As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Sunday, December 15th, was our first day at Animal Kingdom. You know, it took me several years and trips to Walt Disney World to really gain an appreciation for this park. Sure, I liked it because it was a Disney park. But, I probably would have had it at the bottom of my list of favorite parks. Now, it’s up there very near the top. I think I love it for the same reasons that I love World Showcase at Epcot — I feel like I’m actually transported to another part of the world when I’m at the Animal Kingdom. Africa, Asia . . . I just love the attention to detail and the things that remind me of these places so far away from home.
Our shirts for this day were designed by me. Ashley had found a set of matching t-shirts that had Pumbaa on one and Timon on the other. One said “Hakuna” and the other said “Matata”. I told her I could make them – even better! But, the problem was trying to decide what to put on the shirts for the rest of the family. Ian’s was easy – I could do a young Simba on his and add the words “No worries,” as it continued the wording of the original song. For Brian and me, I decided to do a design that featured all 3 of the characters, but the wording took me awhile. I found the “Nahtazu” wording that was used in the original marketing for AK and used that on mine. Then, I decided to do the opposite on Brian’s – “What a Zoo!” We were thrilled with the results. They were among my favorite shirts from this trip.
We started our day out with a leisurely stroll through the park, working our way toward Africa for breakfast at Tusker House (of course, I’ll post more on that later). We made a stop to pick up our Wilderness Explorer books, and then we found a badge or two along the way.
Right after breakfast, we had FastPasses for Kilimanjaro Safaris. We also walked through the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (it’s a must because I love those gorillas!) Of course, we stopped along the way to earn more badges too!
We took the Wildlife Express back to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We wanted to meet Rafiki and there were several badges to earn back there as well. We learned about hand-washing, recycling, and lots of other things. A Cast Member went on and on about how much she loved our shirts — she said she sees lots of shirts but none that have impressed her as much as ours did (that was a fun compliment!)
Our next stop was Asia. We had FastPasses for Everest, and wanted to do the Maharajah Jungle Trek as well. I always have to stop at the Yak & Yeti gift shop and check out the cool Asian goodies too.
We journeyed over to Dinoland and even took a trip on Dinosaur! Not sure what all the hype was about, because we didn’t find it the least bit scary. LOL
I know this is probably a no-no in the Disney community, but I have to confess that I am not a huge fan of parades. I want to be, but I guess I just can’t stand the crowds! Anyway, we did want to see Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade, so we found a spot back in Asia and watched.
We had a great day! Going out, we look just has happy and excited as we did going in!
If you’ve missed my previous trip reports, you can catch up here: