I love Animal Kingdom for kids under 5. The park is full of nature and animals – what kid this age isn’t going to be mesmerized? With plenty of shows to keep them entertained, nature trails to walk, animals to see and rides, you can easily spend a full day in Animal Kingdom. Be prepared to put in the steps as this park is rather spread out especially when you have littles this age.
You will want to have the My Disney Experience App to help you navigate your day even if you do not have Genie+.
The following is a real example of my day in Animal Kingdom with my almost 3 year old and 5 year old.
8:20AM – Parked and walking to the Main Gates
8:35AM – Photopass pictures in front of the Tree of Life
8:40AM – Walking toward Africa
8:45AM – In line for Kilimanjaro Safaris
9:20AM – In our van for the Safari
10AM – In line for Festival of the Lion King – This show is a live rendition of the movie and the craftsmanship is breath taking. So take some time to be indoors, sit back, sing along with songs you know and love and enjoy!
10:45AM – Walk through Pandora
11:30AM – Enjoying Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! Another indoor attraction, because who doesn’t love AC on a hot Florida day! The songs are super cute and the story is one you know and love.
After the show we left for the day for a nap for my youngest. But the following is what I would recommend you do for the rest of the day at Animal Kingdom!
Eat lunch at Restaurantosaurus so that you are close to Dinoland when you are done with your meal. The offerings here are sure to please everyone in your party and the ice cream cookie sandwich from Dino-Bite Snacks is one of my favorite snacks on property.
1PM – Ride TriceraTop Spin – Basically Animal Kingdom’s version of Dumbo, and a must do for kids this age.
1:30PM – Walk Maharajah Jungle Trek – This can take as long or as short as you want. You can see all sorts of animals along the path and the Cast Members around this area are full of knowledge about each animal you will pass.
At this point of the day at Animal Kingdom, you can go to It’s Tough to be a Bug! However, I will warn that there are some points of the presentation that can be scary for littles. So if they are afraid of sudden noises, the dark or flying bugs, I would skip this one for now.
Navi River Journey is a ride that a little of this age will appreciate, but the wait time is typically long and the ride itself is rather short. You do not need to know the movie Avatar to appreciate the ride, although it does help give context to the characters and animals you will see along your journey. Avatar Flight of Passage is also a ride that, depending on your child, you may consider at this point of the day. The line is typically long for this one and it has a height requirement of 44 inches. It is another intense attraction that the older kids of this age group may enjoy. Even if you choose to do no rides in Pandora, this part of Animal Kingdom is stunning and full of great places for a family photo.
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Hidden Mountain is the big thrill ride of Animal Kingdom that you may also consider for your party at this time of the day. The option exists to do a single rider line for the adults if the kids want to pass on this one. It is another intense coaster that goes both forward and backwards. It too has a height requirement of 44 inches. My 5 year old loves this ride and never misses out on a chance to ride it, but she loves rollercoasters, so you’ll just have to judge your kids at the end of this age range here.
I would totally skip DINOSAUR for this age range because it is a scary, dark ride and there are so many other great things for them to be doing. Have them play in the Boneyard or play some games in Dinoland if you need to pass the time.