Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WDW Trip Report Part 4.1 - Animal Kingdom

Woke up bright and early again this morning to get ready for a fun day at Animal Kingdom.  We were running a little late, but thankfully our bus stopped at AK first instead of Blizzard beach.

Funny story about this day.  Pay attention as the pictures go along, my yellow tank top gets more and more stretched out.  I have worn the shirt a bunch of times, but it just did not respond well to the Florida humidity.  It was pretty funny and it was a ongoing joke all day long.  I even had to remove my birthday button after a while because it was starting to stretch out holes where the pin was!  Ridiculous.  Lol.

We decided to wait until we left the park to get photos of the outside area that way we could head straight to get fast passes for Expedition Everest.  The park had just opened when we walked through the gates and Heather and Kendall had to keep me moving because when I first saw The Tree Of Life I could have sat there all day and taken photos of that thing!

It looked like most people where heading to the safari first so when we were walking to EE there was practically no one around!

Baloo and King Louie where out and ready to take photos, so we decided to stop and do that.  They were seriously awesome.  I think they were happy to have some people stop for them and let us take a ton of photos.

We continued on to EE only to see that the wait was only 5 min!

 We grabbed fast passes and decided to ride it as well.  Heather walked the queue with us so she could get some photos and then Kendall and I hopped on the ride.  In the very front!  It was amazing!  The detail of the queue and the ride was awesome.  I am so jealous that we do not have this ride out here because it is seriously one of my favorites.  So fun!

We ran into and chatted with some MouseScrappers we ran into for a minute and then we continued on to the Safari before the line got too long.  Here is a quick little video of the first couple minutes of Expedition Everest.  I was so excited to video the ride to show Chris when I got home, but my video camera didn't charge right the night before.  *WARNING*  I do say a mild bad word in this video, so if you have kiddos with you, you have been warned.

The Safari line was at about a 30 min wait so we hopped in line.  Luckily the line was in the shade, but the humidity was out of control!  Heather always said that it was hotter at AK than any other park and she was right!  I don't know if it was because of the location or because of all the plants, but it is ridiculously humid in the entire park.  My face was melting pretty much the entire day.

Once we got in our safari jeep the little breeze on our faces made it much more bearable.  The safari was so fun!  I loved seeing all the different wild animals just hanging out.  For the most part there are no fences and the animals can get really close to you.  The ride itself was a little bumpy, but what else would you expect from a safari!

Some of the highlights were definitely seeing the baby elephant, the ostrich that was RIGHT next to our jeep, the giraffes and the rhinos!

One of the things I wanted to see at this park was Finding Nemo The Musical, but the times totally conflicted with our lunch reservations so instead we decided to head over and check out the Festival of the Lion King.  We made it just in time for the next showing and we were all really happy to be out of the heat for a little bit.  I wasn't sure what the show was gonna be, but it ended up being really amazing!  I didn't realize until part way through that the floats they use for the show were the same ones they used at Disneyland for the Lion King parade a long time ago!  It was really awesome to see them again since I loved that parade.  I let Heather and Kendall take all the photos during the show so I could just sit back and enjoy it.

When the show let out we decided it was time to meet some characters!

Thumper was out so we stopped and met him.

Then we headed over to meet the fab 5 in their safari outfits!  First up was Donald.  I love the little areas that they meet in over there in Camp Minnie Mickey.  It is a perfect little area.

The lines were getting long for the rest of the characters since the showing of the Lion King had just let out so we decided to come back later.  We walked by Thumper again and this time Miss Bunny was out with him so we stopped again so I could get a photo with the both of them.

Heather stopped to use the restroom and Kendall and I headed over to meet Pocahontas. Right when it was our turn to take photos with her, Meeko came out and joined her! I have always loved Meeko so this was pretty exciting for me.

On her way back to meet us, Heather ran into Brer Bear!

We stood around a little bit and took some scenery shots and I bought a fan because I REALLY needed it here.

Heather headed back to try to get her photo with Pocahontas and Meeko, but of course, right when it was her turn to take a photo Meeko decided it was his turn to take a break.  LOL!

We started to mosey out way over to where were we gonna be having lunch.  We stopped at The Tree Of Life to take advantage of the Photopass Photographer.  He was photographing a couple when we got there, but were were next in line.  OMG.  The photographer was awesome and he was taking a TON of shots of the people ahead of us, but he was taking FOREVER!  It was soo hot standing in the sun waiting and we were getting SUPER irritated.  Finally it was out turn and he spent like 5 minutes fiddling around with our cameras and setting us up for shots and putting us here and putting us there, it was out of control.  We ended up getting some really good shots, but I almost died from the heat in the process.  

After the photos we headed over to get a quick look at Dinoland.  There is no shade in this part of the park so we made it quick.

We headed over to Dinoland and hopped in line to get our photo with Goofy and Pluto since they are in special outfits there.  The line for this was awful.  It was hot, there was no breeze and there were Love Bugs EVERYWHERE!  I had a really cute moment with Pluto where he tried to run off into the sunset with me.  It was quite funny!

After we got the photos we wanted we got the heck out of Dinoland as fast as we could.  We were running a little late for our lunch reservation and Yak & Yeti so we had to practically run to get there in time.

It was soo nice in the restaurant.  We were seated towards the back a little, out of the light and heat so it was a great way to cool down while we ate.  I ordered a ice tea, which I guzzled right away, but I was a little weirded out by the paper straws that they give you for your drinks.  I understand the reasoning but I was not too thrilled with having that thing disintegrate in my drink.  But, I was so hot and thirsty that I got over it.

The food was soo good!  I had a tempura shrimp plate that I would totally get again.

Heather and Kendall's meals look amazingly good as well.

I got the pineapple/wonton dessert too and it was TO DIE FOR!  Seriously.  I ate mine and then half of Heathers. LOL!

After lunch we headed back over to Camp Minnie Mickey to see the rest of the characters.  We got to see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey fairly quickly and then we went to claim our spots for the Jammin' Jungle Parade.

Picking out a spot for the parade was such a fiasco.  We (along with quite a few other people) had perfect seats which cast members didn't bother to tell us we couldn't stay at until 5 minutes before the parade was about to begin.  I thought Heather was gonna punch some people!  It was just ridiculous.  In the end we found a new spot and everything turned out ok.  But it was still a bit of a pain.

The parade was so fun!  So colorful and the animal floats were amazing!  I also loved how each of the fab fives floats were so perfectly personalized to each one of them.

Here is a little video snippet of the parade as well!

After the parade ended we waited for the crowds to dwindle by browsing around the shops that we were standing near.

We headed over towards the Tree Of Life to get some better photos of it and found the awesome path that leads us right under the tree!  It was amazing.  I knew that the tree was huge, but it looks even more massive when you are standing directly beneath it.  The detail of the carvings that make up the trunk are truly breathtaking.  I could have spent all day here and it was probably my favorite area of the whole park.  There are even real animals!  So cute!  I think we got there at a great time because there was no one else around!

The park was getting ready to close soon and we still hadn't used our fastpasses for Expedition Everest so we headed back over to that side of the park to do that.

On the way we stopped to take advantage of a photopass photographer that was taking photos with Expedition Everest in the background.  It was nice to get some good shots with the parks iconic mountain in the background and the PP was super nice!

I am pretty sure that this is my favorite photo from the whole trip!  I just giggle every time I see it.

Kendall and I headed into the ride and Heather planted herself in the proper area to be able to snap a photo of Kendall and I while were were on the ride.  She did awesome and totally got a fantastic photo of us coming down the big drop!

By the time we got off the ride the park had already closed so we headed out to get some photos in front of the main gates.  We got photos in front of the main sign and even got some photos of the amazing Lion King topiaries they have out front!

We needed to start heading over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for our MouseScrappers meet-up at Boma, but the lines for the buses were soo long!  We decided to hop in a taxi instead to just save ourselves the headache.

1 - Finally Being Able To Scrap A Album
3 - Wearing My Custom Bow Minnie Ears
4 - Tea At The Grand Floridian
5 - Tower Of Terror
6 - Photopass Photos
7 - France
8 - Figment Merchandise
9 - Illuminations
10 - Rock N Roller-coaster
11 - The Tree Of Life
12 - Phineas & Ferb
13 - Vinylmation Trading
14 - Test Track
15 - Magical Express
16 - Yak & Yeti
17 - Tomorrowland Transit Authority
18 - Extra Magic Hours
19 - Boma
20 - Splash Mountain & Space Mountain
21 - The Big Hat
22 - Finding Nemo The Musical
23 - Kilimanjaro Safari
24 - World Showcase
25 - Sci-Fi Dine-In
26 - Country Bear Jamboree
27 - The Hotels
28 - Pressed Pennies
29 - Spaceship Earth
30 - Earl Of Sandwich
31 - 1st Visit & Happy Birthday Pin's
32 - Haunted Mansion
33 - Dole Whip
34 - Animation Academy
35 - Seeing Heather in action on Toy Story Mania
36 - Meeting Lots Of Characters
37 - Expedition Everest
38 - Meeting Heather & Kendall
39 - First Vacation On My Own
40 - Walking Down Main Street


  1. So you didn't explain the whole issue with the parade spot, lol. For at least 30 minutes, the CM kept going over to this one spot directly across from us and said they couldn't sit there. But the rest of us, she never said a word, until RIGHT before the parade. That's the part that made me have to hold myself back, lol!

    I swear, my pics never look as good as they do when you post them on your blog. I'm like, ooh, cool pic...then I scroll over and see it's mine, haha!! ;)

  2. Love it! Expedition Everest is one of the best! Animal Kingdom as a whole wasn't my favorite park, but that ride will keep bringing me back there! I've really enjoyed your updates! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I'm lad you liked the Jungle Jammin' Parade too. I LOVE that parade.

    I'm sooooo sad you missed Finding Nemo the Musical. It's one of my FAVORITE things we did our entire trip. I don't know why, I just loved it so much!!!!


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