Kids in the six to eight year old range love animals, so Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the perfect theme park for them. The park has several attractions that your child definitely won’t want to miss.
Kids love a train ride, and the Wildlife Express at Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes families to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, where one of the most popular attractions with the young set is the Affection Section. While most of the animals in the park can only be watched from afar, the goats, sheep, llamas, and other creatures here can all be fed, brushed, and loved on.
This attraction is a prehistoric version of the Dumbo ride at the Magic Kingdom, and it’s suitable for all ages. Dinosaur is another ride in this area, and its height requirement is only 40 inches. Most younger kids do good on this ride, especially if they love all things dino. Just be aware that most of the journey is in almost total darkness, so avoid it if someone in your family has a fear of the dark.
Taller kids can ride Primaeval Whirl, a nice little starter roller coaster with a 48 inch height requirement. Not only does it navigate a Wild Mouse-like track, but its trains like a Tilt-A-Whirl car.
If your youngsters like Primaeval Whirl, or if they’re just a bit too short to ride it, head over to Asia, where they can ride Expedition Everest, which has a 44 inch height requirement. It looks intimidating, but it’s actually a mild roller coaster with no big drops. It does go backward, and keep have the kids keep their eyes open to spot the legendary Yeti.
Festival of the Lion King
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has two big stage shows, Finding Nemo: The Musical and Festival of the Lion King. They’re both good for kids, but Festival of the Lion King is much more lively and interactive, which
makes it the best option for the six to eight age range. Your family can let loose, singing along and making animal noises, as they join Simba for a special celebration.
Camp Minnie-Mickey Greeting Trails
Kids in the six to eight year old age range love to meet the Disney characters. Camp Minnie-Mickey is the home base for such luminaries as the namesake mice, plus Goofy, Pluto, Tigger, Terk, Rafiki, and Baloo.
The actual characters vary, but you’ll see signs listing each day’s appearances.
This character spot is near Festival of the Lion King, so combine a stop here with a visit to the show.
Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
When the kids can’t get enough of Mickey and his friends, Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade kicks off every afternoon. It’s a 15 minute procession of characters, led by Rafiki. Younger kids especially enjoy
it because it’s not a passive experience. The Party Patrol gets everyone singing, chanting, and dancing.
The must-do ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Hop on board an open-air safari vehicle and venture out into an “African game reserve” to view its residents. Kids delight in up-close encounters with a wide variety of African animals.
Some, like lions, cheetahs, and hippos, are separated from guests by hidden barriers. Others, like giraffes, antelopes, ostriches, and rhinos, can walk right up to the safari vehicles. Sometimes they even stop in your path and delay your journey until they finally decide to get out of the way.
It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Have a child that is fascinated by bugs? If yes, they’ll love this show, based on the Pixar movie, “A Bug’s Life.” While it’s suitable for most kids between six and eight years old, skip it if you have an especially sensitive youngster. It has loud noises, and the villain Hopper makes a scary (but temporary) appearance.