Day #4: the animal kingdom

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On Day #4, the weather started to get cold. Sure, it wasn’t rainy, but the sun wasn’t masking the fact that this wasn’t any sort of “normal” Florida weather. With the excitement still bubbling from the previous night’s animal encounters, we hopped over to the Animal Kingdom for a safari-filled day. Our first stop in the park, was of course, Kilamanjaro Safari’s, the REAL safari ride that takes you through Disney’s version of an African savanna.

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There was a nice tall family of giraffes…

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…way too many crocodiles basking in the sun…

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…beautiful cattle just grazing in the tall grasses…

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… adorable baby elephants scampering about …

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… and NORMAL colored flamingos.

There’s actually many more animals on the tour, but mastering the p/s camera and the rough and tumble jeep is something that took me a few rides to do. But still, there’s nothing like being 5 feet away from amazing animals with nothing separating you… and not having to pay for a ticket to Africa to do it!

Our next venture took us on Rafiki’s train back to the wildlife stations, where you get to see where all of the animals are housed each night. In some sort of amazing feat, they take these animals on and off stage every morning/night… it still boggles my mind to think of how long it must take, especially if there’s a stubborn elephant! They also have an open window to their labs and veterinary services, where if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the animals brought in and worked on! We missed a tiger’s annual examination that morning… as that would have been quite fun to watch!

They also happen to have a petting zoo back in this area. While we were promised exotic animals, we were just delivered exotic farm animals. Here’s a snapshot of me petting a cow. :) Too bad you didn’t get to see me hug any sheep! :)

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We stopped off for lunch in Asialand (yes… Mr. M’s still on the -land kick!) and luckily found a bright sunny table to chow down on our chinese food. With a little bit of solar recharge and a steaming cup of freshly brewed vanilla tea, we headed off to the bird show!

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[all above photos from scotrani]

Big birds, little birds, flying over your head and doing natural tricks… and then they pulled out the bald eagle so we could collectively gasp at the sight of it. Definitely a fun show to attend, made better by the warm tea that was filling our tummies.

Next stop… something dumb! It was still 46, still shivering cold in the shade, but we had our ponchos in the pack from yesterday’s maelstrom, so we took them out and hopped on this lovely ride….

Kali River Rapids by Klingon65.
[photo from klingon65]

… Kali River Rapids! The sign warns simply: you will get wet, you may get soaked. Thanks for the honesty people, but why are we doing this once again? Oh, that’s right… it’s only going to get colder during our stay, so it’s now or never!

I’m not sure that Mr. M nor I had a single part of our body uncovered by the ponchos, minus our faces of course. And in a way, it definitely tamed the ride experience because the fear of getting wet had completely faded away. I mean, we actually got the chance to WATCH as the giant wave overtook our boat, rather than eliciting the normal reaction of “duck, cover, and scream”! We hopped off the right just as dry as we’d arrived, and went on to the jungles of Asia to check out the animals lounging around on the cold day.

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After our brisk walk through Asia, we headed over to tackle the highest peak in all the land (and of Florida): Mt. Everest!

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This ride actually has one of the prettiest queue’s in all of the Disney parks… and you get a prime viewing spot of the trains running up into the mountains!

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However, this was my favorite park of the ride:

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They are tea boxes named “Ye-Tea” and have the Yeti’s hand holding the tea bag! Some days I really wish I was this brilliant… because I’m still obsessed with this a week later!

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We boarded our train with a simple lap restraint… guess it’s going to be a tame roller coaster ride!

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…Or not? Actually, this ride was probably my favorite among all the parks… because it was smart, playful, and gut-turning. :) The dad and the little girl in front of us were adorable, as well, and made the first time riding it that much better!

Ok, so we’ve seen the giraffes, the sleeping lions & tigers, some birds, a Yeti and Ye-Tea (ha ha ha!)… what’s left to do? How about seeing a musical?

Now Mr. M and his family entertained us last year with a double-Disney Broadway day… seeing both the Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins. But the idea of turning a non-musical into one (even though there’d be killer puppets) wasn’t quite thrilling for him. Perhaps he has visions of bad cruise ship entertainment like our beloved Simon Cowell? Anyhow, once we were in the theater, there was little doubt that this was going to be one full-fledged Broadway show… just packed into 25 minutes with a limited cast of 20.

[photo from peterpanfan]

The show was great (totally digging Crush), but the seats (slated benches) were hideous, so we both left the crowded theater cramping and in need of serious ibuprofin!

With only one major ride left to do, we went over to DinoLand and hopped on DINOSAUR: the ride! Mr. M and I had virtually forgotten about this CGI movie that Disney made way back in the day, so we had fun in line trying to remember what the storyline was and I’m sure we combined elements of every Land Before Time movie as well. Anyhow, the ride works on the same jeeps as Indiana Jones in Disneyland, and while I had been on it before, I really didn’t remember it at all. And I definitely don’t remember it being as gosh darn scary as it was!

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See that kid behind Mr. M? He’s screaming straight into his ear. Blood curdling screams of insane fear. Poor kid… I think he was shaking when he got off. Mr. M, on the other hand, thought it was awesome and loved that someone added an additional soundtrack for the ride. In fact, I think he started looking for kids in line on our other rides just to see if we could be paired up so miraculously again. I’m scared to think what this means for our offspring.

Since the Animal Kingdom closes down early at 5pm, we left for dinner at Downtown Disney once again. But this time, we saw something pretty neat:

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Go ahead and try to paint a picture with water on the sidewalk next time you’re bored…


  • talda

    ooh safari! i’ve been meaning to check out safari west out in santa rosa myself. have you been?

    i like that tinkerbell image. that must have been one huge bleach pen! LOL.

  • staceyb

    i loved the safari when we went to world, but i had no idea they took the animals back and forth every single night!! we saw the pens when we took rafiki’s train, but i figured that was just for the sick/tired/stressed ones… :)

  • otherpiecesofme

    My favorite trick for the Kali River Rapids is to pick you butt up off the seat right before the deluge…it seems to me the most annoying part of getting off that ride is that your shorts and underwear are soaked right through…but not if you pick your butt up off the seat :)