Here’s a little recap of our first day at DisneyWorld in Animal Kingdom!
Kilimanjaro Safaris – Probably our kids favorite ride of the day. You ride in a jeep/bus through an incredible wildlife habitat and get to see all kinds of animals (elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions, giraffes, and so many more!). Very fun, informative and great for all ages!
Festival of the Lion King – Eloise and I had seen this on our last trip, but this was a first for Bryan and Henry. It’s a 30 minute, action packed, recap/performance of the Lion King. There are singers, dancers, gymnastics, fire dancers with some characters and all of your favorite songs! You’ll be singing and clapping along for sure!
Expedition Everest – I haven’t been, but Bryan said it was a ton of fun! A ramped up Thunder Mountain, with a part that goes backwards, fast!
It’s Tough to be a Bug! – 3D show that scared the life out of both kids last year, but they both enjoyed this year. It’s fun, but it kind of fringes on the line of too much when you’re getting sprayed and stink bombed!
Wilderness Explorers – A hut that we walked past and didn’t think much of it, many times unfortunately! Eloise absolutely loved this once we figured out what it was. There are stations throughout the park where kids can pick up a free wilderness explorer book. You then search for other stations where you engage with a cast member and learn a quick lesson about all kinds of different animal related topics. Once you complete the lesson, you get a sticker (badge) to add to your book. A fun way to pass some time between rides or while your sibling is asleep!
Fossil Fun Games – This is in Dino Land and it’s modeled after an old school carnival. You buy tickets ($6 each – as in, each game is $6, which seems a bit steep to us) and you compete in carnival games like whack a mole or the water cannon races. It’s honestly kind of a bizarre part of the park, but one that Eloise likes very much, so we made a quick stop. Both kids really enjoy the Triceratop Spin ride (just like Dumbo at Magic Kingdom.
Tusker House – Last time we were here the food was served by a cast member, now it’s back to buffet style, which was actually fine. There are tons of food options and we had a really nice lunch! The highlight of this place though is the characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy come around to each table to take pictures and interact with your family. Watching our kids melt for each character was worth the price of admission. There is dancing and singing and all in all, this is one of our favorite stops at Disney!
Yak & Yeti – This was one of the highest recommended restaurants by you all, and it did not disappoint! It’s pan-Asian inspired food and everything we had was delicious! Bryan and I shared egg rolls, honey chicken, vegetable lo mein, and the kids were very happy with their noodles, fruit, and rice. Highly recommend this place for a nice dinner with great food!
Tips & Tricks that worked for us:
- I have seen other blogs say that Genie+ isn’t necessary at Animal Kingdom, others say it depends on the day. For us, it definitely saved us some time on a few occasions, and despite the extra cost, I’d recommend it. While the kids took a nap, Bryan booked a ride on Everest and was gone for maybe 15 minutes. The standby line was well over an hour.
- We walked in the front gate before 9:00 AM and walked straight to the Safaris (having already booked another lightning lane for 10:30). The animals were amazing first thing in the morning. Way more than our second go around.
- The park in general quiets down as the day goes on. Activities like face painting and carnival games seem to get less busy after lunch and into mid afternoon. We think people head to other parks to see fireworks, Animal Kingdom also closes earlier than the other parks (7 PM tonight).
- There are tons of great snack/food options, but one of our best stops today was the outside market just below the safaris. They have tons of fresh fruit, drinks, and snacks that was a great mid-morning break for all of us.
- Everything listed above we did in 1 day between about 9 AM and 7 PM. While we love Animal Kingdom and will most definitely be back, you can absolutely do this park in 1 day.
- Bryan did the Avatar ride on our last trip and said it was one of the coolest rides he’d ever been on (careful if you get motion sickness) – just a heads up – it’s the most popular ride here. If you want to go and you have Genie+, book it early. We looked throughout the day today and Genie+ had no more time slots after mid morning and the standby line was over two hours consistently.
What we wore:
Click on each image to get the direct outfit links and details:
Both of the kids outfits are from Orlando Target – not online
We have another big blog post HERE from our trip last time if you are planning a trip and want to check it out!