Walt Disney World - Animal Kingdom, Orlando
This area is easy to spot as the Tree of Life towers above . From here paths lead to the six other " lands' so we walked by here a few times during the day. Lots of neat wildlife here too , even kangaroo although we didn't see them.
This is the center area of Animal Kingdom and the first area you come to when you enter the park. . There are paths here leading to Discovery island and then to all the other themed areas. so its a good meeting spot .
This themed area is where we headed to see the live- show Lion King . It is a short Broadway Type production with lots of music , lights and activity. The only negative I have is the sound was quite loud for young ears. We got around it by covering the baby's ears with our hands. Other than that though it was a fabulous 30 minute show.
This was a very authentic looking African Village, complete with booking offices and supply stores. It was in fact a good spot to grab an outside table and have our picnic lunch which we brought with us!! There are restaurants here if you want to grab and snack and of course there are shops.
This was a twenty minute walk ( not counting photo stops) through the the African valley. We were amazed to see several Silver back gorilla ,so up close. They were the stars of the walk for sure but we also had a good look at the hippos and a variety of birds and fish.There are guides posted along the walk to answer questions which was great , and they also have a bird field guide that you can take with you. We eventually ended up in a research center where there was an underwater hippo viewing area.
Unlike the "safari " you have a great chance to take pictures here.
With our 6 month old baby granddaughter in tow we boarded the open safari jeep ride through Disney's Wild savanna of East Africa. The ride was bumpy but fine for all. We saw many African Animals including the some of big "five" The male lion looked a little bored with us , as he rested in the shade , although the female seemed to be posing high on a hill .It was quite amazing really to have a chance to see the giraffe , hippos , monkeys and more in a seemingly "natural " environment. The animals roamed freely over the many acreas of savannas, wet lands and rocky terrain.
The whole journey took about 20 minutes so you had to be fast with your camera, to get any decent pictures. There is commentary during the whole ride which added to the excitement and identified the animals.
We bought a one park ticket at the gate - $74.00 for an adult
Animal Kingdom is divided to 7 areas each with its own attractions, restaurants and shops . We started our adventure in Africa . It seemedd fitting since we are going to Kenya and Tanzania later this year and we thought it ould be a good preview .Ha!!
This area was my favorite since it is where you can see all the animals!! It is an easy area to make your way around , with everything well marked.
Hollywood Studios has the theme of Hollywood Movies and the Glamour of Hollywood from the past. The Park has a variety of live action shows, rides, shops and restuarants. The focal point of the park is the Giant Sorcerer Mickey Hat that is over 100 feet tall. The park is divided into: Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd., Street of America,Animation Courtyard and Echo Lake. Throughout the park you can find performers and characters entertaining and taking pictures with guests.
Hollywood studios has some nice attractions: Star Wars, Muppet 3D, Aerosmith Rockin Roller Coaster, The Great Movie Ride, Indiana Jones, Lights Motors Action Stunt Show and the back lot tour. I'm not a fan of rollercoasters or heights so the Tower of Terror was not for me. Considering the few rides we wanted to enjoy, it was very easy for us to spend the morning in the park and then on to another adventure in the afternoon.
Disney's Animal Kingdom is a huge animal-themed theme park located in the Walt Disney World complex outside of Orlando. The park is divided into a number of sections with different themes, the largest of which are Africa and Asia. These areas branch out from the park's central section, the Discovery Island, which features the Tree of Life, a large, whimsical baobab tree that is one of the park's two best-known icons (the other being Mount Everest in the Asia section).
The Africa section of the park is the largest. Its primary attraction is the Kilimanjaro Safari, a safari ride through a very natural-looking rendering of the African landscape. Animals that you can see on the Kilimanjaro Safari include lions, elephants, okapi, giraffes, rhinos, and wildebeests. In addition, there is a smaller walk-through animal area with gorillas and hippos.
The Asia section has the park's two best rides, Expedition Everest and the Kali River Rapids. Expedition Everest is a roller coaster that winds around and through a man-made mountain, while the Kali River Rapids is a water coaster. The other must-see feature in Asia is the Maharajah Jungle Trek, in which you walk through a well-crafted palace ruin filled with tigers and other animals (tapirs, monitor lizards, etc.).
Other theme sections of Disney's Animal Kingdom include Dinoland (dinosaur theme), Camp Minnie-Mickey (where kids can meet Disney characters), and Rafiki's Planet Watch (small animals).
Disney's Animal Kingdom is a large park and you should expect to do a lot of walking. It will take you most of the day to see all of its major attractions. If you get tired of rides and animals, there are several shows that you can see, including a Lion King show and a show about bugs based on the Bug's Life movie. There are also numerous restaurants spread around the park. Our favorite was the Flame Tree Barbecue, a fast food joint with a pleasant outdoor seating area on Discovery Island.
I would like to say that I really loved this attraction, but the truth is that I can't get those words out of my mouth in regards to the safari. We waited nearly an hour to take the tour through the lands of Africa only to find that the jeeps they loaded everyone into went so fast it was difficult to get a decent picture. I really liked all the different plants used to make this look authentic. My favorite were the trees that grow with their roots above the ground. They looked really spooky and dark. The lions were fast asleep when we were here but there were plenty of other animals to look at. Patrick loved the animals and each time he saw something kept jumping up to point it out to us. The driver truly got on my nerves. I think it was his thick accent and really lame attempt at entertaining the group on the jeep. Some of the animals you will see include, lions, elephants, monkeys, wildebeests, hippos and rhinos. If you luck out and get a driver that goes just a little bit slower than our driver you will get some good pictures as well.
I was looking forward to visiting Animal Kingdom the most of all the parks, but alas, I was very disappointed with the park as a whole. First of all, this park was the most crowded of all the parks, it also had the longest lines, and the rides were the most boring of all the parks. I honestly was so excited to do the safari, but when we started out I soon learned that the driver was going so fast it was hard to get a good picture and the tour was so cheesy I couldn't stand it. The new roller coaster there, Expedition Everest was all right, but it really wasn't scary and if you're older than 10 it really isn't thrilling. Patrick loved it though. I think the best parts of this park was the animal exhibits at the beginning of the park and the performers in Africa.
We took our oldest two children to Disneyland when we lived in Northern California (they were 2.5 and 4.5 then). In those days there was just Disneyland. WDW (aka Walt Disney World) didn't exist. Disney has certainly expanded since then.
In any case, if you are in Orlando for the first time, the Magic Kingdom is certainly an obligatory visit. I took my grandson early one morning.
I personally preferred Animal Kingdom. While I was OK with the Disney recreations in 1965, I was more interested in real animals than the Disney Mockups. So when we visited in 2000, I did the Safari Ride (photos 2, 3, and 4). We have not visited WDw since then although we have been in the Orlando area quite a few times.
For the rest of the WDW tips see Lake Buena Vista
Note: The last picture is one where I took the castle in the second photo and stretched it to be horizontal rather than vertical so I could paint it on a valence in my granddaughter's room
Animal Kingdom focuses not only on rides and animal shows but also gives awareness on animal preservation, its welfare and conservation. The Tree of Life serves as the hub and meeting point and fromt here you'll find your way to the Oasis, DinoLand USA, Asia, Africa and Camp Minnie & Mickey.
The whole park is covered with lush green trees, grass and plants which give you the feeling that you're inside the jungle.
The African Safari is one of the major attractions here. Boarding a safari vehicle and travelling to the w ild and seeing the rhinocerous, ostrich, elephants etc is really a treat.
They also have their Jammin parade in the afternoon (time permitted ~ check the brochure for schedule) wherein you will see Minnie and mickey in their safari costumes.
This is the best themed family resort in the world (according to the travel channel). I've been there twice and it is truely the most amazing resort I have ever stayed at. It feels like you are in Africa from the moment you step into the grand lobby. The rooms are themed perfectly and you can experience a breathtaking savanna of animals right outside your lobby.
The restaurants, pools, and recreation are also top notch! If you are going to Disney World and are staying at a resort, this is the PLACE TO STAY! =)
I found some good pictures of the resort on this website: http://www.wdwtourguide.com/
The Disney Animal Kingdom is a beautiful blend of Disney imagination and the beauty of nature. In addition to creative attractions, a great roller coaster called Mt. Everest, and photo ops with your favorite Disney characters, this park has an African Safari that is the home to so many gorgeous and intriguing animals. Lions, tigers, elk, zebras, elephants, warthogs, and more can be appreciated from an impressively close range.