Animal Kingdom: I Love Today!!

Animal Kingdom

After my first trip to Disney World in 2001, Epcot was my favorite park. After going in 2005, it was Magic Kingdom. Now, I think it might be Animal Kingdom. I realize that I take the most photos in Animal Kingdom, and I really enjoy the lush beauty of the park. Lots of plants, birds, animals, and gorgeous scenery. Even when the skies are grey, like they were when we went on February 26.

Welcome to Part 2 of my February 2013 Disney Trip Report. You can read Part 1 here! :)

Flamingo

Meer Cat

Animal Kingdom

{I have to laugh because the buses are rarely in our favor. On our first day, we waited and waited for a Magic Kingdom bus while 99,000 Hollywood Studios buses went by. On our second day, we waited a while for an Animal Kingdom bus while 99,000 Magic Kingdom buses (and a random “Jasmine” bus) showed up. Yea, it was that kind of week for Disney transportation.}

Despite the best efforts of Disney transportation, we made it to Animal Kingdom before 10am. We grabbed a Fast Pass for the Safari (because going on in the morning is the best, just so you know). I’d woken up with a strong craving for ice cream for breakfast for some reason, but none of the ice cream carts were open yet! We walked some of the trails and looked at animals while waiting for our Fast Pass window to open, which really wasn’t that long at all. Then it was time for the Safari, which was different from what we were used to. The poacher storyline has been removed so it’s more like a straight safari. I liked it.

Rhino

Giraffe

Elephants

Lioness

We made our way over the Expedition Everest, where the posted wait was 10 minutes. (It was actually much shorter than that). When it was our turn, the rain started, hard and cold. IT WAS AWESOME. And the yeti at the end was working again. I’d never seen it before and it scared me! By the time we got off, the posted wait time was five minutes, so we walked right back on. By this time, the rain had stopped. We ended up going right around and riding it AGAIN. After three times in a row, we were done for a while, so we got our picture taken in front of the coaster.

Expedition Everest

Then we had lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. Yum.

After lunch, we made our way over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. You have to board a train and they take you over, and you get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the going-ons of Animal Kingdom. You get to see where the animals sleep at night, for example. I didn’t take pictures because it’s hard to do so on a moving vehicle. It was also beginning to rain again. In fact, by the time we made it off the train, there was a hard core downpour!

So, we hung out in a covered area and I did my work. :) Easy peasy. Once the rain let up a bit, we made our way to Conservation Station and I learned a lot of neat stuff and saw a few neat animals, like this guy:

Animal Kingdom

We watched them change a bandage on a poor little turtle who’d gotten caught in some construction netting. He was a frisky little bugger, waving his arms and legs around. His cut was really deep. He was a wild turtle, endangered even. Disney will take care of any animal that wanders onto the property, which I think is neat. The poor little turtle won’t be able to go back into the wild for months because it takes reptiles such a long time to heal.

After we were done there, we headed back to the “mainland” and headed over to Dino Land. Dino Land is kind of sad because the dinosaurs make all sorts of jokes about their impending demise. It’s kind of macabre. But oh well. I grabbed a carton of Edy’s Dibs because I was still craving ice cream and especially Nestle Crunch ice cream and that’s what they had. Perfect. As we made our way to Dino Land, we talked about how there were some rides we’d never tried because we either didn’t know they were there or the lines were way too long. We got to try out Primeval Whirl (one of those “wild mouse” coasters), and we rode Dinosaur, which was SCARY but fun. The waits for all the rides were 10 minutes or less by this time. Actually, it was pretty much like that all day except for early morning with the Safari, where the wait was 20 minutes. I wonder if the rain scared a lot of people away. As you can see, it takes more than some hard rain to drive Adam and me from a Disney park! :)

After Dinosaur, we made our way over to Pizzafari so I could do some more work. And then it was time for the Jammin’ Jungle Parade, for which we were not selected to be in this year. Hee hee.

Jammin' Jungle Parade

Jammin' Jungle Parade

Jammin' Jungle Parade

I had so much fun, dancing (and remember how I’m obsessed with this parade? I may or may not have memorized some of the dance steps. The cast members seemed to get a real kick out of seeing me do the steps with them and a few of them came over and gave me high-5s!) and taking pictures and just really enjoying the parade that when it left our section, I went to another section in the park to watch it again. Told you I was obsessed!

After the parade finally ended, we headed back toward Expedition Everest. I was distracted by the Bhangra DJ Dance Party and well, I had to dance some more.

Bhangra Dance Party

Bhangra Dance Party

That was awesome. Then we finally made it to Expedition Everest where the posted wait time was again, five minutes but was really more like zero minutes (we think they must account for the time spent walking through the queue to get to the loading station even though by this time they’d closed the regular queue and had everyone go through the Fast Pass queue). We rode it, and then we rode it AGAIN. While I was in line, a lady told me that I was a really good dancer! :)

By this time, the park was closing. Wah wahhh. We made our way to the front, taking photos and enjoying the scenery.

Flamingos

Flamingo

I do love flamingos. They’re pink and they stand on one leg. What’s not to like?

Black Swan
pretty black swan

After our awesome day at Animal Kingdom (seriously, Expedition Everest FIVE TIMES, yo!), we made our way to Beach Club resort for dinner at Cape May Cafe. We met up with our friend Joe and had a delicious dinner and an even more delicious dessert. I sampled all of them.

Dessert #1 Dessert #2

Words really can’t express how much fun I had that day in Animal Kingdom. Short wait times, ice cream, seeing the parade twice, dancing, animals, and loveliness. I can’t wait to go back in June! :)

We ended the night with a dip in the hot tub, and early to bed because Epcot was the next day and well, Epcot rules. We got to try out the new Test Track, experience Soarin’, and see some previews for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. (I got to go in 2005 and it was beautiful. Sure would love to go again someday….)

Til next time! :)

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