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A Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Tree of Life Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

The Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There are certain perks to living 10 miles from Walt Disney World. First of all, the fireworks blast off every night at 9 at Epcot, then 10pm at Magic Kingdom and we hear them rumbling in the sky. Secondly, we can hop over to one of the many resorts to enjoy a nice lunch or a romantic dinner. And third, we can spend a nice leisurely afternoon at one of the parks without feeling like we need to see everything. Whatever we miss we can just catch next time.

Lion Disney Animal Kingdom Wild Safari Beauty and the Beets

The lion sitting on the rock on the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I recently planned a day for Chad and I to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom (also known by the locals as DAK). DAK is usually the least crowded of all the parks, especially this time of year while Epcot is hosting the Flower and Garden Festival and the Magic Kingdom is filled with spring breakers. Disney now allows you to add three fast pass tickets to your admission ticket even before you leave the house.

Expedition Everest Beauty and the Beets

Expedition Everest

The first thing we did was go ride Expedition Everest using one of our fast passes. I loved it- all the twists and turns and surprises! The stand-by line was a 45 minute wait and with our fast passes we were on the ride in less than 3 minutes. And of course you can’t walk through the gift shop without trying on one of those Yeti hats, right? I think in this picture I was still feeling the effects of the ride……..

Yeti hat Disney's Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Everyone needs a Yeti hat!

Falafel and Samosas Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Samosas and Falafels at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Since we were ahead of schedule, we stopped for some lunch. We found a little hut that was offering Vegetarian Samosa and Falafel Sandwiches.

Attacking Ducks at Disney Beauty and the Beets

This duck is in need of a new navigational system on his flying machine. He’s a crash test duck.

Everything was going along smoothly until we decided to grab a table on a small landing behind the hut. Just as I was sitting, something swooped in and crashed into my head, causing me to scream and drop some of the food on my tray. A duck…yes a duck flew into my head while trying to make a graceful landing near our table. The duck was laughing at me (I just know it) and all the humans in the park had stopped dead in their tracks to stare at me- the screaming human duck magnet. Now I am afraid of ducks as much as I am afraid of  certain birds. So afraid.

Tree of Life Animals Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Animal carvings on the Tree of Life

However, from where we were sitting we had an amazing view of the Tree of Life. All the animals carved into the trunk of the tree are amazing.

Festival of the Lion King Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Festival of The Lion King

Our next stop was to see The Lion King stage show. This is another option to use one of your three fast passes but if you line up early enough you don’t need to waste one on this show. There were plenty of people still walking through the doors two minutes before the show started. However, we lined up 20 minutes before the doors opened and we snagged some pretty good seats.

The Lion King stage show at Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Scenes from The Festival of The Lion King

I loved the show. The costumes, the colors, the singing, the flying bird….it’s a great show. The Lion King is one of the most popular and well liked shows in all of Walt Disney World but I am still partial to my show- Beauty and the Beast over at the Hollywood Studios, a show I opened 23 years ago as a dancer.

Animal Kingdom Wild Safari attraction Beauty and the Beets

Animals roaming the savannah at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Giraffes Wild Safari Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Giraffes up close and personal at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Zebra Disney Animal Kingdom Wild Safari Beauty and the Beets

Zebras block the road at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Next up was the Kilimanjaro Safari, another attraction we used a fast pass for. We rode in an open air canopy jeep and trekked through the lands of Africa. Animals roamed the safari area freely, giraffes came right up to our vehicle, zebras blocked the road and lions perched atop the rocks..ready to pounce on us.

Finding Nemo stage show at Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Scenes from Finding Nemo at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We then headed over to the Finding Nemo stage show- a puppet show where you can actually see the puppeteers walking around. We both enjoyed the show though it wasn’t our favorite. We didn’t use a fast pass on that show either as there were plenty of seats.

Primeval Whirl Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Heading uphill on Primeval Whirl

Our last fast pass was for my favorite ride at Animal Kingdom– the Primeval Whirl. We still had a good hour before our fast pass time so we headed over to Dinosaur and rode those high tech cars through the wilds of when the dinosaurs used to roam the Earth.

Yak & Yeti Animal Kingdom

Yak & Yeti at Animal Kingdom

A quick twirl on the Primeval Whirl and we were hungry again. We had made reservations to eat at Yak & Yeti– one of the only full service restaurants in the park. We had a nice table but realized as we were looking over the menu, there was only one dish we could have- the Vegetable Lo Mein and neither of us was particularly interested in that so we walked over to Pizzafari.

Pizzafari Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom

At Pizzafari we had cheese and vegetable pizzas with mini Caeser salads.

Bug Eyes at Disney Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Beets

It’s a Bugs Life for me!

We then made our way over to the It’s A Bug’s Life 3-D movie located in the Tree of Life. If you have never seen this show before I recommend you sit all the way back in your seat, especially at the very end. If you have seen this show before then you know what I am talking about. I don’t know what was better, the movie itself or watching people in the audience react.

Animal Kingdom Beauty and the Bees Beauty and the Beets

Beauty and the Bees

And I love the posters hanging in the waiting area. I am particularly partial to Beauty and the Bees…..do you notice the recurring theme here?

Ice Cream at Twistee Treat Orlando Beauty and the Beets

Praline Sundae from Twistee Treat!!

By that time we were simply exhausted and we made our way back to the car. However, we ended our mini vacation with a stop at Twistee Treat on our way home. Who can resist a Praline Sundae?

Beauty and the Beets Disney Tree of Life Animal Kingdom

A selftree!

And that’s it- our casual day at Animal Kingdom. Sound off in the comments below- what’s your favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom?


Monday 24th of August 2015

Hello! Can you remember the name of the hut where you got the samosas and falafel sandwich, or roughly where it was? Would love to try them when we go next time :)


Wednesday 26th of August 2015

Hi Vickie! It was just down from Expedition Everest. I can't remember the name!

Helen Corbin

Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Loved the safari and It’s a Bug’s Life. Actually, I loved it all :-)

Samantha Riley

Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Our AP expired in February and I already missing disney :( I'm thinking we are going to have to renew them next year ;) The DAK ducks are relentless. If people would just stop feeding them I think they would be a lot nicer lol

Anna-Marie Walsh

Tuesday 7th of April 2015

I think Disney should either have signs to warn you or put up those wire things you see at other outdoor places. I'm wearing a helmet next time!