Disney's Animal Kingdom
At Disney's Animal Kingdom go on African safari to see lions, elephants and zebras roaming wild, wander through a crumbling maharaja's palace filled with pacing tigers and dangling fruit bats, and climb around on a fossilized triceratops.
At the Entrance -
Show times and park map - Start by looking at the map of the Animal Kingdom. It's laid out in different areas - Africa, Rafiki's Planet Watch, Asia, DinoLand USA, Discovery Island, Camp Mininie-Mickey - each with its own theme, rides and live shows. Check your Times Guide to find out times for shows such as Festival of the Lion King or Flights of Wonder bird show, and daily parades. Plan a general route through the park, and choose a few must-dos in each section.
Tip: For popular rides, such as the Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest, get FASTPASS timed tickets.
Strollers and wheelchairs - Stop at Guest Services and rent a stroller for toddlers. Wheelchairs are also available.
Lockers - Get a locker to stow purchases and any extra things you don't want to lug around all day.
Guide maps foreign languages - Pick up copies of the park Guide Map in five foreign languages, Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Portuguese.
Asia -
Maharaja Jungle Trek - On this self-guided trail, we just loved the tigers roaming around the ruins of a raja's palace (decorated with lovely tiger murals) and fruit bats nesting on vines surrounded by colorful flags. In the royal forest, you'll see fairy blue birds, mynahs and mandarin ducks.
Kali River Rapids - This is our favorite ride, step into a brightly colored raft that careens along the Chakranadi River. You can go on this ride more than once, and you'll get soaked.
Africa -
Kilimanjaro Safaris - Board a rugged safari vehicle to ride through the African savannah, where you'll see lions, elephants, zebras, flamingos, okapis, rhinos, roaming freely! Tip: This must-do is a popular ride, so get a FASTPASS timed ticket to skip the long lines.
Pangani Forest Exploration Trail - Strolling on this trail, you'll see the beautiful blue lung fish from Lake Victoria (in the dry season they survive in the mud), a shy Nile hippo, meerkats romping around, and stately gorillas resting under the bamboo. Pick up bird spotting guides for all the birds in the birds forest (hoopees, parrots bee-eaters).
Rafiki's Planet Watch - Ride the Wildlife Express train, then walk through the forest to these attractions:
Affection Section - Little kids have the best time at this petting zoo with goats and sheep. There are even soft brushes to brush the animal's coats.
Animal talks - Animal trainers are always standing around with live animals, such as parrots or agoutis, and have great little talks about each animal.
DinoLand U.S.A. -
The Boneyard - A super play area, where kids can climb on a life size triceratops fossil, explore tunnels crusted with dinosaur bones, creep up nets and slide down, over and over.
Camp Minnie-Mickey - Head to Camp Minnie-Mickey to meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck and the whole gang. And don't miss the Festival of the Lion King music and dance performance.
Other things to do- Don't go nuts trying to go from one ride or timed activity to the next, especially if you have small kids. Take a break.
Let the kids have their faces painted like Simba or other animal designs. Play African drums or climb into an authentic bicycle rickshaw. Wander around the Tree of Life looking at all the creatures embedded in the tree and be amazed by the Galapagos tortoise on the Discovery Island Trail.
Photos with a Disney character - Kids can have their picture taken with favorite Disney animals, Ballou, Timon, Rafiki, Pooh, Tigger, and of course, Mickey Mouse and pals. Look for characters at DinoLand, Discovery Island, Rafiki's Planet Watch, and Greeting Trails at Camp Minnie-Mickey. A fun souvenir.
Fun food
Snacks and food in the Animal Kingdom have a wide variety. Besides hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza, there's Asian cuisine, African meats, salads and desserts, plus plenty of snacks, ice cream, fresh fruit, and bakery goods.
In the shops, kids can pick up authentic souvenirs from Africa or Asia, as well as a wide selection of stuffed animals
Tips for the Animal Kingdom
Lines and FASTPASS - Your bet best for popular rides is the free FASTPASS. Go to the ride, check the time for the next FASTPASS entry, insert your ticket, and out will come a FASTPASS ticket with a time stamped on it, e.g. 2:00pm. Go off, do other things, come back at 2:00pm and get in the FASTPASS line - you'll go on the ride without a long wait.
Getting wet - When you go on the Kali River Rapids ride, you'll get soaking wet. On warm days, this is refreshing, but on cool days, bring extra clothes for the kids, or buy plastic ponchos at the shop near the ride (tuck the ponchos well under you for maximum effect and keep your camera dry).
Height requirements for rides - Make sure your child meets the height requirements, before you get in line. Any restrictions are posted at the entrance to the ride.
Kali River Rapids - Kids must be 39 " tall.
Dinosaur - Kids must be 40" tall.
Expedition Everest - Kids must be 44" tall.
Infants and toddlers - The Baby Care Center on Discovery Island is an oasis. There are pint-sized tables to feed toddlers, and comfortable chairs for mothers to feed their infants. You can also buy diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, etc.

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