Sunday, July 11, 2010

Disney's Animal Kingdom

On Monday July 5th, we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom since William had never been and it had been awhile since I had gone. We absolutely LOVED it as well. We truly lucked out with the weather during our visit because although it rained both days at the park, I didn't mind at all since it made the temperature only in the mid 80s instead of the normal sweltering wet heat that I remember from when I was last at Disney World with my family in August. I just remember that we were almost about to pass out from the stifling heat while waiting for the Little Mermaid show- my dad always brings up this story when we talk about our trip. The weather was totally bearable which made us enjoy our trip even more.

Another hilarious moment was even before we arrived inside the park. Adam and Lianne are season pass holders at Disney and so they had told us that they have the worst luck with parking in that they are ALWAYS at the end of every row. Well, it looked like we were going to break that streak but at the last minute, they sent us to the end of the a new row and Adam yells out a "Noooooooo" and shook his fist into the air. We had hilarious workers while at Disney. Our first tram driver kept telling everyone to "Sit back down" and "Wait for it, wait for it WAIT FOR IT" before leaving the tram. I brought a bunch of starbursts with me so that we could get a needed sugar rush if we were waiting in long lines. The guard who checked my bag upon entering said "Got enough Starbursts there" and I laughed and said he could have one if he wanted to which he politely declined. Then, on the tram back to the parking lot, we had another HILARIOUS commentator. As we went around this corner at a whopping 5 miles an hour, the guy calls out "Feel those G's people, Feel the G's." I have to say that Disney really does have the BEST staff who always give you the best treatment.

We were lucky enough to go on Expedition to Everest, the only real high speed roller coaster, at the park 3 times as we only waited in line a maximum of 20 minutes (usually less). This ride was so fun as you end up going backwards through the tunnels as you try and escape the Yeti. Their Dinosaur ride is ok- its more like Indiana Jones but not quite as good, but what I really LOVED was their stage shows. They had this stage show called "Finding Nemo- The Musical" which was super adorable. I was impressed that the actors were singing LIVE while doing the puppetry. The cast even runs throughout the theater- it was just very well done. I also loved the "Festival of the Lion King" show where they had incredible dancers and singers, as well as an aerialist and a guy spinning fire. The "Flights of Wonder" show was also fun as they used live birds, one of whom had a rebellion and refused to go back through the correct door, stalling the show for a good few minutes. I just love how Disney makes everything they do top quality.

The parade was ok- we basically just tried to "walk by it" on our way to another attraction, which is difficult with all of the strollers blocking the walkways. Our favorite part was this girl who was lucky enough to have been chosen to ride on a float and was sound asleep!! Her dad was even trying to wake her up. Here's an example of what the floats looked like

The safari was amazing as we were able to see a large number of animals close up- elephants, a baby giraffe, rinos, and many more. But what I really enjoyed was these animal trails they had throughout the park where it was more like a zoo. We saw the most ADORABLE baby gorilla cuddled up to its mama (I wish I would have taken a photo but there were way too many people around) and then we saw this gorilla who came near to us and even climbed up a waterfall, like a scene out of a movie.

William and I were also fascinated by these giant bats, as shown in the photo below. They have a ginormous wingspan and we have no idea how he didn't over stretch and break through his wings as they do seem to be almost translucent.

Don't wait in a long line for the raft ride- it is SUPER short and we were so glad that we had a fast pass for it and did not wait in the 75 minute long line. The ride was temporarily stopped just as we had gotten on and so one of the workers was asking one of the other people in the raft what their favorite park at Disney World. The man replied "Harry Potter" which is not part of Disney. William and I lucked out in that we did not get super wet on this ride.

We also had amazing food while at Animal Kingdom. We introduced Adam and Lianne to the wonders of the Rainforest Cafe (they had never been there before). I unfortunately was not able to take a good photo of William drinking water from the elephant

Later that night, we headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge where we at their buffet called "Boma" which was incredible as well. It came with extremely high recommendations from friends I had made on the flight to Florida and it definitely lived up to their raves. We were able to try some African dishes as well as traditional favorites. I liked the peanut soup, the mustard pasta salad, and their different types of hummus. We had yet another super fun day and many thanks to Lianne's parents for watching the little ones on both days so that we could maximize our time at the parks.

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