Friday, 2 May 2014

Our holiday to Disney World: Animal Kingdom

Now this is the park that I wanted to go to from the first instance we booked the holiday, it's the park James knew I would like the most too-he wasn't wrong! I could literally spend a day in the 'Africa' area, the music and atmosphere here made it for me.

Our favourite rides and attractions
Waiting in line for the safari-we felt like bugs with the sky scraping bamboo above us
 Without a doubt our favourite was Kilimanjaro Safaris, I think that this was the ride we most went on throughout the whole holiday. Every time we saw something different, because of course being animals you never know what they are going to do, or if they are even going to be there at all! I recommend doing this ride at various times of the day during your stay, the one we did late afternoon the animals were very active (so much so they had to stop loading the trucks for a while due to animals being on the road). It was also a great ride for getting Sam to sleep-literally every time we went on there he would dose off half way through! Well worth using a fast pass for this attraction as it takes 20-25mins, but equally it's much more worthwhile waiting in line more than a ride which lasts a few minutes! It's not many places you get to see Rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, elephants, lions, and much, much more in 20 mins!

If you're left still wanting more animals there is also a gorilla and hippo trail, loads of big gorillas to see and if are lucky you can watch the hippos swim past under the water (which is pretty impressive)! There is also a tiger trail to see too.
Sam walked this whole trail and loved watching the fish, hippo and gorillas-he even wanted to climb into the gorilla enclosure!

We also all enjoyed Kali River Rapids, well everyone excluding Alex who didn't enjoy getting wet! He did however enjoying squirting everyone with water on the bridge near the exit of the ride!

We loved the African part of the park, whenever we had a picnic it was always in the streets of Harambe, there would be a live band, which would make you want to dance, and people do. The boys were jigging away also. Just around the corner there are some drum for the kids (and big kids) to have a go on too, which were very popular-we may have bought Sam a little drum as his holiday present :) It was such a lively atmosphere that always made us feel happy.

The Animal Kingdom parade really is rather wonderful and lasts a long time, there are so many different animal floats and costumes, full of colour and patterns. The mechanical animals really are clever, the photos don't really do them justice.

You get to see the main Disney Characters as well as favourites from films such as Tarzan and The Jungle Book-Sam was a little scared of these when they came to say hello, but Alex loved giving them a wave or a high five!
Places to eat
Now I'm afraid I can't recommend anywhere to eat here as we took a picnic every time we were here and only had ice creams as extras.

Away from the hustle and bustle
On the last day we finally to the boys to The Boneyard area before heading off for the plane home. It was great to let them discover the hidden mammoth bones and be free to run about for a short while-burn some energy off before the flight! There are plenty of spades and buckets for them do dig with in the stony sand too. We actually didn't go on any of the park style things mainly because we wanted to contain the boys in one area whilst we sat at watched! Now don't get me wrong it was fairly busy but the kids can't really escape either!

One afternoon at the park all our energy levels were flagging a bit and it was really quite hot so we took the wildlife express train ride to Rafikis Planet watch. We all enjoyed the sit down on the open sided train, it was nice to see an area of the park you wouldn't otherwise-we saw the missing rhinos in their outhouses and the massive and vast area for all the other animals and veterinary space. There isn't too much to do once you get here but it's nice walk without being too busy. There are many exhibits to see inside, but not much to hold the attention of our boys at the age they are. There is a small petting zoo too, but as both boys were tired and thirsty they opted for an ice-cream and drink instead!
We were lucky though and managed to get some photos with Rafiki himself, and chip and dale, because it is less busy in this area of the park you can be quite lucky and not have to wait in line long, in fact with Rafiki we were 1st!

My overall views
This park was where I felt my happiest during our time in Disney, they've themed it really well, I love the way the bamboo and trees tower above you and make you feel like you are somewhere really exotic. Because this park is spaced out it also doesn't feel as busy as the other parks. Yes Dinoland is a bit naff, but the boys enjoyed it, and Rafikis planet could do with a bit of updating, but on the whole I think this park is brilliant, I don't think any zoo is going to feel quite the same now that I have been here!

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