Doing Disney with a Toddler and Baby: Animal Kingdom

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If You Missed It – Doing Disney with a Toddler and Baby: The Magic Kingdom 

(Also, if you are visiting, at the time of our Disney visit my son, David, was 6 months and my daughter, Libbie, was 32 months.)

Tree of Life

Day 2 of our trip was spent at the Animal Kingdom, which is notoriously hot for some reason. Perhaps lack of good shade and/or indoor rides? Who knows. Honestly, there is not a ton at Animal Kingdom and we didn’t do THAT much. We all opted to go home in the afternoon and hang out at the pool at our rental house.

All of us except my husband and the kids had seen most of Animal Kingdom already; I had seen it in 2002, before Asia was done. The only thing I REALLY wanted to ride was Expedition Everest, and I did – twice!

Animal Kingdom with a Baby and a (Fearful) Toddler

Expedition Everest: The grown-ups took turn riding this back-to-back while my mom and dad took turns taking Libbie to look at animals and to Dinoland USA. It rocks. It’s not for little kids, though!

TriceraTop Spin: Speaking of Dinoland USA … Libbie thought this was the be-all, end-all of all awesomeness. It’s pretty much Dumbo with dinosaurs. My mom took Libbie AND David on it twice (with David in her lap) and my sister took Libbie once. She would have rode it a zillion more times.

DINOSAUR: Back in the land of dinos is the ride called DINOSAUR. No, I don’t know why it’s in all caps. This is also bigger kids-only. We decided to test out the Baby Swap method. I highly recommend doing baby swap + fast passes for the ideal ride. We all had fast passes for a certain time. We went and told them we wanted to do the Baby Swap. They give you a ticket that is good for three adults to go through the fastpass lane. So the first time around, three of our adults went through on Fastpass. Then for the second ride, four adults went through using the baby swap ticket and one Fastpass. (We actually only used four Fastpasses even though we had five in this situation.)

I still hid my eyes for most of DINOSAUR. I am a wimp. Recommended for those older than 29 … or who like to be scared more than I do.

David at Animal Kingdom in Bucket Hat

Finding Nemo—The Musical: My sister is in love with this show, so she was insistent we go. It was nice and cool, and we all enjoyed the show. It really does fill up pretty fast; I think they start the lines 45 minutes prior to the show. We got there about 25 minutes before the show, I think, and found fine seats. Libbie fell asleep quickly and slept through the whole show except the last 3 minutes! David nursed and then watched intently. He loves the music and colors!

Kilimanjaro Safari: The “story” they try to play out on the safari is completely superfluous, but the actual trek through the savanna and seeing all the animals is pretty awesome. It is really bumpy; I might have been afraid if David were any smaller, just about him getting jostled around like that. Libbie hated all the bumps and screamed every time we were moving. (Granted, she was also very hot and tired at this point.)

Camp Minnie-Mickey: This is one of the best places at Disney to meet characters, and the only place we attempted it with our kids. Libbie had in the past been hysterical when faced with big characters in costume. While she was not hysterical, she didn’t really want to take pictures with any of the characters. The lines there are shaded and not too lengthy, so if you want to meet characters I definitely recommend trying to do it at Animal Kingdom.

Meeting Minnie

Libbie was beat, so we skipped out on some of the other attractions. We were pretty sure It’s Tough to Be a Bug would freak her out. We had hoped to see The Lion King show, but again, we were too tired and HOT. Oh well!

We ate lunch at Yak and Yeti Restaurant. Ah, the privileges of going to Disney with Nana and Poppy! It was wonderful to get out of the heat for a while.

Some of the dishes were really good: I had awesome Tempura Shrimp, my mom had the Maple-Tamarind Chicken, and I think my dad liked his Lo-Mein. My sister had some sort of appetizer platter that doesn’t appear to be on the menu any longer, and she wasn’t a fan. Mr. V says his Sweet and Sour Chicken was just OK.

Libbie shared my dad’s Lo-Mein and all the soup “crunchies” we would let her eat. They do have burgers and chicken bites on the kids’ menu if your kids are anti-Asian food or something! We eat Chinese food often so Libbie is pretty acclimated to it.

At Animal Kingdom, I nursed David in the middle of Dino-Land USA (HOT but he was starving), in Finding Nemo (nice, cool, and dark!), and at Yak and Yeti (cool at least). You gotta do what you gotta do!

I’ll be continuing this series with EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, but next we’ll talk about Universal Studios: Island of Adventure! Stay tuned … you might want to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any of these posts if you’re planning a future trip to Florida.

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2 thoughts on “Doing Disney with a Toddler and Baby: Animal Kingdom

  1. I'm with Libbie: those characters (people in costumes, usually with big ol' heads) never appealed to me and still don't. I think that when I was a kid, I always knew that it was a human being dressed up. (For me, this would've been at Opryland USA.) And it was weird to me that they didn't talk. I wasn't impressed, and I didn't want to talk to strangers. I much preferred the live shows (singing and dancing) with people who actually looked like humans.

  2. I'm really appreciating your Disney recap! Rob's work convention will be in Orlando, and our kids will be about the same ages as Libby & David. I hope I can remember to come back and re-read all this before we go!!

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