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Animal Kingdom Planner
Baby Care : At Discovery Island you can stop in to nurse babies in the quiet baby-care center, which is equipped with rocking chairs and low lighting. There are changing tables, which are also available in restrooms (including some men's restrooms), and you can buy disposable diapers, formula, baby food, and pacifiers.
Cameras: Disposable cameras are widely available, and you can buy film and digital memory cards at several shops throughout the park. If a Disney photographer takes your picture, ask for a Disney PhotoPass—later, you can view and purchase the pictures online or at the park's photo center in the Oasis.
First Aid: The first-aid center, staffed by registered nurses, is in Discovery Island, and at least a dozen automated external defibrillators are in key park areas.
Guest Relations: This office will help with tickets at a window to the left just before you pass through the turnstile. Once you've entered, Guest Relations staffers in the Oasis can provide park maps, schedules, and answers to questions. They can also assist with dining reservations, ticket upgrades, and services for guests with disabilities. Oasis 407/938-2785.
Lockers: Lockers are in Guest Relations in the Oasis. Rental fees are $7 to $9 (depending on size) for a day plus a $5 key deposit.
Lost People and Things: Instruct your kids to speak to someone with a Disney name tag if you become separated. Lost children are taken to the baby-care center, where they can watch Disney movies, or to Guest Relations, whichever is closer. If you do lose your child, contact any cast member immediately and Disney security personnel will be notified.
Animal Kingdom Lost and Found. To retrieve lost articles on the same day, visit or call Lost and Found, which is at Guest Relations. Oasis, Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, FL, 32830. 407/938–2785.
Main Lost and Found. If more than a day has passed since you've lost something, contact the Main Lost and Found office at the Magic Kingdom Ticket and Transportation Center. 407/824–4245.
Package Pick-Up: You can have shop clerks forward purchases to Package Pick-Up near the Main Entrance in the Oasis, so that you won't have to carry them around all day. Allow three hours for the journey. If you're staying at a Disney hotel, you also can have packages delivered there.
Services for People with Disabilities
Guests using wheelchairs will have ready access to restaurants, shops, and most attractions—including the Festival of the Lion King theater at Camp Minnie-Mickey, Finding Nemo: The Musical theater in DinoLand U.S.A, and the Tree of Life theater showing It's Tough to Be a Bug! (Theaters also are accessible to ECVs.) Some monitor-equipped attractions (such as the Tree of Life) have reflective-captioning boxes.
Scripts and story lines for all attractions are available, and you can book sign-language interpreters with notice of two or more weeks. Large Braille park maps are by Guest Relations and near the Tip Board at the entrance to Discovery Island. Guest Relations is also where you can borrow assisted-listening, handheld-captioning, and video-captioning devices with a refundable deposit. Service animals are allowed in most, but not all, areas of the park.
You can rent wheelchairs ($12 daily, $10 for multiple days) and ECVs ($50 per day plus a refundable $20 security deposit) at Garden Gate Gifts in the Oasis. You can't, however, reserve these items, so arrive early to get one—particularly if you want an ECV.
Stroller Rentals: Garden Gate Gifts in the Oasis rents strollers. Singles are $15 daily, $13 for more than one day; doubles run $31 daily, $27 multiday.
Animal Kingdom Guided Tours. For a closer look at the park's animals or design features, call WDW Tours to reserve a behind-the-scenes tour. Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, FL. 407/939–8687.
Backstage Safari. This tour ($72) takes an in-depth look at animal conservation, stopping at the state-of-the-art veterinary hospital and other behind-the-scenes areas. It's a great way to learn about animal behaviors and how handlers manage a diverse population of critters in captivity. The tour includes the park's Kilimanjaro Safaris ride, so you will see plenty of exotic creatures in their habitats. Participants must be at least 16 years old. $72. Mon.,Wed.–Friday, 8:30–11:30 and 1–4.
Wild Africa Trek. You and 11 other guests will cover exciting new ground on this three-hour, walking-riding adventure into unexplored areas of the park. For a close-up view of the hippos, you'll wear a special vest with a harness that's tethered to a rail at the edge of a bluff. You'll cross a rope bridge above a pool of Nile crocodiles. Your exclusive open-air safari vehicle makes multiple stops for leisurely viewing of giraffes, wildebeests, cheetahs, and other creatures of the savanna. Burning all those calories pays off when breakfast or lunch treats are served (think prosciutto, Brie, fresh fruit) at the open-air Boma Landing on the edge of the savanna. The tour is good for anyone age 8 and older who's fit. Included in the admission price is a CD-photo souvenir of your trek. 407/939–8687. $189–$249. at least four times daily, beginning at 8 am.
Wild By Design. This tour offers insights into the art, architecture, history, and landscape of Animal Kingdom. You'll learn how stories of exotic lands like Harambe in Africa are told and about Discovery Island's architectural touches, including exotic folk art from Bali and masterful animal carvings that grace the iconic Tree of Life. You'll also get a glimpse of behind-the-scenes buildings where animals receive care. The tour is for ages 14 and older. 407/939–8687. $60. Mon. & Wed.–Fri., 8:30 am to 11:30 am.
Try to visit during the week. Pedestrian areas are compact, and the park can feel uncomfortably packed on weekends.
Plan on a full day here. That way, while exploring Africa's Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, say, you can spend 10 minutes (rather than just two) watching vigilant meerkats stand sentry or tracking a mama gorilla as she cares for her infant.
Arrive a half hour before the park opens as much to see the wild animals at their friskiest (morning is a good time to do the safari ride) as to get a jump on the crowds.
For updates on line lengths, check the Tip Board, just after crossing the bridge into Discovery Island.
Good places to rendezvous include the outdoor seating area of Tusker House restaurant in Africa, in front of DinoLand U.S.A's Boneyard, and at the entrance to Festival of the Lion King at Camp Minnie-Mickey.
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