Alrighty then . . .
Here's the link to the Animal Kingdom map. Use it wisely and memorize the details. . . . you will be quizzed later.
The Animal Kingdom has the Tree of Life in the center of the park. The Tree is the icon for the park, plus it houses the "IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BUG" show. The tree's trunk is composed of various animals, reptiles and dinosaurs. Spend time before the show to take it all in, as you walk along the path to the queuing area, you will see many, many critters.
Again, my experience has been that this park doesn't take a full day to enjoy, of course, depending on the time of year and the crowd levels. Some critics have called the Animal Kingdom a 'glorified zoo'.
Well . . . yes and no.
True, it has numerous animals from various parts of the world, but Disney has also taken it to the next level. Spend some time on the various trails, enjoying the animals from different parts of the world. Also, take the time to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris, which showcases the land and animals of Africa, but there are very few rides for a park this size.
Currently, the main parts of the Animal Kingdom are Africa, Asia and Dinoland USA.
Africa offers one ride--Kilimanjaro Safaris
Asia offers -- Expedition Everest (roller coaster) looks scary, but it's totally fun! Make a point of waiting in the regular line, the Fast Pass line AND the singles line. The first two lines take you through different areas of the pre-ride 'show', and the singles line . . . well, you can ride it numerous times! And Kali River Rapids (WET! you WILL get soaked. raft ride). As I've said before, I'm not a fan of wet rides unless they're in a water park.
DinoLand --DINOSAUR (trip to the past), Primeval Whirl (spinning coaster), and the only kiddie ride in the park, TriceraTop Spin (think Dumbo). Finding Nemo the show is very cool.
Minor areas include:
Discovery Island --IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BUG SHOW
Camp Minnie-Mickey--character meet and greets, and Festival of the Lion King show.
Rafiki's Planet Watch -- Sloooow train to the Conservation station. Some fun stuff, including a petting zoo, but once was more than enough for this family.
The reason I don't think this is a very kid-friendly park is simply because most of the rides have a height requirement, which leave most of the little tykes out in the cold, ride-wise that is.
So if you have little tykes, I would focus on the zoo aspect of the Animal Kingdom, or the character meet and greets. They can see the three big shows: It's Tough to be a Bug, Finding Nemo and Lion King, but Bug is dark and there are a few scary moments in it . . . for adults as well as the wee ones!
There are tons of places to eat, counter service and table service. Just pick your poison. We usually eat at Pizzafari (great chicken Caesar salads!) or Yak and Yeti.
As I mentioned in another blog post, there are some parks we tend to drive our car, and Animal Kingdom is one of them. We don't bother to stick around for the parade and there are no fireworks--animals, yanno. And after walking throughout the park, we usually don't want to wait for a bus. We did it once or twice and that was more than enough times! Your choice.
That's all I have for this park.