While in Orlando last week, I packed the kids up in the SUV, covered in SPF 70, and we headed to Disney's Animal Kingdom for a fun-filled Thursday.
The first thing we did was head over to the souvenir shop and get the kids matching Disney visors...because someone forgot to pack hats for the kids...yeah, that was me. Duh! I brought my own floppy sunhat to protect against the sun but I totally spaced on bringing ones for the kids. So we spent $15.99 each on some adorable embroidered visors and hit two birds with one stone: 1) obtained souvenirs and 2) avoided getting sunburned noses.
Then we headed to Expedition Everest, the most popular ride at Animal Kingdom. There was only a 30 minute wait time in the stand-by line, so the kids were on and off quickly. I did a little window shopping while I waited and chatted up some other mothers waiting for their kids. The kids came off of the ride talking about the twists and turns, the scary Yeti, and then promptly got back into line for a second ride!
After they got their fill of Expedition Everest, we headed back to the Africa section of the park to get on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. We actually stood in line for about an hour...but it moved quickly and we didn't really notice how long we waited! There was a fight (seriously) going on between a woman and her father, which ended in him slapping her and her taking her daughter and leaving the line - threatening to call the cops - and that kept us entertained for a bit.
Then there was the people watching...this guy with his green checkered socks kept me cracking up for most of the line!
The Kilimanjaro Safari ride was really, really cool. I loved seeing all of the animals running around in the "African Reserve" - they even simulate a hunt for poachers, adding a bit of story and entertainment to the ride. You ride along in a safari type jeep, and you ride right through their preserve. The animals are pretty close, with the exception of the cheetahs, lions and crocodiles - they are a little distance away and they have a barrier in between you and them for safety. This was easily my favorite part of Animal Kingdom - seeing giraffes right next to your safari jeep was simply thrilling!
One thing I really loved about Disney's Animal Kingdom was how pretty everything was - the entire park was decorated as though you were actually walking through a village in the respective continents - Africa, Asia, etc. The landscaping was beautiful, and also helped keep us out of the direct sun, due to all of the shady trees everywhere. It was lovely!
The girls didn't spend much time riding the rides, because the lines were pretty long and there were so many animal exhibits to see. They both love animals - my daughter is in a Zoological Science program at school and her cousin wants to be a veterinarian - so the majority of our day was spent looking at the animals and then taking pictures with the characters!
We had so much fun at Disney's Animal Kingdom and this is definitely a park that we will visit again and again!
*Thank you to Disney for providing two media passes for my daughter and I! All opinions stated in this post are 100% my own!