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Old 05-11-2013, 09:59 PM   #16
Ariel on Land
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We're skipping it for the first time this trip. I think we'll enjoy it more as the kids get older. But as it is, they're too short (and young) for EE, and Dinosaur is still too scary for them, Kali RR isn't my thing. (I hate being wet, and we never go in the hottest part of the summer.) The animals are neat, but we have a local zoo that we go to all the time because there's really not much else to do in this small town. So the animals aren't a HUGE draw. I mean, a sleeping lion in AK isn't much different than a sleeping one here, KWIM? I do love FotLK and Nemo, but since their schedules are where it's hard to do them both easily, that's not a big pull either. So for this trip, since we're only using the 4 day military pass, we're skipping out on it. We'll be back, I'm sure, just not enough for me to want to spend a day there instead of at MK where there's SO MUCH for our little ones!
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:05 PM   #17
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I love AK! I certainly like it a heck of a lot better than HS. I love the wildlife trails, and wandering around the park taking pictures...it really is a beautiful place. I really don't understand people that call AK a glorified zoo. I live 15 minutes from the National Zoo. I know what a zoo is. AK is most definitely not a zoo!!

If you get to the park early enough, you might be able to see a vet appt. at Planet Watch. I caught the tail end of a gorilla surgery last year, it was amazing!
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:13 PM   #18
DanInMN
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AK does not have enough to hold our interest for more than a half day, so on recent trips we have skipped it entirely. If Disney offered a half-day, half-price ticket we might visit AK again.

HS is similar, but we always give it a day.

We never do Park Hoppers. Walking back to a park entrance, drive or ride a bus to another park, and enter another park takes a big bite out of the day, and wears us out. Paying extra for that makes no sense to me.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:27 PM   #19
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We loved it, some days my 5 year old says it was her favorite park. We are going again in nov for only 2 park days, it has to be one at ak one at mk. And we live by. The Bronx zoo, so no shortage of that for us either. Is just such immersive fantastic feel there....but you have to slow down and admire and appreciate it. I live how knowledgable the Cms are, the things we learned about the animals and conversations were great. We were there form rope drop to close and still missed nemo, flights of wonder, parade, we don't do EE or KR yet. Loved dinosaur, the whole Dino land....kids LOVED paying there. I think we spent 15 min just admiring the crazy stuf fin the dinoalnd gift shop..the decor. We all thought the safari was amazing, though too quick, we did spend almost 2 hours enjoying tucker house for lunch and a good chukof time at the conservation station. That was great especially since my daughter wants to be a vet...they were so great teaching the kids! If I were short on time I would skip those two events. We also waited ages for pooh and friends, a bit too much. Lion king was great! I thought it would be hokey like the beauty and the beast show at DHS.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:42 PM   #20
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Just two people love Animal Kingdom? Surely the number is much greater than that. Make that 3, because I love it, too! So much that we bought DVC at AKV.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:00 PM   #21
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I adore Animal Kingdom, it's my 2nd favorite park behind MK. I could never imagine going to WDW and not visiting AK
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeLoveLilo05 View Post
I feel there are 2 people in this world those who LOVE AK because they love the atmosphere and animal life, and those who say "Eh", they don't love it and they don't hate and they spend their planning figuring out if its worth seeing. We have always done it and its always for the same few things, Its Tough to be a Bug, Kali River Rapids, Safari, and Everest....then we debate if we should stay for Nemo or not lol. We usually get there at opening and we are done by noon. Anyone else struggle with the "should I go to AK" feeling? What did you decide?
OP, I guess you're right - there are two types of people when it comes to AK. Those who like/love animals and immerse themselves in the park, and those who are not really "animal people" and aren't really into it.

I fall in the first group - I've been a vounteer at my local zoo for fourteen years and love AK (big surprise there, huh? ) But I do understand why some people don't like AK; if you're looking at it just for the "rides," I think you'd be disappointed. And if you're not a big animal lover, that probably isn't likely to change. But for me, AK is at least a two-day park during a week-long trip. I can encourage you to experience all of the things that I love at AK, but you're probably still not going to like what I like (the animals).

Each park appeals to different people in different ways. For me, DHS is a half-day park (if that). I really only like TSM, Muppet Vision, and RnR. Not fond of the other rides, any of the shows or Fantasmic. Have not tried Magic of Animation, but hope to on my next trip.

But that's what makes WDW so great - there's something for everyone!
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:06 AM   #23
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There is something quite special about animal kingdom. My second fav after epcot.

I know its not packed full of rides, but the atmosphere...there is something different about it. It feels real. I could quite happily wander round the whole place (MINUS THE CARNIVAL THING) with a cheese prezel, having lunch at the flame tree BBQ....I close my eyes and Im right back
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:27 AM   #24
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I'm in the other category too. Though I get why it's not a favourite for a lot of people, for a 2 week trip we have a minimum of 2 and a half days planned for AK and will probably stop in a few more times for a couple of hours on other days. I think it helps that both DH and I are interested in animals and conservation. I could lose an hour easily just watching a single animal exhibit. Yes, we have plenty of zoos and safari parks at home, but that's the thing about Animal Kingdom - it's not a zoo. The surroundings, the design of the animal exhibits, the way they make you feel so close to the animals - nothing at home even comes close.

It also helps for us that no trip is complete unless we've been on Dinosaur and EE twenty times each! Add in character trails, shows, some good CS options and amazing photo ops and it quickly becomes a multi-day park for us.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:18 AM   #25
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We will skip AK until we have no children under six for the following reasons:

1. The headliner attractions like EE and Dinosaur are too much for our smaller kids (Safari too with all the jostling, even though my son slept through it when he was 16 months old)

2. The shows are nice, but there aren't that many

3. We have a top 5-10 zoo in St. Louis, and its FREE (I know AK is not a zoo, but where the animal viewing is concerned our smaller kids don't know the difference)

4. The park is huge, so getting from attraction to attraction is a trek -- this is especially problematic when trying to plan for the shows

5. AK just seems hotter than the other parks, and this just exacerbates the other issues (and as long as we have kids in school we'll stick to early June, so going during cooler weather won't be an option for us)

I'm sure based on all the comments from those who love it that it is a wonderful park and has much to offer, but until our children are old enough to really appreciate it we'll spend the time in the other parks where they tend to have more fun. I also don't want to risk having another less than enjoyable experience at AK that permanently affects my opinion and inclination to visit. It will still be there for a later trip.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:37 AM   #26
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Here's my post last year about a great evening at AK:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3010461

We love that park. I like seeing the shows more than once, I like the trails, the safari is never the same twice, and after dark AK is just amazing. And I would not consider myself to be particularly an "animal person," I never visit our local zoo. I just love the atmosphere there. And let me remind everyone that it's hot EVERYWHERE in Florida in June, July, and August. Orlando does not get cool sea breezes like here in Melbourne. But AK has something that the other parks do not have, SHADE!
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:41 AM   #27
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I have to admit, I'm an AK lover! I've always been interested in animals though so visiting AK is like the best of both worlds for me: a little bit of Disney magic and a little bit of the animals I love dearly.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:27 AM   #28
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For my DD, AK has to be our first and last park every trip. We don't ride EE or Dinosaur or even been to Dinoland expect to wach Nemo. She has loved it since she was 2.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:00 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by amzking View Post
And let me remind everyone that it's hot EVERYWHERE in Florida in June, July, and August. Orlando does not get cool sea breezes like here in Melbourne. But AK has something that the other parks do not have, SHADE!
I think the difference is that at AK you are out in the heat more, so the effects just build through the day and wear people down. At the other parks there are lots of indoor, and therefore air conditioned, attractions. I remember sitting in ITTBAB, where we're getting jabbed with "stingers" and treated to foul oders, thinking, "I don't care WHAT they do to me, just let me sit in this A/C a little longer."
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:32 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloesDaddy View Post
I think the difference is that at AK you are out in the heat more, so the effects just build through the day and wear people down. At the other parks there are lots of indoor, and therefore air conditioned, attractions. I remember sitting in ITTBAB, where we're getting jabbed with "stingers" and treated to foul oders, thinking, "I don't care WHAT they do to me, just let me sit in this A/C a little longer."
Yes, that is true. Which is a great reason to take in the shows and, dare I say, even Dinosaur!
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