Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is the most well themed, unique, and well thought out park at Walt Disney World. As soon as you tap into the park, you instantly feel as if you are transported to an entirely different world.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is a cultural showcase, and it welcomes guests to step into a world full of nature and beauty. This park is SO family friendly, and offers many, many experiences to enjoy as a whole family.
Animal Kingdom is the one Disney park that I find incredibly relaxing. The lush landscape, the Tree of Life, the chirping birds and roaming elephants…it’s just extremely relaxing. I love this park for families, especially families with younger children.
It isn’t as overstimulating as the other parks. And who doesn’t like seeing unique animals? Keep in mind, though, that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not “just a zoo”! I have put together some of my top suggestions for families to enjoy at Animal Kingdom just for you!
Where Can I Find Great Dining Options for My Family at Animal Kingdom?
Tusker House: Tusker House is located in Africa. This dining experience serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Therefore, it is often “easier” to get a dining reservation here, since the characters appear at all three meals! The food offerings are great for everyone. Mom and Dad can try some unique African dishes, the kiddos can enjoy some options such as chicken tenders and mac and cheese. Of all the options, I think breakfast is the most “family friendly” in terms of food offerings! But overall, you can’t go wrong.
Pizzafari: Pizzafari is a Quick Service location. I LOVE the food here. It is SO good. Plus, they do have a family style option on the menu, so you can feed everyone for a reasonable price. The seating inside is also very plentiful and it is easy to move around. It is a great option when you need a familiar menu to feed everyone as you are moving through the park.
Rainforest Cafe: Rainforest Cafe is located at the entrance to Animal Kingdom. If you do NOT have one of these near you, it makes a great experience for your family! I like it because you can order a few entrees or appetizers and share if you like. The ambiance is so much fun, and the decor is amazing. Definitely a great experience for everyone!
What Characters Can We Meet at Animal Kingdom?
Remember when I said that Animal Kingdom is super unique? That goes for the characters, as well! So many of your favorite Disney characters are animals….and there are SO many unique, one of a kind meet and greets at Animal Kingdom.
Some of our favorites are Rafiki and Timon, as well as Flik from A Bug’s Life. You can often find these characters on Discovery Island or right around the Tree of Life. You will not see these anywhere else! So be sure to see them at Animal Kingdom.
Did you know you can meet Pochahontas at Animal Kingdom? YES! We have seen her several times. She is also unique to Animal Kingdom. She fits perfectly at this park! Your little princess will be so excited to see her. Her meet and greet is super fun!
Guests can also find King Louie, Baloo, and other Jungle Book characters. Also, Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack make appearances at Animal Kingdom as well.
You can still meet classic favorites, such as the Fab Five and Chip and Dale. But be sure to seek out the very unique characters while you are at Animal Kingdom!
What are the Best Attractions for Kids at Animal Kingdom?
Part of enjoying a day at Animal Kingdom is attractions. Animal Kingdom has SO many that you can enjoy as a whole family, which is key when traveling with kids!
Kilimanjaro Safari comes to mind immediately as an attraction perfect for kids. It is gentle, and there is no height requirement. Plus, everyone in your family will love seeing the animals in their habitats on the savanna! This attraction is best enjoyed in the morning or near evening. It is during these times that the animals are more active.
Na’avi River Journey If you are visiting Pandora, you will want to take a ride on Na’avi River Journey. This attraction is PERFECT for families with littles. The lighting and set up of this is amazing. It is SO relaxing, and beautiful. Even the most grown up of Avatar fans will love it. I really like it for families because it is not super loud, or overstimulating like some other attractions can be.
TriceraTop Spin and The Boneyard are both super fun! These are located in DinoLand USA. You can let your kid relax and play in the sand and on the play area of the Boneyard, while you take a seat and plan the rest of your day in the park. This area is great when you need a break, but you don’t want to leave the park. The Triceratop Spin is VERY much like Dumbo. It has the same style and movement, and kids love controlling it to go up and down! Plus, you can get some great views of the park from up there!
Finding Nemo the Musical is a “must see” for everyone. Seeing a show makes it easy to take a nice break in the air conditioning, AND it’s entertaining for everyone. As an adult, I find it fascinating how they created the costumes for the characters in this show. Also, getting sea creatures to move across a stage and look “natural” is no small feat! Your kids will love seeing their favorite characters right on stage!
Festival of the Lion King is our MUST SEE show at Animal Kingdom. I will say, this show is VERY high energy, somewhat loud, and lots to look at. But, don’t let that stop you from seeing it!
The acrobatics are incredible, and everyone loves singing along to Hakuna Matata and I Just Can’t Wait to be King! Also, the costuming and floats are spectacular.
Rivers of Light is perfect for the entire family. I love this as the end of a day experience after a full park day. One thing that I feel makes it very good for kids is that they do not have fireworks. So if you’d like to experience a nighttime show at Disney, without fireworks, this one is for your family! Plus, the colors and sounds are so, so relaxing. Kids will love seeing the bright, colorful floats and lights on the water. It’s just beautiful!
Animal Kingdom is an amazing park for families with children of all ages. I think there are SO many things to do there as a family! There is a eclectic mix of shows, attractions, characters, and animal experiences. All of this makes it a well rounded experience for your Walt Disney World vacation!