Rides and Shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Younger Children

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Younger Children

Babies can go on *almost* all the rides at Walt Disney World.  According to Disney’s policy, babies can go on any ride without a height restriction (think roller coasters and the Speedway for the height restricted rides). This means that the majority of rides at Walt Disney World can be ridden together as a family if you choose.  But that doesn’t mean that you’ll love all of them for your young children.  Here are some factors to think about: Are there any drops that might startle your little one?  What about noise or 4D effects like water splashing?  Will it be bumpy or too long? There are a lot of factors so here are some of my thoughts on the rides that will help you determine what will work for your family.

Some general tips for riding with younger children:

  • Do a little research about which rides you may want to do at each park and try to get FastPasses for them or even better the rides you’ll do without the kids such as the roller coasters. You can YouTube search any ride and see what they’re like if you still have any questions about if it will work for you after reading this post.
  • If you don’t have a FastPass and you want to ride a ride without baby, you can do Rider Switch. From Disney: Rider Switch Info from WDW
  • You can baby wear on any ride without a height restriction and you can read more about that on this post: Babywearing at Disney
  • Take breaks.  Baby Care Centers are a great place to take a break!
  • As always, stay flexible and know you may get less “done” but the memories will be priceless!

Discovery Island

It’s Tough to Be a Bug – This is a short 3D show with special effects that requires wearing 3D glasses to be able to see the show properly.  There are also special effects like things coming out from the ceiling (and spoiler alert: “bugs crawl” underneath you at the end).  It’s a cute show in the AC with usually a short wait so it may be a good one for your family.  If you’re short on time or can’t stand creepy crawlies, consider skipping this one.

Meet Russel and Dug – This is an outdoor Meet and Greet with Russel and Dug with photos.

Adventurers Outpost – This is an indoor Meet and Greet with Mickey and Minnie together (rare opportunity to be able to get Mickey and Minnie in the same photo) in their Safari outfits.  In Christmas season though, they wear their holiday outfits. If you love Mickey and Minnie, this is a can’t miss!

Dinoland USA

Dinosaur – Must be 40 inches – This is a scary thrill ride, simply put.  It can be loud, fast and definitely scary (dinosaur pops out, dinosaur eating another dinosaur), so this ride is definitely for the more adventurous thrill seekers and dinosaur lovers!

Primeval Whirl – Must be 48 inches – This ride is a fast spinning roller coaster.  It can be a little jerky but otherwise is a fun ride for more adventurous kids.

The Boneyard – a play area that’s enclosed.  It’s mostly geared toward older children but younger children can run around in there a little too.

Triceratops Spin – a ride that could be compared to Dumbo – it spins around while going up and down.  These rides are usually a favorite amongst toddlers and preschoolers, Elodie included!

Finding Nemo the Musical – This is a longer show that is a musical based on the story of Finding Nemo.  I personally love the songs of this show and so does Elodie but this is definitely a show that some people love and others do not so you’ll have to watch for yourself to make the decision.  It can be a little loud at parts and there are some special effects like bubbles and stars of the show walking through the seating area.  I do not recommend sitting in the back as it’s hard to see and hear and can make the show feel much more disconnected and less enjoyable.

Asia

Expedition Everest – Must be 44 inches – This is one of my favorite rides! It’s a full rollercoaster with higher speeds and big drops so is for the roller coaster lovers! It is a smooth ride and there are some excellent views of the parks from the top.

Rivers of Light – a nighttime show with music and light. The show can be a little slow and the “story” can be a little hard to follow making it more enjoyable for adults but many kids do seem to enjoy the music and colors as well.  Elodie has always sat through it and seemed to enjoy it.

Maharajah Jungle Trek – a walking trail where you can see some animals – a favorite stroller nap strolling location!

Kali River Rapids – Must be 38 inches – a “you will get wet” tubing rollercoaster ride definitely for those who enjoy thrill rides and want to cool off by getting wet.

UP! A Great Bird Adventure  – a seated show with stadium style seating where you can see some exotic birds on the stage along with Russel and Dug.  A very cute show overall, we all enjoyed as a family.

Africa

Kilimanjaro Safaris – Another one of my favorite rides ever, possibly my favorite.  You can see animals like lions and elephants while going on Safari through Africa.  You can get amazing views and your Safari guide will teach you a lot about the animals.  This can be pretty bumpy. I rode it while I was pregnant regularly and now Elodie loves it waving at the animals and then often ends up falling asleep by the end.

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail – another walking trail where you can see animals and exotic birds and another perfect stroller nap strolling location!

Festival of the Lion King – a Broadway style show that is done so well with singing, dancing and even acrobatics and flame throwing! Truly a spectacular show but it is a little loud and a little long making this one harder to see with a toddler.

Pandora: The World of Avatar

Avatar Flight of Passage – Must be 44 inches – I’ve heard many people exclaim that this ride was worth the 2 hour wait because it was that amazing. It’s a really beautiful ride. You sit on a scooter type bike and are pressed forward (so I chose not to ride while pregnant) but I can imagine that this also may be a little off-putting to younger children or those who have claustrophobia. The 3D (must wear 3D glasses) scenes of Pandora are truly breathtaking and it really is a spectacular ride overall.

Na’Vi River Ride – This is a slow ride that is a boat ride along the Na’Vi River.  Visually stunning and paired with beautiful music, this ride is really perfect for the whole family as it is gentle and not too loud overall.

There are a few other Meet and Greets throughout Animal Kingdom like Meeting Pocohontas and the Wilderness Explorer program that are all worth checking out too!

Elodie is currently one year old and here are her most and least favorites:

Elodie’s Top 5 Favorite Things to Do in Animal Kingdom

  1. Kiliminjaro Safari
  2. Walking around Pandora
  3. Na’Vi River Ride
  4. Meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost
  5. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

Elodie’s 5 Least Things to Do in Epcot

  1. Wait while I ride Expedition Everest
  2. The noise of The Festival of the Lion King
  3. Saying goodbye to the characters
    I could only come up with 3! She really loves Animal Kingdom!

Did you enjoy this post? Please share!

And check out the rest of this series:

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with Younger Children

Rides and Shows in Disney’s Epcot with Younger Children

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Younger Children

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with Younger Children

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with Younger Children

Babies can go on *almost* all the rides at Walt Disney World.  According to Disney’s policy, babies can go on any ride without a height restriction (think roller coasters and the Speedway for the height restricted rides). This means that the majority of rides at Walt Disney World can be ridden together as a family if you choose.  But that doesn’t mean that you’ll love all of them for your young children.  Here are some factors to think about: Are there any drops that might startle your little one?  What about noise or 4D effects like water splashing?  Will it be bumpy or too long? There are a lot of factors so here are some of my thoughts on the rides that will help you determine what will work for your family.

Some general tips for riding with younger children:

  • Do a little research about which rides you may want to do at each park and try to get FastPasses for them or even better the rides you’ll do without the kids such as the roller coasters. You can YouTube search any ride and see what they’re like if you still have any questions about if it will work for you after reading this post.
  • If you don’t have a FastPass and you want to ride a ride without baby, you can do Rider Switch. From Disney: Rider Switch Info from WDW
  • You can baby wear on any ride without a height restriction and you can read more about that on this post: Babywearing at Disney
  • Take breaks.  Baby Care Centers are a great place to take a break!
  • As always, stay flexible and know you may get less “done” but the memories will be priceless!

Main Street, U.S.A.

Town Square Theater – Meet Mickey Mouse or Tinkerbell – If your child will enjoy meeting characters, these are definitely fun meeting spots! The Mickey line can get a little long so FastPass for this is especially helpful.

Railroad – the noise on this one can be a little loud (steam engine and whistle) but otherwise is a family-friendly railroad trip that will take you all the way around the park or drop you off on the other side (less walking! Yay!) but strollers need to be parked or folded up to bring on just like the buses.

Tomorrowland

Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor –  a 20ish minute comedy show that I found perfect for breastfeeding when Elodie was younger and she engages in and claps along with now.

Buzzlightyear Space Ranger Spin –  an arcade-like moving ride where you can score points against Zurg. It isn’t too loud but is more for older children or baby can just hitch a ride while Daddy gets the high score.

Carousel of Progress – This was a perfect breastfeeding ride / show when Elodie was younger but as she’s gotten older it moves slowly and doesn’t keep her attention. It isn’t too loud and is a classic!

PeopleMover – Not in the AC but still cool from the air blowing while you move, this 15 min moving ride goes through some of the other rides like Space Mountain.  It can be a little loud in a few spots but still remains our favorite breastfeeding and napping spot as a usually quick-to-get-on ride that moves and is cool.  Also, they usually allow you to stay on for an extra turn if your child is sleeping or breastfeeding.

AstroOrbiter – Apparently there’s no height restriction on this but it is very high in the air.  I’ve personally avoided it due to the height and is most likely too intense for young children and babies.

Space Mountain – Must be 44 inches – roller coaster ride in the dark.

Speedway – Must be 32 inches – can be jerky and loud as it is kind of like bumper cars  with hopefully no bumping – you drive gas powered cars on a loosely guided track.

Fantasyland

Mad Tea Party – a classic the Tea Cups spin while you’re in them at the speed you choose.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant – there’s a playground in the waiting area which may be the highlight for some kids, it’s a gentle flying ride and you can control how high Dumbo goes making this a popular one for younger kids.

The Barnstormer – Must be 35 inches – this is a small roller coaster perfect for the more adventurous but still young kids!

Pete’s Silly Slideshow – You can meet Minnie and Daisy or Donald and Goofy dressed up for the circus.

Splash N Soak Station – This is a splash pad area where children will get soaked so be prepared with extra clothing if you go here and it’s also very loud even standing near the splash pad area is loud.

Ariel’s Grotto – Meet Ariel and talk with her!

Elodie with Ariel at Magic Kingdom

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – A slow story ride where you journey through The Little Mermaid’s story.  While it can be a little loud “Under the Sea,” I don’t think it’s too loud in comparison to other rides.

Enchanted Tales with Belle – You walk through the story of Beauty and the Beast including an interactive play and having a personalized meet with Belle.  This one is great for kids in the toddler/preschool and older age range but can be cute for a baby especially if you want to meet Belle.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Must be 38 inches – a roller coaster that’s pretty smooth overall and is another popular roller coaster for younger but adventurous kids.  Definitely try to get a FastPass for this one as the waits tend to be long.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – a slow story ride where you journey through parts of Winnie the Pooh story. The cart bounces and it can be a little loud in one of the rooms but overall is a big hit with most kids and is one of Elodie’s favorites!

Princess Fairytale Hall – You can meet Tiana and Rapunzel or Elena and Cinderella.  This is a very fun meet and greet location and the princesses will be sure to tell you some fun things while you get some adorable pictures!

Prince Charming Regal Carousel – For younger children there is a bench that you can sit on.  Otherwise the horses are very high for wiggly toddlers.  Perfect for children who are interested in going on and can stay seated.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic – A 3D show with special effects.  Babies and younger children won’t keep on the 3D glasses so may not be interested.  Also, it can get very loud and splashes water which Elodie gets upset at so we avoid this show.  It does have low waits and is a nice air conditioned show though.

Peter Pan’s Flight – Always a popular ride, another slow story ride where you journey through the Peter Pan story flying high in a pirate ship.  These slow rides have always been a favorite for us and Elodie has always loved this one!

It’s a Small World – a classic and popular ride for younger children who often love to dance to the catchy song, this slow boat ride shows you the people and some animals of all around the world.

Haunted Mansion – a slow story ride where you can see ghosts including the popular hitch hiking ghosts, some may believe is a little dark and scary for young children but in my experience most children are not scared of this ride.  The hardest part of this ride in my opinion is the stretching room where other guests often yell when the room goes dark.  You can ask to bypass this room if you need to (it really can be scary for babies and young children).

Liberty Square

Liberty Square Riverboat – Closed currently.  A slow paddle boat ride down the river to enjoy the sights.

The Hall of Presidents – A longer show that show cases the presidents throughout US history – could be harder for younger children to sit through but very educational and inspirational.

Frontierland

Tom Sawyer Island – you can take a boat over to this island and explore the bridges and playground and dark caves.  This is really a perfect place for toddlers, preschoolers and older children to explore and play.

Country Bear Jamboree – a classic show with singing bears – can be a little long for some but also a nice air conditioned classic to rest, breastfeed, bottle feed, etc.

Big Thunder Mountain – Must be 40 inches. A fun roller coaster that’s like a runaway train.

Splash Mountain – Must be 40 inches. You will get wet on this fun log flume!  There is a playground area near the exit and so you can play while you wait for others to be done with these two Mountains.

Adventureland

Pirates of the Caribbean – There is a drop toward the beginning of this ride that you may get wet from, and the canons that go off are loud and may splash you. Otherwise, a fun and easy ride after the drop and canons.

Enchanted Tiki Room – These singing birds are a classic and one of my favorites.  It can be a little loud but for the most part is just fun.  Can be a nice place to rest your feet in the air conditioning and breastfeed or bottle feed.

Jungle Cruise – a witty boat ride through the “jungle” the speaker of the tour guide can get a little loud but otherwise is a pretty easy and fun ride!

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This is a ride similar to Dumbo that goes around and you control the height, etc.  You may get wet from a spitting camel but you can avoid this too.

Swiss Family Treehouse – you can climb the stairs and walk through this giant treehouse! I fondly call this the “Inducer” as I climbed these stairs the night before Elodie was born! It’s a workout for sure but can be pretty to check out the fireworks from!

Elodie is currently one year old and here are her most and least favorites:

Elodie’s Top 5 Favorite Things to Do in Magic Kingdom

  1. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  2. Meeting Princesses and Characters
  3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  4. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  5. Tom Sawyer Island

Elodie’s 5 Least Things to Do in Magic Kingdom

  1. Leaving for the day
  2. PhilharMagic
  3. Carousel of Progress
  4. Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel
  5. Saying goodbye to the characters

 

 

Did you enjoy this post? Please share!

And check out the rest of this series:

Rides and Shows in Disney’s Epcot with Younger Children

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Younger Children

Rides and Shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Younger Children

 

ChooMee: A Baby Product Must Have

ChooMee: A Baby Product Must Have

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
Thank you to ChooMee who we partnered with for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

The very first time I ever handed a baby a pouch, the mushy contents literally hit my ceiling! Baby was sitting in the high chair and he squeezed the pouch (which seems like a natural thing to do) and up went all the contents like a volcano of sweet potato in my dining room. I don’t even have to explain to you how not fun that was to clean up. Shortly after that I discovered ChooMee pouch toppers and I have never looked back! ChooMee pouch toppers can be placed on any pouch – store bought or reusable / homemade. They essentially moderate the flow to the point where the child has to suck to get the contents and it prevents it from spewing literally everywhere like all over your house, baby and your clothing. So this very quickly became a must have baby product for me. I’ve also been told by speech therapists that they like these because it helps develop the appropriate muscles for eating and speaking. I’m not a medical professional but as a mom this makes sense to me – the baby/toddler has to work a little harder to get the food so it develops the muscles. But it must be just the right amount of required effort because every child I’ve seen use them can also get the food out easily.

Beyond the obvious cleanliness, ease and possible muscle benefit, I also just love these because they make traveling with kids so much easier. Using a pouch to feed a baby or toddler on the go is just so easy and less of a choking hazard. Adding the pouch topper equals keeping the outfit and face clean on the go which means less laundry and we are better suited for pictures — those are all wins for me!

And one more positive for me: this is baby led weaning friendly in my opinion. We followed the babyled weaning guidelines and so we offered solid foods immediately when we started offering foods (Elodie’s first food was pancakes and her second was pizza). When we did introduce puréed food/smoothies, this gave her the opportunity to eat them independently (and cleanly). Again, win-win!

Hope this helps make your travel with a baby or a toddler easier!

Six Tips for Disney on Ice with Young Children

Six Tips for Disney on Ice with Young Children

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
Thank you to Feld Entertainment who we partnered with for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

Have you been to Disney on Ice before?  Even if you have and you haven’t seen the newest show Mickey’s Search Party, I highly recommend you go see it! This show was significantly better than the last show I saw.  There are MANY more tricks and special effects.  There are aerial silks and ramp tricks which really make the show even more engaging for us as parents.  The Mickey’s search part of the story is engaging for little ones and is similar to the way they solve a problem in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  And maybe the best part: you get to see all of your favorite friends on one stage like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, Moana, Maui, Elsa, Anna, Cristoff, Ariel, Prince Eric, Miguel, Belle, Beast, Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and so many more!

Here are six tips on making it a more enjoyable experience when you have little ones:

  1. Get your tickets ahead of time.  Tickets are on sale beforehand and I highly recommend you get your tickets online before you go because you will be able to use a discount like the one we provided AND you’ll be able to go right in, no extra waiting for tickets.  Saving money and saving time = always good when you have little ones!
  2. Park in the garage.  In Orlando, you can park in the GEICO Garage for $15 and walk right into the Amway Center from there if you already have your tickets.  There’s no crossing traffic or dealing with people on the street.  Navigating cities you’re not very familiar with can be a challenge with little ones. Especially if you aren’t very familiar with the area, pay the extra couple dollars for the convenience and safety.  It’s totally worth it.
  3. Dress up.  There are lots of little princes, princesses and characters at the show.  Your little ones may enjoy dressing up as their favorite Disney characters for the show, making it an extra special family date night.
    Wear layers or bring blankets.  It can be cold especially as you are sitting and the show goes on so having a jacket or blanket can be really helpful. Elodie’s arms ended up getting cold so I was happy I had brought her Disney sweatshirt to go over her short-sleeved Disney outfit.
  4. Walk around until the show starts.  Babies and toddlers do not wait well, or at least for 99% of the little ones I have met this has been true.  My husband had Elodie in the baby carrier and he walked around the Amway Center until exactly when the show started.  Once the show started, she happily sat and watched, dancing and clapping along.  Taking away that initial waiting helps set us up for success and we usually have a much better time together overall.
  5. Bring your own supplies.  The merchandise and the food at the event is pretty costly and not always little kid friendly (think popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy and toys with little parts).  At the Amway Center at least, they allowed us to bring in our own toddler-friendly snacks.  Elodie sat and happily munched on some organic veggie sticks toward the end of the show.  Our friend took her son who was a little older and he loved all the big kid snacks and really enjoyed getting his snow cone in an Olaf cup so there are cute options if you want to get something there.
  6. Most of all, enjoy the show. It’s a wonderful time: something special and different to enjoy as a family!  Even as regular Disney-World-Park-goers, we found the show to be exciting and fun!

Hope this helps you have a beautiful, adventurous time with your family.

I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.
Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment
Dear Daughter, Why We Travel

Dear Daughter, Why We Travel

Dear Daughter,

I want you to know why I take you on trips like to Disney World, even though you’re just a baby, a toddler, a little one. People tell me, “She won’t remember. It’s not worth it, save your money.” Even I’ve wondered if it’s worth the time, energy and money. But here’s what matters: we will remember. You, your dad and I will all remember how we felt together. Your dad and I will remember vividly the happy, hoarse screech you do when you see Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey Mouse and all of your favorite rides. We will even have pictures to help you remember. And there are so many more reasons that we take you with us when we travel.

We travel together because I need that place to be with you where I give myself permission to not do dishes or vacuum or all the things on my never-ending to-do list. I need to dedicate times to put away the phone and hold you tight. I need to get out and see new places as we spend a lot of time together at home too. I need a place where we do different and new things together so I can show you that you can trust me here, there and everywhere.

But I don’t consider myself a selfish person and it’s not all about my needs. Your dad needs it too. He needs time away from work, where he leaves his work phone at home and doesn’t have anything else to do except to make you giggle. He needs a place where he can hold your hand while you try new things and test boundaries so he can let you know he wants you to be independent but he’s right there behind you if you need him. Your dad needs to be the one who can make your face light up by handing you bubbles and a balloon because when he is at work he doesn’t get moments like that. Your dad needs to see me holding you with a tear in my eye during the fireworks because you’re everything I ever dreamed of and he needs reminders of how powerful our love for you is.

And even more than what your dad and I need, you need it all even more. You need a place where we meet your needs for a schedule while balancing it with you learning how to be flexible. You need to learn how to talk with other people, be polite even when others aren’t, to have courage to make new friends. You need to learn how to be independent and brave by trying new things and going on new rides. You need a place where we put aside all the other things we have going on in our lives and you, your needs and wants and everything about you become our number one priority. Because, although you really are our whole world, sometimes the rest of our chores and work and just life all get in the way. But when we travel together or go to Disney World together, all the love and joy we feel for you all the time gets to be even more magical and also gets captured in photos and videos.

So, they are right and I know that – you won’t remember it all. In fact, it’s possible you’ll remember very few details because you are still very small. But I know in my heart you’ll remember how we made you feel, and we will remember how you made us feel too.

So my love, all the time and energy and money, it was all worth it for us. Even if all we got was that one magical moment together it would be worth it. But we walk away from each day with hundreds of incredible memories and so many of those have become our core memories with you. We have pictures of those special memories together and you’ll see them everyday as you grow and you’ll keep those core memories close to your heart and so will we. And that is the greatest gift we can give you and also you can give us. These moments where we traveled and grew together, my love, are priceless.

We love you, our sweet Mini Minnie.