Orlando Do-Over: Day 2, more fun at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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IMG_1150This is the fifth in a series of “do-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

Joy’s husband Al arrived at the park and we were soon on our way into It’s Tough To Be A Bug. Don’t you just love getting goosed by a gang of stampeding insects? ;) We proceeded from there to the Yak & Yeti takeout counter, where Joy and I were virtuous and ordered salads. Al, however, had his heart set on a turkey leg, which he could find in the vicinity of Dinoland. So he departed while we waited on line, and then we all met up at a table he’d staked out for our collective benefit. We decided that we’d go check out Dinosaur after lunch.

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Once every shred of lunch had been demolished (hey, that apple with peanut butter was many hours ago!), we ambled up to Dinosaur only to find that the ride was “101″ – that’s Disney-speak for “it’s down”. Disappointed, we decided to proceed to Nemo, and as luck would have it, the audience was being seated for the next show.

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Finding Nemo: THE MUSICAL is really satisfying. It’s got a decent libretto and a great score. I keep wondering when a full-blown, two-act Broadway musical is coming. I just know it would be an awesome hit. It made me cry the first time I saw it (warning: that’s a link to a long story, and yes all those pictures are of me! :) )

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On our way back from Nemo, we cut through Asia and stopped to watch the siamangs play – talk about going out on a limb! I don’t believe we saw any of the “blonde” siamangs this time; only the black ones were out and about.

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It was time to go for a safari ride. Miraculously, there was only a 10 minute standby line – unheard of! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the line for the Kilimanjaro Safari that short. We sped through the queue and in no time, we were seated in the very last row of our “Simba 1″ jeep. The last row is a good news/bad news type thing. The bad news is, it’s a VERY bumpy ride. The good news is, if you miss the shot you can still turn around, camera in hand, for a second chance, unobstructed by the heads of other guests.

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One of the white rhinos is with child! I didn’t catch when she is expecting, only that she IS expecting. This is exciting. I know there have been white rhino births at Disney before, but I’ve somehow missed them as tykes. I’m going back in May, for a conference; maybe she will have had her youngster by then and I can get a glimpse!

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Our jeep had an unscheduled slowdown; an ostrich placidly goose-stepped before us, paying us no nevermind, just meandering with an almost Zen-like tranquility. Eventually, he veered off to parts of the savannah where the jeep doesn’t need to follow, and we were able to finish our tour of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

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We left Harambe and made our way over and around several of the paths that ring the Tree of Life. We eventually found the back of the kangaroo enclosure, where you can see them up close. Kangaroos are one of those marvels of the animal world that look like they were put together with spare parts – part deer, part rat (the tail) part… I dunno, moose maybe? Truly fascinating to watch.

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Can’t do the Tree of Life walk without stopping to set a spell at my favorite mediation spot. There’s a little stone bench opposite this turtle, and you can sit and listen to the nearby waterfall and contemplate all the carvings. We sat for some time, pointing out different animals to one another. It’s a nice place to take a break in this park.


NEXT TIME: An evening out in Downtown Disney




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