Visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Kids – A Complete Guide

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While planning your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, you may wonder about visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I often hear people ask – well, it’s just like a zoo right? No, it’s not just a zoo. This park features so much for the whole family and shouldn’t be missed! Check out our complete guide to visiting with your kids!

Arriving at the Park

When you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you will arrive by bus if you are staying on-site. Otherwise, you may park in one of the lots or will be dropped off in one of the designated areas by ride share or an off-site hotel’s shuttle service.

As with the other parks, it is recommended to arrive early. This is especially the case if you would like to experience the most popular attractions. Disney’s Animal Kingdom often will open earlier compared to the other parks. Be sure to check the park hours on the app or the website so that you know when to arrive.

Must-Do Attractions

Floating Mountains at Pandora the World of Avatar

In my opinion, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has one of the best rides at Walt Disney World. Avatar Flight of Passage can be found in the Pandora area of the park and it is incredibly popular! This 3D attraction is based on the popular Avatar movie and has a height requirement of 44″. Rider swap is available for this attraction too.

Another popular attraction that is perfect for all ages is the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Although I do recommend doing this attraction earlier in the day, I have found that it tends to be a unique experience every time! You never know what animals you may see on this ride! Doing this ride later in the day, just prior to park close, is also great as the animals tend to be more active. Kids will love using the chart in the ride vehicles to spot all of the different animals! We have spotted several of the new babies at the park and we’ve even seen the lion roaring!

Giraffe at Kilimanjaro Safari

After you experience the safari, be sure to head to Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek. Along these walking trails, you will find even more animals from Africa and Asia.

Finally, a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not complete without seeing the Festival of the Lion King! The King has returned, in a modified show, and the whole family will love the energetic hosts, familiar songs and entertaining characters that come along with it!

Wilderness Explorers

The Wilderness Explorers is a great, FREE way to keep kids engaged throughout their visit!. Kids earn adventure badges, just like Russell from the Disney-Pixar movie Up, as they explore various areas of the park. This experience is currently modified for safety. However, kids can start this self-guided adventure by reporting to the Wildereness Explorers headquarters to pick up their handbook. This is located on the bridge as you head into the park toward the Tree of Life.

From there, they will earn up to 25 badges by participating in a variety of activities including animal observation and wilderness skills. Look for the Wilderness Explorer Troop Leaders as you explore to complete the different tasks. There is also a map in your handbook. Although this activity is technically geared toward elementary-aged kids, the cast members are great about tailoring the interactions and tasks to the ages of the kids in the group so that everyone feels included!

Characters

Character interactions are still modified at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. However, you can find some of your favorite characters floating down the Discovery River. Be on the lookout for Mickey & friends, Pocahontas, Chip and Dale and more!

Dining

If you are looking for a fun character meal, you can’t go wrong heading over to Tusker House! This restaurant just recently reopened and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some of your favorite friends! The meals are served family-style and the characters appear throughout your meal for socially distanced (but still fun) interactions. Don’t forget to ask for POG juice! It is a personal favorite!

There are also some great quick service options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you love your coffee, be sure to stop by Creature Comforts for your choice of Starbucks drinks. In addition, there are often some fun snacks here such as themed cupcakes or cake pops! Flame Tree Barbecue is a great place to get a quick lunch or dinner. The menu features kid-friendly options such as macaroni and cheese and some delicious entrees for the “big people” including ribs and chicken.

Baby Care Center

The Baby Care Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is located near the Creature Comforts, a quick service location on Discovery Island. This Baby Care Center is a bit hidden, back near the First-Aid Station. Like the other theme parks though, you will find several changing tables, quiet rooms to feed your baby, and space for your little ones to unwind and cool off. It’s very rarely busy here and I have also come here more than once to get my little one to sleep! There is a small amount of baby care supplies including baby food, formula, wipes, and even some cute Disney clothes available for purchase.

Whether it’s heading to the thrill rides, checking out an amazing show or exploring the wilderness, your kids will love the adventures waiting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! This park is definitely worth the visit and the memories that will be made!

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