Thursday, December 18, 2008

Disney ~ Day 2 ~ Animal Kingdom

We tried to pack a whole lot into this first full day. We hit Animal Kingdom pretty soon after they opened that morning and headed straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris. It's a great ride for all ages and you can see wildlife up close like never before!

We passed some crazy pink flamingos on the way

We spotted some hippos getting their swim on

The idea of the Africa side of the park is to as closely recreate the African Savannah as they possibly could. It was amazing how realistic things appeared. The animals definitely appeared to be responding to something that would be present in their natural habitat.

I believe this animal is called an African Kudu (but don't quote me on that). We saw a LOT of different types of antelope/deer family animals and I lost track of all the different names. These animals were seriously sitting along the road like it was no big deal.

I love elephants. They're just so majestic.

But this guy, well, I almost peed my pants when we drove up and there he was, close enough for me to touch. White Rhinos are just gorgeous.

After our safari, Little A hopped on Daddy's shoulders for some personally escorted park time.

Thankfully, we quickly came upon some characters to meet. These are Kendi & Koda from the newer film "Brother Bear".

And then they were stunned to meet Goofy, dressed as Santa.

They eagerly waited in line to meet the illustrious Minnie Mouse.

However, nothing beat the excitement of meeting the main mouse himself, Mickey.

After our character meeting session, we grabbed lunch and tried another couple of rides. This was a "dumbo-like" ride that featured dinosaurs. The girls, especially Big A, ate it up!

Little A soon succumbed to all of the excitement and decided to catch a few zzz's.

We didn't want Big A to miss out, so we continued our search for more characters. Quickly, Donald Duck made an appearance, so Big A got his autograph for her & Little A's books. What a sweet big sis!

It was amazing that in the time it took us to get from Donald to Chip N Dale that Big A also fell prey to the nap fairy. So, hubby & I took full advantage of this moment and got an embarrassing shot for their dating years.

This is the Tree of Life. It's kind of the centerpiece of the whole park. It's covered in carvings of all sorts of animals and things. It's truly spectacular to see in person. I was just a little proud of this pic.

As the girls finally woke up, we decided to catch the afternoon parade. The girls are big fans of the Jungle Book, so we were excited to see Baloo and King Louie lead things off.

The parade was full of cool artistic interpretations of animals.

After a great parade, we gathered up the weary troops and decided to head back to the resort. But, not before stopping to admire the Christmas tree that stood outside the park entrance. I love how Disney goes to extremes to really theme out EVERYTHING. This tree had some great decor that I wanted to capture. It was the perfect end to our first day!

Check back tomorrow for a quick side trip to Sea World!


Kat said...

Didn't you just love the parks decorated for Christmas? That was one of my favorite parts about going in January.

And when we have gone in can see them already starting to put up all the decorations. I wonder how many months of the year are dedicated to putting up and taking down?

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Great pics!!!

We did Disneyland at Christmas when Essie was 3... it was INCREDIBLE!!!!

Lula! said...

All I remember about Animal Kingdom is the distinct animal smells. As in diSTINKtive. 'Cause I was newly pregnant with Caroline when we went in '05, and my stomach was churning and burning all over the Animal Kingdom.

Ah, good times.

Also, your girls are gorgeous and your pictures are way better than mine.

Jennifer said...

wow. great pictures. :) the one of the tree is awesome. good job.
i'm glad you all had a great time. i can't wait to hear more about it.
we are thinking doing a FL trip in March of 09, but the kids will only be 3.5 and 5.5 so I'm not sure how it will go. everyone says not to take them till the youngest ones are 5. but then my son will be 7 and i kind of want him to go earlier than that. what do you think??

thanks for sharing your great pictures.


Brandy said...

You got some great totally makes me want to go. But only if they have strollers for grown people in case I want to nap too.

Kori said...

Awesome pics. I so can not wait to go.

Julianne said...

Is that a Disney stroller I see? Sean and I couldn't believe they are $32/day. INSANE! On the three days we were with my cousin, they were free which was awesome but after that it was old-school janky Sit N Stand city for the Hale children!

Michelle said...

Oh that is some cool stuff. We may have to go in December sometime. So how crowded was it? I thought when we were there before that it was really NOT crowded and wondered how much impact the economy was having. Your thoughts?

JANE said...

I am so enjoying your Disney pics! Left something for you on my blog tonight!

Rhea said...

"quick side trip" and "Sea World" are not too words that EVER go together.

The Tree of Life looks awesome.

I'd love the safari. It looked just really neat.

Shannon said...

I told you this the other night... but the pic of the sleeping As is too much! LOVE. IT.


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