Category Archives: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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

Β© Copyright 2012 | | CLICK any photo for a larger view

IMG_1150This is the fifth in a series of β€œdo-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? πŸ˜‰ 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.


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.


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! πŸ™‚ )


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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

Β© Copyright 2012 | | CLICK any photo for a larger view

IMG_1130This is the fourth in a series of β€œdo-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!).


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.


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.


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 πŸ™‚


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…


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 πŸ˜‰

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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 πŸ™‚

Cute critters at the Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2011 | | 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 πŸ™‚ Here are a couple of favorites from my October visit to the World.


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


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? πŸ™‚ <3

FURTHER READING: From the β€œSad Sights At Disney” series: OTTERLESS! πŸ™

Jiminy Cricket

Where character meets critter πŸ˜‰ – 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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

MORE video from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Ooops! Here’s MORE video from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including the beloved otters!

First, a Rhino
He’s playing with a rope…

It’s just a short clip; by time I dispossessed some little kid of his position on the wall (kidding!) so I could get up there and see, the otters were done with us. I think I have some video in the phone too, but will need to convert it.

Some Video from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and a Sunday Recap

Here’s a collection of short video clips taken at Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday. Most were from the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction, hence please know that I am being jostled around in the truck and don’t really see the world that way! LOL

White Pelicans and Hippos
We get white pelicans in the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel in the winter time. They are something else!

Nile Crocodiles
Please excuse my punny-ness; I was trying to make the Nieceling laugh, but when you’re 11 and in a snit with your folks, it’s hard to laugh at Auntie Tink’s *~*~* horrendous attempts at humor.

Giraffe and antelope
OK, riddle me this, intrepid readers. Why do they ALWAYS say “reticulated giraffe”? It means “netted”, as in the pattern of their fur. Aren’t ALL giraffe’s “reticulated”? Seriously, is there another kind? Anybody know?

Cattle with LOOOOOOOOOONG horns
Plus, the bonus broom!

African Song and the Rickety Bridge
Did I mention that we were in the dead last seat of the truck? Nieceling perks up a bit here and makes me laugh with a bit of pantomiming being thrown from the truck, so that’s why you hear my hearty cackle so much.

Baby Elephant with Mama
We rounded the corner and saw a baby elephant hanging out with mom. They are so cute when they are little!

I don’t think it’s right that they’ve separated Pumba and Timon. You don’t get to see Timon until you go on the Pangani Trail. I wonder if they have visitation rights?

Ostrich blocks the road
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me on the Kilimanjaro Safari

Gorilla on the Pangani Trail
This guy was BIG. I would NOT wish to meet with him in a dark alley!

Dawa Bar Entertainment in Harambe
We were SO hot and grumpy! We just wanted some ice cream. We sat at a table in the shady part of the Dawa Bar and I was going to get some ice cream, but the line looked to be about 20 minutes, so we ditched that idea, and just sat there for a while, watching these guys.

So that’s the video recap of yesterday’s visit to Animal Kingdom. As you can tell from yesterday’s LIVE mobile photo blogging posts, we went to the Magic Kingdom after our rest period at the resort, and we had dinner at the Crystal Palace. The food was not superior, but it was not terrible either. The best thing at the dessert bar was the carrot cake. Although it had no raisins or nuts in it, I enjoyed it anyway.

After dinner, our cousins from a nearby town joined us and we toured around. Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, Splash Mountain, Buz Lightyear and the Laugh Floor were all on our agenda. When we came out of the Laugh Floor, the Wishes fireworks were already in progress. It’s a really BAD place to try and watch wishes; there’s this stupid ROCK formation that is in the way. However, you can look around and between and even above (at the end) and get your fix of pyrotechnics.

After the fireworks, we all sat around and had some ice cream and chatted. Then our cousins departed for home, and we went to Space Mountain to try and get in one last ride, but it was “101” (broken down, mechanical issues). Nieceling was dragging her butt, so it was decided to call it a night. However, since I wanted to shop my way out of the park, I stayed behind to have a nice, leisurely stroll through the Emporium and took the bus back by myself. I didn’t buy much but it was nice to just shop and see what they have.

I think I got back to the room well after midnight, and for some reason could not fall asleep. I started flipping through the channels and found “Clueless” which is really a classic gem of a film. I should own it on DVD, but I don’t. So I put that on with the sleep timer and I think it was 2:00 am when I finally passed out.

OK, it’s 8:00 am now and I gotta jump into the shower. Have signal, will blog, so I’ll CUL8R!

Cooling off at Walt Disney World

It is hotter than the hinges of Hell in Walt Disney World Orlando today! I know that the Weather Bug is saying it is only 84*, but trust me, when you are walking around the parks and the sun is beating down on you, it’s an inferno.

Yesterday it was raining in fits and starts. As I was walking on the Boardwalk from the Swan to EPCOT, the sun came out again and the rain was rising from the Boardwalk as steam. It was downright weird to see people walking through mist in full sunshine. :blink: I tried to get some video of it but it wasn’t particularly visible.

So we only did a few things before deciding that the crowds and the heat were making it not-so-fun. We’ve come back to the Swan to cool off – I’m here in the room, Bro is in his room having a nappie-poo, and SIL and Nieceling are down at the pool cooling off.

We saw the otters! They were active and fun, and I got some video, which I’m busy uploading to YouTube and will post a link soon.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the otters? πŸ˜€ Yeah, I know – I’ve been pretty Blah-Blah talkative about them, haven’t I?

We’re going to rest up and then have dinner… somewhere! I think we were originally going to the Rainforest at Animal Kingdom, but since we ended up leaving there early, I’m not sure if we intend to go back there this evening or not. I hear the Magic Kingdom is open till 2:00 am….

Wordless: Thursday May 15th 2008

Is It Chester, or Hester?
Dinoland in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida

Monday February 18th 2008

UPDATE: Regrettably, I have a WICKED bad cold and will be unable to attend the Noah’s Ark event.

Hey there! Don’t forget, tomorrow (Friday May 16th) is the Noah’s Ark tour. Maybe we’ll see some sea turtles this time. Or maybe it will just be more of the same – sand, salty sea, sunshine and good times! As always, if I have a signal, I’ll be mobile blogging live. Ciao for now!

Due to technical difficulties….

… we’ve returned to my room at the Dolphin to recharge the cell phone battery, which died while I was in mid-sentence on the phone with my friend Lisa. I heard a beep, looked at the phone and said, “oh, low battery….” and *POOF* she was gone. I was about done with the AK anyways. I see some of the pics have not shown up, so I will have to do a re-send at some point. But the phone is charging way over THERE and I’m on the PC way over HERE, so y’all will just have to wait.

I hope Chris is satisfied because the only thing I had to eat all day was that stinkin’ oatmeal cookie, plus a banana that I managed to grab off the fruit cart in Harambe. I was devastated that Tusker House was closed; they usually have healthy type options, like fruit salad and whole wheat or multi-grain breads and such. So I was pretty much screwed for good food today, because what else is there in AK, really? Flame Tree BBQ, no thanks, I was looking for breakfast! And sticky buns and danishes at the kiosks, pretzels, hot dogs, et al.

I still had a good time today thus far, roaming around Disney’s most beautiful park. Plus, I found a yogurt in the fridge, which I am sucking down in between typing in order to calm the beast that is my digestive system. When the phone is sufficiently charged, I shall venture forth into Epcot to partake of some of the international foods I’ve not tried yet. I’ve yet to try Italy, Peru or Turkey, to name a few.

Y’all may have noticed that I’ve been practicing Illuminations Avoidance, leaving Epcot each night before the fireworks start. This is because I am starving myself for it until the Illuminations Party at the Moose Meet in a couple of weeks. I could easily have become all Illuminationed out this week, if you see what I mean.

I have to pack tonight…. actually, I should just start packing now, while waiting for the phone to charge. Yeah, that’s the ticket!


Real thing
ok – I JUST figured out that if I put the photos on my computer and upload from there, they are not only still clickable, but they are clickable BIGGER – except in cases of extreme zoom. So, let’s give this one of the REAL monkeys a shot

I have to figure out why, when I zoom, the camera phone posts the pics so small

PHOTOS ADDED – Walkin’ and talkin’ with Saniholic

I was walking into Asia while on the phone with Saniholic. After we got off the phone, I took photos of some statuary

What is he doing 2 that log?

I call this one “Monkey Love”, which leads into the next photo….

Hi patt

Well, ya can’t see so well, but that there’s Everest in the background, and this is one of Patt’s fave places in the park