Posts Tagged by maharajah jungle trek

New to Me – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

DAK

Last week we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom…oh how fast the time has gone.  I’ve loved this park since it’s opened.  The details are amazing and scenery is just beautiful.  It’s like stepping into another world.

The park is often touted as a “half day park” because of the lack of things to do.  Yes there aren’t a TON of attractions and I must say that I have actually done most things in this park, but I definitely don’t think it’s a half day park.  I could spend a few hours wandering through the Maharajah Jungle Trek alone!

Speaking of the Maharajah Jungle Trek, I noticed something on my last trip about my favorite section in there, which of course are the temple ruins where the tigers live.  I had dreamed of getting married there, but that’s a story for another day.  One thing I love in there are the Tibetan prayer flags hanging over the suspension bridge, but I noticed that they were seriously faded.  So I went back in my photos to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind and low and behold I was not.

Tibetan Prayer Flags 2010

Tibetan Prayer Flags 2010

Tibetan Prayer Flags 2013

Tibetan Prayer Flags 2013

The faded colors are much less impressive.  Ritual states that these flags should be replaced during the Tibetan New Year, which just happened in February, so here’s hoping Disney livens up the area for 2014.

Ok…back on track.  Things I haven’t done yet in Animal Kingdom.  Like I said, there aren’t many things, but I did come up with a good list.  Here we go!

Flights of Wonder

I have never been intrigued by this show.  I’ve heard it’s amazing and quite funny, but something about giant birds swooping over my head freaks me out.  I mean has there ever been an accident where they poop on someone???  That someone would probably be me if it’s never happened before.  However, I do LOVE watching hawks in the wild so I would probably enjoy this.  Maybe I’ll don a poncho and head in next time 😉

TriceraTop Spin

To me, this is just another hub-and-spoke ride like Dumbo and the Flying Carpets of Aladdin, but without the spitting camels or nostalgia.  This is a great attraction for kids, but not something I would ever wait on line for.  Actually, if I ever get to experience Animal Kingdom at night, I think this would be much better a midst the lights of Dino-Rama.

Dino-Rama from the 2012 Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Dino-Rama from the 2012 Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Restaurantosaurus

I think that with Flame Tree BBQ so close to this restaurant, I just simply overlook it.  I also have some strange connotation with it because a while back it served McDonald’s food, which doesn’t appeal to me AT ALL.  But even though I really don’t want to eat here in the future, I definitely need to make a point to go into Restaurantosaurus and take a good look around.  From what I hear, it is one of the most elaborately themed areas in the entire park.  I’ve listened to numerous podcasts devoted to it and read many blog posts, but still have not ventured inside.  One day…

Dawa Bar

This needs to be done!  I love the look and feel of this bar and it seems like the perfect place to enjoy a pint in the afternoon.  But I always find myself in Africa in the morning for the safari and never seem to venture back here later in the day.  Oh how I wish I was there right now!

Wild Africa Trek

Wild Africa TrekWell who wouldn’t want to do this.  Frankly, the price tag is what has kept me away but I really hope to do this someday.  I was fortunate enough to go on the Sunrise Safari during our honeymoon, but this seems like it will give an even closer look at the animals!  And lunch in that hut overlooking the Savannah…sigh.  Anyone want to get me an early Christmas present???

I mentioned earlier that I have never been to Animal Kingdom at night before.  Well, not without running through it.  This is something I REALLY want to do.  Everest at night looks amazing.  The scenery is so cool at night and I would love to take my time wondering around and not trying to keep pace.

Tree of Life at Night

What attractions and restaurants are new to YOU at Disney’s Animal Kingdom??  

Have you ever been to Animal Kingdom at night??

Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary

On Monday, April 22nd, I had the opportunity to attend Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary celebration!  This also happens to be Earth Day, so it’s a dual celebration 🙂

01 AK 15th

I arrived shortly before 8:00 am and was surprised by the lack of people there.  I was expecting lines and chaos as I’ve seen at other anniversary celebrations.  I met up with my friends Rick & John and we headed in.  We were given special 15th anniversary buttons and park maps, then waited on line for about 20 minutes until we could enter the park.

02 AK 15th LineOnce inside, everyone was instructed to head to Discovery Island for a special ceremony that would begin at 8:40 am.  It was quite congested in that area, and being short didn’t help to see anything.  Short people problems!

04 AK 15th Ceremony_1There were puppets on display from Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade and a few announcements were made.  Then the ceremony began with a processional of banners from the different lands and some characters made an appearance.  All of the characters (including Chip ‘n Dale) were the new characters that blink and their eyes move.  I’m still a little creeped out by these…

05 AK 15th Ceremony_2

Josh D’Amaro, VP of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, began the ceremony which was very brief.  He also informed us that Joe Rohde would not be joining us, which was a HUGE disappointment.  There was an audible sigh among the guests.

06 AK 15th Ceremony_3We were then given some information on the Conservation Fund and the ceremony concluded with one of the Festival of the Lion King performers singing “Circle of Life.”  Yep, that was it folks.  Oh wait, then the GIANT earth came out and was tossed around like a beach ball…that was actually pretty cool.

07 AK 15th Giant Ball

You can see the entire ceremony here on Travel with Rick where I’m a special guest!

I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by the ceremony and would’ve hoped they’d do something more.  I just felt like this was the “forgotten park” and they did this because they had to.  One highlight though was that I got to meet Josh D’Amaro who was genuinely one of the most down to earth people.  Here’s my Disney nerd coming out…

08 AK 15th Josh D'AmaroAfter the ceremony, we headed towards Africa and couldn’t believe the lines for the special 15th anniversary merchandise.  It was insane…stretching from Camp Minnie Mickey, up into Africa and back again.  So instead of dealing with that, we headed straight to Kilamanjaro Safaris to take a ride.  We walked right on and were able to get some great sightings since it was so early in the morning.

010 AK 15th Giraffee

On the way to Asia after our 2 week safari, we came across Devine!  I had never seen her before and I must say, she creeped me out a little.  Rick kept trying to get me to go up and get my picture with her and I just couldn’t…creepy.  I’m glad I finally saw her though.

011 AK 14th Devine

We went through the Maharajah Jungle Trek and I got to see my favorite tigers who were doing what they do best…sleeping!  Once in my life (over 10 years ago) I was able to see them playing in the water with a giant ball.  It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and I’ve been dying to do seen it again…no luck.

012 AK 15th TigersThe plan was to ride Everest, but the line was super long, so we headed to Dinosaur instead.  I know this attraction gets a bad wrap, but I always think it’s really fun.  “We’re not gonna make it!  We’re not gonna make it!”

014 AK 15th DinosaurWhile in Dinoland, we came across these great shirts…I kind of wish I got this now.

015 AK 15th TRexTo commemorate Earth Day, or Earth Week, there were numerous information tables set up around the park, as well as special cupcakes for the event.  Worms in Dirt anyone?

016 AK 15th Cupcake03 AK 15th Party for the PlanetWhile the ceremony for the 15th anniversary was nothing special, I’m glad I was there to wish Animal Kingdom a happy birthday.  I also had a really fun time in the park.

What’s your favorite thing about Animal Kingdom?