We visited Animal Kingdom for the first time on our trip to WDW last September. Because there were so many things on our to-do list, we only opted to spend ½ day at AK. We arrived at the park, in true Wade fashion, an hour before the park opened and we were the first people in line to get in. Because we were only there for ½ day, I was very selective with our choices, and we honestly, didn’t see half of what the park has to offer. Here are our favorites for Animal Kingdom with a little one:
Kilimanjaro Safaris: This is what Animal Kingdom is all about, and perfect for kids of any age. You board a safari vehicle, and then travel on an African safari. The habitats are very open, with hidden (camoflauged or natural) barricades, so you are protected from the dangerous animals like lions and hippos, but animals like zebras, impalas, giraffes and rhinos roam free. Watering holes and salt licks are strategically placed to ensure that you have a good view of the animals, and some amazing pictures. Our entire group loved this so much that the only thing that stopped us from doing it twice was the long wait. I highly recommend getting to this attraction early in the day, or very late in the afternoon. Otherwise the lines can get very long. This is definitely a do-not-miss attraction!
The Boneyard: This is a huge dinosaur themed playground for kids. We all know that when you go to Disney, you wait in lines. This play area is perfect for letting your little ones explore, run and play, and not have to worry about lines for just a little while. Best part, there is only one entrance in and out of the boneyard, so even though it is a sprawling playground, you know your little ones are corralled. The playground equipment is designed like dinosaur skeletons, and they can run, slide and go crazy for a little while. If you are so included, you can also take your child into the covered sandpit (it’s not really sand, but rubber), and let them dig and explore for bones and fossils, while you prop your feet up for a few minutes and enjoy the shade. Once again, our entire family enjoyed the boneyard immensely.
TriceraTop Spin: This is a Dumbo style ride, shaped like a dinosaur. Roo thought it was fun, and considering there aren’t a lot of rides that he could do at AK, we had to give it go.
It’s Tough To Be A Bug: This is a 3-D presentation about life as a bug. Found inside the Tree of Life, this movie does have some special effects. We didn’t have a chance to see this, but I’ve been told we need to give it a try next time.
Wilderness Explorers: Hi! This is Meredith filling-in for this portion because Amy wasn’t able to experience this and I feel that it’s a MUST for anyone with kids. This is a free attraction and can be played at any time during your day in the AK. Simply see a Cast Member for your book and pencil on the bridge as you exit the Oasis. (It’s the bridge where you first see the Tree of Life). This fun and interactive attraction sets your little adventurer out on a quest to earn as many Wilderness Explorer badges (think Russell from Pixar’s Up) throughout the AK. Use the map to locate the WE stops along your way and discover all sorts of unique and captivating bits of info and hands-on, one-on-one experiences with some pretty cool creatures. At most of the stops you’ll seek out a WE cast member and complete the task or answer the question in the book. If you get it right, you earn your badge!
And can I just say that the CM’s that work the WE stops are some of the BEST CM’s because they get so excited when you show up genuinely wanting to learn and interact. Boo learned how to write her name in Hindi, played “twinkle, twinkle, little star” on an actual Indonesian musical instrument, determined what was hurting a turtle by examining its x-ray, converted currencies based on the day’s values, and discussed why in the world flamingos are pink. And that’s just a few of the things you’ll get to do and explore. She actually ended up earning 25 of the ~30 badges!! We just paid attention to the WE map as we made our way through the park and hit most all of them. She’s even wanting to complete the remaining ones on her next trip so she can say she did them all!! This “attraction” is hands-down one of the BEST ways to experience the AK because it makes slowing down and appreciating the animals and all that nature has to offer incredibly enjoyable. Whoever said that spending a day in the Disney parks ISN’T educational has never experienced the Wilderness Explorers! “The Wilderness must be explored!! Ca-caw ca-caw! Roar!!!!” °o° ~M
I definitely know that there is tons that Animal Kingdom has to offer that we haven’t gotten the chance to see/do yet, but once again, that’s why we want to go back! Did I mention your favorite attraction for your kiddo at Animal Kingdom? Leave us some love in the comment section and let us know your thoughts! Toodles! °o° ~A