As I have posted before my partner and I are not tiny people. We are how many larger Disney folks refer to themselves, Pooh Sized. Most of my weight is carried in my lower body around my hips and thighs, plus I am tall. So I have very different issues on different rides.
During our last trip to Walt Disney World I took a tape measure and a notebook and started to write about seat width and length to give people an idea of how comfortable they would be on certain rides and shows. I have already blogged about Magic Kingdom in Part I and Epcot in Parts II (Future World) and III (World Showcase).
This time we take on Animal Kingdom. In many ways Animal Kingdom is the least restrictive park for people of size in all of Disney World. It was the last part built in Walt Disney World and by then they had learned all the ways to make the parks more accessible for all people.
What you will notice is that most of the seating for shows are bench seating. So during Festival of the Lion King, Birds of Wonder and Nemo you will not have to worry about pinching thighs or encroaching on anyone else. You can just sit back and enjoy the shows.
For Kali River Rapids which have sets of two seats joined together around the edge of a giant inner tube like ring you can either sit with your small child if you have one or you can request two seats. You can sit in the middle of the two seats and just attach the seat belts together to allow you to sit comfortably. Warning you may get soaked to the skin wet on this ride so be prepared. Especially if it is a chilly day you will want to have dry sweatshirts for everyone.
The Kilimanjaro Safari vehicles are also bench seating. I had issue with stepping into the vehicle. I found going in sideways and lifting yourself up slightly, if you have wide hips to clear the doors, then sitting down on the bench and sliding across seems to work best for me. The leg room is definitely lacking in these vehicles and towards the end of the ride my knees were sore and starting to cramp but overall it was an enjoyable ride.
I have to admit to never having actually been on Expedition Everest. I am not a thrill ride person. But, my 6’5″ and 400 pound brother went on it and loved it. He had no issues with size and he was fearful of getting there and not fitting in the car. He had no problems.
Overall, Animal Kingdom really is the least restrictive park for us. There is quite a bit of walking especially if you take the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail or the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Both are really enjoyable especially if you walk slowly and take your time. Let everyone else go by you and you may see the animals playing in ways that you never thought about. We watched the teenaged gorillas chase each other in dominance play for almost 20 minutes while others glanced and rushed by us to get to the next ride or show. Take your time they are lovely.
Animal Kingdom really is a wonderful park for people of size.