Disney’s Animal Kingdom was the third Disney Park that The Arts and Entertainment Magazine explored during our Thanksgiving 2013 visit to Florida. This adventure had to be compromised time-wise as with our last Disney foray. We did get in as much as possible although we would have loved to see much more during our visits. The park did not let us down, though, as with more additions arriving with our group it proved to be time well spent.
One of the first stops was the Animal Conservation Center where we were treated to views of the many animals and insects that are housed there. The official reason for this park’s construction was that Disney supports the preservation of all animal species. What better way to do it than to display wildlife in both instructional ways as well as in their natural habitats. The next stop was at the children’s Affection Station. To enter this area you must take the Wildlife Express Train (my favorite on this visit) where I actually was aloud to pose by the European style locomotive (I actually have two of those locos in my collection). Here youngsters can interact with many domestic and farm animals that are on display here. The Boneyard was also a place that that we stopped and proved to be another favorite for the children. Here play areas and children’s rides dominate this section.
Nearby we chanced upon Dinoland where static statues of well known dinosaurs are on display. This proved to be a good photo-op area and our camera man took his turn to pose in front of our lens. Dinosaur is the ride to catch in this area. It’s opening exhibit speaks well for Disney animators and the ensuing ride is quite enjoyable for all attendees. Be careful that the huge predator does not grab you though as the ride offers small drops, thrills, and Disney scariness. This ride will be well remembered by all.
We could not take the Expedition Everest ride as the youngest member of our troop was not tall enough to meet the height requirement, but the disappointment was made up for during the Kali River Rapids ride. Please be prepared to get wet here as it is a water ride. There are a lot of white water rapids as well as some meandering sections that are subject to sprays from waterfalls. For summer visitors this ride is a must.
We did miss out going to the Tree of Life and ‘It’s Tough To Be A Bug’ exhibits but made up for them by going to the Maharajah Jungle Trek , The Oasis, and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. The wildlife and plants are breathtaking and shows how far Disney goes to instruct its visitors on the wildlife displays that are present. There is also exhibits known as The Wilderness Explorers scattered throughout the park to test youngsters on the knowledge that they picked up during their visit. With the right answers, they are rewarded with a booklet to fill from the stamps that they receive.
We had lunch at a Jungle Pizzeria that the youngest member of our troop picked out. Be aware that food lines can be long but the park offers good food for everyone’s tastes. To complete our stay at this park we went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. This is about as close to nature that one could get. White rhinos, as well as many of the other African wildlife seemingly walk along near the authentic Safaris vehicles that take you on the tour. Do not fear, though, as the predators known to Africa are in secure areas that separate them from their natural meals and you.
All in all the trip was very enjoyable but I had wished that more time could be spent by our group here. Our Publication urges all of our readers to visit this Disney Park as we know that they will thoroughly enjoy it.
TAEM’s Next Stop: Disney’s Hollywood Studios