2-day touring plan for AK w/ 4 YO

Hello. I am planning my AK days. My son is 42.5" tall right now with his shoes on, so I’m not sure if I should include any of the 44" rides or not. Even if he COULD ride, I’m not sure he should. My hubby and I haven’t been to AK without him so I don’t really have a gauge for how scary the rides are.
He loved the safari last time, and we barely got to do anything in the dinosaur section. So I put the safari in the plan twice since we seem to have extra time. Thoughts? Am I missing any “must do” rides or shows? Does the order of my plan make sense? I’m doing a longer day for day 1 with a break, and a short day for day 2. He loves animals and dinosaurs which is why I wanted plenty of time in AK. It was our favorite park last time.


Feedback please!!

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Looks like you hit all the highlights! And really almost everything. I would definitely do KS at least twice but maybe either once each day or twice at different times of the day. You will see different animals at different times.

ITTBAB is terrifying (and I’m MUCH older than 4). Lots of little kids leave crying. Yours might love it, just a heads up.
And Dinosaur is very intense and rough. Not scary from a ride perspective but intense story/effects. Last trip, my 5 year old was scared of falling out–he loves dinosaurs but wouldn’t ride it again as he didn’t feel secure on such a rough ride. He’s pretty adventurous and would ride anything he’s tall enough for-except ToT! YMMV-again depends on the kid. Check out a youtube video if you haven’t ridden it.

And Boneyard will likely be a hit so it might be hard to get out of there unless you have an exciting attraction/snack next.


Thank you so much!! Great points!

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At 4, my son hated Dinosaur (cause it was too loud and jerky) but loved ITTBAB (although it might not be the best idea to start with that, it’s pretty intense; and I would do it only once).

Go to Wilderness Explorers first, otherwise you’ll either miss some stuff or have to backtrack.

The animal exhibits (trail) in Africa has gorillas and is awesome.

You might want to do one safari after or around dusk. They have an artificial sunset system out there that makes it really great.

Finally the conservation station is nice for kids, with the petting zoo and meeting Rafiki.

Wow, I’m actually jealous of two AK days for you! Agree with lots of the other comments. I cannot stand Dinosaur. It’s very physically rough on you and there are lots of things jumping out at you. I have a dino crazy 3yo and I will likely avoid it next year. The good thing is that it’s inside a show building away from other things, so he won’t be begging for it.

I would suggest rope dropping KS on day 1 as well. Are you able to build in any of the shows like the drummers and stuff? I think those would be a big hit for the 4 year old. Also, I would put the Boneyard on both days. I had to drag my son out of there (at 1yo) and I know he will love it next year too.

Lastly, I would not necessarily waste morning time on the Fossil Fun games. I believe they are extra charge and have NEVER seen a line or anything at them. I would put EE on the plan just to have it on there if he ends up being tall enough. I think a 4yo would definitely enjoy it. It’s on the intense side for Disney, but it’s not a crazy coaster by any means. It just goes backwards for a short bit.

First. Thanks so much. I love this forum! Wish I had found it for our first trip. Sorry what is EE and YMMV? And which shows should i do? I just don’t know the good ones. What about FoP? I know it’s a huge deal but have no idea about suitability for my son.

EE=expedition Everest; YMMV=your mileage may vary

Best show at AK is FOTLK, although this has been debated on this very forum with others loving river of lights and Nemo. the new Up bird show is cute if you have extra time but not a must do.

If your son is 44 inches and likes Soarin’, he will probably like FOP. It’s not scary IMO but feels like you are flying and there are a couple scenes of danger if that makes sense. Maybe someone with a kid that age will chime in. I would say youtube it but that would spoil the fun for the adults!

agree with this completely.

If you have 2 days, I’d fit in all shows, but FoTLK is the only “can’t miss” on my list.

If your kid can make the height requirement, FOP isn’t scary. My opinion may be jaded though, because my kids will go on anything.

For shows, I was more talking about the ones listed as “Shows, Parades, Diversions” (you have FOLK and Nemo in the plan already, I haven’t heard great things about the new UP bird show). The Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe or the Harambe Village Acrobats are two that we have liked before. You can always kind of catch them as you are touring, or put them in if you have time and want to make sure you see them.

My son was 4 when we went this summer and hated Dinosaur. The rest of us weren’t really fans either. He wasn’t tall enough to ride FOP (43 inches), but I think it may of been just a little too intense for that age. He loves Soarin, though. Had he been tall enough for EE, I bet he would have liked it. Also, he was not a fan of the Lion King Show because of the volume. Honestly his favorite was the Boneyard and he could have stayed there all day.

Last trip we took, my youngest was 4 and just made the height requirement for EE. It turned out to be one of his favorite rides. And all 3 of my boys loved the Boneyard. The other two were 7 and 10 at the time.

Hello! Is the animal exhibits in africa called Animal Encounters - Up Close Interactions in the TP?

Okay! I’ve updated both my plans, trying to take into account all your suggestions. One key point on day 2 is we have the Spirit of Aloha for 5:15. I’d like to take a shower and look reasonably presentable lol. Would you skip the Up show? Or make another change to make it? Did I miss anything?

I believe that is in Rafiki’s conservation section. The animal exhibit (trail) in Africa is Gorilla Falls.

From everything I’ve read about it, I would skip the Up show!

Up show is just a bird show–nice but definitely something to cut if short on time.

Animal Encounters requires a train ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch/Conservation Station.

I appreciate all the feedback so much! I tweaked some more. Moved EE & KS to early in the day for Day2 and used my FPP. My thought was we would rope drop KS on day 1. If we get it, I may change the day 2 FP, but I want to make sure we get to do it at least 2x. I know all of my planning may be for nothing lol, but I wanted to have at least a goal on times for my FPPs. Good strategy? Lol? Crowds are at a 4 for day 1 and a 6 for day 2.