Monday, February 28, 2011

Disney Day Two

Animal Kingdom
This is also the first day we got to eat Mickey Ears ice cream!

We decided to make this our first park because 1) it is a calm park compared to some of the others and 2) weekends at Disney are nuts (especially holiday weekends) and we knew very well to stay away from the Magic Kingdom on a weekend.

This was only the second time we have ever been to Animal Kingdom.  Most of the visits we made to Disney in the past included the other three parks, but not this one.  But now that our kids are a little bit older and have a little more stamina for walking, we included this park for a whole day visit.
 Everyone was up early, despite the crazy day before, so we got a good start.  We caught a bus to the Animal Kingdom, and we were at the park by the time it opened at 9am.  It was quite warm already, but we were happy for the heat.  After the crazy 100 inches of snow and very cold temperatures we have had this winter, I didn't mind the heat at all.
Mat and I have learned with our many visits to these parks, to start with the most popular rides early before the teenagers wake up and hit the parks.  So we hit the big Dinosaur Ride this park has.  I thought that Finley and Cainan might be a little frightened of it, but they weren't.  Finley loved it.  Cainan liked it, but decided he wasn't going to be riding it again.  Arlington, I think, rode it a few more times.
(Okay - this is not it.  This is a kiddie ride.  But you get the idea!)

 Arlington also rode their big roller coaster: Everest.  Now that she is 48 inches tall, she is big enough for a whole new set of thrills, and she was so excited.
We rode all the rides they offered, and then walked through to see all the animals.  Finley did have a hard time locating the animals that were in their habitats, but enjoyed the animals she could see up close.
All three kids got to pet a live snake.  Finley and Arlington thought this was pretty great.  Cainan was unsure, but we were proud of him for going with Mat to touch it.  I stayed away from that, thank you very much.

 We saw some fantastic shows in all the parks, but the Lion King show in Animal Kingdom was probably my favorite.  We did have a pass that we could use, so that Finley could sit up front at all shows, and that helped her be able to see all the actors.  We had not seen this Lion King show before, and it was very, very well done.  The kids loved it.
Arlington even got picked to be a part of the show when they needed kids from the audience.
At first she was embarrassed, but she did enjoy being a part of the show with all the actors in those neat costumes.
We did get to meet a few characters.  The girls got to meet Pocohantas.  We haven't had a chance to take a picture with her before, so Arlington was the most excited about seeing her.
The girls loved her hair.  Arlington ran her hands through it a few times.
Cainan had a chance to have his picture taken with Mickey and Donald.

 The girls also got to take their picture with Minnie Mouse.

They also had a petting area, and the girls enjoyed this as well.  Cainan was not too keen on petting any of the animals, but he did watch them.
Finley and Arlington enjoyed brushing the animals.  Finley would just stand near one of the goats and would brush and brush it until it walked away.
The Animal Kingdom closes the earliest of all 4 parks - probably because it functions more like a zoo - so this was another good reason to do this park our first day.  We stayed until the park closed, and then headed back to our cabin for the night.
The park was not very crowded, and we loved the way they set this park up.  Unlike some of the older Disney parks, Animal Kingdom has been designed completely around the theme of the park.  And that also means, there were a lot of trees with a lot of shade.  They were really thinking when they put this park together.
 Tomorrow: Epcot!

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