[DISCLAIMER: The following was originally written by Jerry Skids back in 2009. He is a big Disney fan. He has his own WDW-themed podcast, which you can find here, or here. This is 100% Jerry’s words, completely unedited, out of respect to Jerry. If you are confused by any of the acronyms, check out the previous posts. My comments are listed in [ ] – anything in ( ) are all Jerry’s words. I have not fact-checked any of this information. Obviously some things have definitely changed since 2009, and should be used for comparative purposes only, as many attractions have come and gone since the time this was written. However, that does not invalidate his suggestions one iota. This is still useful, and I think this is so amazing, that I want to share his knowledge and wisdom. Thank you Jerry! Posted with his permission. – Editor]
WDW For The Single Guy: an experiment, part 20
DAK: Touring, Plans, Tips, and Strategies and stuff
- As always, get to the park an hour early.
- The CMs at DAK are the least “magical.” So don’t expect anyone to be nice unless they are the animal experts throughout the trails or at Conservation Station.
- There are fewer attractions at DAK, so expect more crowding. People tend to leave here at 2 – 3 PM, so once they do, try the crowded attractions.
- Once “The Adventure Begins” finishes, Safari Mickey, Goofy, Minnie and Donald tell you what you’re in store for. Then rush to your right. Just make sure when you enter through the turnstiles, you don’t stop in The Oasis and keep to the right side of the road. Then wait in the center of the rope. Some people will run left to the Safari, and other will run right, to Everest. You want the latter. Since you were in the center, you’ll now be on the left side of your group [Jerry drew me a little illustration, which is very nice, but I believe you can picture this in your mind.] – CMs will usually lead you there anyway. Once you get to Everest, grab a FastPass and run up the standby line. The best way is to have someone grab the FP, then rush to meet up in the line with you. Ask for the front. Then ride.
- If you want to try and beat the crowd, stay all the way to the right, then when you get to Dinoland USA, break off and sprint towards Finding Nemo. If the CM is walking slow enough, you’ll get there before everyone else. But honestly, sometimes the CM just lets you run when you get near Asia. So it’s up to you.
- After Everest, run over to Kali, ride it once or twice – they will usually give you the option early in the morning. Check out the Maharajah Jungle Trek right by the exit of Kali. Once you’re done, go get FPs for the Safari (or ride Everest again). While you’re waiting for the FPs, walk the Pangani Exploration Trail. Then ride the Safari. Go to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. See Flights of Wonder, then ride Everest if you haven’t used your FP yet. If it’s around 12:30 PM, go get lunch at Flame Tree BBQ and get on line for Nemo. Once the show is over, go see Festival of the Lion King. Dinner at Yak + Yeti. Now go to Dinoland and ride the 3 rides there. See the parade, go to It’s Tough To Be A Bug, then leave through the Oasis and check it out. Bye bye AK!
- [Jerry has this, and the paragraph above, numbered 6A and 6B, respectively, but WordPress won’t let me customize the list format. – Ed] Here’s the second option, if you want to go to an earlier safari. After Everest, run over through Africa towards Camp Minnie-Mickie. On the way, get a Safari FP – go see Festival of The Lion King. Then ride the Safari. Get to Kali as fast as possible. If the line is short, ride. Then do the Maharajah Jungle Trek, and run over to Everest to get a FP. Get over to Flights of Wonder and watch. If you have time for Rafiki’s Planet Watch, do it. Again have lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, and watch Nemo. Go to Pangini, then see It’s Tough To Be A Bug. Then do Dinoland. Leave through The Oasis.
- If you are going to eat both meals at DAK – only choose Flame Tree BBQ and Yak + Yeti.
- Be open-minded and try everything. Disney rides and shows are rarely what you’d anticipate.
- Remember to be patient, and look closely if you want to see the animals on the trails.
- If you decide to split DAK into a day and a half, remember to do the Safari, Everest, and Maharajah in the day one morning, and Everest, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and whatever else another morning for a full chance to see all the great animal stuff.
- Never park-hop here unless you’re just trying to do one or two attractions. – Even then, it’s a pointless trip since it closes so early, and you’ll waste more time on transportation than in the parks.
- Nice places to rest at DAK: A) Between Africa and Asia, there is a little off-track area with tables and chairs overlooking running streams. It is a nice hidden departure from all the craziness, and there are refreshments nearby; B) Gazebo behind Flame Tree BBQ – follow the path towards the water alongside the left of Flame Tree – there are ceiling fans, and it’s quite nice; C) Benches near exit from Dinosaur – it’s outdoor and covered in a gazebo-like structure with a nearby water fountain; D) Side of Tusker House – it’s fairly quiet over here.
- Best restrooms – The best is at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Conservation Station. The bathrooms are sparkly clean and have facts about peeing and stuff, which are hilarious. [see below] They also have this ridiculously strong hand dryer called the X-cellerator and no hand towels (environmental reasons). The bathrooms near Dinosaur are usually pretty spotless as well.
- Worst Restrooms – There’s really no terrible bathrooms here. There’s a not-so-clean one in Chester and Hester and a REALLY busy one in Harambe near the Safari. I assume Camp Minnie-Mickey’s is nasty, and I know the one inside Pizzafari smells bad – but so does Pizzafari.
- If you have time during your vacation, try to do a day and a morning at DAK, but if not, then plan for a full day. You’ll be happily fulfilled enough 🙂 and you’ll be able to do almost everything!
So That’s The 4 Parks – The Next Chapter Is Gonna Be FUN!
[to be continued…]