Visiting any of the four Walt Disney World parks in Orlando with kids of any age can be magical. Parents wondering what there is to do with younger children will find a myriad of options. One often overlooked park for kids of preschool age is Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here is a look at the best things to do at Animal Kingdom with toddlers and preschoolers.
The very first park I took my preschoolers to on our first visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando was Animal Kingdom. Once regarded by some as a half-day park, Animal Kingdom has night time shows and extended hours that will keep preschoolers busy all day. Wondering what to do with toddlers at Animal Kingdom? Read on to see the best things to do at Animal Kingdom with toddlers and preschoolers.
Kilimanjaro Safaris with Toddlers
Kilimanjaro Safaris is the pinnacle ride of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Families line up to experience the closest thing to an African safari in North America. The ride offers the chance to see more than 30 different species of exotic African wildlife. Toddlers and preschoolers love the large open air vehicles and can easily see out the sides and back of the truck.
TravelingMom Tip: The animals are more active at night. Try to score a FastPass+ selection for right around sunset. The cooler air will make the 18-minute ride easier with preschoolers.
Festival of the Lion King for Toddlers
Disney’s Lion King has been keeping kids entertained for years. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the catchy show tunes, incredible story, and dazzling costumes. Watching the “Festival of the Lion King” is certainly one of the best things to do at Animal Kingdom with toddlers. Preschoolers are entertained by the colorful costumes and characters. The run time of the show is a toddler-friendly 30 minutes.
Traveling Mom Tip: Even using FastPass+, there’s a chance you’ll end up in the back row. To be closer to the action, sacrifice a little park time so you can queue up in the entrance line early.
Disney understands that sometimes kids (and especially toddlers!) need a place to just be kids. One of the best places to do exactly that is at the Boneyard Playground in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Families are welcome into the large play structure where waterfalls serve as the perfect spot to cool down. Parents appreciate the gated entry and many shaded spots to sit and relax.
Traveling Mom Tip: Boneyard Playground is a great place to cool off and escape the Florida sun. Kids can cool off in the small water section located behind the Jeep.
You don’t need to head to the Magic Kingdom for your kids to meet some of their favorite Disney characters. In fact, parents find that character visits with preschoolers tend to be easier at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Expect a playful time with Goofy and Pluto in Dino Land and shorter lines for character visits across the park.
Traveling Mom Tip: Don’t miss preschooler favorite Doc McStuffins outside of the vet clinic at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
Finding Nemo the Musical
Another great show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for toddlers and preschoolers is Finding Nemo the Musical. The air-conditioned theater is a great place to sit, relax and marvel at the production. The live-action retelling of the movie will delight preschoolers. The show has a run time of 40 minutes.
Traveling Mom Tip: The start of the musical can be a little frightening for small children. Be prepared for the opening scene where Nemo’s mother dies.
Rivers of Light
The lovely Rivers of Light Show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes place after dark, but it is definitely worth staying up past bedtime. The colorful lily pads and animals that float in the water are mesmerizing for toddlers (and everyone else!). Make sure to stay until the very end for the grand finale that will delight and amaze the whole family.
TravelingMom Tip: Rivers of Light is the most popular attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Try and reserve a Fastpass+ selection to ensure you will be able to experience the show.
Best Things to Do at Animal Kingdom with Toddlers
These are only some of the best things to do at Animal Kingdom with Preschoolers. While these experiences top the list of the best attractions for preschoolers, there is so much more to see and do. Preschooler-friendly rides at Animal Kingdom, the Rainforest Cafe and even a petting zoo will round out your perfect day at Animal Kingdom with a toddler or preschooler.
When the kids get hungry, here’s where to find the best snacks for the money at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: