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The Best ‘First Rides’ for Kids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Best 'First Rides' for Kids in Disney's Animal Kingdom Disney's Animal Kingdom Secret Animals Disney's Animal Kingdom Secret Animals Disney's Animal Kingdom Secret Animals

Your first trip to Walt Disney World is literally the stuff that dreams are made of. There is so much to see and do that knowing where to begin can be the hard part. If you are traveling with children, those first experiences they enjoy can set the tone for the whole trip; that’s why we are here to help you choose the best ‘First Rides‘ for your kids. We’ve already covered some of the parks in Walt Disney World, and today, we are rounding things out with Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This Disney park doesn’t have as many traditional rides as some of the others, with tons of shows, animal exhibits, and walk-through attractions to enjoy as well.




Kilimanjaro Safaris

A beautiful way to kick off your Disney’s Animal Kingdom adventure is to hop onto Kilimanjaro Safaris. Not only are you more likely to get the best of the animals without the midday heat, but it’s also a fabulous way to introduce your family to the essence of this park, the natural world, and conservation. Kids will have the opportunity to see some of the world’s most extraordinary animals without the regular zoo barriers.

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Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond is the first of a few shows that are on our list of potential first rides for your family. Though not a traditional ride, the experience is unparalleled. If your little ones are a fan of Nemo & friends, this is a colorful, must-see show that brings the characters to life on stage in front of you. The puppetry is nothing short of remarkable in this first-class production that will leave you delighted.

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Na’vi River Journey

A huge part of the Animal Kingdom draw is Pandora – The World of Avatar, and while the storyline might be aimed at a more mature audience, there is still so much to enjoy for kids. This area is one of the most beautiful sections of the park, especially at night when the walkways and gardens come to life. Ease your younger ones into the feel of things with Na’vi River Journey, a gentle boat ride through the stunning world of Pandora.



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Festival of the Lion King

More animal-themed shows are waiting to light up your time in the youngest Walt Disney World park. This time, head on over to the Festival of the Lion King show, where Broadway-worthy performances take this on-screen animation and turn it into a delightful stage production. Sing along with all your favorite songs and enjoy the characters from The Lion King as you are transported to the savannah in this immersive stage show.



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It’s Tough to be a Bug!

Hidden within the Tree of Life is an exciting 4D experience that will have kids laughing and having fun from the start. The ‘It’s Tough To Be A Bug‘ show is a great way to get your kids out of the sun and into a cooler space where they can enjoy the full sensory experience that comes with this show. The attraction is said to be replaced in the future with a Zootopia-themed show of the same kind, though no dates are currently available.



The Best 'First Rides' for Kids in Disney's Animal Kingdom Its-Tough-to-be-a-Bug


As you can see, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a distinct focus on the animal world and isn’t your typical theme park. This is all part of what makes this beautiful place so unique. We hope you enjoy a few of these suggestions for your family’s ‘first rides’ while in the park. If you have any tips to add to the list, add them to the comments below or start a conversation on our community boards.


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Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.




















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