by Local Diva
We love Animal Kingdom, but unfortunately, it wears our young children out faster than the other parks, so we only last a couple of hours each visit. Here’s what a typical visit looks like for us:
We really enjoy Tusker House, and so we always start our day with an 8am reservation (an hour before park opening). That way our kids see the characters right off the bat, and the parents are fueled up!
Then we FastPass Kilimanjaro Safari – everyone’s favorite attraction. If you can’t get a fastpass, the earlier that you arrive at the park, the better chance you have at a shorter line.
Next, head over to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (that’s the one with gorillas!) and then hop on the Wildlife Express Train – it’ll take you right to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
While at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, my kids spend the majority of their time at the “Affection Section” – the petting zoo.
Then we usually hop back on the train in time to catch the “Flights of Wonder” show, which is on they way toward Expedition Everest (we do rider switch or single rider because we just cant miss this one!).
Our kids LOVE Finding Nemo: The Musical, and sitting in the air conditioning for 40 minutes typically buys us some more park time with the little ones, as we all take a much needed refreshing break!
When you finish with Nemo, you will find yourself in the heart of Dino Land USA – a child’s paradise. Games, rides, and a playground all geared toward children, coupled with the fact that the rest of the park is “boring” in the words of my five year old, means that we have arrived at our final stop! We spend some time playing the carnival style games, riding the child friendly rides, and I can’t lie…I eat the yummy candied nuts.
Finally, all rides and attractions aside, one of our favorite places at Animal Kingdom is “The Boneyard”. My kids absolutely love all of the space to run and play, and I love the line and merchandise freedom that we experience for the 30 minutes we spend inside the gates! Located within Dino Land USA, The Boneyard is open during park hours and is geared for children 10 and under. There is plenty of seating at picnic tables for adults, but I must warn you – this area is HUGE, and even when following my children around, I still lost sight of them here and there. The boneyard features lots of different slides and fun bridges to cross, multiple levels of rope bridges and mazes, and a dig site (where there is more seating for parents and fans, too!).
It is no surprise that following our fun, yet hot, time at this massive playground, we are done. C0nsidering that we manage all of those attractions before noon, my poor children are about at their breaking point by now. This is the make or break point for us, where we choose to force our kids along for more fun, or head back to the hotel to rest and eat lunch. I would suggest the second option, as just the walk OUT of the park at this point seems lengthy.
So, as a recap, our child-friendly half day at Animal Kingdom is as follows:
1. Kilimanjaro Safari
2. Pangani Trail
3. Wildlife Express Train
4. Petting Zoo
5. Flights of Wonder Show
6. Finding Nemo, the Musical
7. Dino Land USA games and rides
8. The Boneyard playground