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Animal Kingdom Walk Around

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Thursday I went to Animal Kingdom. I really had wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom. However my TouringPlan subscription reminded me it was Extra Magic Hour at MK and a park to avoid.

My second choice was Animal Kingdom which was not crowded at all! My main reason for visiting the park was to take menu photos to update AllEars.

Actually, the parks are not crowded right now. Most Marathon folks have headed home and there is a couple day lull before the 3 day weekend coming up.

I had a great spot in the parking lot, very unusual for me - second car in. Don't you always feel like you are at the end of the LONG row? I do, but today I lucked out.

Despite the low crowds the turnstiles to enter the park were a bit backed up.


Animal Kingdom

I enjoy walking through the Oasis checking out what animals and birds can be seen. There are a few different trails, so take time to explore. I love when there are Cast Members around to talk to about the various birds and animals. Today, a Cast Member was showing a skull from a Babirusa.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom


There is also a great little seating area off by the Baribusa area. Quiet and out of the way.

Animal Kingdom

I love seeing the Tree of Life as you come out of the Oasis. Today's blue sky made for a great photo!

Animal Kingdom

One thing I have noticed over the years is that artist or author park appearance are rarely announced in advance. A few years ago I was so excited to happen upon none other than Joe Rhode signing books in Animal Kingdom. His appearances at Animal Kingdom are VERY rare, but it always pays to ask at the "Times Board" and check out the stores yourself. There just might be an author or artist you would like to meet.

Animal Kingdom

Creature of habit, I generally start on the left side of Animal Kingdom and make my way around. Today, I decided to head right and begin in Dinoland USA.


Animal Kingdom

The longest wait I saw was for the photo op with Pluto and Goofy!

Animal Kingdom

There are lots of "dinosaurs" to be found in this part of the park so be sure to look all around, even up! This dinosaur can be found in Restaurantosaurus!


Animal Kingdom

A couple of dinosaurs can be seen on the Cretaceous Trail.

Animal Kingdom

There is also a nice quieter area with benches and shade. This would make a good spot while you are waiting for others to ride Dinosaur.

Animal Kingdom


A couple dinosaurs are also near the Dinosaur Fast Pass area!

Animal Kingdom


Next I wandered over to Primeval Whirl. Pretty much a walk on. There are 2 areas to measure height, this one is cute with the animal paw prints where a child should stand.

Animal Kingdom

Things were really quiet in the arcade game area. Just curious, do any of you play these games?

Animal Kingdom


Really short lines today for Expedition Everest as well, about 10 minutes when I went past around 10am. Also the single rider line was closed.

Animal Kingdom

I was glad to see the "test seats" still available for folks to see if they can transfer in from their wheelchair or if they will fit with the lap bar. It's nice and out of the way of the mainstream.

Animal Kingdom

The last thing I did was journey along the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Be sure to pick up a guide with info about the animals along the trail.

Animal Kingdom

You can also get a guide to the birds as well.

Animal Kingdom

The Komodo Dragon was out sunning himself. I didn't see the Tapir - come to think of it, it's been a long time since I saw her. Anyone see the Tapir recently?

I went through the bat area, there was lots of fruit hanging for them to eat.

A couple of the tigers were out. I had a nice chat with Cast Member Dennis about the Tigers. I've said it before but these Cast members are a wonderful resource of information about the animals and birds. Don't hesitate to ask questions and engage in a conversation.

Animal Kingdom

I left the park around 11:30am. You can see from the Times Board the waits were still pretty short!

Animal Kingdom

A beautiful morning in my favorite park.


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The next post in this blog is Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage - the Merchandise.

Comments (23)

Dan Fundo:

Ten of us were at WDW in early October, and I remember seeing a picture of the tapir that someone took. I'll have to look at all the photos we took to be sure.

Chris Kelly:

Hi Deb,

Just wanted to update you. I was at the world with my family for the week of 1/22 - 1/28. We were in AK and my daughter wanted to play one of the arcade games however they only take credit cards or room keys and it is $4.00 a game. My wife told her no way because there were four kids in our group and she didn't think $16 to play the games was worth it.

Dave:

Just an observation: if Animal Kingdom is one of your favorite parks, why only half a day?

AK is one of my favorites.

DEB: I can spend hours in AK. I had other things to do so left before the day was over.

Amy:

My kids actually do like the carnival games. We let them each do one game and they have always come away with something! One of my favorite pics from our last vacation was of my husband walking ahead of us wearing our backpack (he always wears the backpack), and here was this big guy walking around with this backpack that had two stuffed animals poking out of the top of it!!! So funny I couldn't resist snapping a quick pic! I think this is a park that gets overlooked to often. My daughter and I love Flights of Wonder!! Always a good show! We just can't seem to find Devine. Oh well, we will have to go back to keep looking!LOL!

matthew :

thank you so much for pics of my Fav. Park!!

Judie Wallace:

My grandsons (12,14 & 16) and I arrived for our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at noon on June 9th. After lunch, we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom about 4 p.m. Most guests were leaving. It was one of the best times we've had at the park. We took our time, wandered the paths,and talked with cast members. The boys knew we would be back another day for the rides and shows. One of my all-time favorite family photos was taken by a Photo Pass photographer that afternoon. It was relaxing, enjoyable, and a great way to begin our week at Walt Disney World.

Denise Renaud:

Deb,
Great article, My husband and I were there the day after Thanksgiving and it was like having the place to ourselves very low crowd levels. We walked through the Oasis and as we were looking at the tigers one got up and started walking around then went out of view to may surprise and my husband the next thing I knew was the tiger was standing on his hind legs and the only thing between us was the glass so excited and what a great picture I got his eyes were just so wonderful and the detail of this animal was magnificent. We will never forget this. Also the birds of wonder is a great show, The CM's were worried that the Condor was going to land on my husband cane(as it was straight up locked into his ECV) that they had to stand close by when he flew over. Keep up the great job love reading the articles.

Kathy Poffenberger:

Animal Kingdom is my favorite park, so I love reading stories about it. Did you know that the Babirusa female is a new one....I found that out last Nov from a CM. I thought she looked more "delicate" than the old one so I asked. I think they are hoping for baby babirusas!
I'm very sorry to hear about the tapir dying. I knew that she was very old. I'll treasure my photos of her actually moving around. I hope they fill the area soon. I love meeting new animals.

Kelly Smith:

Thank you for this review. My husband and I, too, love this park. So many people don't give it the credit it deserves. We do not play the carnival games or ride the rides in that area, but we love Dinoland and we love to ride Dinosaur! We love to walk the trails and view the animals and we love Pizzafari!!!!

Marcia Parsons:

I was there also Deb- wish I had seen you! We had planned on going to MK that day, but when we found out about President Obama's visit, we decided to switch days and went to MK on Wednesday. Animal Kingdom was not crowded at all despite the early opening. We headed over to Epcot for dinner and stayed until midnight!

As usual, Disney did a great job in notifying guests of the changes in hours at the parks. We found a detailed letter in our room Tuesday when we returned from the Studios. They did not give the reason for the changes- I heard that from a bus driver on the way to Downtown Disney. Speaking of that- it is a real inconvenience to have the Marketplace stop closed there. Anyone know how long that construction will last?

Harry Warner:

Thanks for the report!

After every trip I wish we had spent more time in AK. The detail and beauty of the park is just outstanding. I love how there is sculpture/carvings/art everywhere you look. Nothing is underdone. Did you get a chance to see the character Christmas trees in Camp Mickey-Minnie when they were up? Anyway, this year we're staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and I'm hoping to immerse ourselves in the Animal Kingdom experience a little more. I'm hoping we can take it a little slower and take in more of the small stuff.

Every time we go I try a carnival game or two. I was quickly disillusioned of my perceived advantage at the t-rex version of whack-a-mole when I was immediately trounced by a 6 year old girl. Whadda ya gonna do?

Mark Leigh:

I agree Deb i always, not just in animal kingdom but in all the parks, start from the left. Lol..

It is also funny that you mention about the arcade games as they are not something that me and my family play on although i would now encourage it after my last trip. We ended up with all kinds of stuffed animals etc...and as we couldn't take them all home as they wouldn't fit in our suit cases (problems with needing to catch an international flight) we had great pleasure giving them out to the kids in the area when they showed some interested in them. It great to make a kids day after having fun competing with the family yourself.

Mike Cole:

Our family was there on Wednesday, other than spotty rain showers what a great day! Early Magic or not, we rode Everest twice with no wait and did the safari twice, with no more than a 5 minute wait, all before 10 AM! We traditionally arrive the week before MLK day, enjoy a week of "empty" parks, deal with bigger crowds for a few days, then finish off our vacation a few days after the crowds leave. We returned to NW Wisconsin today, temp is currently 1 above F with a howling 35 MPH wind. Already miss the warm breezes of Orlando and Caribbean Beach Resort!

Robert A. Curtis:

Whenever I venture onto the Maharajah Jungle Trek and happen upon the tigers, I always sing (softly) the old song, "Hunting Tigers Out in Indi-yah" (*Yah!*)

Lorie:

Thanks for the fun update! What a lovely looking day.

Yes, we have played the carnival games regularly over the years. Our son is now 18 and has outgrown them, but has several "prize" critters from there in his room. We even have a photo of him with Goofy holding one of them.

We also have some good photos of the tapir taken a couple of years ago - the CM with it that day was very excited that it was out and about which was apparently unusual for it. Sorry to hear that it's gone.

Dawn Burger:

My daughter(38)and I(62)always play the arcade games. If there are only 2 of us, one of us always comes home with a stuffed animal! It's a nice souvenir and when we leave it in our resort room, we may come back that day to find it (them) in interesting places!

Ali:

My 11 year old loves the carnival games. I let her play them because unlike "other" parks, there is no pressure coming from the workers to play. And, she always seems to get lucky and win at Disney (magic, perhaps?)
She loves the game where you just throw balls at cups and if it lands in a colored one you win a prize (size of prize = color of cup).

Joshua Olive:

Deb,

Sadly, the tapir along the Maharajah Jungle Trek died a little over a year ago. I asked about her when I was there in October, and the CMs were very sad over her loss. She was quite old for a tapir, from what I understand. I miss her too, and I hope that space makes a good home for another amazing creature soon.

As always, thanks for showing Animal Kingdom some love; I LOVE that park!!


Joshua Olive
Unrepentant Disney Fan

Jennifer:

My family actually did play the Carnival Games when we were there last September. My daughter was upset that she wasn't tall enough to ride Primeval Whirl, so she chose games as an alternative. You have to purchase game vouchers from one of the food or merchandise vendors, as the actual game workers don't have cash. Typical overpriced games, shoot the water in the clown mouth, roll the bowling ball, throw darts. Of course the Disney difference was that the game worker allowed our kids to basically play until they got the prize, which took about 5 tries when we purchased 3. I don't know if they always do that, or if he just felt sorry for 1 kid as the other got a prize. Either way, it made her smile and that is what she remembers about the games.

Laurie:

What a great day at Animal Kingdom! My family has never played the carnival games. I always feel sorry for the CM's that work that area. They seem so bored. I had no idea about the authors. I will be sure to look the next time I am there. Thanks for the pics and tips!

Martin Webb:

Great report, I've spent alot of time at animal kingdom but have never thought to check for artists or authors. I'll have to start doing that next trip. And no my family never plays the carnival games. I love the dinosaur theme but hope they re-theme that area down the road. They need more rides for young kids. Young boys love Dinosaurs but typically can only handle the triceratops spin.
Anyway love the report and thanks for what you do,
Martin

Tammi Trout:

Nice walk through AK. Did you get your menu updates? Its funny, the things you talk about are most of the things I don't do. I don't do the arcade games, or primeval whirl. I rarely take the walking tours (because my feet get so tired at WDW!), and I can't say I've explored the Oasis in a few years. I did however, meet Joe Rohde one year at AK...so I have to wonder if it was the same day you were there. I was there with a group celebrating the 10th anniversary of AK opening. Jane Goodall was there that day too. Thanks for sharing your stories Deb.

DEB: Yes Tammi it was the AK 10th Anniversary! I bet we were in the same group!

Jane:

Sounds like it was a wonderful day to be at Animal Kingdom, thanks for sharing it with us!

"Don't you always feel like you are at the end of the LONG row? " -- know that feeling! It always seemed like we'd be the last car directed to park way at the end, and the car behind us would get to start the new row.

That is a beautiful picture of the tiger!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 14, 2012 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Happy New Year!.

The next post in this blog is Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage - the Merchandise.

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