Thursday, May 14, 2009

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are my two favourite parks within Walt Disney World. First of all, the Animal Kingdom is very lush, unlike Hollywood Studios. It has been divided into four areas; Asia, Africa, Dinoland, and Camp Minnie and Mickey. 

Our first stop had to be the Kilimanjaro Safari. We went as soon as the park opened. This is a ride that many people enjoy going on at different times of day. We got onto a safari truck for a tour of the safari. All the animals are real and what is fantastic about this safari is that barriers are not visible to visitors. You feel like you are on a real safari. The property is also quite extensive. There's a good selection of animals and birds and again, depending on time of day you'll see different species.

The photo taken below was taken on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Visitors go on a walking tour that takes them through a variety of bird and animal exhibits as well as a very thorough research station with a great deal of hands on samples (skulls, etc...). The highlight are the gorillas at the end. Again, the barriers are not obvious. There wasn't any glass or fences between us - just a 15-20 foot gully! I felt like I could reach out and touch these magnificent animals. We also were thrilled to be able to talk with with one of the volunteers who is a retired zoo keeper. He was able to give us a lot of information about the animals and was very familiar with our own Lion Safari. It was interesting to hear an experts take on our local attraction.

This photo was taken in the Asia section. The mountain in the background is of the ride, Expedition Everest. Heinrich went on as a single rider - twice, and loved it! We though we better not let Mason try this one out. It's quite something.

As a family we went on Kali River Rapids. We Fast Passed this one. This is another that we would go on more than once. There's a good drop and you get wet! Potentially really wet! I loved it!
A nice tame ride for a rest. We're in Dinoland! Mason and Heinrich had just gone on the Dinosaur and apparently it was VERY scary. So glad I didn't put Mickey on!
Below are pictures of The Boneyard. It's a play structure and large sand pit with bones. The kids loved it.

The highlight of the Animal Kingdom was definitely the Finding Nemo puppet and live musical show. It was breath-taking. I don't think Mickey took a breath through the whole thing! 

Things we missed that we must check out the next time:
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Rafiki's Planet Watch (have been before and it's very good - educational)
  • Festival of the Lion King

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