Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 2 at Animal Kingdom - Just The 4 Of Us.

My jaw dropped open when I first looked up to see The Tree of Life once we walked in. It was something I had never seen or heard of and a great surprise. Below, I love how the grounds changed to depict the what the real roads looked like in each country.
One of Addie's favorite rides the ENTIRE week was this one... The Kali River Rapids! She got so excited every time she got wet.
Then it was off to the Jungle Trek to see the bats and tigers.
My 3 little Indians.
Then it was off to the amazing Kilimanjaro Safaris. I can't even begin to describe all the animals we saw and the amazing environment they live in. I understand why the average wait was over 110 minutes for this ride. Thanks so a fast pass... it was 5 minutes for us!
Addie was in hugging moods when she wasn't busy pointing out which animal was the "momma, the Dada and the baby!"

We then headed to The Festival of The Lion King which the kids LOVED!
This is the picture of the big talking Cimba from the show. Carter asked me a couple of times during the show, if this was the real Cimba. This was the magical part of taking a 2 and 4 year old to Disney World. They still have no concept of what is real and fake and that is a memory of Disney with this age of children, as a parent, I will ALWAYS remember.
I talked Addie and Carter OUT of waiting in line to see Goofy and Pluto by snapping this picture by them! It was a WIN - WIN!
DINOLAND was the next stop! They didn't want to leave this incredible play ground filled with caves, dozens of slides and fun stuff to climb on.
Our last stop of the day was to the show, "Flights of Wonder."
Our Day's Favorite Memories:

  • During the safari, listening to Addie telling the entire jeep full of people which of the 3 giraffes was the momma, the Dada and the baby. Everyone was laughing at her own tour going on.
  • Carter and Blake were in the tiger area of the Jungle Trek looking through the windows trying to find the tigers. Blake said to Carter, "Sorry bud, I don't see any." and turned to walk away. Carter said, "Dad... it's right there!" and pointed down 5 inches away from them both. The tiger was RIGHT below them and it was just so cute to realize the point of view kids have that sometimes us adults miss what they can see so easily." (It was probably one of those things you had to be there to understand the moment.) ;)
  • The super nice lady of the Kalli River rapids that allowed Addie's CURLS to count the extra 2 inches she needed to be tall enough to ride! She LOVED it each time she got SOAKED.
  • Seeing the Tree of Life for the very first time.  It was breath taking since it was the very first time I had ever seen it.
  • During the Festival of The Lion King, Carter leaned over and asked me if the GIGANTIC stuffed talking Cimba was real.
  • The details that Disney World doesn't miss to make the parks so unique. The bubbles that were floating every where (in all parks) and noticing how the ground changes every single time you go into a different part of the world. - ie) Asia, Africa. Such detail.
LOGISTICS:
It was Early Mickey Hour opening at 8AM but we let the kids sleep in from the previous super late night at Magic and arrived at 8:50 AM, just before general admission was allowed in, which was nice. Getting there EARLY (or any park for that matter) is the key recommendation. Do this no matter what!

1.  Blake was off to get FP to Safari while the 3 of us headed to the Kalli River Rapids. (Addie was an inch too short but since it wasn't busy yet, the lady said go ahead when she saw how excited she was.) We ALL loved this ride but especially Addie.
2. Then we did the Jungle Trek - a jungle walk with several tigers and a bat house. Great guides were all along the way ready to talk to you about everything you see. The kids LOVED just running around like crazy.
3.  The Kilimanjaro Safari - One word - AWESOME!!! An actual jeep ride through a real safari. INCREDIBLE.
4. Lion King Festival Show - Beautiful! We loved sitting at the top row which wasn't very high up with the circular seating because it allowed the kids to stand with their backs against the wall and dance to the wonderful music.
5. We ate lunch at the Pizzafari, good pizza and fun place. Hidden Mickey's in the murals.
6. Explored Dinoland - the only cool ride was Triceratop (JUST like Dumbo ride) and the line was so long, we skipped. The rest of it was like a carnival with games and wasn't too interesting.
7. DINO-DIG - Addie and Carter LOVED this part of Dinoland which was a huge playground with tons of really cool things to climb on and slide down. They could have spent hours there. I would say good for ages younger than 6 for sure!
8. Birds of Flight Show - This was okay for the kids. The only seats left were the back row and they wouldn't allow the kids to stand even though no one was behind us because they said it would interfere with the birds flying. It was way after lunch and was getting hot out and since they couldn't see well, they were loosing interest when the show would have to stop when the birds didn't want to proceed.
9. We loved looking at the Tree of Life as it was so cool to see.
10. We left around 1:45 (knowing we were returning with the whole family on Friday.) Addie crashed in the stroller.

Key Learnings For Next Time at AK:
  • Do Lion King Festival and other indoor shows in afternoon when it gets so much hotter
  • Must do afternoon parade around 3 - Jammin' Jungle Parade
  • Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl (rides) - when kids much older
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail - walk through zoological exhibit (go before 10AM)
  • It's Tough To Be A Bug (show)- when kids older, too freaky for Carter especially

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