Saturday, 23 June 2012

Disney's Animal Kingdom

It was an early start for our visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom, as the coach picked us up from our Hotel at 7am.

On arrival we were quite hungry so we headed for the dining area, which happened to be the Rainforest cafe. It is located on the left of the entrance and can be entered from both outside and inside the park.

The cafe has a jungle theme and every once in a while the animals come to life. It was definitely a new experience for us, eating our breakfast with elephants and gorillas.

Anyway, back to the park, we grabbed ourselves a free park guide and made our way in. There are seven main areas to the Animal Kingdom:
  • Oasis
  • Discovery Island
  • Camp Minnie - Mickey
  • Africa
  • Rafiki's Planet Watch
  • Asia
  • Dinoland, U.S.A.
--> Once you've studied the park map, you get a sense of feeling of the enormous size of this theme park. It was typical of most Disney parks in that more than a single day would be needed to see all the attractions, rides and animals.

As we only planned on visiting the Animal Kingdom just the once we decided we would concentrate on certain section of the park.

After brief stops in Discovery Island and Camp Minnie - Micky where we got a few character photos and autographs we made our way to Africa. 

The highlight of the African section is the safari ride, which is set in 100 acres (40 hectares) of savannah type terrain. You board your safari truck at the loading area and travel into 100 acres savannah type terrain, with all types of African wildlife.

On the trip you will see Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Crocodiles, Hippos, Zebras and Warthogs to name a few. 

Tip: We were informed that the best time to see the wildlife was in the morning or late afternoon, as the animals were more active during that time. In the middle of the day it gets very hot and the animals take cover from the heat.

Also to get a close up of some of the animals bring a pair of binoculars, as the area is so vast and the animals can be some distance away, making them difficult to see.

The ride is quite bumpy and rough and times and may not be suitable for people with back trouble or other medical problems.

Moving off from Africa, we entered Rafiki's Planet Watch, a section that focuses on wildlife conservation and habitat. There is also a train ride to the research and education centre. You can also interact with the animals in the affection centre, which is very popular with children. 

The next section of The Animal Kingdom is Asia, another very popular section of this theme park. We started off with the jungle trek, where we saw komodo dragons, tapirs, giant bats and of course tigers.

--> Other sections in Asia include Flights of Wonder, which is full of colourful birds. It is an ideal place to relax a while and take break from the heat of the day.

Asia has a couple of very popular rides, Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids.

At last we had reached the final section of the park Dinoland U.S.A. which has more of a theme park 'feel' to it than the previous areas in this park. Surprisingly this final section turned out to be one of our favourites of the whole park. Jessica particularly enjoyed the Triceratops Spin and Dinosaur rides.

Other attractions in this section of the park include 'Sue' the largest T-Rex ever discovered, Primeval Whirl and The Boneyard.

The park closes at 5.30pm as the animals have to be taken in to be fed and cared for etc. So after another fantastic day in Disney World we made our way back to the coach park to catch bus, before returning to the hotel for an early night.