06 October 2012

31 Days:: All About Animal Kingdom

{About Series}
Welcome to today's topic: All About Animal Kingdom! You can find out all about the park {here at the Disney official website}. Today will round out my comments about the parks, but tomorrow I'll continue with comments about the other Disney areas you can visit!

Expedition Everest mountain range!
Animal Kingdom is truly all about the animals, and as such, the crown jewel of the park is the Safari! There are a number of "walks" you can go on that also bring you really close to the animals. Also, the park's hours are centered around the animals, so it traditionally closes the earliest out of all the parks as the animals wind down for the day around sunset and start heading to sleep!

Top Ride Picks
  • Kilimanjaro Safari- located in Africa, this is the best place to see all the animals! Board a safari caravan and head out to see all the animals freely roaming their sprawling fields and lakes and plains. Narrated by your knowledgeable driver, you get to learn great tidbits along the way!
  • Expedition Everest- a high-speed thrilling coaster that runs through the mountains of Everest while trying to avoid the yeti! A must do for any coaster enthusiast :)
  • Dinosaur- a bumpy thrilling adventure back in time to see the dinosaurs and bring one back for scientists to examine, while trying to out maneuver the incoming asteroid shower! I'll admit, it's a little scary (even for me!) but still one of my favorites!!
  • Primeval Whirl- a fun "wild mouse" style coaster, tame enough for most any riders
  • Wildlife Express Train- a relaxing train ride over to Rafiki's Planet Watch with narration about some "behind the scenes" animal tips, you'll catch glimpses of where the animals sleep at night too!
  • Kali River Rapids- if you like to get wet, this is your ride! A fun and wild trip down the rapids in a huge raft (complete with seats, and an area to keep some small things semi-dry), although you may get really lucky and only get a little wet, be prepared to either wear a bathing suit under your clothes or a complete change of clothes for after the ride!

Affection Section 
Top Animal Encounters
  • Kilimanjaro Safari- see above :) Best way to see the most animals!
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail- a walking trail with paper guide maps where you can view birds, fish, gorillas, hippos and more!
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek- a walking trail with paper guide maps where you can view fruit bats, birds, Komodo dragons, and tigers!
  • Habitat Habit, Conservation Station & Affection Section- get up close and personal with goats for petting! Also, if you're lucky, you may get to view a surgery or other vet visit! Tons of information about conservation, animal nutrition, animal research and viewing of other small animals like monkeys and reptiles. 

Finding Nemo The Musical (please excuse the poor photo quality!)
Other Tips and Tidbits
  • If you stand across the lake from Expedition Everest, you'll find a shrine to Everest. Look at the top of the shrine- it mimics the peaks of the mountain tops on Expedition Everest!
  • Flights of Wonder, located in Asia, is an excellent bird show where you'll even find the main attraction flying over your head at times!
  • There are some really neat tours {read about them here} that take you behind the scenes of Animal Kingdom!
  • Festival of the Lion King, located in Camp Mickey Minnie, is definitely a fun, interactive show based on the Lion King movie- complete with acrobatics, sing-a-longs, huge floats with the characters, and great music!
  • Another fun show is Finding Nemo- The Musical, located in DinoLand! The characters are larger than life puppets, controlled by people, including a 10+ foot tall pelican! If you've seen The Lion King on Broadway, it's similar to that... different type of puppetry than say The Muppets. It's really neat, I'd highly recommend it (and it's air conditioned- one of the few places in the park)! 
  • If you get to the park just before opening, the characters come out on a jungle-themed double-decker bus, singing and dancing. Really fun!!

Well, that's all I can think of for today, but check back later in the month to learn about our favorite eateries here, and tomorrow's topic is Downtown Disney- the best place for shopping and eating!

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