A Visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Monday April 9th 2018

Today started as a partly cloudy humid day. As the day went on it became a mostly sunny and humid with high temperatures in the upper eighties. Overall it was better day than the forecast had me expecting. The noon TV weather forecast the bad weather starting overnight and continuing all day tomorrow into Wednesday. Over two inches of rain is possible.

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These two colorful birds are a colorful greeting as you make your way into the park.

After yesterdays visit to Epcot I was going to take today off from Theme park touring, but the forecast of a washout on Tuesday caused me to reconsider. A quick check online showed that the Animal Kingdom was open until 9:30 with two evening showings of the Rivers of Light show. I was able to snag a Fastpass for the first Rivers of Light showing of the night as well as a Fastpass for the Lion King Show and the Kilimanjaro Safari. I arrived at the Animal Kingdom around 3:30 and got back to my RV home at 10PM.

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There were many lily pads with purple blooms in the river.

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Part of the ambiance of the park.

My first stop in the Animal Kingdom was the new (to me) Pandora land. This area is based on the movie Avatar. It has two rides that are currently the big draw in Disney World. There weren’t any available Fastpass for the rides and the wait times were around two hours. I’m not going to stand in line that long. The area is very intriguing with lots of plants and luminescent colors. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of the movie so I’m not sure of the back story associated with Pandora.

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This guy is snacking on a bush while he waits for the dinner call.

From Pandora I continued on to my Lion King show Fastpass. It was good as usual. One of these days I’ll get to sit in a section other than the Elephant one. I had time to do some touring after the show until my Kilimanjaro Safari started. I used the time to visit the Gorillas. The males were about to retire backstage for dinner and sleep. They made quite a show heading for the door in the correct order of seniority. One of them acted like a two year old human jumping up and down and pounding the ground. The safari ride took longer than normal. The Giraffes wanted the road to themselves. The tour vehicles were all backed up waiting for long necked critters to get out of the road.

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First animals we passed on the safari tour.

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This picture is highly cropped to show the two hippos. This mother hippo had a baby a few weeks ago. The baby is on the ground right in front of her with a couple of birds standing on and around the baby.

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Giraffes eating. When they finished they got in the road in front of our vehicle.

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Watusi cattle.

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A couple of cheetah.

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Zebra.

After the safari I visited the area with the tigers. The two cubs born last summer were on display with one of their parents. Like the gorillas they were waiting to go backstage for dinner. The cubs are not little anymore.

The Rivers of Light show was a very interesting combination of lights and fountains on barges in the lake with projections of animals on water screens. I’m not sure what the story or plot line was supposed to be, but it was very colorful and full of activity. Even with a Fastpass, the wait for the show was almost an hour for a fifteen minute show. If I had a Fastpass, I’d go again. I’m not sure it is worth waiting in the standby line.

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Start of the Rivers of Light show

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The end of the Rivers of Light show.

From the Rivers of Light show I walked briskly back to Pandora on the other side of the park. It took more than fifteen minutes to get there, but it was worth the effort. I got to ride the Na’vi River Journey boat ride without any wait. It was an interesting boat ride through glow in the dark objects and projections. Once again knowledge of the movie might help understand what I’m seeing, but it was interesting. When I got off the ride the 9:30 closing time had arrived.

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