Apr 13, 2013

Loges in Disneyworld- Day 6

As we parted the night before, our two families agreed to meet for breakfast and get on the bus early enough to enjoy the extra magic hour at the Animal Kingdom park. But when we got back to the room, Mark and I didn't have the same recollection of what the time was! I thought the park opened at 7, but he thought 8, and he found a schedule that backed up his memory. Because I am often wrong about such things, we set the alarm to to be in the restaurant at 7:15.

And found out that I was right in the morning!!!!!  (I'm not saying, I'm just saying....) Once we realized we were late and that the Rinks had already left we started off to the park on our own, although Avery was distressed by this.

It was very chilly this morning! Only about 5 degrees celsius, we cuddled together, puffing our cloudy breath in attempt to warm up.
At 8am, the sun is still just rising! Brrrr......
Even though we missed the extra magic hour, the park was not that busy yet.  We grabbed a fast pass for Expedition Everest, and headed to the safari to see us some critters! I absolutely loved this adventure, despite the almost freezing conditions.

Clutching my coffee in hopes of some residual warmth, the bus is boarded! Safari time, Ba-by! And yes- my Ukrainian thermometer is working. Red nose=cold outside!

As the sun rises at the watering hole, some kind of cool bird sips peacefully...

Some springy animals standing there, not at all springy. Must be too chilly for them too....

nom, nom....

Giraffe, cleverly camouflaged as a tree root...

Is there anything more adorable than a baby elephant??? Nope! Didn't think so!

Peaceful scene...

Lions waking up and greeting the morning sun! So cool:0)
Alright! Awesome safari done, we wandered into an aviary- also very cool!

In the background, you can see the magnificent 'tree of life'. The longer you look at the trunk, the more animals and figures you can find embedded into its design. This actually housed a theatre for "It's a Bug's Life", and we did catch that show later in the day.



'Nother bird...

Sleeping tiger. This exhibit included some asian animals too. The whole park was divided into two distinct areas/themes. Asian and African animal exhibits, building styles, food, etc were found in their appropriate part of the park.
And then!!!  Oh happy day for our little! Mid-morning we ran into the Rinks. They had devoted their morning to riding the Everest Expedition as many times as they could before the crowds arrived, and we met them as we headed that way to use up our fast passes.

Together again! Bliss...

Mama Rink took all the littles to the safari, while Papa Rink and the Big Loges went to check out the African trek. Like the asian one, there was an aviary section, where we saw this little guy happily weaving a nest onto a branch.

His kind are prolific builders- their pods were everywhere!

You can't look at a meerkat and not smile! See? Told you!

Enjoying the gorilla habitat.

There were two areas for the gorillas- one for a gorilla family, with a mom, dad, auntie and baby. The other was for the single guys to hang out, and this is one of the bachelors.

In the center was a square where all sorts of entertainment happened. African drumming, traditional music and dance demonstrations happened all day long.

Once the girls got back from safari, we knew they would want to see the gorillas, so we went back. While there, they participated in an animal science activity and figured out what kind of animals were in the area by looking at the scat and tracks.
Yes, we did ride Expedition Everest many times! And by mid-afternoon it had warmed up enough to ride the Kali River rapids, so we did that a few times too.

A yeti + a bit of going backwards= AWESOME!!!!

parade time!

Go critter, go!
Satisfied that we had drained all the fun we could out of Animal Kingdom, we headed back to the hotel. The children had the crazy notion that they would like to go swimming, despite the temperatures that barely reached warm in full sun. By the time the sun was setting, it was quite cool again but our undaunted littles dived right in. Oddly enough, they practically had the pool to themselves. The pool was heated, and they had a great time! It was the poor parents who were hanging out on the deck chairs that suffered!!!!  What we don't do for our children. Eventually, we had enough of that sort of fun and...

...apparently we ended up back at Hollywood Studios! But I have park soup and have no idea what we went there for, or what we did. I do know we didn't see Fantasmic, and I hope I rode on the Tower of Terror again!

Remember I mentioned the turkey leg t-shirts? True story....
In the end, I have to say that Animal Kingdom was probably my favorite park. I loved all the vegetation that surrounded every exhibit. I loved the animal enclosures that looked open and accessible, using natural barriers to keep people and critters on the appropriate sides of things. In fact, during the safari, we had to stop the jeep to let some giraffes pass in front of us. Now, that doesn't happen every day!

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