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.
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.
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……..
Since we were ahead of schedule, we stopped for some lunch. We found a little hut that was offering Vegetarian Samosa and Falafel Sandwiches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At Pizzafari we had cheese and vegetable pizzas with mini Caeser salads.
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.
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?
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?
And that’s it- our casual day at Animal Kingdom. Sound off in the comments below- what’s your favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom?