Disney’s Animal Kingdom 12/13/2014

We had about a half day remaining on our Florida trip before our flight home so I asked my Dad where he’d like to go. He had never been to Animal Kingdom so we decided on that since it would be a brand new park for him. I’ve been to Animal Kingdom a few times now and there’s some neat things that I enjoy so let’s see how it is.

Arrived into a crowded parking lot to Animal Kingdom.
Arrived into a crowded parking lot to Animal Kingdom.
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Have a wild time!
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Animal Kingdom’s front Christmas tree.
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Who’s ready to go in?
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So the first thing that’s noticeable is the Tree of Life the icon of the park…. but right in front of that is…. well construction walls. Blah.
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The neat detail about the Tree of Life though is the animals sketched into the side of it. Very cool.
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We started the day off with Kilmanjaro Sarfari the longest wait in the park come afternoon time.
Here comes our jeep now.
Here comes our jeep now.
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The safari ride gives you a great opportunity to get close to the animals.
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Hippos chilling in the water.
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Here’s one of the many termite mounds you see on the safari tour.
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Some more animals chilling in the grass.
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One of the giraffes eating.
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Here comes one of the elephants.
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One of the other jeeps passing a group of flamingos.
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An ostrich going for a walk.
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Up on the hill some cheetahs want to race our jeep.
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A few rhinos chilling out in the sun.
Up on the rock the lion sleeps..... uh today? haha
Up on the rock the lion sleeps….. uh today? haha
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Near the end of our journey a few zebra are watching the jeeps go by.

The Kilimanjaro Safari is a great way to see lot’s of different animals at the park. The ride is also different every time you ride it due to the free roaming nature of the animals. Unfortunately there’s not many more animal viewing opportunities inside the park besides the safari ride. That must be the reason for it being one of the most popular rides at the park.

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Back outside in the Africa area it’s gotten considerably more crowded.
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Next up it was time to see Festival of the Lion King at the Harambe Theatre.
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The seating is much like a stadium seating with benches in the four corners.
The show begins with some of your favorite songs from the movie.
The show begins with some of your favorite songs from the movie.
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They even get volunteers from the audience for a few tricks including each section having a certain animal noise to make during the show.
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Soon some of your favorite characters from the movie begin to show up.
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The Lion King himself Simba, makes an appearance.
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There’s even some fire juggling.
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The finale brings out all the favorites from the movie including Timon, Pumba, and Simba for one last song.

The Festival of the Lion King was a decent show, nothing too spectacular but a fun show for adults and kids alike.

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Next up was it’s Tough to be a Bug, right under the Tree of Life.
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Almost time for the show to begin.
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Time to enter… Land USA?
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Dinoland USA of course!
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Above the bridge of the play area is a skeleton of a Brontosaurus.
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One of the coolest things at the park is a replica of the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found, Sue! The real skeleton was almost lost in a bidding war to a private collection until McDonalds and Disney bought the skeleton. The real one is on display in Chicago but before it made it’s war up there Disney made a replica to put on display at Animal Kingdom.
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So totally had to pose with Sue.
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My Dad decided to pose as well.
One of the coasters at the park is the Primeval Whirl.
One of the coasters at the park is the Primeval Whirl.
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It’s nothing more than a standard spinning wild mouse and since I had already ridden this one we skipped it today.
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There’s not much extra theming on the ride besides the cut outs that are on display throughout.
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This section of Dinoland is more kid friendly and more colorful than the more realistic section.
Here's even one of the kid rides in the area.
Here’s even one of the kid rides in the area.
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Let’s go check out the Boneyard, the play area we passed under earlier.
About to enter the dig site.
About to enter the dig site.
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There’s some neat displays throughout the area.
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Some info on the mighty T-Rex!
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A look at the whole area to roam around in. Pretty neat area to explore.
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And here’s the Brontosaurus again.
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A digging area for the kids.
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Up in the air a plane was spelling Love in the sky.
There's the finished result above the entrance to our next ride Dinosaur!
There’s the finished result above the entrance to our next ride Dinosaur!
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One of my favorite rides at Animal Kingdom.
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Carnotaurus greets everyone in the main hall of the waiting area of the ride.
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Here’s the skeleton from a different angle.
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Some info on the Carnotaurus.
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Us enjoying our ride on Dinosaur.

Dinosaur is a great ride that uses the same system as Indiana Jones at Disneyland, but instead of Indiana Jones here it’s Dinosaurs! It’s definitely an action packed ride with a few lighting effects to produce a shock when a dinosaur shows up to greet you.

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Next up it was time to conquer Everest!
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Everest flying down the biggest drop in the ride.
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Off into the trees it goes.
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Who’s ready to ride?!? Luckily we have a Fastpass for this one as well.
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The mountain is visible from all around the Asia section.
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The train climbing the mountain again.
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Enjoying our ride on Expedition Everest.

Expedition Everest is a great ride, it’s a fun coaster with some exciting surprise elements. Definitely one of the better and more thrilling coasters at the Disney parks.

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Afterwards we decided to take the Jungle Trek to hopefully see some tigers.
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Tigers ahead.
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The tigers aren’t too visible since they are farther away in this exhibit.
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Prowling along is his habitat.
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Some outdoor bats in the area.
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Yup no tigers free roaming here.
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This tiger was taking a nap in the sun.
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A peacock also in the area.
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The collection of strollers outside the walking path areas. As you can see there’s tons of them.
The next walking path had some zebra along it.
The next walking path had some zebra along it.
Next up we decided to take the Wildlife Express train of Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Next up we decided to take the Wildlife Express train of Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
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Here comes the train.
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The seats are sideways on this train to prevent you from seeing some of the backstage areas of the park.
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Some of the animal habitats for the night are behind those trees there. Kinda looks like Jurassic Park back there. πŸ˜›
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And we’ve arrived back at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
Rafiki is here to teach us all about conservation and protecting the environment.
Rafiki is here to teach us all about conservation and protecting the environment.
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A cast member giving a talk about preserving the environment with a lovely screech owl.
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The whole area of Rafiki’s planet watch to learn about conservation.
There's also some cows back here.
There’s also some cows back here.
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Before our next show we use our last Fastpass for the Safari again to maybe see some different animals.
Here comes our ride.
Here comes our ride.
Equipped with my zoom lens for this adventure I was ready for some close ups.
Equipped with my zoom lens for this adventure I was ready for some close ups.
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This guy doesn’t look too happy.
Hippo alert.
Hippo alert.
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One of the cranes on the water.
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Some alligators chilling waiting for some lunch.
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Jeeps making in through the safari.
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One of the giraffes decided to block our jeep and to get the animal to move Disney brings out food to get them to move. Our driver explained this to us and said he feels it trains the animals to walk into the road when they want food. He’s probably right.
After a while the giraffe finally moved.
After a while the giraffe finally moved.
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Here’s another elephant friend.
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Some rhinos eating grass.
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The cheetahs are now resting after being active this morning.
The female lion rests up on the rock.
The female lion rests up on the rock.
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The male lion sticks his tongue out at us. πŸ˜›
Actually he's just taking a bath. :P
Actually he’s just taking a bath. πŸ˜›
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The lions are chilling on Pride Rock. πŸ˜›
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And look there’s Pumba!

Another great safari ride with some great animal pictures. Definitely a must ride at Animal Kingdom.

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On the way to our next show I grabbed a close up on Everest climbing the mountain.
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We’re here for Finding Nemo The Musical.
The show starts off just like the movie did.
The show starts off just like the movie did.
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Nemo is off to school.
All your favorites are here.
All your favorites are here.
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Love how the sharks even how up.
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P Sherman 42 Wallaby Way….
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Shark bait in his new home.
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Love how they did the school of fish pointing directions for Marlin and Dory.
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Dooodeee.
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The way they used the sets and props were great.
We need to swim down!
We need to swim down!
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Happily ever after, Nemo is back off to school.

Finding Nemo was a great show and a great use of props to convey the plot of the movie. Definitely a must see while at the park.

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A look over the lake where construction is going on for the new night show for later this year at the park.
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Lots and lots of construction walls.
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One last look at the Tree of Life.
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Park Exit.
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The Rainforest is located right outside the exit to the park.
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Inside the Rainforest Cafe.
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Off to the car and then off to the airport for our flight back to CAK!

Β Animal Kingdom is a decent park but in it’s current state it’s not quite up to the high Disney standards of Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (even a name change coming for that one) are both undergoing massive construction projects to improve the parks. I’m sure Animal Kingdom will be a much better park once the night time show arrives and the Avatar section as well. Until then don’t expect to see too many animals except on the safari ride, and don’t expect to spend a full day at the park either.

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