Places to Go (Vacation) - Disney World 2012 - Part III, Animal Kingdom


Dan and I really love Disney's Animal Kingdom - best summarized as the world's coolest zoo with rides. Unfortunately, when I told P we planned to visit on Sunday she immediately said "not the BORING place, with all the animals." Sadness. Last time we visited, she seemed to like it well enough, but then again it was 90 degrees and super crowded so none of us quite felt the magic.


As soon as we arrived, we went straight to Africa, where I ran to acquire fast passes for the Kilimanjaro safari and Dan searched for coffee. While I was gone, Dan and the kids all explored a stall full of African instruments - they loved it. And turns out we didn't even need fast passes as the wait times were under 10 minutes. So we hopped on our safari, which fascinated all of us. Every turn lead to a new animal up close and due to the cooler weather they were actually DOING STUFF, rather than lying around in the shade. We even had to stop for a few minutes when giraffes blocked the road. P turned and said "wow, this is amazing mom. I was wrong about this place."


After visiting more animals in Africa, we meandered into Asia and the Kali River Rapids ride, where Dan and a very very sad T became sopping wet. After laughing at her brother's misfortune P begged to ride again and she too became drenched and very very sad (is this how they learn empathy?). As two/thirds of my kids begged to leave, I thought we might have to call it a day. Then came Dinoland. Oh, Dinoland. Whereas most of Animal Kingdom is subtly beautiful, Dinoland consists of over the top kitsch. My kids loved it. We road triceretops, dug for dinosaur bones, raced down slides, and drove a stationary jeep. Happiness.


Since everyone seemed rejuvenated I talked them into attending a performance of the Lion King, which was absolutely gorgeous. From the costumes to the acrobats, all five of us couldn't take our eyes off everything. Amazing.


Finally, we ended the day by camping on the side of the "road" and watching Animal Kingdom's Jingle Jungle parade, which, though lovely, became a little repetitive after awhile. So it goes. All in all a wonderful day.

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