Animal Kingdom is home to a couple of great attractions for toddlers to ride, and a bunch of fun animals for toddlers and little ones to see. Plus, there are 2 fantastic shows that the whole family can enjoy.
Want a list of the best rides for babies and toddlers at Animal Kingdom? We can help!
Important note: This post is just one piece of a group of resources geared towards helping families with babies and toddlers traveling to Walt Disney World. Make sure you check out our Complete Guide to traveling to Disney World with Babies and Toddlers for even more information to help you plan your dream vacation.
What makes a ride good for babies and toddlers?
Not every attraction without a height requirement is one you should take your baby or toddler on. Some attractions may look fun, but can actually be a little scary.
Take, for example, It’s Tough to be a Bug.
This 3-D show based on the Pixar film A Bug’s Life seems like a fun and relaxing attraction to bring a little one on. However, parts of the show can be scary (even for adults), and it isn’t uncommon for kids to leave crying.
And then there are some attractions at Animal Kingdom that are just “okay” and you may have more fun spending your time doing something else.
This first section is the list of attractions we think are definitely worth a try with a toddler.
Down below those, we’ll go through a few additional attractions that you may want to ride – but we encourage you to do so with caution.
Then, we have a batch of other attractions and activities that are good time fillers if you are just needing something to do.
Want to ride some of the bigger attractions too? Disney has a free service called Rider Swtich that makes it easier for 2 adults to ride the thrill rides without having to wait in a long line twice.
We have posts for that cover the best rides for toddlers at the other 3 parks, so make sure you check those out, too:
- Best rides for babies and toddlers at Magic Kingdom
- Best rides for babies and toddlers at Epcot
- Best rides for babies and toddlers at Hollywood Studios
Top 9 Best rides for toddlers at Animal Kingdom
These are all usually hits with babies and toddlers and are ones we recommend to our friends and family with little ones:
- Feathered Friends in Flight! (Asia)
- Festival of the Lion King (Africa)
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! (DinoLand U.S.A.)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris (Africa)
- Na’vi River Journey (Pandora)
- TriceraTop Spin (DinoLand U.S.A.)
- Wildlife Express Train (Rafiki’s Planet Watch)
- Affection Section (Rafiki’s Planet Watch)
- Conservation Station (Rafiki’s Planet Watch)
Africa is home to a couple of attractions that will appeal to babies and toddlers. Kilimanjaro Safaris is the quintessential Animal Kingdom attraction, and Festival of the Lion King is one of the best shows at any of the Disney World parks.
Safari vehicles that are driven by guides who really do drive (no tracks) and they are very knowledgeable about the animals. As you go, the drivers give you lots of info based on what you see along the ride and sometimes have to stop to wait for animals to clear the path.
Festival of the Lion King
This big, fun, Broadway-style show lasts for 30 minutes and is 1 of the best shows at Disney World. There is lots of music, dancing, stilt walkers and acrobats, featuring songs and stories from The Lion King.
The Asia section of Animal Kingdom only has a handful of attractions, of which 2 are good options for babies or toddlers.
Check out our Asia must-do rides for little ones:
Feathered Friends in Flight!
Take a behind-the-scenes look at the birds that are a part of Animal Kingdom park. This show is hosted by animal behavior specialists that highlight how the birds are trained and cared for.
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
A Broadway-style show featuring super talented performers who sing and control puppet-type versions of the characters. Really great show and we feel like it keeps getting better.
Dumbo, but with dinosaurs.
Na’vi River Journey
A gentle boat ride through the bioluminescent rain forest, complete with a spectacular encounter with a Na’vi shaman.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Rafiki’s Planet Watch is composed of several different elements including a fun train, the Conservation Station (where you can learn about animal habitats from around the world) and the Affection Section, which is an animal petting zoo.
A behind-the-scenes look of animal habitats from around the world, including a peak behind the scenes of real life veterinarians in action.
Wildlife Express Train
This train departs every 5-7 minutes (though lines to board the train can be lengthy) to take people to visit the Rafiki’s Planet Watch section.
The only petting zoo at Walt Disney World, you can get up and close with several furry friends.
Ride with caution
There are a couple of attractions at Animal Kingdom with either no height requirement or a very low height requirement (40″ or less) that may be a bit too much for your baby or toddler. Before you ride them, make sure you understand what you are getting into:
- Kali River Rapids
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- The Animation Experience
Kali River Rapids
A river raft ride that has a very high chance of soaking you. The attraction itself isn’t very long, but if it is pretty fun on a hot day.
This ride takes you on a rough ride through history where you see lots of dinosaurs along the way.
It’s Tough to be a Bug!
This 3D show is inside of the Tree of Life and features characters from “A Bug’s Life.” As you’re looking at The Tree of Life from the front of the park, the entrance for this show is located just to the right side, near the paths that you’d take to DinoLand, U.S.A.
The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
Learn how to draw favorite Disney characters and villains including Simba, Zazu, Scar, Pumbaa, Timon, Hopper, Tic Toc, and others.
VIDEO: 4 Attractions That Scare Kids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Other things for toddlers to explore at Animal Kingdom
One of the best things about Animal Kingdom is that there is so much to do and see at the park, outside of just the attractions. Here’s what we think your toddler may love:
Some toddlers will really love the characters, while others would prefer to stay far, far away.
Animal Kingdom is a great place to meet fun characters in unique outfits (such as Chip and Dale in dinosaur costumes).
There are a few places that little ones will be able to just run around and play at Animal Kingdom:
- The Boneyard – huge enclosed play structure (more on this below)
- The Dig Site – a play site connected to the Boneyard
Play structure that’s great for letting little ones run around and burn off some steam.
Throughout the park, you will be able to find several walking trails that include some interactive features and exhibits, as well as all kinds of animals:
- Discovery Island Trails
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
- Tree of Life Garden
What would Animal Kingdom be without the animals? The great news is that you can see all different kinds of animals throughout the entire park.
Click on the links below to see what you can expect to see in each area of the park:
Using Genie+ with toddlers
Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a ton of Genie+ attractions (10-11 total).
Much like Epcot, if you have a good touring plan, want to save a few dollars, and you don’t mind possibly standing in a few lines, you could skip purchasing both Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes for this park.
In addition, Genie+ isn’t really required to ride many of the attractions that are good for babies and toddlers.
But, if you are looking to stand in as few of lines as possible, Genie+ can come in handy at a couple of attractions at Animal Kingdom.
The entire Genie+ system can be confusing, but we’ve put together some guides that should help.
If you’re considering purchasing Genie+, make sure you check them out. The one linked directly below this is a good one to start with:
- Expedition Everest Reopening In April, Will Be Added To Genie+
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! Opens In June At Animal Kingdom
- 2023 Disney World Packages Available To Book June 8, Plus Genie+ Purchase Change
- Disney KiteTails at Animal Kingdom Is Ending For Good
- Park Hopping Changes & More Coming to Disney World & Disneyland
- 10 things most Disney World first-timers don’t know - January 30, 2023
- Ultimate Guide for visiting Disney World with Toddlers - October 20, 2022
- Best Rides for Babies and Toddlers at Animal Kingdom - October 20, 2022