Sunday 22 September 2013

Fun in Florida - Disney's Animal Kingdom!

I have decided to put together a little Florida series for you that will provide you with a little more in-depth review of each of the parks that I ventured into, complete with photos.
If you are ever lucky enough (or have already been lucky!) to venture into the land of Disney, you will know it requires planning, and lots of it. Florida is probably one of the more expensive holidays you are ever likely to go on, so it's really important to get it right first time to ensure you don't miss anything whilst you are there!

Hopefully my series will help you decide whether or not you want to explore certain theme parks or save your time and money by exploring something else.

So, lets get cracking!

Animal Kingdom!

This was the theme park we ventured into on day 1 of our holiday. I'd never been to Animal Kingdom as a child, and although I'm not an animal lover, I was still super excited to see what this park had to offer. Oh, and before I start, incase you're all thinking 'why would you pay to go to Animal Kingdom if you don't like animals?' I never. We purchased a Disney and Universal combo ticket which included AK in the package, so getting our monies worth and all that....

I had planned our theme park days using a fine tooth comb, did my research and figured out what days were best to avoid the crowds (not that you'd ever avoid them completely, that's impossible). I also did an itinerary of which rides to aim for first with our fast pass. (More on that in later posts).

Animal Kingdom has been designed into different countries, and in each country you are able to sample their food, entertainment and goods. For lunch we ate in China and had, would you have guessed it, Chinese food! There are lots and lots of food to suit everyone, although picking a 'country' to suit a large group of people could prove difficult, because there's so much on offer, everyone is spoilt for choice!

Bollywood dancing in 'India'
Not having any children clung to our side (well, except for my 2 year old niece, but she didn't count because she wasn't mine!) we weren't restricted to spending our time hanging around children's rides. We could go and explore the thrill seeking rides. Yay.

One of my favourite thrill rides was the Kail River Rapids.. I am a total water baby and always have been, so water rides are a must for me (and also a welcoming refresher in the heat!). I have footage of this ride which I will include below. Warning - I remember getting absolutely drenched on this (and I mean drenched) - my feet were squelching for a good few hours afterwards. Yummy.

My brother and sister-in-law riding the Kali River Rapids
Second to that was Expedition Everest. This reminded me a little of Space Mountain in Disney - A rollercoaster in caves, in the dark. You didn't know which way it was going to turn next, which added to the adrenalin.

Primeval Whirl is very similar to a lot of rides in theme parks (they even have an almost identical ride in the UK at Alton Towers). This is a waltzer type carriage on a rollercoaster track. It spins fast enough to make you feel dizzy, but good fun nonetheless.

For the thrill rides, that was about it. We have to remember this theme park is designed more for animal related stuff, so lets get onto the next one...The Kilimanjaro Safari! You jump into a huge jeep type truck and off you go through knee deep muddy water into the wilderness. If you're lucky enough you can get up close and personal with a variety of animals, some you may never have seen in the flesh before... giraffes, elephants, alligators, lions, pink flamingos - there's a huge array of animals, and certainly a few to excite the kids (if you watch my video, listen out for the kids excitement when they see the giraffe!).

Can you spot the elephant?

There were smaller calmer rides that took you through the park whilst providing you with animal facts. It is a little boring to say the least, but I guess its a nice quick break for your feet! There is also a little animal yard whereby children (or adults!) can pick up a brush and have the opportunity of brushing some of the animals. There are also jungle trails that you can go on in search of certain animals and bugs etc.. again, not being an animal lover, I used my time on things I knew I would get more enjoyment out of, because in Florida you will learn that time is precious!

My niece contemplating whether to stroke the goat or not in the petting yard!
They also do a variety of shows which is always a good place to go if you are feeling tired or need a break from the sun. Make a mental note of the times of the shows that you want to see because it is so easy to get carried away doing something else that you will miss these. Some shows are more regular than others. We watched 'Finding Nemo@ The Musical' - we didn't plan this but just wanted a breather from the sun. We walked in probably 10 minutes into it but it was very dark but very cold, which was very welcoming! The show was really good, especially for kids. Lots of colour, music and dancing.

Overall, would I visit AK again? Not anytime soon... if you are into animals you would absolutely love it here because there is so much to do and see regarding wildlife, but if you are more of an adrenalin junkie, there isn't enough rides to last you the day. It was a nice experience though (oh, and they do dream ice-creams for as little as $2.50 and they are huge!) ;-)

Enjoying a mid afternoon snack!

Have you ever been to AK? If not, is it somewhere you'd like to visit?

Watch my Animal Kingdom Vlog here.

Subscribe to my channel if you want to see more Disney Footage!

Next post - Disneyland! Stay tuned!


1 comment

  1. I loved the Animal Kingdom when I visited! The River Rapids and Dinosaur ride were my fav! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    Lorraine x


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