Sunday, July 10, 2011

Disney's Animal Kingdom with the kids

We were blessed with an opportunity to spend the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The kids were so very excited! We got up early and planned to arrive early but had an adventure along the way. Oddly, Keith asked me to drive (which I never do when we go out as a family). So here I was zipping down I-4 just before the Princeton St. exit, when we saw cars that had just bumped each other and were pulling off to the side of the road. As all the surrounding cars were slowing down, Keith shouted for me to brake. I hit the brakes as he jumped out of the minivan. There was an injured kitten under the truck beside us. Keith swooped it up and got back into the van. Lots of people honked and gave us thumbs up. We brought the kitten to an animal hospital along the way and they let us know the preliminary injuries were likely at least a broken leg. At this time, the kitten is still in the animal hospital convalescing, but they are actively looking for a home for it.

Now for the rest of our day...

The ride on the tram from the parking lot. The kids were just giddy with anticipation. They had never been to Animal Kingdom before and this was only their second time going to a Disney park.

Notice Keith is wearing an Expedition Everest t-shirt. It was quite a conversation starter with the Animal Kingdom workers. Everyone wanted to know if he ran the race.

We entered the park and went straight to Camp Mickey Minnie. There were so many cute things to see there! This is definitely a slow-down and enjoy your walk kind of park.

Daisy and her boys out for a hike through the woods.

Mickey and the guys fishing.
Donald caught a shoe!

After we walked through that area, we went to the Lion King show. It was fabulous! The kids loved it. The acrobatics were amazing and the music was awesome. Daniel, ever the safety-freak, was very uncomfortable with the pyrotechnic part of the show and climbed up into my lap.

After the amazing show, we stood in line for about 15 minutes to say hello to Mickey and Minnie.

As we were standing in line, the rain clouds started to come in. Joshua helped Daniel fold his map up really small and put it in his pocket.

Mickey and Minnie, as usual, were fantastic! The kids couldn't help laughing and smiling the whole time.

It started to sprinkle as we were walking away from there, and so we decided to venture off for someplace to sit inside and eat lunch. Keith and I both agree that we would rather do a theme-park in the pouring rain, then to do it in 100 degree/100% humidity, usual July weather. So our apologies to all of the other Disney guests that day, but we secretly had hoped for rain, and the sky did not disappoint us!

We had lunch at the Yak and Yeti. Our waitress was so wonderful. She was describing all of her favorite animals on the safari and gave us some tips on the kid-friendly areas of the park. After we finished lunch, the sprinkling had stopped, and so we were off again to walk around. We came across a rickshaw and the kids immediately knew what to do, even though they had never seen one of these before.

One of the things I loved about the park was that the cast-members were so great about explaining things to us. This lady was telling Daniel all about the monkeys and how to tell which ones are boys vs. girls by their coloring.

While walking along one of the trails, we saw lots of tigers. Daniel said, "come here mom, very quietly so you don't wake up the tiger."

A group shot on one of the walking paths.

I liked this sign and find it to be true of both wildlife and children. :)

Once again, the rain picked up, only this time there were no light sprinkles. This was a full-on deluge. We could see it coming our way, and so we make a run for the Dinosaur ride.

I was thinking 5 year old dinosaur fan + ride about dinosaurs = happy 5 year old. Well, fortunately, while standing in line for the ride, there were some loud noises and Megan decided she was just done, she was full-on sobbing that she was afraid (she doesn't like loud noises). Keith said he would take her outside and Daniel decided he was going to go with Daddy, too. At this point, I still thought this was a mild ride about Dinosaurs. Joshua and I were ushered into the first row in our car and then we were off. About 2 seconds into the ride he was cutting the circulation off of my hand. Another 2 seconds later, he was screaming. So, the end result is that Dinosaur in absolutely no way is a little kid ride! I was so glad Daniel did not ride the ride with us, as he probably would have needed a change of clothing mid-way through the ride.

Joshua and I met up with Keith and the littler kids at the end of the dinosaur ride. It was pouring raining outside, so we put on our foul-weather gear.
Daniel was so cute! Just a little face sticking out of his poncho.

We had a plan to head over to the safari and then go home. Well, the safari was all the way across the park, and we had to pass the Tree of Life to get there. The boys noticed a show about bugs, and so inside we went. What could be more fun than a 3-D show about bugs hosted by Flik? The first part was adorable with 3-D butterflies, but then Hopper the giant grass hopper comes out and tells the audience that the bugs have had enough and are going to exterminate the humans. So then the auditorium goes dark and fills up with fake fumigation, which sets Daniel into a near panic attack. The gigantic spiders descend from the ceiling and there is a loud buzzing which causes Megan to bury herself into my chest. The show ends on a positive note and then when Flik excuses the audience, there is a sensation of bugs crawling on the seat between your bottom and the seat itself. Megan was not pleased with that at all. Joshua thought it was pretty cool.

From there, we went over to the Safari. Riding the safari in the rain is awesome! The animals are all out playing in the rain. It was so cool! We sat in the back row and the kids absolutely loved it. Megan pointed out the animals and then found them on the placard hanging down from the top of the jeep.

The excitement of the safari.

We had an awesome day! The kids were so well-behaved all day. We learned a lot and saw a lot of really cool things. The kids were wiped out by the end of the day and they were all asleep in the van on the way home.
Some of our animal friends from the safari...

Look at the baby flamingos! They are so cute!!

The elephants loved the rain!!

It was an awesome day! We are so glad we went.

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