Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Trails and Toddlers

Amy E. (NDM#242) (18 Posts)

Amy’s love of Disney stems from a family tree firmly rooted in the Mouse. Her father’s first trip to the World was to the Welcome Center before the Magic Kingdom was completed. He filled their home and vacations with Disney magic. Herself a former College Program Cast Member, DVC Member, Disney Marathon finisher, and Disney bride, Amy has seen and done much of what Disney has to offer but she’s always longing for more. Currently a stay-at-home mother, she’s enjoying blogging with her father, brother, and some fantastic Disney friends at www.growingupdisney.com. She’s thoroughly enjoying meeting new friends and sharing Walt Disney World memories through her writing.


Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is a great place for small children.  I also happen to think it’s an excellent  park for adults, too, but that’s a different post.  I’ll summarize that thought for now by saying this isn’t an “in your face” park.  You need to slow down, take in the details, watch the shows, and not just run from ride to ride in order to appreciate this park.

 Back to the little ones…

In particular, the animal trails are fantastic.  First, let’s look at the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  This is a self-guided walking trail through lush vegetation and along the way you’ll find a variety of animals beginning with monkeys, okapi, naked mole rats, and all sorts of other creatures.  If you are traveling with toddlers, they’ll find lots to explore.  Consider their slower pace as a chance to examine detailed work of the Imagineers.  The pathways are rather wide and you won’t be blocking anyone else if your child wants to stop and check out a leaf.

This section of the trail includes a waterfall, ducks, and lots of fish.  We were all able to move to the side of the path and let Tink watch the fish for a while.  It was nice to give her a little freedom since it wasn’t an overly crowded area.

Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway

Along the way, you encounter a huge glass wall that lets you see into the hippo habitat.  Tink lingered here while watching the fish and ducks.  We’re not totally sure she paid much attention to the hippo, but I love the pictures of the huge animal compared to my little girl (safely separated by feet of glass, that is.)

Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway

About halfway through the attraction, there were a few places to sit and give everyone a water break.  The rest of us were glad to rest for a moment, even if Tink was still ready to go.  It’s not an overly long walk, but it was “Animal Kingdom hot” on this day.

Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway
Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway

There are Cast Members throughout the area, ready to answer your questions about the animals.  Some give brief presentations.  Below, Tink found a Cast Member who was ready to run, and they took off.

Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway

The “stars” of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail are the gorillas.  There are several locations for observing and photographing these fascinating creatures.

Photo Credit: Chris Ridgeway

Earlier in the day, we took in the Maharajah Jungle Trek.  Tink was asleep before we entered and snoozed through the whole attraction.  Which brings me to another great thing about these animal trails- they are stroller friendly, so no unpacking of your gear and more importantly, no disturbing a sleeping child!

Photo Credit: Amy Eastman

The jungle trek features animals found in Asia and the tiger is the star.  Please note that this attraction does include a bat house.  If you or your child are afraid of bats, it’s quite easy to bypass that portion of the trail and continue on to observe the other animals.   Other than the bats, you’ll find both trails to be similar in concept: broad pathways, helpful Cast Members, and a wide variety of animals and plants to explore.

Photo Credit: Amy Eastman

Let your little one take a walk on the wild side on your next Walt Disney World vacation with a stroll through one of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park’s animal trails.

Contributed by: Amy Eastman (NDM#242) Amy is the DDL Babies and Toddlers Blogger. She is also the creator of Growing Up Disney.

Amy E. (NDM#242)

Amy’s love of Disney stems from a family tree firmly rooted in the Mouse. Her father’s first trip to the World was to the Welcome Center before the Magic Kingdom was completed. He filled their home and vacations with Disney magic. Herself a former College Program Cast Member, DVC Member, Disney Marathon finisher, and Disney bride, Amy has seen and done much of what Disney has to offer but she’s always longing for more. Currently a stay-at-home mother, she’s enjoying blogging with her father, brother, and some fantastic Disney friends at www.growingupdisney.com. She’s thoroughly enjoying meeting new friends and sharing Walt Disney World memories through her writing.

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