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Attractions for Small Children at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

First things first: Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World closes earlier than other parks, usually at 8:00 pm. The likelihood of seeing more wild animals is higher during the cooler morning temperatures, especially from May to December. If park hopping is in the plan, make this park the first stop. Head straight to the back of the park for the safari ride, Kilimanjaro Safaris. Here are some fun attractions for small children at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Disney Animal KingdomPin

Character Greetings at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

For the little ones, who often enjoy meeting their favourite Disney characters, there is a lot of opportunity at Animal Kingdom. In a section of the park, Adventurers Outpost, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse meet their little fans (one line for each). The characters wear their safari gear, so purists who want the quintessential Mickey shot may want to visit them in the Magic Kingdom.

Several other characters from popular Disney movies are scattered throughout the park. Brer Bear has been spotted, as well as Baloo and King Louie from the Jungle Book, and Terk (the female gorilla from Tarzan). At the Conservation Station, a short train ride from the safari area, Pocahontas, Rafiki (from the Lion King), and Jimini Cricket can often be seen.

Attractions for Small Children at Disney's Animal KingdomPin

Since waiting in line for Disney characters can sometimes take an hour or more, scoring multiple hugs after only one line up is the Disney equivalent of a Las Vegas jackpot.

Photopass is also available at the character greetings. This service involves a professional Disney photographer who takes pictures for the group. He then hands out a card that can be used to access those photos online. The shots can be viewed, shared or purchased via the Disney Photopass website.

Attractions for Small Children at Disney's Animal KingdomPin
DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom- Photo credit: Disney

Rides for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Children 38 inches and taller can ride the Kali River Rapids. This attraction is a large inner tube that seats several guests and travels quickly down a whitewater river.

Dinoland has a TriceraTop Spin ride that is similar to the Flying Dumbo ride at Magic Kingdom. It is very popular with toddlers and preschoolers. Though it looks fun, the roller coaster in Dinoland has a height requirement too steep for most preschoolers.

Parents and older kids shouldn’t feel they have to miss out on some of the more intense attractions at Animal Kingdom, such as the thrilling roller coaster Expedition Everest. Groups can take advantage of what is called a Switch Rider. This is good for three riders and allow those who need to stay behind with smaller children to immediately access the attraction after the rest of their party disembarks. It’s distributed by a cast member at the ride entrance. The cast member may want to see the children involved to avoid switch rider abuse.

Attractions for Small Children at Disney's Animal KingdomPin
Attractions for Small Children at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

But rides and character aren’t all Animal Kingdom has to offer. There are additional attractions including shows, mystical trails, and animal viewings that are all geared for the littlest Disney vacationers.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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  1. It’s great that they have so many great things for the little ones but I’ve never been and have always wanted to see this kingdom

  2. Disney’s Animal Kingdom sounds like such a fun adventurous place for the family. I love that they offer so many different activities.

  3. I really want to bring my toddler to Disney but wasn’t sure if he was too little. Thanks for the articles now I know there is still lots to do.


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