Category Archives: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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

© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



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

© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



IMG_1130This is the fourth 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.

The next morning, I did something unconscionable; necessary, but unconscionable. Through the miracle of the hotel wake-up call, I arose at 6:00 am, struggled into some clothes, and stumbled down to the lobby for free coffee. Back to the room I went, fixed myself an organic apple smeared with peanut butter, and sat down at the computer to work for two hours. That’s right, work. I’m currently an independent consultant, and I was on a deadline, which would not be met if I didn’t put in a few hours each day slaving away on an epic technical report. So I worked for two hours, hit the shower and then hit the road, with a stop in between for another free cup of coffee (it’s actually not bad for free coffee – also, free-trade!).

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It was past 9:30 AM when I arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but apparently it was still too early for some. Here in the Oasis, the black swan slumbers persistently, despite a throng of gawkers passing by on their way into the park.

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As I made my way along the path that goes up the right side of the Oasis, I spotted these tiny lantern-like flowers blooming on a shrub. I tried to find the plant in my Audubon app, but I’m not too good at that yet so I don’t know the name.

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As it turns out, there’s construction happening on the right side of the Oasis, and the path proved impassable. Blocking the way were those familiar walls that declare activity on behalf of our future enjoyment, peppered with Walt quotes. Here’s one of my favorites; I’m a do-er, just like Walt :)

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I texted my friend Joy, who was already in the park. We agreed to meet by It’s Tough To Be A Bug, and I found her there, waiting in line to have her photo taken with Flik. We proceeded to Expedition Everest. I have video of our terrifying trip through the wilds of the Tibetan mountains. We both screamed quite a bit. The amazing thing is that I was able to hold on to the phone the entire time. I will upload the video to YouTube; in fact, I think I shall go start that now. Hold that thought…

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Although we had met earlier at It’s Tough To Be A Bug, we did not actually partake of the show until Joy’s husband Al showed up in the park. Joy and I spent some time stalking the otters for a bit; they seemed to be taking their cue from the black swan, and remained in a snoozing pile while we pleaded and cajoled for them to come on over and play. At some point, one of them looked up when I whistled, but he wasn’t interested in abandoning the pile and soon settled down again. *sigh*


Next: Lunch, and fish are friends, not food 😉



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Expedition Everest: you’ve come a long way

I recall standing in the very spot on the bridge from Dinoland into Asia, watching construction crews as they were building Everest. That seems so long ago – because it was! I have loved watching this park evolve, and I am very much looking forward to the new land based upon "Avatar" and environmentalism.

Otter training!



Otter training!, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

First Mickey texting gloves, now otter training – how could this day possibly get better?

Anyone who has read here before has long since figured out that otters are my all time favorite "cute aminal". Well, today I was fortunate enough to happen by the otter exhibit on Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom just as otter training was commencing.

It’s a bit dappled and dark at the otter pond so iPhone pics aren’t the best – but I’m glad I got to watch. The trainers remarked that this particular female otter does better if you give her the commands from the side rather than head on – I wonder if maybe she’s got a sight issue?

Pretty cool to be here for this :)

Cute critters at the Animal Kingdom

© Copyright 2011 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a must-do for me when I go to Walt Disney World, even more so than the Magic Kingdom. I guess I’m not so much a character geek as I am a critter geek :) Here are a couple of favorites from my October visit to the World.

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This is the endangered cotton-top tamarin of South and Central America. You can sometimes find them scampering in a little tree near the big “Tree Of Life” sign where the Discovery Island pathways start. I hadn’t seen one there in a very long time, so I was delighted with the encounter. I wonder what he sees up there?

FURTHER READING: Cotton-Topped Tamarins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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As if there weren’t enough happiness in my world already, having spied a tamarin for the first time in ages, I then came upon a sleeping pile of otters. These are my FAVORITE critters on the planet, and like the tamarins, they had been MIA during my frequent visits for quite some time. So glad to see them back! Would you look at that face? What’s not to love? :) <3

FURTHER READING: From the “Sad Sights At Disney” series: OTTERLESS! :(

Jiminy Cricket


Where character meets critter 😉 – this is my friend Jiminy Cricket. I found his cousin in a swamp a few weeks ago, while I was field tripping with my Florida Master Naturalist class. I’ll post a photo of him at some point. In the meantime, if you are headed to Walt Disney World, you can find Jiminy hanging out at Conservation Station in the Animal Kingdom

FURTHER READING: A SIGN that Disney thinks GREEN | My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

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A “dragon” guards the bridge



A "dragon" guards the bridge, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

They say this monster-shaped pile of rocks is evidence that, once upon a time, Disney had planned to install a land called The Beastly Kingdom here at DAK, which would have been populated with mythical creatures and their stories. Perhaps "Fantasia", with its unicorns and godesses, would have figured prominently here. Alas, what remains is this pile of stones, fashioned vaguely after a fire-breather but instead spewing water.

Roadrunner in the Tree of Life?



Roadrunner in the Tree of Life?, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

He certainly looks like he’s racing along, but his head makes him look more like Woody Woodpecker. I may be mixing my animation studios here…

There’s a stone seat beneath him, in the shade, and the whoosh! of a waterfall close by. Not too much traffic, either. I think I can squeeze in a five-minute "silent witness" meditation here. :)

Tree of Life vs. The tree from Avatar

Now that the Magic Kingdom will be sporting more than one castle – a condition that has existed for years, by the way, at Disneyland Paris – does that pave the way for Disney’s Animal Kingdom to feature more than one tree? I sure hope so – I loved that tree in "Avatar" and I think it could make a truly magical addition to DAK’s new land.

Let The Memories Begin! At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Bag check was a flash, but there appears to be turnstile fail of some sort; standing in a large knot of folks all backed up waiting to get in.

Here is a display that has popped up near the entrance. I wonder if these are professionals or actual park Guests? "Reality Billboards" ROFL 😉

The Gacking Owl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.blogspot.com
The Gacking Owl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Shhhhhh! I’m not here. I’m not blogging, cause it’s Blogless Thursday.

One of my nieces is actually blogging today. See, I remembered that there was video of the gacking owl that I mentioned the other day, but what I didn’t remember is that it was HER video of the gacking owl.

It’s about 4 minutes long, and the first minute or so is sideways – sorry! But a promise is a promise, so without further ado, I present – I mean, MY NIECE presents – The Gacking Owl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Goddess In The Garden – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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Goddess In The Garden – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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The Scarlet Ibis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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The Scarlet Ibis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom



This is the scarlet ibis (pronounced: EYE-bis; click photo to enlarge). A native of South America, the scarlet ibis is also found in Trinidad and Tobago, where it is one of the birds featured on the national coat of arms.

The ibis is a wading bird, and most of them here in Florida are white with a long curving red bill. The presence of the scarlet variety in the wild here in Florida does not necessarily mean migration occurred – as Dr. Jerry Jackson of Florida Gulf Coast University explains, scarlet ibis eggs were brought to Florida and fostered by resident white ibises.

The scarlet ibis pictured above was photographed among a flock of white ibises at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida on 31 October 2004.

RELATED POSTS:

– Readers may remember that I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Jerry Jackson speak during a sunset cruise on Rookery Bay (Naples, Florida) this past spring. I got lots of video with Dr. Jackson speaking in the background. CLICK HERE for the Rookery Bay series of posts.

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The Black Swan – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.blogspot.com
The Black Swan at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
After coming through the turnstiles at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you have the opportunity to wander along criss-crossy paths in a shady portion of the park called The Oasis. A waterfall flows into a stream, which babbles along until it empties into a pond. There are ducks, turtles, lizards, wallabies and all manner of water fowl in residence at The Oasis.



click photo to enlarge

This is a black swan. Its latin name is cygnus atratus, and it is native to the wetlands of southern Australia. He isn’t completely black; you can see white feathers peeking out from beneath the black ones, which are more dramatically visible while the bird is in flight. One of the most interesting things I’ve read about black swans is that their pair-bonding habits present an excellent example of how homosexuality can be an evolutionary advantage! You will just have to Google that now, won’t you? 😀

The black swan always reminds me of figure skating. During the 2000-2001 figure skating season, the incomparable Michelle Kwan used music called Song of the Black Swan by composer Heitor Villa-Lobos for her long program (there are brief clips at that link – it’s #9). There have also been skaters who’ve chosen to portray The Black Swan from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet.

The black swan’s beak is completely bright red in color. You can only see a tiny sliver of it here because he is napping, but if you use Google Images, I’m sure you will find some good examples.

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