| | |

Is Animal Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers?


The park has almost nothing for toddlers to ride, but there are plenty of other things for them to do. Is Animal Kingdom worth it for toddlers?

Is Animal Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers? Things to Consider

1. Your Kid Might Be Free

2. What Do You Need to Bring?

3. How Do You Get There?

4. How Long Do You Need?

5. Don’t Miss the Playground

6. Utilize Rider Switch

7. Animal Kingdom Rides for Toddlers

8. Do You Need Front-of-the-Line Passes?

9. There Are a Ton of Animals

10. The Shows Are Toddler Friendly

11. There is a Baby Care Center

12. You Can Rent a Stroller

13. There Are Characters

14. Don’t Miss the Scavenger Hunt

15. There Are Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Expedition Everest animal kingdom

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Is Animal Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers?

1. Your Kid Might Be Free

If your kid is two or under, he or she gets in free. It should be easy to get that amount of value from the visit. The question, however, is whether the rest of the family will be happy with the experience with this short person holding you back.

Pro tip: There are ways to save at Disney. Don’t pay full price. Check out Undercover Tourist for discounted tickets and purchase discounted gift cards before your trip to cover your food cost.

Dinosaur animal kingdom

2. Day Bag Packing

It’s hot at Disney World. It gets even hotter when you’re carrying unnecessary items. Don’t overpack. Be sure to check the weather before your trip so you know what to expect. Don’t forget:

A. A poncho

B. Nausea medication (for you, not the toddler)

C. Headache medication

D. A hat or sunglasses

E. A refillable water bottle

F. A portable phone charger

G. Sunscreen

H. Snacks (outside food is allowed)

I. Diapers, wipes, and any other baby stuff you need in a typical day

J. Noise-canceling headphones

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

3. Transportation and Parking

Guests at Disney’s on-property resort get free transportation. Unfortunately, you need a bus for this park. Buses start running about 45 minutes before the park opens. Get to the stop at least an hour before the park opens to be at the front of the line when the bus arrives.

If you have to drive, parking is $25 per day for standard parking and between $45 and $50 per day for preferred parking depending upon the day.

Pro tip: If you park hop, you don’t have to pay for parking twice on the same day.

Bonus pro tip: There is a special bus for people who are park hopping.

Monkeys at animal kingdom

4. How Long Do You Need?

Animal Kingdom doesn’t have many rides for little kids (or anyone for that matter), but there are plenty of places to play and animals to see. Plan to spend at least half a day there while moving at a toddler’s pace.

Pro tip: If you stay at a Disney World hotel, take advantage of early park entry.

Bonus pro tip: Consult a crowd calendar to pick a less crowded day to visit.


5. Don’t Miss the Playground

The Boneyard is a large play area open to only kids ages ten and under. It has slides, bridges, and a dirty sandbox place to dig for fossils. This area is sure to be a hit with toddlers who need to burn some energy.


6. Utilize Rider Switch

Toddlers can’t ride things that you can. Fortunately, Disney World has a Rider Switch program that allows multiple adults to ride things that their short companion cannot.

You wait in line one time with your entire party. One adult stays with the child while the other rides, and then the adults switch without having to wait in line a second time.

Pro tip: If you have an older child, he or she can ride with both adults.


7. What Can They Ride?

Rides for Everyone

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is a long ride through artificial savannas. You will see a ton of animals, including crocodiles, giraffes, and cheetahs. You get great close-up views while the driver narrates.

Pro tip: The animals may be more active in the morning.

Bonus pro tip: This ride does not always run all the way to park close. Check the times so you don’t miss it.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Location: Africa

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Na’vi River Journey is a slow-moving boat ride through a bioluminescent rainforest. It ends with a lifelike Shaman dancing. It is a nice, calm ride in air conditioning, but it is not worth a long wait. Toddlers probably won’t find it particularly exciting.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Location: Pandora

Will toddlers like it?: Eh

TriceraTop Spin

TriceraTop Spin is Dumbo in dinosaur cars. There is nothing special about it, but it is perfect for little kids.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane accepted: No

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Wildlife Express Train

The train takes you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. It isn’t overly exciting, but walking to Rafiki’s Planet Watch isn’t an option, so you might as well embrace the ride. Occasionally, a character appears on the train.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Location: Africa

Will toddlers like it?: Probably

Animal Kingdom Attractions for Tall Toddlers


DINOSAUR is terrifying. You cruise on a Jeep through dinosaurs that want to eat you. You may think this is appropriate for your small child given the low height requirement. It almost definitely isn’t.

This ride is so dark you cannot see your child sitting next to you in the seat. The only time you will catch a glimpse is when a brightly colored dinosaur appears next to your car to threaten bodily injury. Proceed with caution with your young child.

Height requirement: 40″

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane accepted: No

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.

Will toddlers like it?: No

Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids is a water ride on a circular raft. You can find a similar ride at a lot of other parks. You will get very wet. Bring a poncho.

Height requirement: 38″

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Location: Asia

Will toddlers like it?: It depends. Will he or she tolerate getting soaked?

Dinosaur ride

8. Do You Need Front-of-the-Line Passes?


Genie+ allows you to reserve spots to skip the line on certain attractions throughout the day. The cost varies by the day.

Is Genie+ worth it with a toddler? Honestly, probably not. There are only a handful of rides for them, and most don’t come with long lines anyway. Download the app to watch the wait times and visit the rides early. You will be fine.

Individual Lightning Lanes

Individual Lightning Lanes require guests to pay a fee to ride an attraction one time. As of the time of this writing, Avatar Flight of Passage is the only ride that accepts an Individual Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom. The height requirement for that ride is 44″. Unless your toddler is exceptionally tall, it isn’t an option anyway.


9. There Are a Bunch of Animals

Is Animal Kingdom good for toddlers? When it comes to animals, it is. What the park lacks in toddler rides, it makes up for in animal exhibits. You can spend multiple hours walking through the exhibits.

Animals in Africa

The Africa section of the park has the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Here, you can see lots of big animals, including elephants, lions, gorillas, monkeys, okapis, and hippopotamuses.

Animals in Asia

Asia features the Maharajah Jungle Trek. You can see a lot of popular animals, including tigers, gibbons, and Komodo dragons.

Discovery Island Animals

The Discovery Island Trails in this section feature otters, lemurs, tortoises, and a red kangaroo, among others.

Dinoland U.S.A. Animals

This section doesn’t have a ton of animals, but you can see crocodiles and a large tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

Animals in the Oasis Section

The Oasis section of the park is the first one you will encounter upon entering the park. It features several animals, including spoonbills, anteaters, and wallabies.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch Animals

Rafiki’s Planet Watch is a must-do for toddlers. It requires a train to reach. It is essentially a petting zoo with some gross insects in tanks. Just like at the county fair, the goats aren’t afraid of people.


10. There Are Shows

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King is one of the best things to do at Animal Kingdom with toddlers. It is a mini version of what you will see on Broadway. The set is elaborate and filled with color. Characters appear. All of the actors can sing. It is sure to be a hit with toddlers.

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Location: Africa

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Donald’s Dino-Bash

This character show takes Donald through a lesson on evolution (essentially). Launchpad McQuack makes an appearance, which is reason enough to catch the show.

Genie+ accepted: No

Location: Dinoland U.S.A.

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Feathered Friends in Flight

Feathered Friends in Flight is kind of like if the birds in the Enchanted Tiki Room were let loose. If birds aren’t your fave, this is something to skip.

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Location: Asia

Will toddlers like it?: Probably

It’s Tough to Be a Bug

It’s Tough To Be a Bug is a 3D show with the characters from A Bug’s Life. It gets dark. Toward the end, it feels like an insect pokes you in the back. It can be scary for young kids.

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Location: Discovery Island

Will toddlers like it?: The brave ones might.

Winged Encounters

The Winged Encounters show involves a bunch of birds flying around at the same time. This takes place in front of the Tree of Life, so it is easy to come upon it without committing the time to sit through the whole show.

Genie+ accepted: No

Location: Discovery Island

Will toddlers like it?: Probably

Animal Kingdom tree

11. There is a Baby Care Center

There is a baby care center near the Discovery Island trails and Terra Treats. It includes rocking chairs for nursing, changing tables, high chairs, a microwave, a sink, and a store that sells baby items.

12. You Can Rent a Stroller

Disney World offers stroller rentals with both single-day and length-of-stay options. You can pick them up at Garden Gate Gifts near the entrance.

Pro tip: You can almost definitely find cheaper prices with an independent company that will deliver to your hotel. Do a little research if you don’t want to bring yours from home.


13. There Are Characters

You can meet characters throughout the day in various locations. The usual characters, like Mickey and Minnie, are there, but you will also find more obscure characters like Moana.  Check the schedule at the time of your visit.

Rafiki statue

14. Scavenger Hunt

Wilderness Explorers is a free game that lets kids earn stickers in various stations. As an adult looking in from the outside, it looks like a lot of effort for not much of a payoff. However, kids get super into it. It is a great way to get your kids engaged in learning about the animals.

Pro tip: The main area to pick up your books is on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island sections, but you can grab one at any of the stations. Don’t walk out of your way to get the book at the beginning.

Note: The Wilderness Explorer stations are not open all day. Check the park hours on the day of your visit.


15. There Are Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Flame Tree Barbecue

Flame Tree Barbecue is a quick-service restaurant. The food is decent and reasonably priced. Gluten-free buns are available. Seating is outdoors but under an awning.

Pro tip: Use mobile order to skip the line.

Location: Discovery Island

Satu’li Canteen

Satu’li Canteen is arguably the most popular quick-service lunch and dinner option. It features rice bowls that are fairly priced.

Pro tip: Use mobile order.

Location: Pandora

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments is a snack stand that has cocktails and some quick-service breakfast items. The real reason to visit is the alcoholic Dole Whip (for you, not the toddler).

Location: Africa

Tusker House

Tusker House is a buffet meal with characters, specifically Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy. It is expensive, but the food is good, the characters are fun, and it is indoors in air conditioning. It is worth a stop with toddlers.

This can be a tough reservation to get, so make it as soon as possible.

Pro tip: Try a late breakfast after riding some rides in the morning. It is cheaper than lunch or dinner.

Location: Africa

Yak & Yeti

Yak & Yeti has a lot of solid Asian options, including a good gluten-free noodle one. The food is not that expensive when you account for the Disney upcharge. Air conditioning is plentiful. It’s worth a visit.

Pro tip: This restaurant is popular. Make a reservation as soon as your booking window opens.

Location: Asia


Final Thoughts – Is Animal Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers?

The park is light on rides. Is Animal Kingdom worth it for toddlers? It absolutely is. The animals, the shows, and the characters alone warrant a visit with little kids.

Visit Disney World with toddlers. You won’t regret it.

is animal kingdom worth it for toddlers pin

Related Articles to Is Animal Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers?:

Hollywood Studios Tips: Get Ready for Crowds

Is Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Worth it? It Depends

Minimalist Disney Packing List: Resist the Urge to Overpack

Movies to Watch Before Going to Disney World: A Year’s Worth of Planning

Adding Universal to Your Disney Vacation: Totally Doable

Scariest Rides at Disney World: Proceed with Caution with a Shorty

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Save on Disney Trips: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Magic Kingdom Extras: Which Ones Are Worth it?

Guide to Magic Kingdom Attractions That Aren’t Rides

Magic Kingdom Rides by Age: Most Are for Everyone

Best Rides at Magic Kingdom Disney World to Wear the Kids Out

Animal Kingdom Tips: It’s More Than Just a Zoo

EPCOT Tips: It’s Not All About the Rides

Magic Kingdom Tips: Maximize Your Experience

Hollywood Studios with Toddlers: Magic Kingdom is Better

Is EPCOT Good for Toddlers?

Water Rides in Disney World: From Worst to First

Animal Kingdom Rides by Age: There Aren’t That Many

Is Magic Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers?

EPCOT Rides by Age: The Offerings for Each Age Group

Hollywood Studios Rides by Age: The Park is Best with Older Kids

What to Pack for an Orlando Trip: Only Bring What You Need

Is Animal Kingdom Worth it for Toddlers?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *