Friday, June 19, 2009

Nemo, Bats and Hula Hooping Terks

On Wednesday, June 3rd, we headed on over to the Animal Kingdom.

Now, a lot of people think the Animal Kingdom is nothing but a glorified zoo.

But they're wrong.

It's, oh, so much more.

We arrived right at 8 a.m. Because we stayed on Disney property, we were allowed on this day to get into the Animal Kingdom an hour before regular opening. This is called Extra Magic Hours (or EMH for short).

This is the best time to start your day off at the Animal Kingdom. It's not too hot yet and the animals, for the most part, are still out and about.

As soon as we could, we made our way over to the Kilimanjaro Safari in Africa.

We LOVE this ride. With the exception of a few animals (elephants, rhinos, crocs, hippos and lions), the animals roam free.

As evidenced below:




Yeah, we actually had to stop to let that giraffe cross the street! If you look closely, you can see that another one is right in front of him.

So many jokes starting with "why did the giraffe cross the road?" started rolling through my head.

However, before I emabarrassed myself and my child (mom doesn't embarrass easily), I got distracted by the next photo around the curve:





That's a Thompson's gazelle at the base of the tree.


Next up was the white rhino. These beasts are simply incredible. Their sheer size is enough to make me swallow hard when thinking about being in the middle of a stampede.




Don't ask me what this is. It's just cool.





After we left the safari, we walked around just a minute until we could go get in line for the Nemo show.

This is a new show that started in the past couple of years and I've read rave reviews of it online. We ADORE the Festival of the Lion King show that's located in Camp Minnie Mickey, so we figured to try this one out.

While mom and LOML got in line, I ran over to Dinosaur to get some Fastpasses to use after the show.

I'll save you the time of a full fledged review and will instead tell you simply that it sucked. It was not a ride that we'll ever repeat.
It's rare when I dislike a ride at Disney but this one was just not any good. Sorry for any fans out there.

However, on one part of the ride, they take your pic for you to potentially purchase when you get off the ride. They always take it at a critical part of the ride so they get the best reactions.

When we got off the ride, we almost decided to walk past the picture stand but ducked in just in case.

So glad we did. As much as we disliked the ride, we got the best picture EVER! I think it's the best reaction picture that Disney's ever had.

Take a look and let me know what you think. Mom, LOML and I are on the back row. But make sure you look at the other faces as well.




We weren't allowed to take flash photography in the show at Nemo, but as long as there weren't any lights to disturb the actors, we could videotape.

The show is made up of live actors and giagantic puppets.

I know, I know. Puppets.

But......it was a great show. I had a hard time at first getting adjusted. I kept wanting to watch the actors move around instead of watching the puppets. I finally got in the hang of it around the middle and regret not going back to watch it again.

Here's two short vids of the show:




and




At that point, we headed to lunch and ate from the Flame Tree BBQ.

Oh my stars in heaven. Outside of Memphis and other places in the deep south, this has to be the most delicious BBQ I've ever had.

There were two kinds of sauces and onion rings and orange Fanta and just grease and salt and yumminess all around.

If you go, I highly recommend eating here. It's counter service, so it's quick.

We headed on over to Asia after LOML got run ragged at the Boneyard. I wanted to ride Expedition Everest since I've not ridden it before. Mom and LOML passed on the ride. I thought I had remembered that they had a single rider line that went quicker than the regular line and I was right. The wait time was only about 20 minutes in the single rider line so I baaaa'd like a sheep and fell in line.

Oh My God!

This is my new favorite thrill ride.

For real.

And the best part?

The people in the seat in front of me had an extra Fastpass that was about to expire and they just GAVE IT TO ME!

I got to ride twice in a row! Yay me!

Here's a pic of the temple that's on the path up to Everest. See how it matches the mountain perfectly? A good example of the genius that is Disney.




After Everest, we headed on over to Kali River Rapids but the line was way too long and there were no more Fastpasses so we headed on over to the Maharajah Jungle Trek and saw the creatures that lived there.

My second favorite part of the Trek is the bats.

I love bats. I didn't much like 'em before I saw them in this environment and read about them. I fell in love with this exhibit about 4 years ago.





Here's a vid of a bat. It looks like he's trying to cool himself off:





Here's my favorite part of the Trek.

The tigers.

There's no cage separating you from the tigers. You're just up really, really high and behind bars. Otherwise, they're RIGHT THERE!

I used my zoom and got this shot of him (her?) pacing the fountain.




Here's a vid of them pacing:





And here's a vid of them play pouncing. I've never seen them so playful!




Here's LOML standing in front of a tree while on the Trek. Doesn't she look cool?





Here's a mama and a baby tiger in the wading pool area.






LOML took this pic using the zoom on my camera. Pretty good shot, dontcha think?





We headed back to Africa to shop and ran into these guys performing.





Here's a vid to hear what they sound like:






We decided to head on out at that point to relax before heading on over to Disney Hollywood Studios for dinner at the Brown Derby.

As we were leaving, we ran into a hula hoop play area. While LOML was hula hooping, who should appear but Terk!

He decided to get in on the game.

LOML was running rings (no pun intended) around him.




Here they are in competition. You can see how bad LOML is kicking his ass!





Later,

Mama Dawg

8 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Bobby G

its a damn safari & IM SO MAD that it wasnt around last time I went!

scargosun

Hey! I remember when you were PLANNING this trip. So glad you are having so much fun!

Amy

SO cool. I love the tigers too and kudos to LOML for the hula hooping...it would be at my ankles constantly

steenky bee

I'm so jealous! We're fixing on going to Disneyland or Disney World next year. The sassy photo of LOFM by the tree is my absolute favorite. She's like her mama!

Jess

I am officially jealous of this trip. I loved Animal Kingdom when I was there last...couldn't get enough of it really! And that dinosaur ride...I too have a HILARIOUS picture from that ride! It was so funny I forked out the outrageous amount they wanted! I laughed for three days...I STILL laugh when I see it...I gotta find a scanner...

Pseudonymous High School Teacher

If we ever get the chance to go there, I'm asking you to put together our agenda.

Bee and Rose

Now you've gone and made me have to plan a stinkin' Disney trip for my kiddos! Cackle! Snort!

Looks like a fabulous trip! We can't wait to get over there! Great photos!

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