Animal Kingdom Secret Shortcuts

Did you know the average person walks 7-10 miles daily at Walt Disney World? Besides wearing comfortable shoes and taking frequent breaks, we have one additional tip for dealing with all that walking. Use the secret Disney shortcuts.

It’s easy to get around the parks by following the main pathways. But sometimes, you’re running late for a dinner reservation or a ride return time, and you need to move fast. That’s where the shortcuts come in. These lesser-used paths are unknown to most guests and can quickly get you from one land to the next.

Let’s jump right into our list of secret shortcuts at Walt Disney World.

Magic Kingdom

Main Street U.S.A. to Tomorrowland

If you’re fighting the crowds on Main Street and want to get to Tomorrowland quickly, take the path through Tomorrowland Terrace. From Main Street, take a sharp right just past The Plaza Restaurant. Follow the path through Tomorrowland Terrace into Tomorrowland. The pathway is always open even if the restaurant is closed. Avoiding the busy park hub gets you quickly around the parades and between Main Street and  Space Mountain.

Main St. Emporium Shortcut

Main Street U.S.A. Emporium

This secret shortcut through the Emporium Shops on Main Street allows you to quickly enter and exit the Magic Kingdom. The air-conditioned pathway through the stores stretches from the Emporium to just outside the Crystal Palace. This shortcut is very helpful during parades or fireworks.

Frontierland Boardwalk

Frontierland Boardwalk

Between the Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Railroad, you’ll find a little used path along the river. It provides much-needed shade and gives you scenic views of Tom Sawyer’s Island and Big Thunder Mountain. Use this path when parades have taken over Frontierland or to avoid crowds around Splash Mountain.

Adventureland to Frontierland and Liberty Square

1. The first path is a breezeway near Aloha Isle, home of the famous Dole Whip. This pass-through gets you to Frontierland while avoiding the Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain crowds.

2. You’ll find the second pass-through between Adventureland and Liberty Square. This pathway is helpful after a parade when most people head toward the castle. Take this shortcut, and you’ll find yourself in a much calmer Adventureland. The bonus on this path is the restrooms hidden inside.

Adventureland to Fantasyland

If you’re in Adventureland or Frontierland and want to get to Fantasyland near the castle, you’ve got a long walk ahead of you.  This shortcut shortens the walk and avoids the crowds on the main pathways. From Adventureland, head toward the hub of the park. Before you get to  the Adventureland sign, look for a rarely used path on the left. This pathway passes Liberty Square and ends just behind Cinderella’s Castle in Fantasyland.

Backstage Shortcut

This shortcut from the park entrance to Tomorrowland runs behind the shops on the right side of Main Street USA. On entering the park, look for the path on the right just past Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. After taking this path, you’ll end up closer to the park’s hub near the Plaza Restaurant. Turn right from there and go through Tomorrowland Terrace to get to Tomorrowland. Or turn left to get to other areas of the park. Use this path also if you want to avoid Main Street while trying to leave the park. This path is only available during the park’s busiest times, such as during the Halloween and Christmas parties.


Discovery Bridge

Discovery Bridge

The main pathway into the World Showcase can get very crowded. The Discovery Bridge is a lightly used shortcut to take you from the Mission Space/Test Track area into the World Showcase. The path begins to the right of Test Track. You’ll  quickly see another path on the left. This is the Discovery Bridge shortcut. As a bonus, about halfway down the path you’ll find seldom used bathrooms. Right after you pass these bathrooms, you’ll see another bridge that cuts off to the right. Don’t take this bridge as it will take you back to the main path. Stay straight, past the Odyssey building and continue on into the World Showcase near Mexico.

Nature Bridge

Nature Bridge

There’s a second shortcut on the other side of the park. The Nature bridge takes you from The Land Pavilion to The World Showcase near Canada. As you exit The Land, turn to your right. A little way down you’ll see a small garden path on the left. This is the beginning of the Nature Bridge path. This path is usually a little busier than the Discovery Bridge path but still much better than using the main pathway. One word of caution, if you’re at Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival, you might want to avoid the Nature Bridge. Food booths will be set up along the path and it can get very congested.

Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life Path

The Tree of Life sits in the center of Animal Kingdom. The rest of the park forms a circle around it. Many people choose to see the park in a circular pattern going from one land to the next only ever seeing the Tree of Life from a distance. However, there is a shortcut that takes you up close and personal with the tree. This pathway goes from the east side of Discovery Island to the west side near It’s a Bug’s Life. Not only is this a quick way to get from one side of the park to the other, you’ll also see some beautiful scenery along the way. 

Pandora to Africa

Most people head to the main pathway on Discovery Island to get from Pandora to Africa. They don’t realize that there’s a back exit from Pandora which leads you down an uncrowded path directly into Africa near Festival of the Lion King.

Dinoland to Everest

The usual way to access Asia and Expedition Everest is from Discovery Island. However, this path can get very crowded at times. If you’re searching for a faster way, head into Dinoland. Right after you cross the river, you’ll see a pathway on the left. This will put you on the path to the Finding Nemo building, Everest and Asia just beyond that.