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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tip Tuesday: Rope drop at Animal Kingdom

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

This week, I'll continue my series on what to do at rope drop in each of the four parks at Walt Disney World. This week we'll brave the wilds at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Now some may think there's no real need for a rope drop plan at Animal Kingdom because not as many people go to Animal Kingdom as opposed to the other three parks.

Ahh, but you just might be wrong.

One key factor is that Animal Kingdom doesn't have as many major attractions (compared to the other three parks). This means the initial demand for those attractions will be high, despite lower overall crowds.

OK, enough pre-game analysis. Time for rope drop!

As you first make your way through the Oasis to Discovery Island, you have a big choice to make: left or right. This may sound like I'm being facetious, but I'm quite serious. You're pretty much deciding between the Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest.

So which way do you go? To be honest, it's a decision that can go either way, and I'd say some of that depends on the weather. If it's raining, I would probably head left toward Africa and the Safaris. Why? The Safari vehicles are covered, while the Expedition Everest cars aren't. Depending on how hard it's raining, Everest might not even be running.

The weather also plays another key deciding factor: if the forecast calls for very hot temperatures later in the day then you definitely want to go to the Safaris. Why? The animals are much more active in the morning as opposed to during the heat of the afternoon.

If, however, you're not all that interested in seeing the animals (why are you at Animal Kingdom then?), then you should hang a right and head for Expedition Everest. Either way, you'll want to take a quick glance at the FastPass areas to see what the line looks like. If you can, grab a quick FastPass and then either go into the attraction or head to the opposite attraction and go into the standby line. If, however, the FastPass line is pretty long, you'll probably have a shorter wait going straight into the standby line and trying to get a FastPass afterward.

Don't forget about some of the other great attractions at Animal Kingdom, such as Finding Nemo the Musical and Dinosaur! These can be great attractions to take in while you're waiting for a FastPass window to open. The various walkways and paths also are great places for discovery.

Don't forget that you may be able to hold more than one FastPass at at time. I'll talk more about an alternate approach to rope drop in a future post. In the meantime, enjoy your adventure!

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