I Can't See a Thing and Tiger Lady, Oh My! A Nov Mother & Daughter TR Update 5/7

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Pluto0809, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    We have to get together this time! There is no way we can be in Disney at the same time again and not have a DIS meet. I will PM you my cell phone number so you can text me when you get to MK.

    Thanks! I can't wait to do the solo trip! I don't talk to other people much in real life but there is something about Disney that brings out the best in people. I find it much easier to talk to others while in Disney!
     
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  3. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    We were up at 5 am this day and out the door by 6:45 as we had an 8 am Wild Africa Trek! I had gotten this for Mom for her birthday and we were both very excited to do the tour. Mom’s birthday was in September so I put together a scrapbook for her with some info about the tour. If you would like to see the pages from the scrapbook, they are posted here:

    Scrapbook Pages

    I have 140 pictures from this day plus I have another 100 or so from the WAT CD. It’s going to take me a while to get through the whole day. I think it’s going to take at least three updates just for the WAT.

    We ate breakfast (the stuff we bought the night before) as we got ready so I don’t have any pictures but who needs to see pictures of a bowl of Rice Krispies anyway?

    We headed to the bus stop and were there pretty quickly. We waited awhile and about 7:10 I was starting to get a little panicked. We were supposed to be at the front gates of AK by 7:45. So I picked up the phone at the bus stop and called the transportation line. I had barely started to talk to the lady when our bus pulled up at 7:15. I didn’t need to worry as we were at the front of AK by 7:40 and we weren’t the last ones in our group to arrive.

    We met up with our tour guides (Stephanie and Stephanie) right outside of the AK gates and they advised us to use the bathrooms there because it would be the last ones till we got to the snack area about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. After everyone was sufficiently drained, we headed into the park. Along the way, I took a picture of everyone’s favorite tree:

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    We went behind Tusker House and onto an unpaved path that led into the woods. I took this picture of the area right by the trail. I just love how Disney themes even the areas that not many people will see:

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    You are not allowed to carry anything that isn’t strapped down on the tour (they even made one lady take Kleenex out of her pocket) so the guides asked us to pick a locker captain for each group. Mom immediately elected me so I took all of our stuff and went around behind the building. They had a row of lockers that used a four digit pin code which was nice as you didn’t have to worry about losing a key.

    Once I finished that, we came back around and got in line to get our vests fitted. Mom was ahead of me; here she is at the weigh in station getting her vest:

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    The weigh in was very discreet then I moved to the next person who fitted me for my ear piece (to hear the guides) and also strapped down my camera. The camera strap was very long and I had no problem using it to get lots of pictures. We were also given a name tag and a water bottle that clipped to our vest.

    After that we moved to a third person that tightened up the straps on the vest. Here’s Mom getting hers done:

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    Once we were all suited up we headed to the practice bridge to give it a try:

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    I found the practice bridge to be very easy but I am tall and have long legs. Mom said some of the bigger gaps were a bit of a stretch for her.

    Mom took this picture of me before we started out. You can see the string that connected my camera to the vest.

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    And then one of the other ladies on the tour took this one for us. The guides let me detach my camera for a minute.

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    After that we headed back out towards Tusker House. Here’s a very blurry picture of us walking:

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    And here’s the back side of Tusker House:

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    We stopped here for a minute and had a group picture taken. There were twelve in our party, 4 groups of two, all couples except Mom and I, and one group of four that consisted of Grandma, Mom, Dad and Daughter. First a serious picture:

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    Then a fun one where we were supposed to be the “predators” and our guide the “prey”. I apparently was not in the mood to be a predator:

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    And then we headed out towards the Pagoni Forest Trail:

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    As we were walking, one of the Stephanie’s explained to us that there is no word for very is Swahili. She pointed out this ice cream cart:

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    And explained that when a word is repeated it means “very”. Baridi means cold in Swahili so Baridi Baridi means very cold. And that concludes our lesson in Swahili for today.

    We passed pretty quickly by the Colobus Monkeys:

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    The Okapi (the baby was out!):

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    And then through the bird sanctuary. The guide took this picture:

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    I was having trouble getting pictures of the birds because the sun was so bright so I took a picture of the pretty fish:

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    Once we got to the hippo area, we stopped for a few minutes because there were two hippos sleeping in the water. It was neat to see them breath in their sleep. First one would raise his head then the other. I took a few pictures but they are kind of dark.

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    Continued in next post
     
  4. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    After that, we headed off the trail through a gate right past the hippo enclosure. It led up and over the hippos so we could see them from above. It really was off trail, there were a lot of roots and I spent most of the time walking with my head down so I didn’t trip.

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    Once we reached the Hippo area, they strapped us in and we got to hang over the hippo enclosure. There was one male hippo out and a third CM there feeding him and answering our questions. I was on the very end so I took this picture showing everyone standing along the cliff:

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    Between my pictures and the ones our guides took, I think I have about twenty of the same hippo. Here’s are the best of my pictures:

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    And the best of the guides:

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    A little vulture was hanging out watching us. I wonder if he was hoping one of us would get eaten by the hippo so he could have a snack.

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    The guides also had each group pose and took our pictures with the hippo in the background:

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    We spent about 15 minutes with the Hippo and then headed back onto the trail again. Mom had me take a picture of the name of the trail so we would remember it. You can see the strap attaching my camera to my vest.

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    We also passed by the area with the female hippos. This picture is zoomed in a lot as we were pretty far above them.

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    Up Next: Scary Bridges, Crocodiles and Giraffes
     
  5. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    I made a change to my Dining Plans for March already!

    I was not happy with the lunch I had scheduled at the Rainforest Cafe. Not that I don't like the restaurant but it just isn't very "Disney" to me. Especially since there are locations in other cities. Plus, Flametree is one of my favorite counter services at Disney so I think I would have been bummed if I didn't eat there.

    Yesterday, I did some menu browsing and one restaurant jumped out at me. I've never eaten here but there was at least four things on the menu that I will eat and that's saying a lot with as picky as I am. I've read mixed reviews but I always like to try something myself before forming an opinion. So, what is this restaurant?

    It's The Plaza Restaurant in MK! I've got a 4:30 dinner scheduled there for my MK day. I think the time is going to work out perfectly as I will probably be eating an early lunch at BOG. And I want to catch the MSEP at 7 pm and Wishes at 8 pm so the earlier I eat dinner the better.
     
  6. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Waiting for my fairytale!

    Yay for getting to Wild Africa Trek! I love seeing your pictures, as it reminds me how much I loved doing this last February. Looks like you had a great time so far. The Hippo pictures are great!

    I've never eaten at the Plaza Restaurant, but I agree that with a place with mixed reviews that I prefer to form my own opinion. Sounds like a good change for your trip.
     
  7. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 New Member

    What a great surprise for your mom! Thanks for taking and sharing all of those WAT pictures! I've never done the tour, so I didn't really know what kinds of things they did on it. It looks like a blast!
     
  8. katt789

    katt789 New Member

    So far it looks like the Trek was a blast! I've always really wanted to do one of the tours, any of them (mainly one of the MK ones) I really need to set some time aside for one next trip!!

    You guys got some awesome pics so far, and experience some really cool stuff! Yay!!
     
  9. oopsiDAISY

    oopsiDAISY New Member

    I don't think this is your Mom, Ariana... :laughing: Is that her in the background??
     
  10. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    We did have an awesome time on the trek so I understand! Thanks on the Hippo pictures.

    I think the Plaza is going to be perfect for me since the food is more "simple". Maybe that's why some people don't like it? A sandwich and fries is what I like!


    The tour was a great time! There's two more installments coming up with even more fun.

    You should really do some tours as often as you go! Of course I say that all the time and this is the first one I've actually done. The MK ones are definitely on my Disney bucket list. I think we are going to do the Epcot Segway one in October when i go with DH. He's not the biggest Disney fan but I think riding around on a Segway for a while will keep him entertained.

    :lmao: I guess I should have explained that picture a little better! Yes, that's Mom in the background. She was at the weigh in station. The lady in front is getting fitted for her ear piece.
     
  11. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    After we finished with the Hippos, we reached the two big bridges. We had to climb up a set of steps in order to get on them. I have never been good with heights. I do fine if I’m strapped in and feel secure but don’t ask me to climb a tree or ride a Ferris Wheel where my feet dangle. With that said, I had no problem with the bridges. I guess because I knew that Disney wouldn’t build something that wasn’t safe. I walked across them with my camera in one hand, holding on with the other. I did slip once and fall onto the netting but that’s what I get for trying to smile for the guide taking pictures and walk at the same time. She got a good laugh at me.

    About the time we started across the bridges, the park opened and Safari trucks started passing by. I kept waving at people but they were too busy looking at the animals to notice us above them on the bridges.

    They only let two people on the bridge at once. Mom went first and then I followed. Here are the pictures I took while crossing. In this one, I’m about a third of the way across the first bridge. If you look closely, you’ll see Mom almost to the other side:

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    Looking straight down:

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    A few shots of the crocs that were below us:

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    The guides also took a lot of pictures of us on the bridges. Mom:

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    Me:

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    I love this photo that the guides took of the second bridge:

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    The two Stephanie’s also posed for a picture as they were crossing the bridge (a third guide was in the Croc area and took this picture):

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    Once we crossed the second bridge, we had to wait near the crocodiles for everyone behind us to finish crossing. They had a place where you could refill your water bottle while you waited. While I was waiting, I took this picture of the bridges so you could see how far above the crocodiles we were. You can just see the back of a Croc in the lower left corner. The railing in the picture was where they attached you to hang over the edge.

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    Continued in Next Post
     
  12. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    After everyone had made it across the bridges, they strapped us in again and we got to hang over the Crocodiles with the guide in this area answering questions. And again I took a lot of pictures as did the guides. A few of mine:

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    Guides:

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    They took pictures of each group again:

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    This one was taken without any zoom to show you how close we were to the Crocodiles. You can see a pair of feet at the edge of the drop.

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    I was off to one side again but they load you from one side and then you go out the other so I was able to get right up to the edge for a minute.

    As we headed away from the Crocodiles I took one more picture of the two bridges. You can see part of the Safari road:

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    We walked for a bit more through a wooded area with lots of ferns. I think the guide called them Christmas ferns?

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    And then stopped for another group picture. Thumbs up to show that we made it across the bridges alive.

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    Ah, here’s the Savanna and a few trucks below us:

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    At that point, we arrived at a truck waiting for us. We took off our vests and earpieces and loaded everyone onto the truck. We drove out onto the Savanna on the same road the Safari trucks. We stopped for a few seconds to get a picture of this guy (not sure what he is):

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    And here’s the Giraffes!

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    And some kind of cattle (I really should have written the names down):

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    Continued in next Post
     
  13. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    Once we got out into the middle of the Savanna, we stopped on a little side road and sat for about 15 minutes. All 7 of the giraffes were right around the vehicle and I got a lot of pictures. The guides also told us a lot of facts about the giraffes, most of which I have since forgotten. My pictures:

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    Guides pictures:

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    This is my favorite picture of the giraffes that I took. In the background, you can see the Boma where we would be stopping for a snack.

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    We also saw a few Wildebeests laying in the shade:

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    As we pulled away, the male giraffe (only one male, the rest are all female) decided to be curious and follow us up the path. No zoom on these pictures:

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    Up Next: Elephants, Snacking on the Savanna and the end of the Trek
     
  14. wiigirl

    wiigirl New Member

    Beautiful pics! :)
     
  15. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 New Member

    Beautiful pictures!
     
  16. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Waiting for my fairytale!

    Wonderful pictures! I loved how close you can get to the Crocs on WAT, that was one of the best parts for me! It was almost scary how close you can get, but since they are pretty sedantary it wasn't too bad! :rotfl:

    Great pictures of the Savannah animals, especially the giraffes. The male was very curious with us too, and came right up to the Boma while we ate!

    Oh, and the animals you didn't know were a Patterson's Eland (the big antelope one) and Ankole Cattle, also called Watusi Cattle after the Watusi tribe :thumbsup2
     
  17. KatMark

    KatMark Active Member

    What wonderful updates. Now you have me second guessing myself as to whether or not we should do Discovery Cove and swim with the dolphins in August or do the Wild Trek (the dolphin swim is our 30th wedding anniversary gift to each other). Your pictures are fabulous, especially the giraffes...my favorite animal.

    And, as for your ADR at the Plaza: :woohoo::woohoo::woohoo: We love this place. It is always our last meal of the trip before we head to Marco.
     
  18. oopsiDAISY

    oopsiDAISY New Member

    LOVE these pictures! You did a FANTASTIC job of photo-documenting your experience, Ariana! ::yes:: I am one who gets so caught up in the experience that she forgets to take pictures most of the time... :rolleyes1
     
  19. katt789

    katt789 New Member

    Man, those are amazing photos!! This Trek looks like it was absolutely amazing!! Great shots of the animals, as if they're that close to you all the time! Ack!! Little fact; did you know that when the Safari drivers are being trained, they're told that if someone falls into the Croc pit, they have to drive away as fast as they can! No one needs to see that, and there's a less chance of someone jumping in to try and help them (because helping wouldn't work)
     
  20. campinggal

    campinggal New Member

    So excited to find your trip report!!

    My DD (age 16) and I will be doing a Mom/Daughter trip in March and I have us booked to do the Trek. It is a surprise for her so she doesn't know about it yet but I'm so excited to do it myself and I am loving your pictures and your thorough descriptions.

    What is the range of the zoom you have on your camera? You got some great shots!

    Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup2

    Liz
     
  21. Pluto0809

    Pluto0809 New Member

    Thanks!

    Thanks!

    Thanks! It was very neat being that close to the Crocs. They barely moved when we were there but it would have been interesting to see how everyone reacted if one had moved suddenly! I'm sure I would have taken a step back without even realizing I was doing it.

    Unfortunately the giraffes didn't come too close to the Boma while we were eating but at least we got to see them up close from the truck.

    Thanks for the names of those animals! I really should have written that stuff down. I only knew the Colobus monkeys because I took a picture of the sign. :lmao:


    Oh boy, that would be a hard decision. I've never swam with Dolphins but that sounds like it would be an awesome experience. But the Trek was a once in a lifetime experience for Mom and I. We loved it so much that we are talking about going again in 2014 and taking my Brother, SIL, and my Cousin's 8 year old son.

    I'm actually really excited for the meal at the Plaza. I've never eaten on Main Street (well other than Casey's) and I think it will be a fun time.


    Thanks, I just kept telling myself "got to get pictures for my TR". Mom even got into the act, pointing out things I needed to photograph! There were times though when I did get caught up and forgot to take photos.

    Well, I did use zoom some of the time but the male Giraffe did get pretty close and you can see how close we were to the Crocs!

    I have heard that fact! A little scary but if you're going to jump out of the Safari vehicle guess you have to pay the price!


    :welcome: Glad you found my TR! How exciting that you will be surprising your daughter with the Trek. So how are you going to tell her? Ahead of time or just surprise her on the day of? I told Mom ahead of time because I wanted it to be her birthday present and her birthday was before our trip.

    As for the zoom on my camera, no idea! :rotfl2: I just have a little point and shoot. It's a Canon Power Shot SD1300IS if that helps you any. I've found it does great in the day time but not so good at night.
     

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