Disney Vaca: Day 5 – Animal Kingdom

Today was a long day.

We capped our Disney portion of the vacation with the Animal Kingdom.  The place was packed.

Animal Kingdom is an interesting hybrid of zoo and theme park.  They had lots of animals, but also roller-coasters and other rides.  It is very focused on Africa and Asia.

We worked our way back to the safari ride first. We got a fast-pass and while we waited for our time, we explored some of the nearby “nature trails”.  Tate and Jasper both really enjoyed this.  Jasper especially enjoyed the open-sided fish ponds where he could stand right next to the fish.  He got really upset when we had to move on.

The safari ride was pretty interesting.  It was a real truck that a driver / host drove through the “ride”.  We went through several different environments, from the jungle, to the plains, to the deserts of Africa.  We saw gazelle, rhinos (white and black), giraffes, lions, cheetas and warthogs.  We took a lot of pictures.  The script that the driver / host used to make the ride more interesting was pretty hokey.  The real-live wild animals were interesting enough.

We took a short train ride that went through the back-side of the safari exhibit.  We got to see the zoo enclosures for all the animals we saw on the safari.  The train stopped at Rafiki’s Conservation Station.  We toured around here for a bit and got to see a lot of small animals.  They also had a lot of displays teaching about conservation and the impact we have on the environment.

After another short train ride back to the main village, we paused for some lunch and enjoyed a table-side African drum concert.  The boys danced and wiggled for the whole thing.

After lunch we toured the Asia area of the park.  They had some native-ethnic food in this area and it smelled really good.  It was too bad that we just ate lunch.  The central attraction of the Asia area was a big roller-coaster that was themed around Mount Everest.  It looked like it would have been pretty fun, but Jasper was sleeping and Tate was too short.

From Asia we worked our way to the Dinoland USA area.  They had a replica of the “Sue” T-Rex that we’re familiar with from the Field Museum.  Jasper was still sleeping, so Tate and I went over to the dinosaur-themed carnival and play area.

We had decided earlier that today was going to be a short day at the park, so we headed back to the condo mid-afternoon.  We had some quiet time, cleaned up a bit and got ready for dinner.

Dinner was a real treat tonight.  We headed over to Downtown Disney for dinner at Fulton’s Crab House.  Our waiter was British and he played right to the boys, working for a good tip (which he received).  We splurged and had the lobster and crab feast for two.  Tate and Jasper partook in the feast as well.  Tate especially enjoyed the crab and lobster.  He kept asking for more and more.

We ended our Disney experience by heading back to Epcot for the evening fireworks and light show.  It was pretty crowded and we didn’t get a really great spot to view the display, but it was good enough and it was fun.  Jasper enjoyed the show, Tate mostly wiggled around complaining about being tired and how much his legs hurt.

Both boys were asleep within minutes of getting back into the car.

Tomorrow we are going to Universal Studios.  I think we’ll spend most of our day in the Harry Potter area on the Islands of Adventure.  Megan is particularly excited for this.

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