Disney's Animal Kingdom
Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Waiting for the Trolley
Leaving the Park
Pick Up Your Photos
Our children are 4 and 8 and we had a wonderful day out at this park.
Having visited once before when it first opened a couple of years ago,
we were wary as we did not find it that enjoyable, but it was Easter
Sunday and you are warned that on main Bank Holidays to stay away from
the parks as they can be horrendously busy - so we figured as this was
not as popular, we'd give it a go! We were lucky and as the staff told
us "it was a slow day".
We arrived early and went straight to Camp Minnie and Mickey. As the
Lion King show had just started, the camp was deserted and the kids had
their photos taken with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy Duck, and
Chip and Dale in the space of 30 minutes! To my 4 year old this is what
Disney is all about - the characters. Professional photographers took
their photos with Mickey and we bought these at the end of the day
$12.95 for the first and $9.95 for subsequent ones.
We then queued for a short time for the next Lion King show, which
was spectacular. Simba arrives on his float, together with Timon and
Pumba and some huge elephants and giraffes. The stage is set for 30
minutes of great music, energetic acrobatics from the
"monkeys" and all round entertainment. (At this point, may I
add that if you ever get the opportunity to see the musical currently
running in various cities, do so - it is amazing and our whole family
from 4 to 60 loved it!)
I had gone to Kilimanjaro Safaris to get the fast passes prior to the
show and we went straight from Camp Minnie & Mickey to Africa - only
took us 10 minutes!! The park is quite small in comparison to other
Disney parks so getting between areas is quite leisurely. The safari was
wonderful. We had a great guide who keeps you entertained with jokes and
keeps you informed of all the animals that you see and we saw lions,
elephants, deers, vultures, rhinoceros and many more. It was about
80degrees that day so the animals seemed to be out but in during the
hotter months, it is suggested that you get to the park as soon as it
opens (ie 6/7am) and you will see the animals before they go into the
shade. You are driven around on a truck which is a little bumpy but a
fairly gentle ride.
The Pangani forest Exploration Trail is a nice stroll through the
forest. Lots of birds to see and hear, brightly coloured fish to see and
the gorilla asleep in the grass. 21 years old and obviously fed up with
everyone staring at him, I had to feel sorry for him but I guess if we
didn't go and visit these kinds of places then they wouldn't be brought
to them, but all around the park they assure you how much research and
help they give to the animals and on the whole I think this is true.
It was then off to Rafikis Planet Watch on the Wildlife Express Train
- a small train ride that takes you around the back of the park where
you see where the animals are kept at night etc. A lovely part of the
park for youngsters. They can pet and stroke the goats, sheeps, cows in
the Affection Section, but I have to say the longest time was spent
washing their hands under the elephant water tap and drier!!
The Conservation Station is full of great facts, skulls of animals,
videos etc and is highly educational - you can watch a snake being born
and find out what each animal likes to eat.
We went back to Africa on the train to eat, plenty of places to eat
in the park, including a MacDonalds. Usual Disney burgers, hot-dogs etc
at around $6 a meal and then we sat in the Dawa Bar and had cocktails
while the kids had their icecream sundaes. What more could a family ask
After lunch we set off for Asia. As it was getting near parade time,
we just explored the Maharajah Jungle Trek - the Tigers are magnificent
but I shall miss the bats on my next visit.
The park currently have booklets for the youngsters and they have to
complete a task in each part of the park and they get a stamp and once
all the stamps are filled in, they get a Rafiki stamp. It kept them
interested all day and the puzzles came in handy at the restaurant that
The parade starts in Africa and indeed finishes back there too, so we
got a great spot in the Dawa Bar and stayed there and watched the parade
twice - the kids thought this was so exciting to see it twice. Very
Then it was time for "Tough to Be a Bug" which is a short
funny 3D show. You have to walk through/around the tree of life to get
to the entrance so it's fun spotting the animals that are engraved into
the tree. The show was too scary for my 4 year old but it is good and
well worth the usual wait - although we didn't have one.
On our way to Dinoland there is a Character greeting spot and we got
to cuddle Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore.
At Dinoland USA we fastpassed onto the Primeval Whirl - waltzers in
the air! If you like thrill rides, it's a good one but not the worst.
Worth fastpassing though as it is a busy ride. The Boneyard Playground
was great for the kids and they can get wet if they want to! Fossil Fun
Games is carnival-style fairground style of fun - but you have to pay
but you will see myriads of people walking around with strange looking
animals/dinosaurs that can be won here. There are a few rides here and
we also went on the Tricera-Top Spin which is a leisurely ride and
enjoyable for the very young ones. We didn't manage Dinosaur as it was
nearing 7pm and the park was closing, but this is supposed to be a good
ride with a height requirement of 40" but you can fastpass this
A great day and we arrived at 10am and left at 7pm and we still need
to go back. It has much improved and they have added extra rides and I
thoroughly recommend this park.
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Page added on: 19 July 2004
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