Doing it Alone
I always try to find and highlight the most suitable part any of vacation for a parent who is travelling alone with more than one child. For me, when visiting Walt Disney World Resort, the park I highly recommend spending your first day at is Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Why It Works for Solo Parents
The park is less hectic and busy than New Fantasy Land in the Magic Kingdom. Also there are only two rides in the entire park that require children to be over 40 inches tall, Expedition Everest (44 inches) and Primeval Whirl (48 inches). The parks main attractions all seat more than two people and thus you are able to ride the rides and see the attractions while sitting with two or more children (in some cases).
Walt Disney World has no official accommodation policy for single parents visiting with more than one child but I have found in the past that the cast members at the Animal Kingdom were incredibly helpful especially with strollers and parking. You can read the full review of my first attempt at the Animal Kingdom with a baby and a toddler here.
My Favourite Attractions
Although often overlooked by people when entering the park, Wilderness Explorers, is a don’t miss for any kids 3 and up. Wilderness Explorers is located on the bridge between the entrance to the park (the Oasis) and the Tree of Life (Discovery Island). The activity is based on the movie Up and the adventures Russell and Doug had walking through the jungle.
Cast members explain to your kids that the wilderness is meant to be explored and send them into the park with a field guide. Kids are able to collect over 30 badges (stickers) from different stations within the park. If you miss the main station, you can pick up field guides from these other stations.
My kids loved doing this activity. It also kept them moving when they got tired and gave them a mission. They have both brought their Wilderness Guides to school since returning from Disney to show their friends which badges they were able to earn. There is no additional cost for Wilderness Explorers.
The Kilimanjaro Safaris is the most popular ride in the park. It is worth using a Fastpass + to secure a spot on the ride without long wait times. The safari lasts 20 minutes and you are able to see over 34 species of African Wildlife. Although the animals are separated by fences, they are not traditionally caged as you see in some zoos and do have room to roam. The kids and I loved this experience and it was a nice way to get a break from all the walking we were doing.
Charlie was tall enough this year to ride Dinosaur (40 inches). We loved this ride which takes you back in time to try and save the dinosaurs from extinction. For younger kids like Charlie the ride can be quite scary but she always left begging to ride again. This ride also accepts Fastpass +. The ride is indoors and air conditioned which gives you a break from the sun or in our case torrential rain.
Why I love it?
Besides all of the above, Animal Kingdom is a great place to get your children talking. The attractions are educational and kids get to enjoy the day not only riding rides but visiting animals and earning badges. Don’t forget to stop by and meet Rafiki from the Lion King in Rafiki’s Planet Watch, an area designed to teach kids about protecting and caring for the animals on our planet.
Disclosure: I was hosted at Walt Disney World and invited to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Preview Party. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not paid for this post.