5 things your toddler will love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom

disneys animal kingdom meet rafiki

Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida is, in my opinion, the most family-friendly of the Parks. There’s plenty for people of all ages to do and enjoy here, but we found that even Noah, our 15 month old toddler, could have a great time. Here are some of his favourite things to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

Kilimanjaro Safari
elephant on kilimanjaro safari tour at disney animal kingdom

The safari is a open-sided bus tour around an African savannah. During the 18 minute trip you are driven around past animals in enclosures that are open to the road, including elephants, giraffes and zebra. Sometimes the bus has to stop to let the animals cross the road. See cheetahs, and flamingo, as well as a pride of lions high up on their rock. The bus has a spotting sheet above the seats of the animals you can see on the tour, but the guide will tell you some facts on each animal as they drive you through the safari tour. Great for toddlers because they can see in real life the creatures they might only previously have seen in books or cartoons!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch


Rafiki’s Planet Watch is host to Disney World’s only petting zoo. You can touch, stroke, and brush the animals in a small enclosure next to the Planet watch building. The animals available to pet are goats, in the main, with a few sheep, a couple of donkeys, and several pigs, too. I think we also spotted a cow.

Never mind that the only way to get to Rafiki’s Planet Watch is by train (sure to thrill most toddlers) but you can also meet Rafiki, Chip and Dale, and a few real animals that come in to the Conservation Station on display with a keeper who will tell you about them. We were able to pet a real dragon!

TriceraTop Spin in Dino Land


So, by the name, you might guess that Dino Land is home to a few dinosaurs. It also has a lot of things that toddlers can take part in, such as this attraction – TriceraTop Spin. There’s no height restriction, so even tiny babies are allowed on here. You simply spin around inside the dinosaur carriage, using the lever to go up or down, and our boys loved controlling how high we were going.

The Boneyard in Dino Land
bone pit at disneys animal kingdom
The Boneyard is a giant sand pit that children can dig to find fossils and dinosaur bones. Buckets and spades provided. It is kind of hidden away and you can easily miss it; look out for the narrow path opposite the alligator display. It’s worth a visit because of the slightly different pace of the activity, and the coolness of the shaded sandpit is welcome on a hot Florida day.

Festival of the Lion King


We took James to see this fantastic Broadway-style show for the first time when he was 5 months old, and he sat mesmerised throughout. Noah loved to watch the dancing and hear the singing too. The monkeys are brilliant acrobats and swing about on the stage so fast it’s really great to see. I love the ‘birds’, especially as the song they dance to is “Can you feel the love tonight?” and they dance so romantically with the female bird flying and spinning above the stage very elegantly.
If you get a FastPass+ for the show then you get to go in about 30 minutes before everyone else, so you can get a seat right at the front. The singers interact with people on the first few rows, and as those seats are benches on the same level as the show, they are fantastic for getting right in the action.

disneys animal kingdom meet rafiki

Those were our toddler’s favourite attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you’ve visited, what did you like about Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

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2 Comments

  1. April 1, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    Animal kingdom looks amazing, we are visiting in a few years and I can’t wait. I visited years ago but have never been to animal kingdom and I just know my two will love it xx

  2. April 1, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    We did Disney last year and my little boy who was almost 3 at the time absolutely loved Animal Kingdom, especially the Lion King show! We have a photo of him that I took just as we were coming out of the show and he just looks so wowed by it! I loved the Safari but my favourite bit was the Everest ride, that was amazing! My son had a nap when we got to that ride so my hubby and I took it in turns to go on and as we were single riders, we only queued for a few mins! You’ve made me want to go back to florida now 🙂

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