Winter Disney Trip – Animal Kingdom

Boy, am I terrible at updating. By the time I get this done, we’ll have been back to Disney again! And I’ll have forgotten everything from this trip!

Anyway, we normally only need a half day for Animal Kingdom because we really only do 2 rides and the animal walking trails, but we decided to add in a few shows and another trail this time, so we ended up going 2 separate mornings this trip. The first morning we went was an Extra Magic Hours morning, so we got there an hour early, and didn’t even really need fast passes. We walked right onto Everest and then practically right onto the Safari.

Empty AK

Practically empty Animal Kingdom!

We saved the Safari fast passes just in case I wanted to try for more pictures, but as it turned out, EMH mornings in the winter are great at Animal Kingdom because all the animals are out and about! In fact, the giraffes were so out and about, they were practically in the path of the vehicles, which was great for pictures, but then they actually ended up needing to stop all the cars because they needed to get them a bit further off the road for their safety. It was pretty funny, we came around a corner and Chris was like, “Oh wow, there’s a giraffe right there!” and I saw one pretty close, but when I turned my head, I saw the one he was really talking about, literally about 2 feet from our heads! It was pretty cute.

Giraffe

Whoa, giraffe!

And what I was most excited about was that the lions were awake and walking around!

LionLion 2

Lions

And a little butt sniffing for good measure.

The telephoto lens was certainly helpful in getting some good closeups, but it’s a bit harder to maneuver closeups when you’re flying all over the back seat of the jerkily-moving safari truck, so most of my safari shots were blurs. But that’s ok.

Next, we walked through the walking trails and saw more of my favorites, gorillas and tigers (actually the tiger trail may have been on the second day we went):

Gorilla noms

Gorilla noms

Whatchoo lookin at?

Whatchoo lookin at?

Sleepy tiger

Sleepy tiger

Lazy fight

I just missed it, but just a second later, the tiger on the right lazily swatted the tiger on the left, and then they headbutted. It was pretty cute.

And also, this gibbon (blonde is the female), who had just given birth 2 days prior!! If you zoom in (you might have to click through to Photobucket), you can just barely see the baby in her arms!

Mom and baby

Mom and baby (and maybe dad, I don't remember if that one was the dad)

We also got to see Festival of the Lion King for the first time, and it was great! I highly recommend it – lots of singing, dancing, acrobatics, and fire twirling. I don’t know why we’ve never seen it before. Plus, the seating is all around the central “stage” area, so there really isn’t a bad seat. And for those of you with kids, they invite some up near the end for a song and parade around the stage.

Singers"Monkey" acrobatsUnfortunately, after lunch at Pizzafari (where we both had really yummy hot Italian sandwiches and parfaits), it started raining pretty hard, so we decided to call it a day for that park (and of course, by the time we got back to the hotel, the rain had stopped).

There were a few other things we wanted to do there, though, so we decided to go back a couple days later for another half day. On that day, despite getting up at 8, we somehow didn’t get to the park till about 11, so we first stopped for lunch at Restaurantosaurus (chicken nuggets for me and a double bacon cheeseburger for Chris). After lunch, we saw that we weren’t too far from Finding Nemo the Musical, so we went and saw that. It was ok. Cute in how it was acted out and stuff, but it was pretty much just the movie start to finish in musical format. I’m not sure we’ll go back to that till we have kids who want to see it. Next, we walked all around the Tree of Life, so we could see all the carved animals (there’s a ton! Not to mention several exhibits of real animals, which I totally didn’t know about!), and we saw the Flights of Wonder bird show. I love the owls!

Owl

TOL

Carvings on the Tree of Life (I had about a million pictures, each of a different animal somewhere different around the tree and its "roots")

And of course, we had a Mickey shot (man, only one! I’ll have to get more of him at AK next time! And man, I just noticed there’s none of us at this park. I need to get more “us” shots, too!):

Mickey in a take-out boxNext up: Disney’s Hollywood Studios! (Can you tell I’m putting off EPCOT? That post will probably be massive…)

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