Sunday, August 24, 2008

Destination Disney: Animal Kingdom

Heidi is now hosting Destination Disney and this week's theme is the Animal Kingdom.  The AK runs a close second for me for favorite theme park at the Disney resort (Magic Kingdom of course being numero uno.)  This hasn't always been the case.  We were lucky enough to visit the AK shortly after it opened.  It did not leave a wonderful impression on me lol.  It didn't have much to do, it was hot with little shade or buildings to cool off in, it was huge with a lot of walking...I wasn't thinking of going back anytime soon.  Let's just say a lot has changed!

Now the foliage has filled in wonderfully and there are many more shady places.  The buildings are very air conditioned, as opposed to being open to the outside all the time.  And there are so many things to do now!

My favorite attraction still is the Kilimanjaro Safari ride!  We run back to Africa as soon as the park opens, get fast passes, get in the "stand-by" line and ride the ride right away, then use our fast passes to ride it a second time.  It is that much fun. :)  Here are some pics from our latest trip, this past February.


When you first walk in, cast members have creepy crawlies for the little people in your group to check out.  Here is ds4 doing just that.


On the way to the safari ride!


Here comes the truck!


After the safari we hit the Pangani trail.  Don't miss this, it may not look like much, but it is fun.


Here ds4 is spotting birds from the chart.


Aren't we a happy crew lol?  It's such a relaxing little area here with the birds, the waterfall, the fish in the little ponds.  I love it.  There is then an area where you can see hippos, which I also love!


Then on to the gorillas.  First you see this display of info about them, then you walk over a bridge and actually get to see some.  Ds4 is posing here.


Next we move on to Asia and hit the Kali River Rapids.  Our past 3 trips we have been able to just walk right on, twice in a row this past time.  Here is ds4 observing some of the monkeys in a pavilion nearby as we wait for the others to get off the ride.  While he is tall enough now, ds is not quite ready to get soaked.  And yes, you will get soaked. :)


See?  Soaked.  LOL.  Being the veterans we are, though, I had a change of clothes packed for the kiddos (including socks, don't forget the socks!)


You can also wait on a bridge and watch the ride go under; plus there are "water guns" you can squirt at them! 


If you are super brave you can also ride the new roller coaster Mount Everest with the yeti...but I'll leave that to dh and the older boys.  Next we move on to Dinoland!  Here they have neat carnival type rides and booths where you can win prizes.


Like these.


Or these!

And you can ride Dinosaur! the ride.  And if you are waiting for your brothers to get off the ride you can play on these...


There really is tons more to do, like see the Nemo musical and the Lion King festival, and a bird of prey show and dig for dinosaur bones, and visit a dinosaur display, ride a train and visit a petting zoo and animal care facility... but we get pretty worn out and just can't do it all. 

Some important tips for planning a visit to Animal Kingdom.

  • AK opens early and closes early, so plan accordingly.
  • For the animals' safety there are no balloons, straws or cup lids in the AK.  That's right, your kid will spill that drink lol.
  • While there are no fireworks, there is a parade and a fun one at that.
  • You can see more "obscure" characters here like Pocahontas, so be on the lookout.
  • This park is very spread will do a lot of walking.
  • Some attractions are off the beaten path and kind of hidden.  Download a map from the Disney site and get to know the place before you go, or you'll miss out.

Well, I think I've gone on enough. :)  Thanks Heidi for the opportunity to ramble on about my favorite vacation place and I look forward to visiting everyone who joins in.


  1. Thanks so much for a WONDERFUL Destination Disney post. I so enjoyed reading your opinions on Animal Kingdom. Though I've always considered it to be my least favorite of the 4 Disney parks, you've got me really excited for our January visit! I loved seeing all your pictures.

  2. Hi Julie,
    What a great post! I loved your pictures in your story! It looks like your sons were having a blast! They are ADORABLE! Animal Kingdom is such a special place! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your post!

  3. We had our first (of hopefully many to come) Disney trips this past Spring. Animal Kingdom was by far our favorite place in all of WDW. Feel free to drop by my Disney blog and read about our trip. It's at .

    God bless you!


Thanks for stopping by!