• The Top Kid-Friendly Rides at Animal Kingdom!

The Top Kid-Friendly Rides at Animal Kingdom!

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Feb 06, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

The Top Kid-Friendly Rides at Animal Kingdom!

Animals! Everyone loves them, that is 100% a true fact. Dogs, cats, lizards, cows, rabbits… sometimes we even love animals enough to have spiders as pets! Aww, look at those beautiful eight eyes staring at us and the poisonous fangs ready to give us a hug.

You know what else people love? Good rides. Having fun. Especially kids, and kids have a very peculiar and honest taste when it comes to theme park attractions. If it sucks, they are going to tell you all about it. If it’s fun, they will be laughing all day. If it’s scary like the Tower of Terror, they will probably be crying.

Animal Kingdom tree of life.webp

So, what are some of the best kid-friendly rides at Animal Kingdom? We chose a few for you, based not only on how fun they are, but also the perfect age range for each one. We give you quick details if a ride is set in the dark, if it can be scary for younglings and any sort of info that can help you decide if a particular ride is appropriate for your little ones.

Of course, it can be really hard to pick an exact age range which is adequate for each ride, but we tried our best. We also are not including big blockbusters like Expedition Everest and Avatar Flight of Passage. Is your kid old enough - and, more importantly, tall enough - to ride them? Are they not afraid? Then sure, give them the green light and let them join the Na'vi.

We are focusing on rides which are mostly aimed at kids, or some lesser known favorites. Keep in mind that Animal Kingdom also features walkthroughs which you can tour at your own pace and spot animals like gorillas and giraffes, so that could be a fun thing to do as well.

Animal Kingdom park exit.webp

With that in mind, let us show you a list of kid-friendly rides in Animal Kingdom. After that, we are going to analyze each single ride and why they might be good for your children or not. Let’s see:

Good for every Age range

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • TriceraTop Spin 
  • The Boneyard

Good for Ages 6+

  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!

Good for Ages 9+

  • Wilderness Explorers

Good for Ages 10+

  • Dinosaur

Ride Height Requirements

No Height Requirement

  • Affection Section 
  • The Boneyard 
  • Conservation Station 
  • Discovery Island Trails 
  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail 
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug! 
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris 
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Na’vi River Journey 
  • Tree of Life 
  • TriceraTop Spin 
  • Wildlife Express Train

38″ (97 cm) or more

  • Kali River Rapids

40″ (102 cm) or more

  • DINOSAUR

44″ (112 cm) or more

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest

In-depth Overview

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Details: Good for all ages, safari tour with real animals.

Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safaris.webp

Hey, that’s a ride where you are going to spot a bunch of animals while you are on the back of a safari truck. Of course that kids will love this. You will also love this. Kilimanjaro Safaris is probably the most classic attraction in Animal Kingdom, and it’s easy to see why. A 22 minute tour through the jungle, which gives your younglings the chance to see anything from hippos to giraffes, crocodiles and lions as well.

Do keep in mind that ride operators will ask your kids to be seated in the middle seats of your row, usually between father and mother, which makes sense since it keeps them away from the doors.

One good tip for this ride is to come here early in the day, usually before 11:30 a.m. This increases your chances of encountering different animals and species. The exotic wildlife tends to be more active during the morning, so come here before they decide to have lunch and head to bed right past noon. 

Festival of the Lion King

Details: Good for all ages, live show, show takes 30 minutes

Festival of The Lion King.webp
Walt Disney World©

A very fun, colorful and vibrant show which is perfect for kids of all ages. This show takes about 30 minutes, and is a mix of stunt actors performing acrobatics on stage and musicians singing a bunch of classic songs from the first movie, like Hakuna Matata and I Just Can’t Wait to be King. 

There are also several props and puppets that are part of the presentation, certainly a good way to keep your children entertained during the whole attraction. The talented singers also interact with the audience, usually separating the theater into different sections which represent a certain animal, so that’s a good chance for your son to roar like a lion. Get your camera ready!

Since this is one of Animal Kingdom’s many live shows, make sure to check your park map and see specific time slots for the day. 

Na’vi River Journey

Details: Good for all ages, boat dark ride.

Animal Kingdom Avatar Pandora river journey.jpeg
Walt Disney World©

A very fun and safe choice for those with children that love to see something new and colorful. Honestly, Na’vi River Journey is a very meh ride if we are only considering a party of adults, but it can be a good choice for kids of all ages, especially toddlers. You can see a bunch of alien plants, creatures and the tall, blue Na’vi are exquisitely well made. It also helps that Na’vi River Journey debuted in 2017, so the animatronics are all very realistic and the visual effects are still top notch.

This is a very chill boat ride, even less intense than something like Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean. You won’t get soaked, there aren’t any surprises coming out of nowhere and it features a grand total of zero drops. Just a fun ride to enjoy your time with your children. The only bad thing is that queue times are usually high, at around 40 min, so it might be a good choice to buy Disney Genie+ just to optimize your time.    

Feathered Friends in Flight!

Details: Good for all ages, live show, show takes around 35 minutes.

Disney Animal Kingdom Feathered friends.webp

More animals to make your entire family happy! Well, mostly birds, but birds are also pretty cool, c’mon. This is a live show that features trainers and a good amount of different species of birds performing amazing feats in front of your eyes. The entire show lasts about 30 minutes, and it manages to be fun the whole time. Sometimes the trainers even invite kids on stage so they can also interact with the real stars of the show. So yeah, get your camera ready, there is a chance your kid will be called to feed a giant falcon or something. Well, actually I don’t know if they have falcons. I’m not that good when it comes to bird specimens, but they are pretty fun, trust me.

Make sure to check your park map for show times, and arrive a little bit earlier than usual. There should be two or three presentations per day, so pick your favorite time slot and have fun.

TriceraTop Spin

Details: Good for toddlers, flying carousel. 

This is a classic and cute attraction in Dinoland USA, and one you see a lot of families going with their toddlers. There isn't much to be said about it. You board a cute triceratops, the vehicle raises from the ground a little bit and then it’s time to slowly spin for about 90 seconds. Just like a flying carousel, nothing more, nothing less.

Four guests can board a single triceratops, with two seated in the front row and two in the back. Your vehicle also moves up and down a little bit, but don’t expect anything thrilling, of course. I mean, that’s not the objective of a ride like that. Kids ages 8+ probably aren’t going to enjoy this one as much, but toddlers have a great time. Bonus point: queues tend to be extremely fast, so you’re not losing too much of your park experience even if your kids end up not enjoying these triceratops very much.

The Boneyard

Details: Good for kids up to 10yo, playground

Animal Kingdom boneyard.jpeg
Walt Disney World©

The Boneyard isn’t exactly a ride with queue times, but a playground where you can bring your kids to have a good time and run around to spend energy. There are rope bridges, slides, dino fossils and all sorts of stuff for the young explorers to enjoy while parents sit down and relax for a few minutes. There are also a few spots with sand for your kids to dive into (c’mon, we know it’s going to happen) or build their beautiful Cinderella-sand castles.

This is just a good place to sit down and relax between rides. Can also be a good spot to return to later on, if you have a young child and it’s time to give him or her lunch, or just give your muscles time to recover.

It’s Tough to be a Bug!

Details: Good for ages 6+ , 3D theater, contains scary sections, leaves guests in darkness for a short time.

Animal Kingdom Tough to be a Bug Entrance.webp

This is one of the oldest attractions in all Animal Kingdom, and takes place inside the iconic Tree of Life. It’s Tough to be a Bug is a great, funny 3D movie aimed mostly at kids and runs for about 9 minutes. You join Flick and several insects from our world as they show us how every animal can be important to our ecosystem. Yes, even the tiny ones!

Each insect shows us something funny, which is usually followed by a unique practical effect. One insect can launch spider balls at you, for example, which makes wind blow at your face. The practical effects are always funny and make kids laugh. It also helps that the visuals are very colorful and Flick manages to be very charismatic the whole time.

Just keep in mind that there are scary parts during the presentation. At some point, the insects get (rightfully) angry at us humans. It’s at this moment that the theater is engulfed in darkness and big, scary spider puppets hang from the ceiling. It doesn’t last much, but it can definitely be enough to scare younglings and make them cry. 

Wilderness Explorers

Details: Good for ages 9+, nature-themed challenges, takes a long time to complete.

Much like The Boneyard, this isn’t exactly a ride, but a series of challenges that take place all over Animal Kingdom. You basically go past the main gates then head to one of the Wilderness Explorer’s kiosks, where you grab a small handbook containing 31 pages. 31 pages for 31 challenges that you must complete all over the different areas of Animal Kingdom.

This is a fun and very original interactive experience for those young guests that want something different and really love animals, nature and want to know more about them. These challenges can take a long while, and each completed mission earns you a stamp in your handbook, which turns into a nice souvenir you can bring home. Challenges can be anything from writing down the name of a specific animal or doing a special sign with your hands, which indicates that you truly are an adventurous explorer.

The only downside here is that those missions can take a long while to finish, which means that you probably won’t have any time for the awesome rides in Animal Kingdom, so keep that in mind.

DINOSAUR

Details: Good for ages 10+, dark ride, contains scary animatronics and sounds, shakes and bounces. 

Animal Kingdom Dinosaur.webp

One of the few kid-friendly rides with a height requirement: 40’’. It’s not a lot, but I would probably recommend Dinosaur only for older kids out there that want something more intense. This is a dark ride that is, well, pretty dark, contains a lot of dinosaurs that look scary and makes loud sounds during the last few moments before all is said and done. This is enough to make very young guests really scared with so much going on, from a T-Rex coming out of nowhere to loud beeps pointing to the fact that an asteroid is coming to disintegrate our planet and everyone in it.

I’ve seen a lot of parents bring really young kids here, and I don’t really blame them. It’s hard to know how your children are going to react during a brand new ride, even more so when they are the ones super excited to try it out. Still, I’ve also lost count of how many kids I’ve seen crying at the end of Dinosaur. Most of them looked really young, around six years old or so, and it’s one of the reasons why I think this ride would be better suited for guests that are at least ten years old.

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