Saturday, January 30, 2010

Disneyworld, Day 5 & 6 - Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom made our choice of Disneyworld over Disneyland worthwhile. We absolutely loved it for several reasons: It seemed much more laid back and definitely less crowded than the other parks. Not that the other parks were very crowded, but there were times at Animal Kingdom that we were completely alone. It was a very strange sensation to feel alone in an amusement park. Also, there was tons of stuff to see and do and there were more characters in this park to see, with no lines.

That being said, the lack of crowds certainly was not because the place has a lack of fun. We had heard that it would be a half day venture and that our kids would tire of it, but at the end of day one, we definitely wanted to go back for another.

Just to be clear, Animal Kingdom is one part zoo, one part rides and one part entertaining shows; all of which were just terrific.

Stuff we loved:

1. Expedition Everest - I believe that this is the best Disney rollercoaster ever made. Everything about it screams excitement and the effects throughout the ride are simply stunning. Never mind the fact that the entire track travels through a dazzling array of cliffs and crevices in a remarkable replica of Everest. My body could only handle two trips (do to the fact that I would have puked) but Lincoln and Cathi may have ridden ten times with very limited wait times.

2. Dinosaur - This is the ride that is designed much like the Indiana Jones ride, but with a dinosaur theme. Cathi liked it less than Indiana Jones but Lincoln and I liked it more. There are a couple points of the ride that - no matter how much you know that they are just mechanical dinosaurs - you get truly frightened.

3. The Tree Of Life - This is neither a ride or show - it's just a giant tree that sits in the middle of the park. Nevertheless, it is a legitimate awe inspiring attraction in it's own right. We walked around the tree twice, just looking at all of the animals that are intricately carved into the trunk. Around the base of the tree lies many animal enclosures, all very natural and scenic.

There are hundreds of animals carved into the trunk, branches and even roots of the tree. Underneath the tree is the attraction "It's a Bug's Life", which seems fitting. It's simply amazing.

4. The Kilimanjaro Safari - You see tons of animals, the jeep almost falls off a bridge and you get attacked by poachers. What's not to love? We went on this ride twice, but could have gone several more times as it seemed that we spotted new animals or the animals were doing new things every time we rode.

5. Festival of the Lion King - We were hesitant to even go to this show - it seemed as though we had seen our share of kiddie shows with puppets and braided girls throughout the week. This was not what we had imagined at all. This is a Circus Olay style show with acrobats, fire dancers and other cool crap. We were definitely glad we didn't pass this one up.

Side note: When my wife read this, she said that it is actually called "Cirque Du Soleil" and not "Circus Olay". All these years, I thought it was Circus Olay, and it really just some fancy french word that has nothing to do with circuses. The French suck.

Really, there was a ton of stuff we loved about this place, including all of the animals. As we wandered the park near closing time, it seemed as though we were the only ones there. (The park is only open from 9-5 and most people start leaving around 3:30 to go to the other parks that are open later) We happened to be walking through an exhibit that holds giant bats the size of monkeys. The boys found these bats fascinating as they crawled around and looked just like monkeys with big wings. We happened to be there while their animal handler was there, feeding them and cleaning their cage. We talked to her for quite some time (We were the only ones there) and she told us all about them. Very cool.

Stuff we hated:

There was not a lot, just one ride.

1. The spinning Wild Mouse - For some odd reason, they have this out-of-place ride in the middle of the park. There was no way I was going to go on a rollercoaster that also spins, so Cathi and Lincoln made the venture. They hated it.

2. Oh, and just like every other theme park in America, they have a round raft ride. This was the shortest one I have ever been on, but it does have one drop. It wasn't bad, but wasn't great either.

Overall, we loved this park and if there is one reason to choose Disneyworld over Disneyland it is the Animal Kingdom.

Finally, as we walked down the path, I happened to glance this lady hiding in the trees. Cathi and the boys walked right by her, without noticing her at all. I made them come back and look at her. She started pointing her long limbs at Calder and I think she completely creeped him out. Can you see her? You will definitely need to click on the picture to make it bigger.


Tammy said...

FREAKY lady in the tree!!!!! Creepy!

I didn't know all this information about Disney's Animal Kingdom. I thought it was just like a big zoo with a special Disney tree. I knew the animals were put in specific enclosures and that everything had a special purpose but I didn't know they also had rides.

Where's the picture of the giant bats?

Kerianne said...

I really like animal kingdom and all the things you mentioned. Do they still have the Finding Nemo show? My kids really liked that. I believe that tree lady is named Di Vine.
I have never heard anyone call it Circus Olay. That made my day.

Cheeseboy said...

Yes Tammy... in fact, the rides may be the best of all 4 parks. It is our favorite park there. Did I mention that?

Yes Kerianne - the do have that Finding Nemo show still and it is amazing. I forgot to mention that one. I fell asleep during it, (it had been a long day) but the parts I saw were terrific.

Ha ha. I wonder if they have just one vine lady or if they take turns? She was really picking on my 3 year old and kept pointing at him with her long limbs. I think he hated her.

Amy said...

I want to go to there.

Lori said...

Fun! That IS an awesome tree with all the animals carved in it.

Tammy said...

I would hate that crazy limb lady too! When we went to Jamaica they had crazy people like that. They would say things like "Take my picture" and I did. Then they'd say "Ok. That's $5." Crazy tree people!