For Spring Break this year we decided to take a trip to Orlando, Florida. It was a great opportunity to visit with the boys’ grandparents as well as take Graham on a surprise adventure to Walt Disney World and Sea World! You can see more about our trip and suggestions for Sea World here: Visiting Sea World Orlando With Young Kids.
Because we were only in Florida for a short time these were the only two parks we visited. We decided on Animal Kingdom because it was supposed to be the slower park that day (and it was). We visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios three years ago during the first annual Disney Social Media Moms Conference we were invited to. So, we knew what to expect and decided a less crowded park would be good for us and two young boys.
If you are planning a trip to Animal Kingdom and your kids are still young here are our suggestions for a great time with less frustrations and getting where you need to be when you need to be there!
Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition
My advice to you is to get to the park as soon as it opens and head straight to this attraction. This is one of the most popular and you are going to want to head here before it is super crowded. Also, the animals are awake in the morning so you have more of an opportunity to see them up and active. If you are visiting the park in the summer this is the perfect time to make sure you stay cool. Both boys (ages 4 and 18 months) enjoyed this ride. It is a Safari type truck with bench seats and a covered top. You need to make sure to hang onto your kids and your cameras. The truck does not stop if something falls over the rails and you are not allowed to get out. Another great tip is to sit towards the left hand side. This is where most of the animals are even though you will be able to see them from either side. I actually got a great view of an elephant on the right side. The ride does follow a story line and you will find yourself chasing poachers towards the end in order to save the baby elephant. Again, not scary at all and both boys really enjoyed it.
|This was from the first year we visited… hence the jacket! It was February.|
This is a ride that just about anyone can ride. We were able to take both boys on and they both enjoyed it. Think Dumbo ride but with Dinosaurs. It is the same ride, but less of a wait than the popular one at Magic Kingdom. Both times we have visited Animal Kingdom there has been no wait for this ride. I would say to head to this ride either after your trip to The Boneyard or after the Safari. You definitely do not want to be on this in the heat of the day.
What a joy for the younger kids! I think this attraction was our saving grace when Davis was tired of being in the stroller. Not only do you have fun things to climb and slide down you can also go dig in the rocks! I love that the Dinosaur Dig had a worker there handing out pails and shovels and interacting with the kids. He was very kind and told us the rules of the dig right away. The boys enjoyed this opportunity to stretch their legs. My advice would be to visit The Boneyard either when it is very hot (mostly covered) or when the kids need a good run!
These are the three must do’s for your younger kids but here are other attractions to consider that we also enjoyed:
- Maharajah Jungle Trek: Like taking a stroll through the jungle! There are tigers, bats, Komodo dragons, gorgeous birds and so much more. You will get hot and there is quite a bit of walking so visit accordingly.
- Pagani Forest Exploration Trail: Such a great way to see things like gorillas, meerkats, hippos and other exciting animals.
- Finding Nemo- The Musical: We skipped the musical this year just because of Davis and his squirmy nature. However, we visited this when Graham was almost 3 and he adored it! The entire family enjoyed the bright colors, fun songs and fascinating effects.
- Wildlife Express Train: This is the only way to get to the Affection Section and is a fun way to explore! Keep in mind that you will have to break down strollers in order to ride.
- Affection Section: Want a chance to pet some pretty cool animals? Make sure to make a stop. You can even brush the goats. We visited at the heat of the day so the boys were ready to go after about 10 minutes.