to stop and take the Wilderness Explorers oath. Based on the scout troop from the Pixar movie Up, csst members will supply your child with a field guide to help your kids find all of the animals worth seeing. It's interactive, educational and will earn the kids stickers for each animal spotted. And what kid doesn't like a sticker, right?
There's plenty of animals to keep your family busy the entire day, and you won't have spent one minute in line. It can be uninterrupted family time, which is a true rarity these days.