Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Animal Kingdom

I love Animal Kingdom. I love their commitment to the animals, the commitment to help teach the people about the world around us and how we can better live in it, I love their commitment to animals who are endangered and their attempts at helping to increase the population of certain animals due to their limited number. I love the ways in which it is laid out. I love the huge tree in the middle with all the animals carved into it. Ahhh soooo much fun (and this is why I can't pick a favorite park at WDW, I LOVE THEM ALL). This is going to be the quickest fly through of Animal Kingdom ever. I am hoping to come back and do a post on the Jingle Jungle Parade, the Nemo show, and the Festival of the Lion King (which they are planning on moving to another location and have already started the construction on that - it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to get it done and moved - such a great show).
Kilimanjaro Safaris is ALWAYS a highlight for me. This trip we were able to ride several times (which I highly encourage every does because it is ALWAYS different due to the ways in which the animals move around and some are in hiding and some you can see). When we first arrived in the park we went straight back there and walked right onto the ride, which was amazing, it was early in the morning and all of the animals were out and moving about. We even got to see the lions moving around and what not. My favorite favorite favorite is the giraffes (I LOVE them and am fascinated by them - I am seriously going to paint my guest bedroom with giraffe spots on it. I am jazzed to move and start painting, thanks for volunteering to come help mom). This time they even had a baby giraffe. Soooooooo cute. The other crazy thing to see was a couple animals that WDW is working fervently to keep off of the extinct list. They have several endangered animals that they are trying to breed and hopefully be able to release populations of them back into the wild. I am thankful for organizations who work hard on things like this.
     The other fun around the park is obviously The Festival of the Lion King which is about a half hour mini broadway show of sorts, the flying gymnastic monkeys are my favorite! I am always impressed at what they are able to do with only setting up a minimal amount of gear. The fire twirler is also fairly impressive, I know he is trained in how to be able to do that kind of stuff but it always slightly scares me to see someone playing with fire like that, I fear there isn't much of a margin for error and it would really hurt to get burned (part of this goes back to my summer working as a hospital chaplain and I remember hearing people talk about the pain of being burned, the smell, and the pain they experienced every day as their bandages were changed). The music is fun as well and I love that they really work to get the audience involved. We did see the building that they are planning on moving the festival of the lion king into, and then transforming that space into avatar land (which I am not 100% sold on yet).
     There are also several other things which I really enjoy including: It's Tough to be a Bug, Mahara Jungle Trek, Expedition Everest, Pangani Forest, and Rafiki's Planet Watch. I feel that Rafiki's Planet Watch often gets over looked, a couple things I really enjoy about it is: there is always a couple characters to meet out there with little to no wait, the view inside the vet clinic (one time we saw a Zebra having surgery, which was ridiculously cool), the train ride out where you get to see where all the animals bunk down at night, and the small animals/reptiles/bugs that they have. In my opinion it is totally worth the trip out there (some complain it is too far out and not worth it - I totally disagree). Expedition Everest is always fun, I am not certain that I would ever want to wait an hour or anything for it, we fast pass it or ride when the wait is twenty minutes or less. True story: I have been spoiled by being able to travel in the "off season" to Disney when the crowds are generally fairly low, I seriously can't imagine traveling during the peek seasons any more. I have been spoiled without a doubt.
    The Jingle Jungle Parade, the Festival of the Lion King, and the Finding Nemo shows are always on my must do list as well. (Obviously, not the Jingle Jungle parade when it isn't the holiday season, in non holiday season it is just the Jungle parade, of which I love to see as well) I am impressed at the high quality of the shows that they do repeatedly throughout the day (the parade is only once though). I am impressed by the actors and actresses and how fun it is. There really isn't a bad seat in the Festival of the Lion King or the Finding Nemo show, they all are good really. 
   Other things to note about Animal Kingdom, there are some fun "magic photos" available, one where you get to pose like you are holding Simba like a baby, tinkerbell in your hand (this one is available at every park), stitch in the ground, and a couple of others, but baby Simba is my favorite. There are also usually some pretty good photopass options - around the tree of life, with expedition Everest in the background, and many around the different areas. I will have a post coming on the photo pass - who knows when, I guess you will have to keep reading to discover my opinions and thoughts regarding the photopass. 

Do you enjoy Animal Kingdom?
What is your favorite thing/attraction at Animal Kingdom?
What is your favorite Animal?

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