The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom, with detailed animal carvings on its trunk and expansive green branches

Best Animal Kingdom Rides & Activities for Toddlers- 2024


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a fun park that your toddler will love! Not only does Animal Kingdom have fun rides, but it’s a park full of animals, lively shows, and some of your toddler’s favorite Disney characters.

I have been to Animal Kingdom more times than I can count and have experienced taking all three of mine as toddlers. Because of this, I can expertly provide you with the best rides, shows, activities, and tips for taking your toddler to Animal Kingdom.

Let’s go!!

5 Best Animal Kingdom Rides for Toddlers

Animal Kingdom may not have as many rides as Magic Kingdom, but there is still plenty to do to keep your one-, two, or three-year-old and the rest of your family entertained and happy!

Here are the 5 best Animal Kingdom rides for toddlers.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is my favorite ride and thing to do with toddlers in Animal Kingdom.

You just can’t go to Animal Kingdom without taking a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari. This is what Animal Kingdom is all about! A little bit of a ride, combined with the animals and the Disney magic of storytelling! Your little one will be wide-eyed and in pure amazement.

A view from a safari vehicle shows the back of a toddler's head looking out at an elephant in the distance.

PRO-TIP: You can enter the line with your stroller. Halfway through the line, a cast member will take your stroller for you. This is very nice for us moms and dads. It gives you an extra break from having to hold your toddler or from your toddler having to walk.

On Kilimanjaro Safaris, you and your family will hop onto an open-air vehicle and take a ride through the jungles and savannahs of Africa. Disney does an amazing job at making you feel like you are really in Africa.

The animals are free-roaming, which is really cool. You just never know what might cross the road in front of you.

Some animals you will see here are giraffes, lions, hippopotamuses, rhinos, hyenas, cheetahs, crocodiles, and zebras.

The Disney tour guides are very entertaining and are great storytellers! They have lots of interesting facts about the animals to share.

Fun fact, for all you Lion King fans! The inspiration for Simba from the live-action remake of Lion King was the male lion here at the park.

A lion sits on a rock formation under a blue sky, with green trees around.

Kilimanjaro Safaris will be a top favorite ride at Animal Kingdom for your toddler.

There is no age or height requirement for this ride. This is a ride for ALL.

Location: Africa
Height/Age Requirement: None
Duration of Ride: Approximately 20 minutes

Na’vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey is a boat ride located in the Pandora area in Animal Kingdom. It’s a slow boat ride through a glowing bioluminescent rainforest.

Your kid will be fascinated by the glowing colors and music. The calm, easy ride combined with the amazing colors and music, make it one of the best for toddlers and young kids.

There is no age or height requirement for this ride.

A boat ride scene from Na'vi River Journey, glowing with neon blues and purples, showcasing the luminescent flora of Pandora.

PRO-TIP: If you or anyone else in your party is interested in riding Avatar Flight of Passage, which I highly recommend, head to Avatar Flight of Passage first thing in the morning. This is the longest wait at the park.

Take advantage of Rider Swap, so the one staying back with your toddler doesn’t have to wait after the other adult gets off. After you ride on Avatar Flight of Passage, proceed to Na’vi River Journey.

Location: Pandora-The World of Avatar
Height/Age Requirement: None
Duration of Ride: Approximately 5 minutes

Wildlife Express Train

Part ride, part way of transportation to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The Wildlife Express Train will be a favorite Animal Kingdom ride for a train-loving child.

The train ride is about a 7-minute ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Rafiki’s Planet Watch includes a petting zoo, an outdoor discovery trail with monkeys, and a conservation station.

Location: Africa
Height/Age Requirement: None
Duration of Ride: Approximately 7 minutes

Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids is a fun, wet ride for your older and taller toddlers. The height requirement is 38 inches.

You will sit in a circular river raft while riding down a roaring river. There are spins and small drops, as you go cruising down the river, but nothing that should frighten your young child too much.

You WILL get wet though! So this is something I only like to ride on the hottest days. There are lockers located across from the entrance to Kali River Rapids. This is a great place to store those valuables that you do not want to get wet.

PRO-TIP: If you don’t like getting wet, bring a waterproof poncho or an extra change of clothes.

Location: Asia
Height/Age Requirement: Minimum 38 inches
Duration of Ride: Approximately 5 minutes

TriceraTop Spin

TriceraTop Spin is a toddler-friendly dinosaur ride located in the DinoLand U.S.A. area. This ride is very similar to Dumbo at Magic Kingdom. Instead of riding flying elephants though, you are riding flying dinosaurs.

Two children, a boy in an orange shirt and a girl in sunglasses, smiling on the Triceratop Spin ride at Animal Kingdom.

There are no age or height requirements for this ride, making this one of the best Animal Kingdom rides for toddlers.

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.
Height/Age Requirement: None
Duration of Ride: Approximately 90 seconds

Other Fun Activities for Toddlers at Animal Kingdom

Rides are not the only thing to keep your toddler and family entertained at Animal Kingdom. I’ve included the best shows and activities at Animal Kingdom to do with your youngster below.

It’s Tough to be a Bug!

It’s Tough to be a Bug is a 3D/4D interactive show. There is no age or height requirement, however, if your toddler is afraid of the dark or bugs, this might not be the best show for them.

Two kids smiling and looking up, wearing 3D glasses from the 'It's Tough to Be a Bug' attraction at Animal Kingdom.

You will sit in a theatre with 3D glasses. There are some fun effects such as a spray from a soldier termite and a stinky smell from a stink bug.

Your toddler should find this show funny and entertaining! In the end, there is a fun surprise!

Location: Discovery Island
Height/Age Requirement: None
Approximate Time of Show: Approximately 9 minutes
Cons: Not for toddlers afraid of the dark and bugs.

The Boneyard

The Boneyard is a large play area for kids ages 10 and under. This is a must when visiting Animal Kingdom with toddlers.

A toddler in a red shirt exploring The Boneyard play area at Animal Kingdom.

Here your kids can walk across rope bridges, slide down slides, and climb through caves. There’s also a dig site where your kids will enjoy digging up some dinosaur fossils.

It’s a great place for us parents to sit and relax in the shade while our kids play.

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.
Height/Age Requirement: Ages 10 and under

Rafiki’s Planet Watch-Affection Section

For your animal-loving toddler, head to the Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Here your toddler will enjoy petting and hugging these adorable animals.

Location: Africa
Height/Age Requirement: None

Fossil Fun Games

Fossil Fun Games are carnival-style games located in DinoLand U.S.A. These include your typical carnival-style games such as shooting hoops and squirt target games. Do well and you just might bring home that giant stuffed animal.

These games are an additional cost to your park ticket.

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.
Height/Age Requirement: None

Wilderness Explorers

Wilderness Explorers is a series of fun activities for kids to complete at Animal Kingdom. These can range from animal observation to learning important skills about the wilderness. They can collect over 25 badges for completing these various activities.

You can pick up a Wilderness Explorer handbook from headquarters. (Located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island.) If you miss this location, you can stop by at Wilderness Explorer Troop Leader locations in Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia, Dinoland U.S.A, and Pandora World of Avatar.

Location: The headquarters is located on the bridge between Oasis and Discovery Island. Wilderness Explorer Troop Leader locations are located throughout the park.
Height/Age Requirement: For kids of all ages.

A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King

A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King is a must-see show at Animal Kingdom. This show is lively and entertaining. You will find yourself singing along to all your favorite songs from The Lion King.

Location: Africa
Duration of Show: Approximately 40 minutes

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! is a great show for the whole family. You will enjoy the puppets, singers, and other performers on stage as you sit back and relax in your seat.

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.

View the Animals

All toddlers love animals! And Animal Kingdom has plenty of them. Take a break from the rides and shows and leisurely just admire the many different animals this park has.

There are many different animal viewing locations throughout the park.

In Africa, you can view gorillas, hippos, and exotic birds on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

View flamingos, otters, and vultures on Discovery Island.

In Asia, take a walk through the Maharajah Jungle Trek. See tigers, a flying fox, and a Komodo dragon!

Best Places to Eat at Animal Kingdom With Toddlers

Because eating with toddlers is super important and necessary, here are the best places to eat with your toddler at Animal Kingdom!


You can’t go wrong with pizza with kids. If you are looking for pizza at Animal Kingdom, head to Pizzafari. Here they serve up pizzas, salads, and chicken parmesan sandwiches. They also have kid favorites PB&J Uncrustables and macaroni and cheese.

Location: Discovery Island
Hours: Lunch and Dinner from 10:30 AM to 4:15 PM

PRO-TIP: When dining quick service at Disney, we arrive early to beat the crowds. Arrive for lunch between 10:30-11 for a quicker and more relaxing environment.

Tusker House-Character Dining

Tusker House is your character dining spot in Animal Kingdom. Character dining is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Character dining is pricy but SO worth it when you have kids. The Tusker House is a great character dining option at Disney World. The atmosphere, ambiance, and food are just amazing!

The Swanson family of 5 posing at the entrance of Tusker House.

My favorite time to eat here is for breakfast. Here they will provide you with their specialty, Jungle Juice. Breakfast favorites here include scrambled eggs, Mickey and Simba waffles, bacon, sausage, roasted potatoes, fresh fruit, and pastries.

For lunch and dinner, get a taste of Africa with entrees such as Moroccan-spiced beef and spit-roasted herb chicken. Your toddler will love the assorted bread and mac and cheese.

Three happy kids hugging Donald Duck at the character breakfast at Tusker House.

PRO-TIP: This is a very hard reservation to get. Make sure to book this Advanced Dining Reservation as soon as you can. You can book online up to 60 days in advance of your check-in date.

Location: Africa
Hours: Breakfast- 8AM-10:30AM; Lunch- 11:00-3:30 PM; Dinner-3:35-7:00PM

Flame Tree Barbecue

Flame Tree Barbecue is my favorite quick-service restaurant at Animal Kingdom. They serve up yummy barbecue including chicken, ribs, salads, and pulled pork sandwiches. Sides include baked beans, coleslaw, fries, onion rings, and cutie mandarine oranges. For the kiddos, they serve a baked chicken drumstick, hot dog, or PB&J Uncrustables.

Not only is the food here delicious for quick service, but I also love their outdoor eating area. Here you can find a table by the water and watch the characters go riding by.

Mickey, Minnie and Pluto crusing down the river at Animal Kingdom.

Location: Discovery Island
Hours: Lunch and Dinner from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM

Creature Comforts (Starbucks Coffee)

Creature Comforts is the place to go for us moms and dads for Starbucks coffee at Animal Kingdom. Fuel up here first thing in the morning or whenever you need a burst of energy to keep you going!

They also serve cute Disney baked goods. Great to grab for your toddler, while you get your coffee!

Location: Discovery Island( Next to Baby Care Center and First Aid)

Tips for Taking Your Toddler to Animal Kingdom

Here are some of my best tips for taking your little ones to Animal Kingdom.

✔Take Advantage of the Animal Kingdom Baby Care Center

All Disney parks include a Baby Care Center. Take advantage of Animal Kingdom’s Baby Care Center when visiting Animal Kingdom with babies and toddlers.

Animal Kingdom’s Baby Care Center is located in Discovery Island to the left of the Tree of Life. Don’t cross the bridge to Africa or you’ve gone too far!

The Baby Care Center offers a clean, quiet environment to nurse, change, and feed your babies and toddlers. Highchairs are available. They also have a room with a television and comfortable seating for the little ones. This is a nice place to go and get out of the heat on a hot day.

At the Baby Care Center, you can purchase baby/toddler supplies such as diapers, pull-ups, pacifiers, sippy cups, and medicine.

PRO-TIP: If you have medicine for your child back at the hotel and just need 1 dose, I recommend going to First Aid next door. They will provide you with a free dose of medicine here!

✔Strollers are a MUST!

Strollers are a MUST when visiting Animal Kingdom with toddlers and young kids!!! There is just too much walking at any Disney park to not have a stroller. Not only are strollers great for the little ones, but they’re also great for storing things purchased at the park.

If you are not bringing your own stroller, you can rent one at the main entrance of Animal Kingdom.

I’m a huge fan of Disney strollers! They are well worth the cost!! They are very lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Another benefit of renting a Disney stroller is you don’t have to worry about carrying your stroller on Disney transportation. This can be a little stressful sometimes. Trying to fold up the stroller quickly and find a place to store it on Disney transportation can sometimes be a little difficult.

COST of Renting Disney Strollers:
Single Stroller- Daily $15; Multi-Day $13
Double Stroller-Multi-day $31; Multi-Day $27

PRO-TIP: You might want to rent a double stroller if you have an older child who normally doesn’t ride in a stroller. Little legs tire very easily; this is a great way to have your child rest and get shade from the hot sun.

✔Start Early!

Start Early!!! This is so, so VERY important!! Starting EARLY is SO important when visiting any Disney Park with toddlers and young kids. I recommend arriving an hour before the park opens. Arriving early will save you SO much time in having to wait in long lines. Toddlers and young kids do NOT do well waiting in line for long periods.

You will be able to do SO much MORE by arriving early. The middle of the day can get very crowded. By the time most people arrive by the middle of the day, you will have done most of the stuff in the park!

✔Check My Disney Experience App

Be sure to check the My Disney Experience App the night before to confirm Animal Kingdom’s opening hours. Also, check the My Disney Experience App for schedules of showtimes and character greetings. Being prepared makes a huge difference in your experience at a Disney Park.

✔Bring a Backpack

Make sure to bring a backpack! Backpacks are an easy way to store your baby, toddler, and young kid’s things such as bottles, sippy cups, diapers, and snacks. You don’t want to have to carry a diaper bag or such while waiting in lines or on rides.

For cute backpacks and information about taking a backpack to Disney World, check out Best Backpacks for Disney World 2024!

The Wrap-Up

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a fun park for the whole family. I hope my guide to the best Animal Kingdom rides for toddlers has helped you plan your trip to the most magical place on Earth!

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