MON 3rd JAN 2000
I wake up at 6:30. This is
the first good nights sleep that I have had since we
arrived and I feel much better for it. Although I have a
chesty cough and a slightly fuzzy head the aching and
dizziness has gone. I had horrible visions of me not
being able to get out of bed. Tammy had threatened to
push me around in a wheelchair.
Breakfast in the room and we are on the bus to the Animal
Kingdom by 7:40. We arrive in time for opening and head
straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris. We should spend more
time in the Oasis but to make the most of being there
early we walk straight through. This is Grandma's first
time at the Animal Kingdom and we want to show her how
wonderful everything is.
It is true what they say about riding the safari early in
the morning. We see just about every animal that there is
to see. Tammy asks me what is the rarest animal to see
and I have just finished telling her that I think it is
the cheetah when we round a corner and see one sitting
very close to the track. We also get to see the lions
enjoying the early morning sun.
Georgia is a little concerned when we go over the rickety
bridge and asks if anyone else will be able to get over
Over to Countdown to Extinction. Grandma enjoys this
immensely and I get to ride twice after we do the child
swap. This would definitely be too intense for the girls.
By the way, it is a complete walk on.
On to the boneyard to let the girls have a play.
Unbelievably the girls unearth a dinosaur skeleton in the
sand and spend a happy time uncovering it! Grandma is in
there amongst them, actually we think she has more fun
than the girls.
It's Tough To Be A Bug is next. India tries this for the
first time and says she enjoys it but when I ask her if
she wants to go back in with me (we did the child swap)
she says no. Grandma leaps at the opportunity. I am
really enjoying the attractions in the Animal Kingdom
today, I had forgotten just how great they are.
We move on to Asia and see the Flights of Wonder show.
Many Disney shows manage to be informative and
educational at the same time. The theming in Asia is
every bit as good as in Africa, truly a beautiful and fun
area. The Kali River Rapids queue area is exceptional. As
everyone says the ride itself is quite short but we all
think it is enjoyable. If you are used to raft rides you
may look on it differently but, as it is unusual to us,
we think it is good fun. Of course, I am the one that
gets soaked, although everyone gets wet to some extent or
another. Outside they have a large hot air blower to dry
people out but the queue is a bit long so we just walk
by. The weather is lovely again so we just let nature dry
us out, I'm not sure if I would want to ride this on a
Lunch follows from the chicken place and is the noodle
bowl, chicken satay and an ear of corn split between us.
Oh yes and the obligatory beers. The satay and noodle
bowl are a big hit with all concerned and we find a
lovely quiet area to eat it in. It is down by the side of
the Siamang monkey temple. If you walk back towards the
bridge and then down the path on your left just past the
temple there are a couple of tables at the end by the
waterside. Very peaceful and pretty. Even in a quiet, out
of the way place like this Disney continue the theming
with statues and an old bicycle alongside the bamboo
fence reminding you are in Asia.
The Maharajah Jungle Trek is next. If you thought that
the theming in the main part of Asia was good then this
place will just blow you away. Built mostly around a
ruined temple there are the remains of beautiful murals
showing through the decay. Absolutely wonderful.
I love the giant bats, they have such pretty faces. If
you stand there long enough you will see them stretching
or moving around and get a real idea of their true
wingspan. That could be the trouble with the areas where
you stand and watch the animals, you could just stay and
watch them all day and never see the rest of the park. I
keep hearing myself saying that we must move on.
The tigers are truly majestic creatures and I suddenly
realise the clever design of most of the animal
enclosures. They allow the guest multiple viewing areas
so that you will get to see the creatures no matter where
A spot of shopping is next. I think I have been getting
off lightly up to yet. Perhaps the worst is yet to come.
We buy the Making Of The Animal Kingdom video and two
photos that were taken on the way in as they manage the
difficult task of making the Stringer family look almost
human. Grandma buys a beautiful poster of the Animal
Wandering round we come across a cart where you can get
temporary tattoos. India wants a Winnie The Pooh and
Tammy gets one with all the Pooh characters, while Kevin
has to sit down very quickly when told the price. $9
each! What a rip off, particularly as Tammy's tattoo
starts to crease and peel off within hours. Kevin needs a
beer quick to recover from the shock.
Back in Africa Georgia has her face painted and looks
very pretty. I think it costs $12 but at least there is
some time and artistry involved in this. On to the
Pangani Forest Trail. We go through the bird enclosure
and another small thing happens that adds to the overall
magic. We stop to watch quite a large bird ( don't ask me
which type) as it tries to pick up a stick to take it
back to a nest it is building. The stick is too large and
every time it attempts to take off it drops it again. The
bird won't give up and tries time after time, gathering a
small crowd to watch. We humans stand around looking
superior and wondering when the stupid creature will give
up. Much to our amazement it suddenly succeeds and flies
off to its nest in triumph to cheering and clapping.
Birds 1 Humans 0.
On to the hippos. We watch for a while with not much
happening when suddenly the mother and child start
playing. They frolic around and come right up to the
glass, rolling around and messing about and play biting.
It is an engaging sight and we spend a lot of time
The gorillas are next and we spend time looking at the
mother and baby interacting. As Tammy says they look
almost human. Probably nicer than some humans I know!
I have come to the conclusion that the real joy of the
Animal Kingdom is not in the rides and shows (good as
they are) but in the beauty of the animals themselves.
Take your time, do not rush through and you will be
We take the train to the Conservation Station. I love
this ride, not for the scenery but the train itself is
marvellous. Once there we see two very informative talks
about the possum and the fanuc fox. I find them
interesting as neither are native to the UK. The
affection section (yeuk!) has the goats head butting each
other with gay abandon.
The park is about to close so we head to the Rainforest
Cafe where we are seated with less than a 10 minute wait.
The awesome appetiser is, well, awesome. I have the
chilli ribeye which I find too highly seasoned for me and
Tammy has the pork chops which she enjoys a lot. I don't
really have to mention by now that the meal is
accompanied by a beer. If you just assume that every time
we eat we have a beer then you will be correct. The
portions in this place are just too large. They must
throw away vast quantities of food if the leftovers on
all the tables are anything to go by.
We are just too late to for the last bus to the All Star
Movies so jump on a bus to the Studios and so on to the
Movies from there.
We are forced into a detour on the way to the room so
that the girls can spend a short time in the arcade
before showers and bed at 10:00.
At this late hour Georgia's face painting has changed
from a beautiful butterfly into a bad Gene Simmons.
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