A lot of how well the trip goes depends on preparation, which I go in to in more detail in the Magic Kingdom with Preschoolers article. In regard to Animal Kingdom with Preschoolers. you have to have a different mindset than any of the other parks. At first glance you may think there isn’t much do based on the number of rides, but let’s dig in to getting the most out of your Animal Kingdom visit.
Don’t Rush Through the Park
Animal Kingdom isn’t a half day park. You’ve probably heard differently from people that only focus on attractions, but that isn’t what Animal Kingdom is about. If you take the time to explore the park and take advantage of all the attractions, shows, unique restaurants, and animal encounters you’ll have a very fun and fulfilling day. So one recommendation would be to skip park hopping for the day.
A lot of the touring plans you’ll see from locals, experts, or frequent visitors for Animal Kingdom are targeted for Adults and Teens. So be sure to cater the trip to your preschooler and everyone will have a great time. It will probably include more time at Rafiki’s Planet Watch than trying to snag Lightning Lanes for Avatar Flight of Passage.
Animal Kingdom Attractions Height Requirements
- Affection Section – Any height
- Avatar Flight of Passage – Guests must be 44 inches (112 centimeters) or taller
- The Boneyard – Any height
- Conservation Station – Any height
- DINOSAUR – Guests must be 40 inches (102 centimeters) or taller
- Discovery Island Trails – Any height
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – Guests must be 44 inches (113 centimeters) or taller
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail – Any height
- It’s Tough to be a Bug! – Any height
- Kali River Rapids – Guests must be 38 inches (97 centimeters) or taller
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – Any height
- Maharajah Jungle Trek – Any height
- Na’vi River Journey – Any height
- Tree of Life – Any height
- TriceraTop Spin – Any height
- Wildlife Express Train – Any height
Just an FYI, Dinosaur only has a 40 inch height requirement but I would recommend watching a YouTube Ride Through. Its a dark and sometime scary ride so just take that in to account before getting on with a 4 or 5 year old that may be tall enough.
Restaurants for Picky Eaters
Do you have a preschooler that only eats chicken strips, fries, pizza, or mac& cheese? Me too! So these are 2 restaurants that I’ve found in Animal Kingdom that will cater to everyone.
Rainforest Café at Animal Kingdom
Rainforest Cafe is located at the entrance of the park and I highly recommend making a dining reservation ahead of time. They will have some walk up available day of but those go quickly and may not be close to the time you want to dine.
If you’ve never been to a Rainforest Cafe, they can be a lot of fun. It’s a jungle theme with animal animatronics that come to life at regular intervals.
- Cheese Sticks
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Paradise House Salad
- Fish Tacos
- Rainforest Burger
- Mini Hot Dogs
- Python Pasta – Butter Noodles Available
This is one of our go to restaurants at Animal Kingdom. I think we ate here twice in one day on our last trip. It has a great menu for the whole family and a very well themed, and air conditioned dining room.
- Walt’s Chili on Foot-long Cheese Dog
- 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
- Chicken Breast Nuggets (8 pieces)
- Impossible™ Spicy Southwestern Burger
- French Fries
- Macaroni & Cheese
Don’t Forget about the Animals and Shows
I know it may be obvious at a theme park name Animal Kingdom, not to skip the animal part. But it can be easy to do if you view this just like Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, or Hollywood Studios.
There are a few walk throughs in the lands that you will get to see a lot of animals. There is Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa, and Discovery Island Trails around the Tree of Life. These are great places to slow down, take in the landscape, and see the beautiful animals located in the park. Also a great spot in Animal Kingdom for your preschoolers to take a nap in the stroller while you take in the scenery.
Don’t forget the shows and be sure to check the app for the showtimes throughout the day. A few not to miss are Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King, Feathered Friends In Flight!, and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
Animal Kingdom with Preschoolers – Overall Tips
If your preschooler loves animals, this could easily be their favorite park. So fight the urge to make this a half day park and really take in all it has to offer. Yes, the other parks may have more rides and more characters that they would recognize from Disney+. But they don’t have the immersion that this park does. Once you really take the time to get to know the park, you’ll understand why a lot of people consider this the best themed park.
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