If it’s summer time we are outside here in Michigan. Our days usually involve dirt in one way or another. Digging, exploring, building, eating. You name it, dirt is usually a key player. Yes, even when it comes to eating, it’s usually involved in some way or another…
Therefore, it came as no surprise when my oldest son declared his ‘undying’ love for The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. I mean, we are in the world’s most magical place on earth, and then we add in some dirt and digging? Can life get any better? He thinks not!
My dirt obsessed son’s opinion aside, the Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is a great place for kids to run around and enjoy a little ‘down’ time. Downtime in the sense that they aren’t walking around the park, standing in line for a ride, riding a ride or watching a show. The Boneyard lets the sensory systems take a break and let’s little brains (and bigger ones!) recharge for a little while.
It’s obvious the reason my son loves the Boneyard: the dirt. So, why do I agree that it’s a great place and love to take him to the Boneyard trip after trip? Let me tell you the ways that I love the Boneyard with 5 simple reasons:
1. One Entrance and Exit
The Boneyard consists of two areas: the playground and the dig site. Both are accessible by one single entrance and exit. Due to this fact, it a little easier to watch your kiddos knowing that they only have one escape route. Disney usually staffs a cast member by the entrance/exit to help ensure no little ones wander out accidentally. Or try to make a break for it with a rare uncovered fossil.
2. Shaded Area with Fans
The Boneyard gives my children the opportunity to have some good ol’ fashioned digging fun while avoiding the unrelenting Florida sun. The dig site area is shaded and has fans (that mist!) blowing towards the guests. Combining the two, the shade and the fans, you have a nice cool environment which is perfect for both digging and relaxing. This is good news for parents who are kicking their feet up while their little one uncovers ancient fossils.
The playground area has a little more direct sunlight, but is still relatively shaded. Most of the shade is created by the play structure itself through its tower, rope and slide system. There’s also a nice breeze on the playground side. It’s a self-made breeze as the air rushes by your little one as he or she runs around like a maniac.
3. Amazing ‘Sand’ (!)
Spoiler Alert: the sand in the dig site isn’t really sand. All the mommas and poppas rejoice!! That’s right! It’s not really sand. That means you won’t be cleaning it out of finger nails, from between toes or from unmentionable cracks for the rest of your vacation. Yay!! Your kids won’t be able to tell the difference or mind that it is different from regular sand. Just incase they are sand connoisseurs. They will be able to dig, scoop, pour and brush until their hearts are content.
4. Plenty of Buckets and Shovels
What is the one thing(s) every good dig site needs? Buckets and shovels! If you’re a parent who loves to plan every last detail of your Disney trip, the dig site probably made you wonder if you needed to bring along buckets and shovels. Don’t fret, Disney has this essential covered. There are mass quantities of bright green buckets and sunshine yellow shovels strewn around the dig site. Your little one won’t have to roam far to gather up the tools they need. Bonus: you will have extra room in your luggage because you won’t need to pack buckets or shovels for the dig site.
5. Bones to Be Found!
While my boys would be completely satisfied filling and emptying a bucket full of ‘sand’ the entire time they are at the dig site, there is definitely more to the site than that. The goal at the dig site is the uncover the bones of a Wooly Mammoth. It is buried in the sand and kids can spend hours working hard on uncovering the prehistoric bones. Cast members will even recover the skeletons midday for guests visiting the dig site in the afternoon. So, in theory, you can keep coming back and your kids will think they are finding about a million different dinosaurs! Bonus: You’ll get to kick your feet up that entire time!
The dig site portion of the Boneyard is obviously a winner, but the playground side is a lot of fun too. There are stairs to climb, slides to go down, ropes to hang onto and much, much more. The whole area is similarly themed as an excavation site with the emphasis on construction, or perhaps, deconstructing.
Hands down, the best part of the playground area are all the slides. There are some small slides, perfect for toddlers, that help those who might be a little ‘slide’ shy warm up. Then there are also medium slides and super, duper tall slides. My son was one of those who needed a little warming up before charging down the bigger slides. He liked having daddy inspect things before he made the journey. If dad gave the all clear, he was good to go!
There ya have it! The five (or six if you add in the details about the playground) reasons why I fully support my son’s love of the Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. Oh, and it can definitely get hot with all that running around and digging. Be sure to hydrate while exploring and uncovering the prehistoric world!