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Old 06-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #106
Teknik_DC2
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Day 8: Animal Kingdom Part 1


One week had officially passed since we started this great vacation. One week ago we would be leaving to Florida to enjoy 10 days of fun. A Disney World trip that we had wanted to do for years. And although a week had passed we still had 1 theme park left that we hadn't done yet. Infact this park was one that Neither Kiera or Myself had ever gone to. The park did not exist when I visited in 93'. And it was under construction when Kiera visited in 97'. Yes today we would be going to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

We had intentions of being at the park when it opened. However with being so worn out still from our previous very long day in the Magic Kingdom we got off to a late start. Infact we started out late enough where we barely missed breakfast in the Hotel so we would be grabbing Breakfast on the way to the park again. Today we choose to just go to the McDonalds that was located across the street from our Hotel. After getting our food from the drive thru we made the very short drive to the Animal Kingdom. We just took the side road that ran past our hotel as about 1 1/2 miles down the road was the enterance to the Animal Kingdom. In less then 5 minutes we were pulling into the parking lot. And low and behold our Disney Parking lot song "Crazy Girl" came on.



We parked our car and had the shortest walk to the Tram out of any of the parks we had been to. Which didn't seem like much at the time but I would be greatful for that very soon. We boarded the Tram and made our way to the park entrance to begin our day.



When we entered the park it was already past 10am and with the late start to the day Daniel didn't eat earlier so he was already getting hungry. So we would be hitting up the Baby Care Center first thing. We were just inside the gates in the Oasis area of the park and the Baby Care Center is located on Discovery Island just outside the enterance to the Africa section.




However while walking thru the Oasis Kiera realized that she was missing her phone. It wasn't in her pocket, it wasn't in the diaper bag or stroller. She thought she had it in the car but she wasn't positive. Normally this wouldn't be too big of a deal. However since I had been going and doing rides or grabbing Fastpasses while Kiera feed Daniel having a phone to communicate when we were apart had become a neccesity during this trip. I'm not gonna lie I was slightly annoyed and I can say this was really the only down moment I had on the vacation. And unfortunatly Kiera could tell. I would have to back to the car and just hope it was there. Otherwise I may be going back to the Hotel.

I didn't immediatly return to the car though. We needed to make up any time lost the best we can so we continued thru the Oasis and to Discovery Island where we caught our first glimpse of the parks icon the Tree of Life. This Giant man Made tree looks amazing in pictures but its very incredible to see in person. Its huge and the bright and slightly lighter green of the leaves make it appear full of Life. However just a few days prior Lightning struck the tree and a small branch fell off it meaning that not only the trails that give you up close views of the Tree of Life were closed on our visit but also the "Its Tough to be a Bug" 3d show that is located underneath the tree.




We continued to the Left of the Tree of Life and to the Baby Care Center. Kiera went in and started feeding Daniel while I continued into the Africa Section of the park and to the enterance of the Killimenjaro Safaris where I pulled us 2 fastpasses that were set 40 minutes away. With the Fastpasses in hand and Kiera feeding Daniel I would now head back thru Africa, across Discovery Island, and into the Oasis to the Park enterance to catch a Tram back out to car in hopes that Kieras phone was in it still.

It was kind of interesting to see some of the looks people give when your pretty much the only person leaving the park when it just opened less then 1 1/2 hours earlier. Although I was suprised to find another couple also sitting on the Tram for the return trip to the parking lot. This was when I was thankful that the car was parked so close to the Tram as when we arrived at our parking area I jumped off the Tram and quickly ran to the car. Thank goodness there was Kieras phone sitting on the seat underneath the McDonalds garbage bag. I grabbed the phone, locked the car, and quickly ran back to the Tram where I was able to catch a return ride to the park on the Exact Same tram that I rode out on. I wouldn't have to wait for a 2nd tram to come. I got a moment of worry though on the way back to the park when I saw about 6 buses unloading with hundreds of Middle/High school kids. Would this affect our day at all? Are there still more kids to come?

By the time I finally returned to the park and back to the Baby Care Center over 30 minutes had passed since I left Kiera. The Baby Care Center in Animal Kingdom is pretty nice and one of Kieras favorites as just like Hollywood Studios the Baby Care Center has private feeding rooms and allow you take the stroller in. The Care Center is on the smaller side but still had plenty of room for the feeding rooms and changing tables. There is also a nice waiting area too. The timing worked out great as Kiera was just finishing feeding Daniel as well and we would be officially starting our day. And since the phone was in the car my day had got much better.

Although the time had come where we could use our Kiliminjaro Safari Fastpasses we decided to take sometime to get there and instead went back to the front of the Tree of Life to get some Disney Photopass pictures taken. I know the last 2 photos look like they could have been taken together, there was nearly an hour sepearting the 2. Around the Tree of Life there is also whats called the Tree of Life gardens that features some Animal exhibits with some Flamingos and Ducks.







Continuing back the way we came we also walked down some trails the took you below the water level to see some fish. You could also see some Otters that were out and about.




After looking at these Animals we crossed the bridge into Africa. Although I had been here once already to get the Kiliminjaro Fastpasses I didn't take any time to view the area. I ran in and ran out as I was in a hurry. Now we could take our time and move slowly looking at the details. And they start immidiatly with the Africa "Gates". The detail and cravings in these gates were incredible. And then as you cross the bridge take a look to your Right as this might be one of the best views you get of Expedition Everest.




Continuing into the town the themeing just gets better. You don't feel like your in a theme park in Orlando. You really feel like your in some remote and run down African Village. From the sounds to the aged and beat up buildings the area is simply incredible. As you continue thru the town and to the large tree at the back of the Village you come the parks flagship attraction.





That ride is one that is unlike anything else in Central Florida or really any Theme park i've been to before. Its the Kilimanjaro Safari. A unique ride that takes you on an African Safari. A ride that i'm sure Walt would have loved to have made given he had the resources as the Jungle Cruise is based of a similar concept. The standby line had a 40 minute wait but its a good think I pulled Fastpasses eariler. It was kind of interesting that the Fastpass entrance is actually up the trail a ways from the Standby entrance. You also enter the que with your strollers and as you travel thru the Que CM's will take your stollers and park them prior to boarding the Trucks. Within 10 minutes we boarded a truck and our Safari would begin.





As with the Jungle Cruise you have a live guide that drives the vehicle and gives you the tour. Its also played out like on the Jungle Cruise as if your really going on a 2 week Safari into the African Savanah and Jungles. There is a radio transmission that will come over the radio periodically at certain points in the ride too that sets up the rides "story". Keep in mind that this ride is on the longer side but its well worth it.

I should preface that i'm finding this recap to be fairly difficult to write. This is because I wanna make sure i'm telling you the correct animal names and what not. Also its kind of hard to discribe what goes on story wise with Kilimanjaro Safari because most the time it is only driving past Animlas. So I will try my best but don't expect a whole lot of writting with the Safari.



The first portion of the ride that you come to after entering the "reserve" tends to be the area where most of Animals with a greater need of water is located. As you round a corner you will come the first major animal we see is Black Rhino laying in the shade. You then approch the Hippo pool that had many Hippos just chillin. Hippos spend most of there day in the water and they are also very heavy animals. A combo you wouldn't think would go together. There were also some Storks and another black birds out and about. The final animals you pass in this area are a bunch of Nile Crocodiles. You pass over a bridge too at this point and our guide was great as he really acted scared of the Crocs but even more so about this rickity bridge we were about to cross.



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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:11 PM   #107
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As you round a corner and come up over a ridge you get your first glance at the Savanah. It really looks like something you'd see in an African movie. Its just surreal looking out over the Savanaha and thinking of all the animals out there while seeing all the tour trucks moving about.





The first animal we came across here is I believe some Waterbucks but I could be wrong. After passing some Termite hills we continued further into the Savanah we next came across some Wildebeest and also some Gazelle hiding in the brush. Off in the distance there was also some Ankole.







We approched a lightly tree covered area and while passing by we came across some Giraffes. Some of them you could barely see in the trees eating before one came out and walked by. We then came up to another tree covered area where Monkeys are typically seen however there were none out at this time.






The next area we came to is where the Elephants are located at. And the Elephants were very active at this time of the day. And not only were there many large Elephants out and about but there was also 2 baby elephants out. One was only 6 months old and these were the 2 that were fun to watch because they were playing with each other just like our children do. It was so neat to see and seriously like a once in a lifetime experiance to watch.




After passing a pool that had a bunch of Flamingos in it we came across the area where there was Cheetas. It was hard to see them and frankly I think I took the picture in hopes that I got something and sure enough you can see the Cheetas sitting in the grass. We then pulled up to some rocks where the Lions are located. When we pulled up you could see the Male Lion walking away so we barely missed him being out. You can kind of see part of him between the rocks.





After we passed the Lions we approched the last live Animals we would see on the Safari. We passed a herd of Oryx and in the Distance there was an Ostrich sitting on the ground.





The final portion of the ride is really the only part of the "story" that you see. As you made the rounds the radio kept asking us to be on the look out for pochers. At the point we are at now we get told that we are close to where the pochers camp is located so our truck speeds up to try and catch them. This part is actually kind of thrilling as you speed up fairly quickly as the road gets really windy and there our guysers going off all over. This was likely the most thrilling Ride Daniel got to experiance on this trip. At the end of the road you do come across the Pochers camp and find a baby Elephant in the back of there truck. Luckly you made it in time and they got caught and the Baby was saved. Although it was a nice touch this last scene just seems kind of random after a scenic Safari. Disney obviously feels the same way because they are in the process of removing the scene and adding more Live Zebras to the area. So it will be gone by the end of the year.



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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:12 PM   #108
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The ride is soon over after passing the Baby Elephant. I have to say that I was very impressed with Kilimanjaro Safari as it is an amazing attraction. Yeah you don't see all the Animals and some are more active then others but other then going to a Wild Animal Park you won't get to see animals like this. We also had a great guide on this Safari that did a great job at keeping us entertained. This is a Must do ride when going to the Animal Kingdom and really what the Animal Kingdom is all about. Its very popular so get a Fastpass if you don't want to wait in line. Its also a ride you will want to do more then once as different animals are active at different times of the day. We planned to return to it again later in the day.



The exit to Kilimanjaro Safaris dumps you out in the Pangani Forest Trail and we saw a group of people gathering to the side of one of the trails so walked over to see what they were looking at it was one of the Gorillas that was out and about. Although I missed him facing the crowd and only got the back of him in the photos. Still it was pretty neat to see it.




Although there was still one more attraction in the Africa section (The train to Rafikis Planet Watch) we decided that it was something we would come back and do later as we needed to go to the other Most popular ride in the park before it got too packed. Plus we didn't have a Fastpass for it. So we walked back thru the African Town and then made our way into the next section of the park Asia.







Typically when you think of Asia the countries that come to mind are Japan, China, maybe the Koreas. You however dont' think of some of the others further south such as Viatnam, Tailand, and even India. The building style of the Chinese and Japanise is very unique but you really won't find that here. Instead the insperation for this Asia section seems to be drawn more from Southern Asia. Something that works amazing as just like in Africa you now felt you were walking thru the Jungles of Asia.







As we continued down the walkway the attraction we were heading towards came in view. Expedition Everest. There are some great view points of the attraction as you appoach it and there was even a Disney Photopass photographer so of course we stopped to get a picture. This was another roll our eyes moments with the Photopass photographers as I again asked him to take a picture with our camera which he had no problem doing. Yet as you can see below there photo BARELY has any part of Expedition Everest in the background. Again if someone asks you to take a photo with there camera why would you not try to take the same style photo that your taking HUNDREDS of with the Disney Camera. Its almost seems like it was intentional. Of course the Photopass pictures were fine though.





Continuing down the path we came into an area that was influinced by Nupal and base camps for the groups about to make the trek to the peak of Everest. And then we found the enterance to the ride with a posted 35 minute wait. You would think we are about to pull our Double Fastpasses and come back to ride later but this time were not. We are going to ride now. Thats becauses because Expedition Everest is one of 3 rides in the entire resort that has a Single Rider line. A featured that we love at Universal Orlando and utilized at Hollywood Studios on Rockn' Roller Coaster.






Kiera found a spot to sit and wait and I got in line for the attraction. I only waited just over 5 minutes in the Single Rider before I was sent to wait for a train. I was actually pared up with another Single Rider who didn't know about the Single Rider line. He said that he had waited 25 minutes to ride. I told him all about the Single Rider line and also where else in the Resort he could find them. I also told him that if they were going to Universal pretty much every major ride had one there compared to the 3 at Disney.



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February 2008: Carnival Pride Mexican Rivera Cruise - Hollywood - Santa Monica | December 2008: Disneyland - California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood - Knotts Berry Farm - Las Vegas | October 2009: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean Cruise | October 2010: Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida - Carnival Legend Western Caribbean Cruise | April 2011: Epcot - Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Cruise - Charleston S.C. | April 2012: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Islands of Adventure - Universal Studios Florida | December 2012: Disneyland - Disney California Adventure - Universal Studios Hollywood | May 2013: Myrtle Beach S.C. - Charleston S.C. | September 2013: Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure - Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise | June 2014: Magic Kingdom - Epcot - Hollywood Studios - Animal Kingdom - Universal Studios Florida - Islands of Adventure
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #109
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The train soon departed and our Joureny thru the Forbidden Mountain began. Legends abound about the Yeti and to beware of the Mythical creature on our way to the Everest basecamp. Expedition Everest is kind of the new version of Disneylands Matterhorn. Both our Steel Rollercoasters that travel in and around a Giant Mountain and both also features encounters with the Legendary Yeti (or Abominal Snowman in the Matterhorns case). After a scenic cruise thru the jungle area we began our assent to the top of the Forbidden Mountain. While going up the hill you get great views of the Animal Kingdom. If you look to your left you can see Spaceship Earth and the Tower of Terror off in the Distance.




At the top of the now snow covered mountain we come to a point where the tracks are completly torn up. They have been attacked by the some animal. could it be the Yeti? Just then the train starts going backwards and you drop into a cave. I was really suprised by the Backwards portion of the ride as it was fairly thrilling and much longer then I expected it to be. You then come to another stop and you can see the siloette of the Yeti again tearing up the track. You then lunge forward and drop out of the cave and around the Mountain. The ride concludes by entering another cave where you come to face with the mighty and scary Blinking Strobe Lights with maybe something in them.



For those who don't know what i'm refering to its the Disco Yeti himself. In the Strobe lights is a Giant Yeti Animatronic. In his prime he would swing his arm at you as you went past. Unfortunatly do to design flaws the Yeti was cracking the foundation to the attraction and had to be turned off. Now there is just the strobe to try to simulate movement. However you go by so click that you can barely make anything out in the Strobe lights. Its pretty sad actually. "Well that isn't very Disney like now is it".

The train survived our encounters with the Yeti and we arrived safely and the ride was over. I was in awe with this ride even with the broken Yeti. I thought it was a great ride and the best backwards portion coaster i've been on. I also think it might be my favorite of the Disney Coasters. Its not too thrilling but the themeing makes it pretty exciting. This is a ride that should be a do not miss on your Disney Vacation.

As I returned it was now Kieras turn to ride via the Single Rider line while I watched Daniel. She was actually able to get on the train quicker then I was which we timed perfectly as right after she got in line a huge group of those Teenagers I saw getting off the Buses early completly filled up the Single Rider Line. When Kiera returned she too really enjoyed the ride and didn't even realize what the point of the strobe lights were until I told her that there was a full size Yeti there. She didn't even notice anything. Stupid Disco Yeti.





We decided to skip the other ride located in Asia at this time as its the Kali River Rapids and we really didn't want to get wet right now. Maybe later. So we continued down the walkway crossing a bridge and entering Dinoland USA. The first thing you come to though really doesn't have anything to do with Dinosaurs though as its the Finding Nemo Musical theater. This was a show we wanted to see and a show was even about to begin. We stopped to decide if we should do it now but decided that we were getting hungry so we would plan to come to the showing later in the day after we ate.




However we still had one attraction left that we planned to do prior to Lunch that was located here in Dinoland. That ride use to be called Countdown to Extinction but is now simply called Dinosaur to give it a plug with the unpopular Disney Cartoon movie. The half of Dinoland that Dinosaur is located in is much better themed then the 1st half which we had to walk thru to get to Dinosaur but i'll come back to that in a minute. We soon found ourselves at the Dino Institute and with only a posted 5 minute wait. No need to Fastpass this as we asked for a Rider Swap card and then I entered the standby line for a very short wait.




I was really interested in Dinosaur as it uses the EMV system that my 2nd Favorite Disney ride uses. The Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. The ride tracks are even identical they are just themed very differently. When comparing to Indiana Jones the first notible difference is the lack of a mile long que. You enter the lobby of the Dino Institute and that basically the only waiting you do prior to entering a preshow room (which Indy doesn't have). In the preshow you learn that your going to be traveling back in time to get some samples from the time of the Dinosaurs. However you soon learn that a scientist has a different plan for you and wants you to bring a specific Dinosaur back with you. However your in a race against time as your being sent moments before an Astroid hits earth killing all the Dinosaurs.



You then head to the loading area and climb aboard your Jeep, I mean Time Machine to travel back to the time of the Dinosaurs. From here on the ride is a pretty intense thrill ride thru the dark historic jungles as you pass and even get chased by many Dinosaurs. You even start to see the end coming as the Astroid nears hitting earth. Finally in the last moment of the ride you find the Dinosaur that your sent to look for and travel back to the present day just in time.




So how does it compare to Indy. It can't hold a candle to it. Instead of the large detailed sets located within Indy most of Dinosaur is very dark and you can barely see whats going on around you. Although the Dinosaur Animatronics were pretty great that was all the ride really had going for it in my opinion. You really don't know whats going on around you. And then the ride vehicles themselves are very rough and much more bouncy then I rembember Indy being. However dispite these negatives I think Dinosaur is still a pretty good ride. If for anything to just experiance the EMV ride system. The ride could be better if was lighter inside but overall I would say its a Do Not miss when in the Animal Kingdom. Its no Indy but its also not a bad ride. Kiera once again agreed with me after taking her ride on it.



After riding Dinosaur we walked down the walkway and back in to the other half of Dinoland. This area is called Chester and Hesters Dinorama. According to Wikipedia the backstory of Dinoland was there were fossels found in the area so Scientists came and started the Dino Institue and overed tours of the Dino Digging grounds (which is the Boneyard Playground) and converted an old fishing house into the Restaurant. However Chester and Hester 2 other locals wanted to bank on these tourests and created the Dinorama. A cheap roadside Tourest Trap to featuring cheap Carnival rides and games. They also converted there own gas station into a suvinior stand.






Dinorama might just be the biggest Eyesore you will see in all of Disney World. It looks like something you'd expect from Disneys California Adventure park. The rides are cheap and very lightly themed. Theres no hiding the fact that Primival Whirl is a Spinner Mouse coaster or that Triceratops spin is just a simple Spinner like Dumbo. There are also a bunch of Carnival midway type games. Although its cheap and tacky they did hit the theme of being cheap and tacky right on down to the fact that it appears that Dinorama is built on top of an aged parking lot. Although it really doesn't look like anything special I did want to ride Primival Whirl to get the Coaster Credit. So before leaving the area to go find Lunch I pulled 1 Fastpass with the intention to get 1 rider swap card later as I'm sure its not something we'd want to re ride.






With the Fastpass 40 minutes out we made our way thru the Boneyard and towards Discovery Island where we would find something to eat.





And that concludes Part 1 of our Animal Kingdom day. There will be 4 parts to this day of our trip however only 3 of them will be specific to the Animal Kingdom. Thanks again to all of you still reading along or even just looking at the pictures. As always please feel free to comment or ask questions that you might have. Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #110
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Hi! Great updates! Loving the pics, and your AK day sounds great. I also LOVE Indy, but enjoy Dinosaur since there's no Indy on the east coast!

Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #111
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DH and I always did enjoy AK...if only it wasn't so darn hot there all the time! Did Danny enjoy looking at the animals? My DS Paxton was not too interested in them last time, but I'm hoping he'll be more interested this year now that he is a little older.

We loved the AK baby care center too! It was the first one we went to, and had the best of all of the play rooms, which was great for us since Paxton had just started walking on our trip. He had plenty of room to run around. And being able to take the stroller inside is SO nice!

Looking forward to the rest of your AK day.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:06 AM   #112
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Day 8: Animal Kingdom Part 2


We soon found where we were going to eat shortly after crossing the Bridge onto Discovery Island. We decided to go to the Flame Tree Barbeque as its menu options sounded exactly what we were in the mood for. However this was possibly the longest wait we had for food our entire vacation. The line seemed extremly slow. However I think thats because of all the Teenagers that were also in the line. When we were finally able to order Kiera and I decided to only get the Chicken and Ribs plate and we would split it. The food was excellent and one of my most favorite things we got in the Disney parks. The ribs were very good and the food once plenty to fill both of us.




The seating area was really unique for the Flame Tree BBQ as the seating is scatered thruout a jungle type area in a bunch of small sections or villas. Of course the ones closest to the ordering counter were the most packed but as you continued down the trail we eventually found open tables. Some of the tables also offered great views of the park and even if your not eating here taking a stroll thru the trail would be worth it alone as you will get some of the best views of Expedition Everest in the whole park here. The whole area is just beautiful.






Had a branch not fallen off the Tree of Life a couple days earlier we would have likely walked the Tree of Life Trails at this time or maybe even have seen "Its Tough to be a Bug". A 4d attraction that we really enjoyed at Disneys California Adventure. Unfortunatly though they were closed until the Ugly nets were errected a few days later. Since the time was nearing where we could use the Primival Whirl Fastpass we decided to head back towards Dinoland.



However on our way back to Dinoland we got psytracted when we saw the sign for the Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet right before you cross the bridge back to Dinoland. Now if you recall yes we did already meet Pooh and Tigger the previous day in the Magic Kingdom. However this meet and greet also included Eeyor. And since Daniel had seen Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet already he had to see Eeyor as well. So down the trail we went where there was a decent line to see the Characters but nowhere near as long as it was in the Magic Kingdom the previous day. Upon seeing the Characters while waiting in line Daniel started to get excited again.





We really lucked out when they announced that the characters would be taking a break soon and we were the last ones to make the cut before they took the breaks. I think they held off just long enough for us when they saw we had such a young child. Although the characters are in the same location they don't appear together. Each interaction is with one character at a time instead of all 3 at once. Pooh was the first character we saw again and unlike the previous day where Daniel didn't care for him he absolutly loved Pooh Bear today.






Next up was Eeyor and since he was the one we were here to see we got the Autograph book ready and then took Daniel up to meet him and well Daniel just wasn't too interested in him. Yeah he got some smiles but I think Daniel just wasn't digging Eeyors Grey color and sad look just wasn't working for him.





The final Character was once agian Tigger and although Daniel really enjoyed Tigger again it wasn't nearly as much as it was the previous day at the Magic Kingdom. Plus Tigger did seem sort of annoyed as I think he was really ready for a break lol and had to wait on us.





After the meet and greet our Fastpass would now be able to be used at Primival Whirl so thats the direction we went. However we had a new delema facing us. We wanted to do Kilimanjaro Safari again. Knowing it has long waits though Fastpass would be a must. However we were on the complete opposite side of the park from the attraction. The big issue though was that we wanted to go to the final showing of the Finding Nemo Musical at 3pm. The time was 2:45pm. Would I have time to get to the Kilimanjaro Safari and Still get back in time for Nemo?



At Primival Whirl Kiera used the Fastpass we pulled and we asked for the Rider Swap card so that I could ride After the Nemo Musical. As soon as I got the rider swap card Me and Daniel took off on our Animal Kingdom run while Kiera rode the coaster. And when I say run I literally mean RUN. All the way thru Dinoland, into Discover Island and finally Africa and back I was running the whole way. It was gonna be close and this was a reminder of how out of shape I really was. The pictures I took I got while I caught by breath for a moment.




I pulled the Kilimanjaro Safari Fastpasses with at time 45 minutes away. It could work perfect with the ending of the Nemo Musical. Assuming I make it back in time. I now have less then 10 minutes. I start the return run taking any short cuts I could find along the way. And yes I am literally running as fast as I can while pushing a stroller and child. I did have to stop though briefly in front of the Tree of Life though when at that very moment I saw a man Propose to his Girlfriend asking to marry him. I was such a sweet moment and what a better place to begin your life together then in front of the Tree of Life. I don't know who these people are but congrates.



When I returned to Dinoland we were literally 3 minutes from showtime. I made it back in time but now where was Kiera. I called her and parked the stroller and found she was just about to me. It took here nearly as long to ride Primival Whirl as it did for me to run to the other side of the park and back. With literally a minute to spare we made it into the theater. Unfortunatly seating was packed but we found a spot right before the show started.

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Old 06-16-2012, 01:07 AM   #113
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Finding Nemo the Musical is a show that you can only see at Disney's Animal Kingdom. However I think the show could easily be converted into a longer Broadway version like the Lion King or other Disney musicals. Its great what they did with this show in my opinion especially when you consider that the show was made from a movie that is not a Musical.






We were both in awe this entire show. From how great the puppetiers performed and the larger then life sets. The music was great and the show oversall was just wonderful. Its a show that we loved and would diffenitly recommend if your the show type or your just looking for a place to sit down in A/C and rest your feet for a little bit.





Kiera had tried feeding Daniel during the Finding Nemo Musical however it was too loud with too many bright colors to look at so he wasn't having it. With the show over and it now being time that we could use our Kilimanjaro Fastpasses this was another one of those times where having a child decided what we would need to do next. That being go to the Baby Care Center so that he could feed. We would be cutting the time close with our Fastpasses as we only had an hour to use them. And that included the walk to the Baby Care Center from the Nemo theater.

While Kiera and Daniel took off to the Baby Care Center I stayed behind in Dinoland so that I could use the Rider Swap card on Primival Whirl. Kiera told me good luck and warned me to not get any hopes up for the ride because she didn't like it. After entering that abomination of Dinorama I found it interesting that the opposite track was now running on Primival Whirl. As I entered the Fastpass Que I was handed one of those red Time tracking cards but was also told that Fastpass really won't do much for me since they just started up the second track since the other side broke down and they just moved everyone to the other side.





After a nearly 15 minute wait I was finally climbing aboard the coaster for this spinning mouse coaster. The first thing I though was interesting was how the seating in the cars was layed out. I've never been on a coaster with seating like this. The ride started and I soon knew what Kiera was talking about. For being a simple mouse coaster this thing was pretty rough. Or at least seemed so. I don't know if its how the seating was but the forces felt just didn't seem natural. The spinning the ride does was also very minimal and didn't even start tell midway thru the ride. I was very thankful when this thing was over cause it was a total snoozefest. Seriously what was Disney thinking with this coaster. The spinning coaster used at my home park in Utah (Lagoon for those wondering) is MUCH, MUCH, better then this one (in fact its the same coaster thats used in the Indoor section of Crushes Coaster in Paris).




I would like to way don't waist your time on this waist of space however with how limited the Animal Kingdom is on rides it is worth taking a look to fill out your day or if your just looking for a Coaster Credit. Seriously though this whole section needs to be torn down and something fresh and more Disney like needs to take its place.




As I exited the attraction I saw I had a missed call from Kiera so I called her back. She was in the middle of feeding but she told me she barely made it there as the Jungle Jam parade was about to start and they let her across the path just because Daniel needed to feed. She told me I might wanna take the long way around the park instead of thru the middle to avoid the parade. However I figured enough time had probably passed where I could get thru the center of the park and sure enough the parade had already gone past.




However I missed the parade in one section of the park I didn't miss it in another. When I was only about 100 yards from the Baby Care Center where Kiera was I got stopped where the parade was still taking place. I was right at the gate where the parade goes when its done. Hopeing it would finish soon though I just stayed there and watched while I could. It'd be pointless to go back around. Luckly there were only a few parade floats left when I was finally let thru.





When I finally met up with Kiera in the Baby Care Center feeding room our Fastpasses were nearing there Experation time. We only had about 15 minutes to go. And Daniel wasn't showing any sign of being done yet. And with WDW now enforcing Fastpass Return times we had to get there in time or lose our spots.

By the time Daniel did finish it was the exact time that our Fastpasses hit there Experation time. We were out of luck. We missed our return time window. Or Did We? Although we missed our return window and Disney is enforceing the return times they do give a Grace Period of 15 minutes to those who are running late. Because of this Grace Period we still had time to use these Fastpasses for Kilimanjaro Safari but we'd have to get there quick. Daniel fell asleep as we left that Baby Care Center and We speed walked back to Africa and made it to the Fastpass Entrance 11 minutes into our 15 minute Grace Period. The CM looked at the cards and waved us in. We had made it. Thank goodness. My Marathon Run earlier was not in vain.



While walking thru the Fastpass que we were suprised when we found no CM's taking strollers like they were earlier. We had to park the stroller ourselves. even more interesting though was that there was no CM controling the Fastpass Merge point. Nobody even took our Fastpass cards (yes we still have them today). The line was basically a walk on for the Standby riders so the 2 lines just merged into one. So we didn't even need to use Fastpass or the Fastpass Grace period. We could have used Standby and had the same wait.

We practically walked right on to our tour truck and would soon once again be starting our trek into the African Savanah. Let me say now that if you have the chance to ride this thing more then once to do so. Many animals were much more active at different times of the day then others. Let me also say sorry if some of this may sound repetitive from my earlier update but since its the same ride we saw many of the same animals.



The first thing we noticed was that the first Rhinos you come to weren't as close as they were earlier. This time they were hidden back behind some trees. However the Hippos were much more active this time of day and there were more of them out where you could see them. This time there were many Black birds out as well but I can't remember what they were.



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Old 06-16-2012, 01:08 AM   #114
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I should say now that the tour guide we had on this trip wasn't nearly as good as our previous tour guide. She just kind of drove along pointing out animals when they were seen but never did anything to make it exciting or fun. Like she showed no fear or anything when we came across the Croc's again or going over the bridge. Oh well. They can't all be good I guess.




As we entered the Savanah portion of the Safari the first animals we noticed were the Wilderbeests which were much closer to this time. Off in the distance the Waterbuck were still out.





The Giraffes were much more active this time of Day then they were earlier as there not only more of them out and about but they were coming alot closer to the tour trucks. The Ankole looked like they hadn't moved at all though and this time it looked like there were some Impalas resting out in the grass.







As we came across the area where the Elephants were earlier they had all dissapeared by this point. Well all of them except for one. He was happy to be out for a stroll and came much closer to the Tour truck then the ones earlier did. Shortly after passing the Elephant though our truck came to an abrupt stop. And not just our vehicle but as you looked back and across the Savanah all of the trucks had stopped. Our tour guide told us there was an order for all vehicles to stop. She wasn't give a reason but its typically because an Animal is on the road and won't move so they have to have a team come out to get the animal to move.







She said it typically didn't take long however we sat for 20 minutes before we finally started moving again. The Elephant even came out closer again to say hi. And we even got to see the Wild Chevy Truck go by. Daniel woke up from his nap while we were stopped and was happy to be on the Safari. This was a moment though when we really wished we had a different tour guide as we could hear the guides in the other trucks having fun with there guests while stopped ours barely made a peep.







Finally we got word that the Safari could continue. We waved goodbye to the Elephant and continued again past the Flamingos that were still chillen in the pond. A big difference this time though as we rounded a corner was that there were 2 large Rhinos standing about 15 feet away from the road. It was amazing to see these huge creatures so up close. With there close proximity to the road we figured that these guys must have been one caused the stop. However we later heard it was the Cheetas being on the road that caused it.


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Old 06-16-2012, 01:10 AM   #115
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As we came to the Lion rock again although no Lions were active they were out and visible to see while they slept on the rocks. Both the Male and the Female were out and it was so cool to see them. After passing a few more animals it was time to start the climax of the ride again.







This again is the most thrilling part of the ride as you speed up farely quick thru the gysers lined road to save the baby elephant from the pochers. We suceeded again and shortly after our Safari had ended.





Once again I can't stress how awesome this ride is. It is a must see in Walt Disney World and not only is it a must see but its a must see more then once. We were very happy to have rode again as there were animals we didn't see earlier that were out and those we did see seemed much more active later in the day. So check it out.

As we exited back into the Africa section of the park we figured that now that we had seen all of the major attractions that we could take the Train and go to the Rafikis Planet Watch. However we weren't aware that this attraction closed earlier. Yep it closed at 5pm. 2 hours before the rest of the park would close. Because of our stop on Kilimanjaro Safari we didn't make it back in time before it closed so we never got to go to this section of the park. We were kind of sad to have missed out on it but I guess theres always next time. Whenever that ends up being.




And that concludes this update. Only 1 more to go to recap our time in the Animal Kingdom. Thanks again to those of you following. It means alot.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:20 AM   #116
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I don't think we have ever stayed at AK after about 2 or 3 pm, as it seems like most people do. Crazy to see how much it clears out by reading your report! I was thinking of doing an afternoon, just a couple of hours, at AK in addition to one morning arriving at opening on our upcoming trip. Looks like it would be worth it for the lower crowds!

You got some really great pictures on the safari, especially of the lions!
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:58 PM   #117
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Hi, we are still enjoying your TR! We have been back from our 2 week trip for 2 days now and I am very much in WDW withdrawal! We had a great time with Kaiden our almost 7 mo. old! Many of our experiences were the same as yours; and I have to say so many thank you's for the tips you supplied! I wish I could have taken photos like you had done; but it was a completely different experience with an infant. Thanks again and I will keep reading!
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagineer5 View Post
Hi! Great updates! Loving the pics, and your AK day sounds great. I also LOVE Indy, but enjoy Dinosaur since there's no Indy on the east coast!

Looking forward to reading more!
Yeah Dinosaur wasn't bad. It just can't compare to Indy. It just goes to show that although using the same ride system and technology they can provide 2 completely different experiances. Thats why i've always been one who isn't against using the same ride systems in the resort so long as the experiance is different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
DH and I always did enjoy AK...if only it wasn't so darn hot there all the time! Did Danny enjoy looking at the animals? My DS Paxton was not too interested in them last time, but I'm hoping he'll be more interested this year now that he is a little older.

We loved the AK baby care center too! It was the first one we went to, and had the best of all of the play rooms, which was great for us since Paxton had just started walking on our trip. He had plenty of room to run around. And being able to take the stroller inside is SO nice!

Looking forward to the rest of your AK day.
Haha ain't that the truth. It seemed so much hotter and humid at the Animal Kingdom then any of the other parks. Danny was interested in the animals as long as they were close up. I don't think he noticed the ones that were off in the distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
I don't think we have ever stayed at AK after about 2 or 3 pm, as it seems like most people do. Crazy to see how much it clears out by reading your report! I was thinking of doing an afternoon, just a couple of hours, at AK in addition to one morning arriving at opening on our upcoming trip. Looks like it would be worth it for the lower crowds!

You got some really great pictures on the safari, especially of the lions!
Animal Kingdom was great after the parade ended. It seriously felt like everyone in the park left after that parade. Add to the fact that the park closed at 7pm instead 5pm the day we were there and it seriously felt like we had the park to ourselves as you will see in the final update.

P.S. I gotta say i've been reading your Disneyland Resort Trip Report and i'm loving it so far. Its kind of fun seeing the different perspective on our "Home" park lol.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #119
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Day 8: Animal Kingdom Part 3


With the Wilderness Train being closed we decided since we were here we would walk thru the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. If you recall we already walked down a small section of this trail where we saw the Gorilla. Unfortunatly this time though the Gorillas were no longer out this time of day. It was too bad as there were better viewing areas the further down the trail you got.



As you continue down the trail you will see what the inside of the termite hills look like and also pass an encloser that contains Colobus Monkeys. The trail has many little displays and even had some skulls of the Animals displayed such as some for a Garaffe. The trail is very pretty to walk thru.






Eventually you will come to and enter a building that has alot of small animals in glass cages that you can view. There were so many differnt animals here with differnt types of turtles, rats, lizards, Frogs, and even Dung Beetles.








When you exit that building you will now find yourself in the Bird Aviary where there our many different types of birds flying around. I'm not gonna try to name them though cause it was too hard to tell what they were. We were suprised at how close many of the birds would come to you. There were also a small fish pond in this area. This however was not an area we spent much time in as evidenced by the ground there were many, many bird droppings everywhere and I really didn't want to get hit with any lol.







Exiting the bird aviary you come across the Hippo pools. Unfotunatly though there we no Hippos out when we walked thru. They did have a Hippo Skull displayed though and there were many fishes in the pools that you could view.





As you traveled up the trail here you can look out onto some of the areas that are shared with Kilimanjaro Safaris and subsequently you can see some of the same animals. From here we saw a Gerenuk out and also a Meerkat.






The trail is now nearly complete as you start walking back up a short hill and to the exit of the trail. A small unique touch we liked was the Skull display of a Warthog next to a Meerkat. Or a suttle referance to Timon and Pumba from the Lion King. After the short walk we exited back into the African village in the park.


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Old 06-20-2012, 06:26 PM   #120
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I know that Animal Kingdom gets alot of critisum and called a "half day park". I can't help but wonder if those who clam that only come to the park for the rides and thats all. You have to look at the park from the whole perspective and like a Zoo as the Animals are really the stars of the park. These Trails are incredible and some of the best ways to view the Animals. If you take your time viewing and walking these trails you will find Time passing by quickly. I couldn't imagine coming the Animal Kingdom and not taking the time viewing the animals from the trails. I'm really glad we took the time to walk the trail as it was one of the highlights of the park.

When we returned to the African village area the park had cleared out even more since we were last there. Figuring what we wanted to do next we decided to go back to the Asia section and ride Expedition Everest again before we left. So thats the direction we went. We noticed as we left though the entertainment now taking place as there was an African type band performing with there singer in the street dancing with some little kids.





Walking to Asia we once again passed the Tree of Life and this time there was a photopass photographer in the location so we stopped for some pictures. Although he didn't take any with our own camera he had us get down on Daniels level with his camera. He was probably the best Photopass photographer we came across.





Continuing into Asia it too was much less crowded then it was earlier in the day. Its amazing how much more enjoyable the atmosphere and themeing can be when theres not so many people around. And just like in Africa there was some entertainment out at this time that wasn't earlier. This time featuring what seemed like some Dancers from India. But after the short stroll thru Asia we arrived at Expedition Everest.









When we got to Expedition Everest we entended to once agian utilize the Single Rider Line. However we soon found that the Single Rider line was closed down for the day. This wouldn't be a big deal though as the posted wait for the line was only 5 minutes. I had heard that the standbye que was pretty cool for Everest too so I was pretty excited to see it. Kiera sat with Daniel where she did earlier and I entered the que. The main line is actually very cool as you pass what seems like a tour office and then somewhat of a Yeti museum of sorts. The que is very detailed and pretty awesome. However I breezed right thru it by the time I got to the load plateform I was directed to a row for the next train. Yep there was no wait at all for the ride.







I boarded and off on our adventure we went. This time I took a picture from the lift hill looking out towards Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The ride was just as great this time as it was the first and I think I may have even sorta almost made out the Yeti while he was doing the Disco. I love the ride and it confirmed to me that its my New favorite Disney coaster.







Returning to Kiera I took Daniel and she went to go on a reride on Everest. I was confused though for a moment when she passed by in the Fastpass que. Thats weird I thought and I almost yelled to her to tell her she was in the wrong line. But I saw a few other people also passing thru so I didn't say anything. Daniel and I then went to where the Everest drop is located so that I could try and get a photo of Kiera on the ride. As she finished the ride I meet her in the shop where we traded off Daniel again as I went to enter the que and ride Everest one more time.

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