Animal Kingdom suggestions?

Currently working on my AK plans for late April. We are travelling with our almost-3 year old son. Some questions/highlights:

  • Would Rafiki’s Conservation Station be a good choice? I remember going years ago and I thought it was cool, but I’m not sure how it would be for a toddler. I know he will LOVE the train ride, especially since the MK train is closed.
  • We’re planning on just the Lion King show; dropped Up! show after reading some so-so reviews. Thoughts?
  • I have plenty of time for the Dig Site (so excited for my little guy for this area!)
  • We’re planning on Na’Vi River Journey and exploring Pandora. I have two different plans that I’m working on and one has Pandora after lunch and the other has it around 6-6:30 at night. Any reason to pick one over the other?
  • I don’t have any specific shops/shopping areas on my plans yet. Any suggestions or must sees?
  • Planning on Restaurantosaurus Dig Site Sundaes and Burgers and Flame Tree BBQ. Hopefully getting drinks at Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks. Any other suggestions or must-haves?

Once I have my plans are a little more organized, I’m going to post looking for help. Thanks!!

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We did Pandora in the morning but specifically went back to see it after dark. Glad we saw it both ways. After dark there are blacks lights so wearing white or patterns with white would be fun for him, I think?

My kids are now 10-18, but our last visit was back when the older two were 6 and 9 and they loved the dig site and the rest of the boneyard.

Rafiki’s would be a fun location!

The petting zoo, all the animals on display in the building, the new drawing classes are here now too! You may even stumble upon an animal checkup going on.

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Make sure you do KS and Triceratop Spin - I n in now that’s not a talked about ride but my 3yo loved it.

Up! was the standout highlight of my trip in December and I rode ROTR three times.

I honestly thought it was amazing and it pretty much moved me to tears.

But then I really love animals. Stunning birds fly inches above your head and you can see into their eyes. It was AWESOME.


That’s good yo hear! You’re right, there seems to not be a lot of love for it, and I almost considered cutting it - but then realized that was stupid because my 7 year old absolutely loves bird presentations/shows (even the ones at campgrounds or small town fairs etc). You’ve helped me confirm I bet he will absolutely love it! :smile:

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That sounds amazing. FotLK was the only AK show my kids were willing to consider but if we ever go back that sounds like we’d all love it.

Also, I think it’s great that that was your best experience. I realized recently Bilge Rat Barges was my very favourite experience in August. The whole trip was great, but that made me happiest.

@khmoorefield if your son is into animals I’d allow lots of time to stop and watch the gibbons in Asia and the gorillas in Africa. My older sons loved those animals particularly and I think would have when littler too.


Rafiki is a great idea- train, petting zoo area, characters, a bit lower key as a good break
If he likes animals/birds, I would keep Up! an Lion King. My fam loves Nemo also…
Dig site is great
Pandora is new for me but I am planning both day and night time

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The black lights would be so cool, he would definitely enjoy that! I did the dig site years ago with younger siblings and remember it being so fun!

Triceratop Spin is on the list, a simple pleasure for sure. We have KS planned for first thing in the morning after Tusker House and last thing before the night ends (hopefully getting a FP+)!

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Thank you all for the thoughts! I’ve posted a new thread with our touring plans if anyone wants to take a look and give feedback.

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We just did AK two days ago with my daughter who turned 4 last month and my 1 year old son. I don’t know if your kid is an early riser but, if so, I’d consider the Tusker House breakfast. The food was outstanding and you get to meet four of the classic Disney characters in their safari garb (Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy). DD loved it all. And it gave us an advantage for getting on safari first thing.

Definitely carve the time for the dig site - it was way bigger than I expected and DD said it was her favorite thing that day. DS also had to be torn away…


On our trip this past August we had a 3 year old with us, and he loved the Conservation Station, It has a petting zoo that he really liked,(he and his dad got yelled at for climbing on the big rocks, lol) and iirc there was a coloring activity as well.
He sat quietly through FOTLK, we only got part of UP! Because it was raining, but they kinda substituted bringing out some birds and answering questions instead, I think my teenagers liked this more than the 3 year old though.
Good luck getting him to leave once you get to the dig site, that was the hit of our entire trip for him.


Anyone have any thoughts on Finding Nemo the Musical? I’ve seen numerous comments about FOTLK all over the board, but haven’t noticed a lot of folks talking about Nemo…

We enjoyed Finding Nemo. It is a very well done show. We’ve only done it the one time because it takes up a fair amount of park time, but it is inside which is very nice on hot days.

I think the Nemo musical is amazing! The costumes are so creatively done and the songs are enjoyable. It’s like being able to take toddlers to a Broadway show with a shorter timeframe that is paced perfectly to keep them entertained. Our kids were enraptured both times we have been. I’d do it anytime I was in AK.

How early would you suggest arriving to get a decent seat?

Lion King is amazing but my daughter loves the Up! Show and insists that we do it every time we go. I think it’s cute. I get that some people might think it’s a waste of a FP but I don’t get the hate. Nemo has the big advantage of being in an indoor venue but I think it’s too long (I do have inattentive type ADD so maybe it’s just me).

Love Nemo!!

It’s been so long since we saw the show that I can’t remember how early we went. It’s a big theatre and I don’t think that any seat is going to be too bad. Unless crowd levels are crazy you’re probably okay arriving 15-20 minutes ahead of the show.