Before we review some of the best-kept Animal Kingdom secrets, let’s first look at the history of the park.
Walt Disney World Resort opened Animal Kingdom as a zoological park dedicated to and themed around animal conservation and the natural environment – something Walt Disney himself believed in and promoted. The park opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998, and today covers 580 acres, making it the largest theme park in the world. Although Animal Kingdom has fewer visitors than the three other Walt Disney World theme parks, it still receives roughly 11 million visitors per year and is the 7th most visited theme park in the world.
See our Disney World History page to see how the park has evolved over the years.
Animal Kingdom Secret Entrance
If you plan on arriving near opening time, expect to find long lines at Animal Kingdom’s entrance gates. For a less crowded secret entrance, head straight to the Rainforest Café (on the far left) and walk through the gift shop. Just outside the gift shop’s rear exit are two turnstile park entrances. This gate opens at the same time as the main gate, and positions you closer to Kilimanjaro Safaris to beat the crowds.