Animal Kingdom is a very popular destination for both young and young at heart. Since this area has just a few amusement rides, the kids may not enjoy it as much as the older crowd.
The best advice is GO EARLY! Crowds really pickup by mid to late morning and continue throughout the afternoon.
Depending on whether you are an animal person or not, Animal Kingdom can be seen easily in 1 day. If you don't care much for animals, go someplace else, and if you do go, you'll be able to see everything in less than a day. If you like animals, you'll have a great time and maybe want to come back for a second day.
For the very young, visit Camp Minnie-Mickey to collect autographs of famous Disney characters camped out in the woods. This is a great place for the kids to have some face-time with the big mouse. You might want to hold off visiting here till later as a reward for looking at all those pesky animals. However, if all you've heard since leaving the hotel is something like: "How long till we see Mickey? How long till we see Mickey? How long till we see Mickey?" then you might want to rethink that strategy of holding off till later. Check the "Times Guide" for when characters will be appearing throughout the day.
This is popular with the 5 and up group. Rides for the kids are good here and they can dig in the dirt for dino bones. Dinosaurland Carnival area is pay-to-play.
Tusker House Restaurant is the only dining facility in Animal Kingdom offering the popular character dining experience. This option is available only for breakfast and advance reservations are highly recommended. Characters include: Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy.
Plan on getting wet and dress appropriately! For the long wait, the ride is extremely short.
Disney has always featured exotic creatures in their theme parks, but Animal Kingdom is the only park to feature live animals in natural settings.
Animal Kingdom in Orlando, is currently the largest theme park in Disney's bank of adventures and entertainment theme parks. The park is 500 acres with more than 1700 animals mostly exhibited in natural environments. That being said, it is not the largest "ride" park in the Disney repertoire. Animal Kingdom is about the animals and not the rides. Plus, as a general rule, you don't feed the animals.
Upon arrival at Animal Kingdom, you'll receive your tickets, a map and an activity schedule. Keep these safe. Your tickets will be used to get Fast Pass tickets. Your activity schedule will give the times and locations of a variety of events that change from day-to-day, especially when and where characters will be appearing.
Don't panic! The cast at Disney have lots of experience with lost parents and know how to handle the situation. Just contact any of the cast members to let them know of your situation. Having that dayglow t-shirt, especially one with your child's name sew in, might just be a big help in such situations.
There are so many trails winding through the park, it's easy for a parent to get separated from the kids. The adult stops for the 100th time to admire one of the plumed birds that the kids don't give a hoot about, and off they go. You turn around and they're gone. Especially keep tabs on the little ones on the woodsy trails. Again, don't panic if you do become separated.
Be especially vigilante with your kids during the afternoon parade. It's very easy for the kids to try and get a better view by wiggling through the crowd, and out of sight.
Make sure each child under 8 has an ID tag attached somewhere on their clothing so they can quickly be identified if lost and found.
Sunscreen and walking shoes are a must. Even if there is snow on the ground back home, the Florida sun can still give you a nasty sunburn. Most of the events at Animal World are outside.
Check the weather before you go to the park. Dress appropriately. You may need to take multi-purpose clothing if weather dictates.
You must pass through a security checkpoint before entering. All bags will be searched.
One ATM is located at the entrance to the Park, next to the kennel.
Behind the scenes tours are available.
Don't feed the animals. Each species is on a special diet that can be seriously harmed by careless visitors.
Measureyour child's height so you know which rids they can enjoy.
Use Fast Pass strategically.
Ride the most popular rides early in the day.
The Park closes at dusk, and does not have a nighttime show.
Bring your autograph book to Camp Minnie-Mickey.
Do not go on a rainy day.
Many of the Disney Cast Members speak more than one language. The flags on their name tags indicate which languages they speak.
Strollers are permitted in the park. Strollers are also available for rent. While they can be problematic in large crowds, they are a life-saver for keeping track of your little ones without hand-carrying them all day.
The rides do not permit strollers, but they do offer free parking while on the ride. Make sure to mark your stroller so anyone would know that the stroller they're taking, isn't theirs. I like to think that most people are honest, but folks do make mistakes. IDing your stroller might help someone from making a mistake.
Strollers are often used for kids up to 5 or so just to keep tabs on the kids. speaking of which, you might want to adopt brightly colored, matching shirts so you can easily spot everyone in a crowd. Dayglow orange comes to mind, but leave the construction cone topper at home.
Although Animal Kingdom World is handicapped accessible, be aware, especially for manual-powered wheelchair users, there are a number of inclines which might be a problem.