Every time I start to do another blog post about the vacation, it never fails someone else in the family sees the pictures and whimpers "I want to go back!"
I am glad we got a family pic at every park....sometimes we got more than one! I would always see a photo op and say "Please Brendan can we stop for a picture?!" He would always reply with a yes. :) I'll hand it to him, he had a schedule but it was loose enough that none of us felt pushed to always be here or there. If you need a vacation planner to Disney I highly recommend Brendan! :) Project Manager/Trainer by day, Disney Planner by night! Cape optional.
Animal Kingdom is broken into several "real" countries....Asia, Africa, India and maybe another one and also Dinoland (NOT a real country in case you are wondering). The theming in this park is amazing. I won't say I feel like I am in these other countries because I don't but I do feel a glimpse of what these countries may be proud of...their cultures etc.
We got to AK right when it opened and did run right to Everest to get fast pass tickets for Brendan and Cole. Brendan tried to convince me to go on too (rider switch since someone had to stay with Charlotte) but I don't love the drops and twists enough to say yes. Maybe when Charlotte is old and tall enough to go then I'll have to but until then I stay on the ground!
We went over to Kilimanjaro Safari rides after that. I really really enjoy this excursion. It's pretty amazing. As you go through the bumpy ride, there are no (visible) fences between you and the animals. Going in the early morning is great because they are mostly all up and about and getting fed their breakfast. Something different they added was a hut that you can have dinner at during sunset and watch the animals (you pay extra for that!) and I definitely want to do that some day!
When Cole was 2 we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge where there are giraffes and other animals right at the hotel just roaming the back yard. It's pretty amazing.
We walked through a bird sanctuary and as I peeked in through the trees to take a photo I got pooped on! Not cool! Luckily it wasn't that bad and a passing cast member gave me a pin as a reward. haha. You've got to laugh at these things!
Expedition Everest! Looks pretty cool, huh?
Conquered! As Cole said, "It took my breath away!"
We brought ponchos for the rain showers (just in case) but also for the Kali Rapid ride. You may or may not get soaked on this ride depending on which way the boat turns. It was still a little cool that day so I am glad we wore the ponchos! We rode it a second time later and Cole opted out of the ponchoand got soaked. He loved it!
Ringing out his shirt.
We made our way over to Dinoland which is built to look like a parking lot with carnival rides and games.
Cole was still to short to go on the roller coaster there! Next time.
He and Brendan went on the Dinosaur! ride which is supposed to be a time machine taking you back to the dinosaur age (obvious I know!) and they have some really amazing animatronics. Charlotte would be scared out of her mind so we didn't take her. Instead she and I rode the Dumbo-like Dino ride over and over again.
Cole went with us 1 time before he went on the other one with Brendan.
Photo by Cole. Charlotte thought she would copy Goofy holding out his ears!
Another one by Cole. Blurry but I love it.
While Charlotte was in line she saw another little girl who had gotten her face painted with lipstick. So we waited in line. She alternated between being tired and being crazy.
It cost $15 which is not so bad for the job they did. Cole decided he didn't want his face painted so he then decided between playing a game or getting a hat. I'm pretty proud of this boy who decided against the game where he knew he could the spend the money but not get anything from it or spend the money and have a souvenir. It means he's thinking about (our) money a bit more.
This was no ordinary face painting. This was so awesome!
We made our way to the front of the park for the afternoon parade. Charlotte got some entirely necessary clip on hair pieces to match her face. It really was quite cute and I was sorry to wipe it off at the end of the day. Waiting for the parade means eating Mickey ice cream.
Good to the last bite!
All of the parade music is infectious but this one especially. Charlotte has already memorized Minnie's lines in this parade and we *might* have bought the cd and listened to it constantly since we got back!
Wandering through India we came across some Bollywood dancers. Now I'm no dancing guru but I've watched my share of SYTYCD and these folks were not anything like the numbers I have seen. I was disappointed because I LOVE Bollywood dancing. It's so spirited and fast and beautiful!
Brendan is amazed. :)
The bats were sleeping. This photo doesn't do the bats justice as to how big they were. Gross!
We wandered through the Tiger area. I wish I had brought my telephoto lens on this day. The tigers were absolutely beautiful. We saw silverback Gorillas as well. I am awed by them.
We had a very full day at the Animal Kingdom but a wonderful one. It's definitely my second favorite park next to the Magic Kingdom!