Friday, April 24, 2015

Top 5 Things To Do in the Animal Kingdom {Disney World}

For our trip to Walt Disney World with our three kids (aged 2-8) we had one day in each of the four parks; Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Having a couple of extra days would have been ideal but we made it work!  The parks are approximately a 15 minute bus ride from each other and from the resort we were staying at; Animal Kingdom Lodge.

{Map from the Disney World app which is a 'must use' site for planning your trip}

For our day in the Animal Kingdom, these were are top 5 favourite activities:

1. Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We sat in an open air vehicle and drove through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.  Our guide was able to point out so many different animals and it was nice that we could all sit in the same row.  There are not many rides that cater to Nya's size (37") in the Animal Kingdom Theme Park so this was one that we could do as a family.  We saw everything; hippos, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles and lions!

2. Festival of the Lion King.  We did this midday so it was nice to get out of the heat and into the air conditioning for half an hour.  We watched The Lion King movie several times before we went so that was definitely beneficial.  Nya especially loved all of the theatrics and went to bed singing `Hakuna Matata' (although she said `Patata') each night.  The singing was really good and they had the audience involved too.  Another theatrical experience to consider would be Finding Nemo but our kids are more drawn to The Lion King and our time was limited so we didn't see that one.

3. Kali River Rapids Ride. The boys LOVED this ride.  It's not too scary and you get very wet on it which is awesome because Florida is hot and humid.  If you don't want to walk around soaking wet, be sure to buy a dollare store rain poncho before you go!  I bought our whole family one each for a grand total of $8 (rather than $10/poncho at the park).  The height is 38" and so Nya was an inch too short.  I think she would've been to scared on it anyway with the drops and she does not enjoy having wet clothes on.

4.  Expedition Everest.  You need to be 44" or taller and it is the most thrilling ride in this park.  We all really enjoyed it (well, Nya didn't go on) and I love how you go backwards for a portion of it as that was totally unexpected!  I went first with the boys and attained a `Parent Pass'.  This means that as soon as I was done, the boys could ride again with Gary in the fast pass line.

5. Meet the Characters.  At every single park, this was a highlight for our kids.  We brought autograph books along and on each page is a place to put a picture with the characters.   The character experience was very positive each and every time.  They were so good with our kids and you left feeling like they truly wanted to connect with each child.  Nya has FREAKED out when we've gone to see Santa Claus so I was shocked how she was drawn to each and every character.  

Honourable mention goes to: Primeval Whirl (a spinning roller coaster ride for 48" and up), TriceraTop Spin for the young ones, and DINOSAUR (40" and up).  

Finally, if you are looking for somewhere to eat with fast affordable service with great food, check out the Yak & Yeti Restaurant.

If you've been to the Animal Kingdom, would you put something different on your top 5 list?


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  1. I've never been to Disney World before, but it is certainly on my must-visit list and now I want to go even more! Looks like you had an amazing time at the Animal Kingdom!

    1. It's quite a travel day to get there from the West Coast but so fun! Just wait until you see the Magic Kingdom post ;)

  2. We're in Tampa and Animal Kingdom is always my favorite. When my daughter was little, it seemed to be the only park that consistently had shady areas; important with our sun! She still enjoys going there and she's now a young adult. Festival of the Lion King is my fave!

    1. Yes! I definitely appreciated all of those shady spots! That would be cool to live so close to Disney World :)

  3. Stunning photos; they are amazing.

  4. Boo, my comments didn't save on the three posts I commented on last night! Anyway, I was just saying BOO to the kids being sick, but thank goodness no one had to miss out on the actual vacation time. Also, loved how considerate the kids were to each other to try what the others wanted and standing in line, etc. what a great family opportunity for you guys and I'm so glad you were able to go!!