Tag Archives: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

A marauding mob of African meerkats

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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As mentioned previously on this blog, meerkats are among my favorite animals because, like prairie dogs and otters, they are the shape and size of puppies and therefore very cute. In fact, all three species – prairie dogs, otters and meerkats – are known to “bark”, just like a puppy. The only time a meerkat doesn’t look like a puppy is when he’s standing up on his back legs, using his tail for balance.

Last week, I referred to a group of meerkats as a “colony” but I have since discovered that this is incorrect. One needs to refer to a group of meerkats as a “mob”, sometimes also “clan” or “gang”. This makes them sound dangerous, like they should be starring opposite the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story πŸ˜‰

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This fellow is performing sentinel duties while the rest of the colony forages for insects, small lizards, scorpions, eggs, centipedes and anything else that might be “slimy yet satisfying”, as Timon of The Lion King has been known to describe his diet. Should the sentinel spot a predator approaching, he will emit a warning bark and all the mob of meerkats will scatter into the many “bolt holes” they have built on their territory, so they have a place to hide during such emergencies. The sentry is responsible for emerging first and checking to see if the predators are still there before giving the “all clear” signal.

Last time I visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the sentry posed nicely for me for several minutes before staring at me to signal that the photo shoot was over. Here’s a slide show of the sentry from that visit, along with a clan from 2008.

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BONUS!- the Animal Planet channel has a series called “Meerkat Manor”, and there are some snippets of episodes on YouTube. Season’s 1 through 4 are available from Amazon.com on DVD

Meerkat Manor – Season 1
Meerkat Manor: Season Two
Meerkat Manor: Season Three
Meerkat Manor: Season Four – The Next Generation

Here’s Season One, Episode One snip from YouTube, which explains what the whole ongoing drama serial is about. I hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚

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Mystic mountain mirrored

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IMG_1442-WDW-DAK-Everest-reflectedBack in the early days of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there was an attraction called Discovery River Boats, the purpose of which wasn’t really so much entertainment as it was to taxi the guests around the park via the river that winds around Discovery Island. There was a dock in Asia and another close to the entrance of the park, just after you emerge from the Oasis. These docks have been repurposed since the attraction shut down. The one in Asia is now a shaded sitting area to rest or eat, and the other one is a character meet-and-greet spot.

I sometimes find myself wishing that attraction still existed. It can be very pleasant to float along in a boat at Disney World, a peaceful respite during a busy day. And then I get a shot like this one, and I realize that it would not have been possible with boats running around disturbing the reflections.

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Random Animal Kingdom trio

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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This is the Great Blue Turaco. I heart this bird’s colorful plumage.

RANDOM FACT about the great blue turaco: In the province of Africa formerly known as Zaire, the great blue turaco is hunted for food as well as feathers. Those yellow feathers on the underside of the turaco’s tail are considered good luck. Next time I visit the Pangani Forest Trail, I hope I remember to look around on the ground for a yellow tail feather.


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Here’s a meerkat – for fans of The Lion King, that’s a “Timon”. I like meerkats for the same reason I like prairie dogs and otters – they remind me of cute little puppies.

RANDOM FACT about meerkats: Meerkats are social and live in little colony families. One of them always keeps lookout while the others forage for food.


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Saved the best for last. I stalked this Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly all over creation, it seemed, but only got ONE good shot, and this is it!

RANDOM FACT about swallowtail butterflies: There are over 500 species of swallowtail butterfly that live on every continent of the Earth except Antarctica.

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Shrine by a quiet stream in Anandapur

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A shrine made of stone sits by a quiet stream at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Anandapur is the name of the fictional village. In the real world, outside the 42 square miles upon which Disney built his Florida empire, there are two places called Anandapur. One of them is in India, and the other is in Bangladesh.

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Shopportunity of the strange at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Click the photos to see a larger version in Flickr

You might think this is odd, but when it comes to leaving a Disney park, I plan my exit route around how many shops I can hit as I make my way toward the gate. (Long-time readers are feigning shock. Tink *~*~* – a shopper? No! Really? ;p ) There are a couple of reasons you should consider doing this, too. One, you are addicted to Disney merchandise, and even if you’re not buying, you’re still looking. Two, if it is a really hot day, the shops are your air conditioned refuge. Some of them are quite long, actually a series of shops strung together; you can get from one to the next without having to exit to the sidewalk. For instance, at the Magic Kingdom you can enter Casey’s at the rear where the bleachers and cartoons are, and walk clear down to the Emporium without ever having to leave the comfort of climate control.

030620102530-WDW-Shopping-Tinkerbell-pinAt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are major shops spaced out all around Discovery Island, so no matter which land you are coming from, you’re passing merchandise and cool air. The shopportunities are just too good to pass up, so you enter to see what you can see. Much of the merchandise will be similar to what you just saw in the last shop you were in, but once in a while you come across something unique, different…. ok, odd. Take this Pirate Tinkerbell pin as an example. Adorable, right? Well, yes – but only until you get close enough to realize that her eyes are these strange, glowing, neon blue blobs and it makes her look like a pod person ready to shed her humanoid form and take over the planet. I would have bought her, except that she gave me the willies!

030620102529-WDW-shopping-Ariel-skirt-sceneHere’s another head-scratcher. We already knew that Ariel didn’t have legs until her dear Auntie Ursula gave her some in exchange for her lovely singing voice. What we didn’t know is that Ursula apparently reneged on the deal, for here we see that instead of legs, Ariel’s got a miniature theater under her skirt, complete with her own “mini-me” shown here in the boat with Prince Eric. The statue is very pretty but when you think about it, she’s actually floating legless above a rowboat and that’s just a tad bizarre. I passed on this one, too.

030620102527-WDW-Shopping-run-away-MickeyThis t-shirt is a bit of a change of pace for Mickey. Normally, he’s friendly, charming, outgoing and always smiling. On this t-shirt, not so much. Mickey is depicted here running, with his hands flailing in the air, looking over his shoulder in abject terror. Clearly, someone – or someTHING – is chasing him. However, we cannot see that because the t-shirt ends just where a would-be pursuer would begin. We may never know what’s made poor Mickey take off like this, but judging from his face, it can’t be good! Still, this one is more edgy than strange, so there’s the possibility I’d buy it, just to be droll. πŸ˜‰

So what about you?
Do you cut through the shops in the Disney parks to cool off?
And what’s the strangest Disney merchandise you’ve ever seen?

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Dinosaur Week: Is this Chester or Hester?

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click the photo to see if there is a bigger size available in Flickr

02-18-08_1316-WDW-DAK-brontosaurusπŸ™‚ This is the last of DINOSAUR WEEK here at My Mobile Adventures *~*~*, and I have a question for you – is this Chester or is it Hester?

In the DinoLand section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, everything is named after these two dinosaurs, but I’ve never been able to work out who is who. While this one looks like a brontosaurus, the other one is more of a triceratops.

Does anyone know – which one is Chester and which one is Hester?

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Dinosaur Week: rock-o-saurus?

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IMG_0932-WDW-DAK-dinosaur-stonesπŸ™‚ A few years back, I was treading the path up to Camp Minnie Mickey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I took a look to my right as I was passing over the stream and I saw this waterfall spewing forth from a pile of… hey wait just a minute! That’s no ordinary pile of rocks. That looks like a dinosaur – a stegosaurus, as a matter of fact! You know, the one that mildly resembles a rhinoceros, only with a bunch of armor all over, and a stand-up collar. Look at the water gushing through those TEETH! It can’t be a mistake; the Imagineers had to have built it that way on purpose. But why? Why build a stegosaurus waterfall on the path to Camp Minnie Mickey?

Well, some people say that it’s not a stegosaurus at all. Some people say that Camp Minnie Mickey was originally supposed to be the site of a “land” in the Animal Kingdom where mythological creatures dwell and that our stegosaurus waterfall was actually supposed to be a fire-breathing dragon. I totally believe that there was originally supposed to be a “Beastly Kingdom” where Camp Minnie Mickey now stands, but no way is that a dragon. It’s very obviously a stegosaurus!

OK, so what do YOU think – dinosaur or dragon?
Leave a comment, let me know!

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Tree of Life: the giraffe

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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πŸ™‚ My head was still swimming with the mysteries I’d learned about torri gates and goddesses as I browsed my photos yesterday in search of a Wednesday offering. My eyes came to rest on a photo of the giraffe by the waterfall. This is one of the scenes carved into the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Each time I visit this theme park, I can spend an hour or more just wandering the paths that wind around the Tree. I find this area to be an oasis of sorts, far removed from the noisy crowds. The only sounds are the soothing rush of the waterfalls and occasional bird calls.

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Curious, I fired up google and entered “giraffe symbolism” and found that some traditions believe that giraffes possess superior vision and perceptiveness. There seem to be two factors that influence this belief. One, the giraffe is very tall and can therefore see further into the distance than other animals can. It is said that if the giraffe is your totem (animal spirit guide), then your ability to see into the future is enhanced. Two, the giraffe has a third horn, but it is hidden beneath a flap of skin just above the eyes. This is said to represent inner perception.

Combined with the “flow” of the nearby waterfall, I’m finding that I rather like the idea of a giraffe spirit guide! Now if only Rafiki would come and tell me my future! πŸ™‚

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Me and my girl-illa: escape from the paparazzi

Β© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*
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This is a continuation of the story that began on March 19th 2010 with “Me and my girl-illaClick the photos to see them larger in Flickr.

IMG_3134-WDW-DAK-baby-gorillaπŸ™‚ Hello again. Last time we met, I was busy sneaking around in the brush, trying to keep the prying lenses of the paparazzi away from my newborn baby girl-illa. There was a whole swarm of them, so I kept her pretty close to me (here you can only see the crown of her cute little head), creeping from one bush to the next, hoping to lose them. It’s not easy to elude the paparazzi; they’re a sly and resourceful bunch of stalkers, often working together to corner us, like dolphins herding schools of fish. I saw that on the BBC’s Planet Earthseries, which seems to have greatly contributed toward Disney’s own Earth (Disney Nature)

IMG_3142-WDW-DAK-baby-gorillaFinally, I found a nice fallen tree behind some bushes; it looked like a good place to lean back and rest from all the running to and fro, hither and yon, trying to find someplace, ANYPLACE to hide from the hordes. It was sunny and peaceful out there for a bit, and we both got some shut-eye. Well, I have one eye shut -the other one has to remain open at all times, just in case we’re invaded again. While we were snoozing, my mobile rang – it was Britney and Billy Ray, conference-calling with some advice on dealing with the whole publicity spotlight thing. Britney says that sometimes it’s better to bring the kid out into the open for a few minutes, under carefully controlled circumstances, of course, to make it seem like you’re friendly and cooperating. Billy Ray concurred that this tactic had worked with his darling Miley many times.

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Well what’s a mama to do? I took her up on the hill, a safe distance from that herd of pests, and let them see her face. And wouldn’t you know, she turns out to be quite the little ham! She turned that sweet face up and gazed into my eyes and said, “I dunno who you are but I wuvs you!”. Couldn’t you just melt?

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After a while, the paparazzi just started to annoy me. They yell directions, calling me by my first name like they’ve known me all my life, telling me to look this way, hold the baby higher, smile, turn your head, no the other way…. I tell you, this one guy was on my LAST nerve. Here I am giving him my best withering look. I think he was good and properly scared, as well he should be. These paparazzi dudes, they may be armed with a camera, but I’ve got THIS.

Meet the baby daddy πŸ™‚


IMG_3128-WDW-DAK-gorilla-daddy

You talkin’ to me? Are you talkin’ to ME?”




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Me and my girl-illa

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IMG_3130-WDW-DAK-baby-gorillaIt’s not easy being the parent of a child star these days, especially when your child is a DISNEY star. We’ve been pretty much besieged ever since my darling little girl-illa was born. So much activity, so many people to see, so much of our lives played out in the spotlight. I tell you, sometimes I feel like we live in a zoo! Well, if you were paying attention during the late 90s/early 00s, you know that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is “nahtazoo”, but it still feels like one at times. On this particular day, the baby and I were just hangin’ out in the clearing up on that little hill in the forest, trying to take a little nap – but there were a lot of those noisy humans congregating on the bridge, and sleep wasn’t coming.

IMG_3126-WDW-DAK-baby-gorilla I think one of them was aggravating one of the boys across the ravine; a Cast Member had to go and put a stop to whatever shennanigans were going on over there. I decided it was too much for us to tolerate, so I thought of another resting spot and relocated. Clutching my little princess tightly to my chest with one hand (which makes me sort of lope along sideways on my other three limbs), I scrambled over the hill to a nice little rocky enclave where I’d stashed the baby’s pink receiving blanket. There we settled in, hoping to get a little rest.

IMG_3131-WDW-DAK-baby-gorillaWell, we were both nearly asleep when those damned paparazzi figured out where we’d gotten to and descended en masse upon the glass enclosure! Ridiculous amounts of flash ensued – I mean, don’t these people read the manual when they buy these newfangled point-and-shoot cameras? If they did, they’d know we were too far away for the flash to help their pictures, but close enough for it to nearly blind us when we looked up. And I hate to be the one to tell them this, but you know all those pictures they thought they were getting of my child, the little girl-illa star? Well, I’ll just bet you that all those pictures turned out horrible – just blobs of light bouncing off the glass. Silly, silly humans!

IMG_3134-WDW-DAK-baby-gorillaBy this time, I was just really grumpy – I mean, wouldn’t you be? All I wanted to do was catch a nap and see to it that my little princess was properly fed and rested. I am starting to rethink this Disney child star thing… maybe we should move far, far away and dye our hair and that sort of thing, live in disguise for a few years until all of this blows over. I honestly don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Children are born every day! There’s nothing extraordinary about that. I mean, if all those peoples with their cameras, ooo-ing and ahhh-ing all over the place think she is so special, they can just come on in and take a turn at changing her diaper! Then we’ll see what the definition of “special” is… anyway, I was done, I tell you – D-O-N-E, done! Carefully cradling my princess once more, I mustered all the dignity I could and stalked off into the brush to hide…

TO BE CONTINUED…

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A petulant poser in the Pangani Forest

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IMG_3159-WDW-DAK-gorilla-waterfall

A gorilla on the “bachelor” side of the Pangani Forest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom decides to sulk and turns his back to the camera. Guests are instructed not to establish eye contact or gesture towards the male gorillas, as this can upset them. Someone broke the rules, and after a short period of agitated pacing, the gorilla decided to chill out next to the waterfall.

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Things are looking up at the bat exhibit

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_3165-WDW-DAK-batsπŸ™‚ Sometime while you are touring any Disney theme park, try looking UP for a different perspective. Chances are really excellent that you will start to notice bits of theming that range from clever to beautiful and add to the overall ambiance and mood that Disney is striving for in that particular space.

I did this recently at the fruit bat enclosure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. One of the things I found hung from the ceiling in the corridor just outside the bat enclosure were several carved effigies of bats in flight. This one looks particularly ferocious. Even though the bats in the enclosure are fruit bats and therefore not interested in bothering humans, I’m not sure I want to encounter one with his mouth open like that! 😯

IMG_3163-WDW-DAK-bats-carving-doorThe bat enclosure is screened in, and it is accessed by two doors (in theory, one is “in” and the other is “out”). When I looked up, I saw this remarkable carving above one of the doors. I’m not sure what sort of legend it is supposed to portray. The larger yellow creatures don’t look much like bats, but they are the only ones with wings. The smaller green and red creatures seem to be shaped more like bats, but they have no wings. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t much like the looks of the little green guy in the center. What’s he doing to the neck of the big yellow dude? They’re supposed to be fruit bats, not vampire bats! Hmmmm…..

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Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it…

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IMG_1268-WDW-DAK-egretπŸ™‚ I was walking in the Oasis, a quiet, lushly green and tranquil section just inside the gates of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. It’s a soothing place where you’ll find twisting paths, a rope bridge, a joyously tumbling waterfall and all manner of exotic animals and birds. The day was hot, and the air was heavy and still. The silence was broken only by barely discernible ambient music and the gurgling of a stream. I rounded a corner and came upon a beautiful glade that surrounded a pool. And there he stood, on a rock – a Great Egret.

I became excited when I realized that he was in full breeding plumage. My heart started to beat faster; it was so loud in my ears, I was sure he would hear it, become frightened and take flight. I think I might have even been holding my breath. I crept forward to get a closer look, reaching into my bag for the camera.

IMG_1269-WDW-DAK-egretThe closer I got, the more convinced I became that he very well knew that he had company and didn’t mind in the least.. He seemed to straighten a bit and puff out his chest. I took this as a good sign in terms of getting some photographs, and I was no longer afraid of making the slightest sound. The mechanical whir of the camera’s lens opening and extending broke the reverie, contrasting sharply against the backdrop of rushing water and the far-off exclamations of other types of birds who lived at the Oasis. The Great Egret stood his ground, unperturbed. I fired off several shots of him just standing there on the rock, playing with distance and focus. He started to fuss a little, and I stopped shooting, holding my breath again, finger hovering in mide-air over the button.

And that’s when he did it…

IMG_1270-WDW-DAK-egret

… the Great Egret VOGUED for me!

(to be continued…)

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—————-
Now playing: Madonna – Vogue

Things with wings at Walt Disney World

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Walt Disney World is in the quasi-tropical climate of Orlando, Florida. The flora is so well-maintained and lush, it can support any number of critters that love the warmth and humidity. Encounters with local wildlife (in other words, not placed there by Disney) are not only very satisfying, but can also be frequent if you keep your eyes open and pay attention to your surroundings. Today we’re going to look at some “things with wings” – butterflies I’ve met at Walt Disney World.

IMG_0454-WDW-MK-butterfly Found and photographed near “stroller hell” aka the former sky ride in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom – November, 2004


 

IMG_0638-WDW-EPCOT-butterfly Not sure if this is a butterfly or a moth. Found in EPCOT, and I believe I was over by Universe of Energy. April, 2005


 

IMG_3055-WDW-DAK-butterfly Last one – this beauty was found quite near a gorilla at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – it was like “beauty and the beast” in there that day πŸ˜€ October, 2006


 

Happy Critturday, everyone!

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Friends at the fishin’ hole, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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102320091305-WDW-DAK-Goofy-Pluto-Mickey-Mouse-Fishing

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A genuine Disney mystery!

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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One of the “lands” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Camp Minnie Mickey. There isn’t a whole lot that goes on there these days, now that the live animal show with Pocahontashas been discontinued. At this point, the only reason to go to Camp Minnie Mickey, really, is to see Festival of the Lion King, a Broadway-quality musical review of songs from The Lion King movies. Look to the sides of the path that leads to the theater and you will find many of the beloved classic Disney characters engaged in a variety of outdoor leisure activities. Let’s see who I found there during my most recent trip to Walt Disney World!

102320091306-WDW-DAK-Donald-Duck-FishingπŸ™‚ Looks like Donald has made quite a catch today, but I’m not sure that particular item will taste very good breaded and fried! Normally, Donald wears a sailor hat, but today he’s wearing the type of hat you can pin lures to, so you don’t lose them. Donald’s bill and feet are yellow, and his jacket is blue – but you will note that Donald Duck wears no pants!

This is really sort of odd. Of all the classic Disney characters, the only one who is not anthropomorphic is Pluto. That’s because he’s actually supposed to be Mickey’s pet, so he is not typically represented with any human characteristics. So, aside from Pluto, all the other classic characters wear clothing, like humans do. But Donald is the odd man out – he is NAKEY from the waist down! Apparently, this is one of the great mysteries of Disney – even the Disney company itself does not seem to know WHY Donald wears no pants.

So… why do YOU think Donald wears no pants?
Hoping for some really creative responses!

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Where in “The World” are we?

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Jagged, snowy peak
Rocky Mountains or Swiss Alps?
Maybe the Andes…

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None of the above – it’s Expedition Everest!
Photo taken at Disney’s Animal Kindom

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Fancy flyers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Click the pictures to see larger versions in Flickr

IMG_1306-WDW-DAK-pair-scarlet-macawsπŸ™‚ Look at those colors. Look at those wings! These are scarlet macaws, one of the more colorful parrots that are native to the New World. They’re shown here with a Cast Member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, who had stopped by to check their feed and ended up sticking around to answer questions and interact with the birds. The first time I laid eyes on a scarlet macaw, I didn’t quite believe that these were their natural colors. It just sort of reminded me of the 80s, when seemingly every teenager I passed on the streets of New York City had used Jell-O to add patches of color to their hair.

IMG_1311-WDW-DAK-scarlet-macaw-sitting-prettyHowever, I quickly came to discover that the scarlet macaw, so called because the predominant color is red, comes naturally by all these colors. I love the yellow on the underside of the wings, and the blue down the sides. There are some subspecies that are differentiated by how wide the yellow band is, or whether or not green is present in the plummage.

The scarlet macaw is a native of humid, subtropical locations in Central and South America, and is the national bird of Honduras. Deforestation and pesticides have drastically reduced their numbers in recent decades. Hunting/capture/sale is illegal in many countries, except for very specific, permitted circumstances.



IMG_1300-WDW-DAK-Scarlet-Macaw-closeupScarlet macaws can be found in singles, pairs or sometimes in large flocks. The more remote the location, such as sparsely populated islands in Central America, the bigger the flocks tend to be. They nest in hollows of trees, and their young stay with them for well longer than a year before striking out on their own. I was amazed to learn that they can live to be up to 75 years old! They are very social when they are in captivity and like interacting with their people.

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My top 5 FUNky Facts about the ring-tailed lemur

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IMG_1363-WDW-DAK-ring-tailed-lemurπŸ™‚ Ring-tailed lemurs can be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, pretty close to the entrance to It’s Tough To Be A Bug. I enjoy watching these guys. To me, they look like an odd mixture between a fox (pointy face), a raccoon (rings on the tail) and a spider monkey (general shape of body). I’ve done some reading about them and here are the FUNky facts I’ve discovered

1) Ring-tailed lemurs are in fact primates, so they are related to all sorts of monkeys as well as to humans. However, they are not of the simian order of primate; they are what’s known as Strepsirrhine primates, typically regarded as less intelligent than simians (although, that has recently been debated). There are several different kinds of lemur, and all of them hail from Madagascar.

IMG_1364-WDW-DAK-ring-tailed-lemur2) Ring-tailed lemurs like to sunbathe, and are often found doing so sitting up in the Lotus position. The sunbathing is to warm themselves during the day, but at night they sleep all piled up with one another to share warmth. Such a sleeping pile is called a “lemur ball”. They are usually found moving about on all-fours (quadrupedal), but are also capable of standing on hind legs for short periods. Whenever I’ve seen one walking around, they’ve usually sort of stalked along, similar to a cat or a raccoon.

3) While most lemurs are nocturnal, the ring-tailed lemur is dirunal – like (most!) humans, they are awake during the day and asleep at night. They are very social and live together in troops of about 30. The most lemurs I’ve seen at Disney is two, and I often wonder if they miss living in a big troop, and what Disney does for them to help compensate for socializing with the troop. I hope to remember to ask around next time I’m there.

IMG_1366-WDW-DAK-ring-tailed-lemur4) Ring-tailed lemur troops are female-dominant. This is true of all types of lemurs. The hierarchy of females in the troop is not inherited; you don’t get to be the top mama lemur just because your mother was.

5) Lemurs have scent glands that they use to mark territory, and sometimes they even have stink fights with other lemurs. They soak their tails in “stink” from their scent glands and wave them at the opponent. I have to admit that I giggled when I read this. In my head, I heard the voice of the French soldiers in Monty Python and the Holy Grail – “Hah, I stink in your general direction!” πŸ˜€

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Horse out of water at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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IMG_1459πŸ™‚ As previously mentioned on this blog, there is a good deal of carved statuary scattered about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some is carved from stone, while other pieces more resemble wood – some of it painted, some of it presented in a more natural state. Here’s a wonderful example – the figure of a sea horse, which I belive was found outside the gates of Asia, just across from one of my favorite gift shops. I like the way this one has weathered (or maybe it’s just made to look weathered!). Once again, care has been taken to ensure that he blends in with his surroundings – and as admirable as that sounds, he is, after all, a SEA horse, so why is he out in the jungle? πŸ˜†

IMG_1457These statues have plenty of places to congregate and sometimes even hide, for there is no shortage of beautiful, flowering foliage in the Animal Kingdom. Tropical trees, plants and flowers are featured prominently throughout the park. They serve as an exotic and verdant backdrop for both the real animals and the carved ones.

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Dinosaurs at Disney!

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IMG_4124-WDW-AK-Dino-ParkingThere are dinosaurs at Disney! Upon arrival at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida, Guests are presented with their first exposure to these ancient critters. My friend Robin taught me the value of taking a photo of the navigational signs in the parking lot. If you cannot remember where you parked at the end of a long day at play, you can always refer back to photographic evidence obtained upon arrival. As you can see, on this particular day I parked in the dinosaur section.

IMG_4126-WDW-AK-Dino-Drive-ThruDisney’s Animal Kingdom is set up in themed “lands”. There’s The Oasis when you first enter the park, the central hub called Discovery Island (where the Tree of Life “grows”), then Camp Minie Mickey, Asia, Africa and – you guessed it! – Dinoland! This billboard for the McDonald’s franchise in Dinoland always cracks me up. Can you imagine being a poor Mickey D’s drive-through clerk and having a T-Rex pull up to the window? Yikes! 😯

IMG_4128-WDW-AK-Dino-RamaAh, we’ve arrived at Chester and Hester’s Din-o-rama! This area of Dinoland is themed like a midway, with rides appropriate for the younger crowd as well as games of chance where stuffed animals can be won. I have to admit I’m not a fan of this section. I’m no good at games of chance, and one of the rides, affectionately nicknamed by some as “Primeval Hurl”, knocks me around too much. I’m getting too old in the bones to be knocked around like that!

IMG_4125-WDW-AK-Dino-StonesHere’s a cute critter made of stone and decorated mosaic style. I think he’s located pretty close to the aforementioned McDonald’s “billboard”. I can sometimes become obsessed with photographing all the stone and carved statues of critters sprinkled around Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Hmmm, I think I smell a Camera Critters series coming on! Anyway… can you spot the baby dinosaur in this photo?

Happy Critturday!


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Native Wildlife in Disney’s Animal Kingdom – the brown anole

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IMG_1541-WDW-DAK-giraffe-statue-uprightπŸ™‚ Every time I visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, my appreciation for the theme park Imagineers’ incredible attention to detail only deepens. The park is impeccably themed, and I especially enjoy the animal statues sprinkled here and there. Some are carved of stone like idols, while others are made to look like wood carvings but are more likely made of resin – this is Florida, after all, a land where the termite thrives and flourishes πŸ˜‰ Tucked away in a stand of bamboo, congregating in a forest pool or peeking out from behind dense foliage, I delight in happening upon these imaginative and often colorful critters.

IMG_1543-WDW-DAK-giraffe-statue-bent-anoleRelatively close to the front of the park, there’s a grouping of orange and yellow giraffes grazing in the underbrush by the side of the path. I remember stopping there once when Nieceling was young to photograph her with the smaller one; there’s a conveniently-placed flat stone for a kid to stand on, in case she’s too short to get both her head and the giraffe’s head in the photo. On this particular day, I was strolling by on my way out of the park – and I admit, it takes me a LONG time to stroll out of this park, so I have to start about an hour or so before I actually intend to get on the bus! Anyhow, I glanced over at the giraffes, and something caught my eye…

IMG_1542-WDW-DAK-giraffe-statue-back-anole-dewlapIt’s a brown anole, hanging out on the bent back of one of the giraffes. I caught him with his dewlap open! Technically, the brown anole is not a “native” of Florida – more of a naturalized citizen from the Caribbean. However, they’ve been here so long, they seem like natives. Just like all the other Americans, I guess πŸ˜€

Happy Critturday!

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Mickey Mouse meets the yeti

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IMG_1524-WDW-DAK-Mickey-Mouse-yeti

πŸ™‚ I should have bought it. I like toys! Found one in the gift shop near Expedition Everest, the “E” ticket roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. So, we’ve got TWO critters here – a mouse, and a yeti. Doesn’t Mickey look horrified? Hope the yeti isn’t as mean as he looks… RUN, MICKEY – RUN! πŸ˜‰

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Colorful birds from Orlando, Florida

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Probably what makes my Monday Meme Trifecta so much fun is that I never know until the Friday before what sort of prompt Mo is going to serve up for Manic Monday. It’s fun and easy to come up with something for Blue Monday and for Mellow Yellow Monday, but to make it fit with the “Mo factor”, well that takes some strategic maneuvering! πŸ˜‰

Mo has prompted us with “birds” this week, so without further ado, I bring you two specimens – you guessed it, one blue and one yellow – from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

IMG_0086

I found this little guy in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In the spring of 2004, I was walking the paths in the Pangani Forest and some splashing to the left startled me. There he was, splish-spalsh, takin’ a bath πŸ™‚ I think I’ve blogged this photo before, or one close to it, but no matter – he’s a cute little guy, and I’m happy to have him on the front page again.

IMG_0417-Little-Blue-Heron

Fast forward to October of 2004. The sun was going down, and it was a bit overcast, too. I was walking that promenade between the fountain and the World Showcase Plaza at EPCOT, and stopped to check out the turtle action in the lagoon. After watching them a while, I looked up and saw an egret hanging out with some moorhens, and then a little further off, this beautiful little blue heron. He stood still just long enough for me to get this one shot, and then he took off into the gathering dusk.

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Just hangin’ around at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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IMG_7067-DAK-bat-teeth-flags
I bet he says that to ALL the girls


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Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade – Blue and Yellow Edition

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IMG01413-Mickeys-Jammin-bannerHey there, hi there, ho there! Ready to start another week? ME NEITHER! But Monday always comes whether we want it to or not, and with it comes my own personal challenge in the form of the Monday Meme Trifecta. I use the prompt for the Manic Monday meme (this week, it’s “party”) and the missions of Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday and try to make ONE post that fits all three. This week, we’re going to do that by watching Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade go by, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This parade is full of energetic music and fun Disney characters – a true PARTY in the streets. Ready? Here we go!

IMG01399-DAK-parade-crocodile
A blue crocodile cruises by…

IMG01396-DAK-parade-woven-camel
A guy rides along on a blue and yellow woven camel, providing some back-beat for the festivities

IMG01387-DAK-parade-elephant
Here’s another drum dude, this time riding on a blue and yellow elephant – all of this percussion guarantees that this PARTY‘s jumpin’!

Blue and yellow aren’t the only colors in this parade. Tomorrow, the parade continues; guess what color will be featured? πŸ˜‰

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The unfortunately named peacock at Disney and Busch Gardens

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IMG_0293-peacock-plummage-disney-animal-kingdom

This peacock blends in pretty perfectly with his surroundings.
Photo taken at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. April 25th, 2004

Peacocks come in different colors, which is something I did not know until I encountered this one at Busch Gardens “Africa” in Tampa, Florida –

Interestingly enough, I’ve discovered that the peacock technically should not be included in Busch Gardens “Africa” because it is indigenous to India. But he was pretty so I’ll let it slide. πŸ˜‰

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One RED Thing From Each Walt Disney World Park

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It’s Ruby Tuesday again! For your crimson viewing pleasure today, I’ve selected a cross-section from all four of the Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando.

IMG_1277-Small-World-Magic-KingdomIt’s a Small World, MAGIC KINGDOM
I want you all to know that it is in the interest of primacy and latency that I lovingly dish up the entrance to “It’s A Small World”. It’s a proven theory of learning that the first thing on the list and the last thing on the list are the things you will remember the best. So now, your brain will be humming “It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all….” ALL DAY! What a gift, huh? How cool am I – don’t you just wanna be best friends for evah? Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa 😈

Disney-Epcot-WS-EmblemWorld Showcase, EPCOT
I know, that was cruel. And I’m sorry, truly I am. To make it up to you, I will now tell you a bunch of interesting things to try and make you forget that song that your obsessive-compulsive brain is repeating over and over, ad nauseum, ad infinitum…. OK here’s a door. It’s actually a gate. It’s located in the World Showcase at EPCOT. Look, you can see the gap between the two parts of the gate. What’s back there? I’ll tell you… I’m not sure! I have been back there precisely once, in the year 2000. I was in Walt Disney World for a conference. I think my SIL (Chez Bro’s wife) was with me – I imported her one year to keep me company, and I’m pretty sure this was the year. The Millenium Village was back there. From what I can remember (hey it was 9 years ago), there was a big tent with lots of tables and demonstration areas and booths representing a plethora of countries that are not present in the World Showcase. I believe actually that Israel was the primary occupant of the tent, but there were other countries back there too.

The only other time I’ve seen this gate open was a couple of years ago. I was passing by at twilight, and there was a private party going on back there. It was all shiny and bright and lit up back there, and heavenly aromas of delicious food emanated from within. I was like a little orphan child with her nose pressed to the glass. Man, when I grow up, I wanna be invited to a party behind the big gate with the “WS” (for “World Showcase”) on it.

IMG_0994-Disney-Chinese-theater-detailChinese Theater, DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
This statue is a piece of the awesome detail work from the exterior of Disney’s replica of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. Times were, you could enter Disney-MGM Studios oops I mean Disney’s Hollywood Studios and see this iconic work of art/architecture waiting for you at the end of the boulevard. Nowadays, what you get is The Big-Ass Hat. It’s a shame really, because the theater is quite beautiful. I’ve read that the Disney version has some details on it that no longer exist on the Hollywood version, so it looks like Disney made an effort to duplicate the original from it’s very earliest days. This structure houses Disney’s Great Movie Ride, an attraction that delivers the Guests to tableaux from famous Hollywood productions like Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Indiana Jones, and many other classics. I have to say that I like the queue for The Great Movie Ride nearly as much as the ride itself. Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in watching the continuous loop of clips from famous movie classics, I don’t want to go on the ride when it’s finally my turn – I just want to stand there and watch some more!

IMG01464-Disney-snack-hutA snack shack, DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
Ah, finally – we’ve made it to the Animal Kingdom. This park is my second favorite behind EPCOT. The art and architecture can be whimsical, colorful and folk-ish in certain areas of the park. This snack shack is one such example. If you click the picture, you’ll see a larger version in Flickr. You might be able to see that there are hints as to what sort of snacks are sold there built right into the artwork that adorns the building. Yep, those are pretzels and bottles of Coca Cola. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, that’s our Ruby Tuesday tour of the Disney parks – now, if you want to see more Ruby Tuesday photos, just click your heels together three times… I mean, click the ruby slippers below, and you will be instantly transported to a list of participants.

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Respect The Power Of The YETI! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Respect The Power Of The YETI! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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IMG_3019-Yeti-shrine-Everest-loomsWandering through the Asia “land” of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, you’ll eventually come upon a waterside shrine, laden with many gifts of food, candles and trinkets strewn upon it. “Mount Everest” looms large in the distance, a dramatic, snow-capped backdrop for this sacred spot in the village of Anandapur. But who is it a shrine TO? We must get a little closer to investigate…

IMG_3020-close-up-yeti-shrineIt’s a rather strange and ferocious-looking creature, is it not? Somewhat like a bear or an ape, walking erect with claws extended, it is clearly revered by the people who have come to lay down treasures before this statue of it. Since that is “Everest” in the distance, we can be sure that we are approaching the Himalayas, and that can only mean that this feared-revered creature is none other than the fabled Abominable Snowman, a.k.a., the Yeti. This creature has been the subject of countless expeditions and studies by scientists, writers and adventurers for several centuries.

IMG_4130-Yeti-shrine-red-dotThe people of the Himalayas have made the Yeti the subject of much of their local art and folk lore. The Yeti is the stuff of legend, much like “Big Foot” a.k.a. Sasquatch in North America. Primatologists, anthropologists and many other types of -ologists, I’m sure, have studied such evidence as footprints and hairs left behind by this creature, but no evidence has thus far been deemed conclusive insofar as proving the existence of the Yeti.

IMG_3016-Everest-inside-queue-yetibiliaThe Yeti so captures the human imagination, there have been expeditions in search of one as recently as 2008, when a band of Japanese researchers went off adventuring into the Himalayas to see if they could find one. Scientists routinely test “evidence”, usually hairs that are claimed to have come from a yeti, but DNA results indicate that they are always some other type of animal, chiefly bears. That region of Tibet enjoys the presence of three different types of bears – blue, brown and red, and the word “yeti” seems to be derived from two Tibetan words, one for “bear” and the other for “rocky place”. Given the location, “rocky place” does make sense.

IMG_4132-respect-power-YetiOne of the pet theories that has been floated now and then about both the Yeti and Big Foot is that somehow, the gigantopithecus giant ape from the Pleistocene era has survived and is alive and well and living in the Himalayas. It’s a nice theory, but most scientists agree that gigantopithecus was a quadruped, which would not explain why the Yeti is able to climb up Disney’s Expedition Everest attraction on two legs while ripping up the tracks with his hands! I guess those fans of the gigantopithecus theory have not been to Disney World recently.

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RED Signs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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RED Signs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)
Click each photo; there’s usually a larger version in Flickr, which will open in a new window

IMG01460-Disneys-Animal-Kingdom-sign-welcomeBy now, repeat visitors here at My Mobile Adventures really get it – there is no shortage of RED stuff in Walt Disney World. That’s a good thing for me, because I’ve taken lots and lots of photos in the Disney theme parks and resorts. This leaves me with a great deal of material for Mary’s wonderful Ruby Tuesday photo meme.

Here we have a sign that proclaims us “welcome”; I found it in the Asia section of the park. I think we could assume that the lettering above is “welcome” in maybe Hindi. There was a visitor last time I posted a sign from this section of the Animal Kingdom who translated for us (I think it might have been the Coca Cola post). I sure hope that visitor comes back and tells us it is “welcome” and not “eat at Joe’s” or something equally ridiculous! πŸ˜€

IMG01457-Disney-sign-KaliKali River Rapids is the Animal Kingdom’s “E” ticket water ride. You ride along in a giant inner tube raft which spins and twists and plummets its way along a “river”. There are parts where a waterfall will get you if you aren’t careful, and there’s another part where you go under a bridge – on the bridge are other guests who have stopped there for the express purpose of shooting at the occupants of your raft with Disney-provided water guns. They take great pleasure in doing so, too. You are guaranteed to exit this ride fairly well drenched. I don’t like walking around the park for the rest of the day with wet underwear clinging to my butt, so I tend to wear quick-dry shorts and carry an extra pair of undies and a plastic bag for the wet ones.

Disney-AK-Caravan-Stage-FlagsHere’s one of my favorite signs in all of Walt Disney World. There’s a bird show called Flights of Wonder at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It takes place on the Caravan Stage. I love the tapestry look of this sign, a banner really, and all the multi-colored prayer flags waving in the breeze close by. A few months ago, I posted a video of the “gacking owl” which was taken by Niece No. 2 about this time last year. Well, that owl is a part of the pre-show for Flights of Wonder on the Caravan Stage. If you are hot and cranky and just want to sit, cool off and be entertained for a while, this is the place to head for.

Hope you enjoyed these RED signs from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m pretty sure there will be more RED Disney signs in our future! πŸ˜€

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“The Real Thing” in RED at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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“The Real Thing” in RED at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

IMG01456-Coca-Cola-Sign-Disneys-Animal-KingdomIf you are a fan of Pepsi products and you happen to find yourself in Walt Disney World, you are fresh out of luck. Disney has had an exclusive relationship with Coca-Cola for a very long time. With very few exceptions, wither Disney goeth, Coca-Cola followeth. Throughout the Disney theme parks, resorts and restaurants, the only cola you will find is Coke.

There’s a story that goes around the internet every now and again that smells like an “urban legend” but I wasn’t able to find it on everyone’s favorite urban legend reference site, Snopes.com. Here’s how the story was told in a recent email I received:

IMG01458-Coca-Cola-Sign-Disneys-Animal-Kingdom“During the first two weeks of Walt Disney World’s operation, the Pepsi-Cola Co. was a sponsor. On the second weekend of WDW being open, they ran out of soda. So Disney contacted the Pepsi-Cola offices and tried to place an order for more soft drinks to be delivered as soon as possible. Well the person in charge at Pepsi said that because it was the weekend, they wouldn’t be able to ship anything until the following Monday.

“Disney then contacted The Coca-Cola Co. The person in charge at Coke gave the same information that due to the weekend, all the truck divers were at home. However, this person decide to go above and beyond what the Pepsi-Cola guy was willing to do. The Coke guy actually called all the drivers at home, and got them to ship all the soda the next day. So after that, Disney signed a multi-million dollar contract with Coke. Needless to say, the guy in charge at Pepsi got fired”.

IMG01459-Coca-Cola-bottles-Disneys-Animal-KingdomI really rather doubt the veracity of this story because I cannot imagine Disney “running out” of anything, much less something as fundamental as soda! Why, that would be downright un-American πŸ˜‰ Even though I could not find it covered at Snopes, I did find that outlandish stories about Coca-Cola are not in short supply. In fact, there’s even more craziness in store when you look up the Disney section of Snopes.

IMG01461-Coca-Cola-Sign-Disneys-Animal-KingdomThere’s another story that makes the rounds periodically which indicates that despite the fact that Disney charges their guests for soft drinks, Coca-Cola provides Disney with it’s products solely for promotional consideration. Don’t know whether or not that’s true, but Coke is surely getting a lot of exposure in the parks. The photos featured in this article were taken in just one small section of one Disney theme park. I’m not even a soda drinker, but when I pass this section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I’m almost tempted!

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Tiny RED Flowers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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title goes here
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

One of the things I love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the beautiful environment that has been created to showcase the animals. I’ve heard it said that there are over 4,000 varieties of plants and trees at DAK. One day in October 2008, I stopped to experiment with the macro button on my camera. Since Mary has suggested macro shots for today’s Ruby Tuesday, I went searching for a few of these experimental shots.

IMG_7037-Macro-tiny-flowers-Disney-Animal-Kingdom
Messing around with macro shots in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. These tiny red and fuschia blooms were perfect subject for the experiment.

IMG_7040-Tiny-red-buds-macro-disney-Animal-Kingdom
This is what those tiny red blossoms look like before they unfurl; tight, red, almost like little beans.

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Bird Temple at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Bird Temple at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

(a Wordless Wednesday post)

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Bird temple at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A fluffy blue and green bird feeds as the goddess looks on from the background

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Lamp Post Critters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Lamp Post Critters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

(a Camera Critters post)
click any photo to see a larger version in Flickr

IMG_6915-DAK-lamp-post-spider-webSpiders! *shudder*
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the infrastructure – buildings, bridges, light fixtures, etc. – are covered with folk-art styled critters. Carved, painted, bright and whimsical, some of these cuties can be found on the lamp posts sprinkled throughout the park. Here’s a spider weaving a web on a lamp; click the photo and you’ll see evidence of the presence of this faux arachnid’s real-life brethren.

IMG_6938-DAK-lamp-post-bunniesThe Prey Prays
I found these bunnies in the quiet patio area out back of the Flame Tree BBQ counter service place. I like this area because of the spectacular view of Expedition Everest; one can sit there with a cappucino and become mesmerized watching the cars slowly ascend into the darkness, only to emerge from the other side, careening around with screaming cargo. Anyhow, you might have noticed that these bunnies are in a sort of a praying posture, and they appear to be a bit bug-eyed. Of what are they a-feared, you ask? Well…

IMG_6937-DAK-lamp-post-owlEEEK!
Well, no wonder – there’s an owl soaring above that’s got the bunnies assuming positions of supplication. “Please, don’t swoop down and eat us!” they seem to plead… actually, that owl doesn’t look all that scary to me. In fact, he sort of reminds me of Van Halen’s logo. C’mon, you see it too, don’t you? That’s not scary! Well, not unless they’re thinking of getting back with David Lee Roth AGAIN. In which case, my advice is to “run, little bunnies – FLEE! Flee for your lives!” πŸ˜‰

IMG_6917-DAK-lamp-post-turtle-snail“I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain…”
I love this one – the turtle assumes the Gene Kelly position and I fully expect him to break into song at any given moment. And the sky! The sky is just that amazing Florida blue sky that I’ve grown to revere.

I’m sure there are lots more whimsical lamp posts in Walt Disney World. This is just a small sampling of them. I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

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Flora, Fauna, Magic! revisited

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Flora, Fauna, MAGIC! revisited

(a Camera Critters post)

Was reliving some old trip reports to Disney, and came across this Photo Story that I call “Flora, Fauna, MAGIC!”. It’s 4 minutes, 38 seconds, set to music, mostly animals found around Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It’s a Windows Media Player file.

Enjoy!

CLICK TO VIEW Fall Frolick 2004 – Flora, Fauna, MAGIC!

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Tigers of The Royal Forest of Anandapur, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Tigers of The Royal Forest of Anandapur, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

(a Camera Critters post)
click any photo to see a larger version in Flickr

IMG01416-DAK-tiger-trash-can-artLast week, I wrote about my Favorite Critters At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and one of them was the tiger.  In that post, I explained that Disney has placed their tigers in a setting that is similar to the “temple of the tigers”, a preserve in India that had at one time been royal hunting grounds. 

IMG01430-DAK-tiger-sign-wood-houseDisney places the tigers along the Maharajah Jungle Trek in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and calls the forested section “The Royal Forest of Anandapur”.  I googled “Anandapur” and found two villages, one in the state of Crissa in India, and the other is in Bangladesh, from whence the Royal Bengal tiger comes.  Well they also hang out in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Myanmar (Burma), but a “Bengal” is someone from Bangladesh, so there you go.

The first image above is actually trash can art, and was captured just outside the Maharajah Jungle Trek entrance. The second image heralds your arrival in the Royal Forest of Anandapur, where the tigers frolic amongst the ruins of a royal palace that is crumbling with antiquity.

IMG_7079-DAK-one-tiger-fountainPlease excuse the “ghosts” on these photos; they were shot through glass, and I think it’s remarkable that they are as clear as they are, given how many little fingers leave their imprints on a daily basis πŸ™‚ This tiger guards a crumbling fountain; he doesn’t see what I see behind him…. maybe he’s got tiger “spidey sense” that allows him to know somehow, but I didn’t consider that at the time and I thought we, the tourists of Anandapur, were about to see some action…

IMG_7078-DAK-one-tiger-pool No, I have no idea why there appears to be a board in the water, but I’m glad you noticed because I was kind of wondering myself. A second tiger stealthily skirts the fountain pool, looking for all the world like s/he was stalking the first one. What will happen? Is there going to be a conflict, a great, fierce battle? The tourists of Anandapur hold their collective breath!

IMG_7082-DAK-two-tigers-fountainWhew! It looks like the second tiger is disinterested in conflict after all, passing by without a even a passing glance, never mind a roar or even a growl. The tourists of Anandapur, lungs bursting, release their collective breath.

Peace descends upon the Royal Forest of Anandapur. Happy ending – YAY! πŸ™‚

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Favorite Critters from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Favorite Critters from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

(a Camera Critters post)

Here are some of my favorite animals that are “must see” whenever I visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

(You can click any picture to go to the original in Flickr; when you get there, click “All Sizes” and then select “Original”)

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This is an African elephant; looks like that might be Paw, as opposed to Maw. Elephants have a remarkable capacity for emotion. When a member of the herd passes on, they have been known to behave in ways that mimic our own death customs, including mourning for several days (waking or sitting shiva) and throwing branches or grass clumps on the carcass (dropping clumps of earth into the grave). To read more about elephant emotions, visit the Public Broadcasting (PBS) page for the TV show “Nature – Unforgettable Elephants”

IMG_0145_DisneyAK_Flamingo_2004

I’ve featured pink flamingos here at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* several times in the past. That’s because I love them! Oh, when you pass by where they hang out, they absolutely STINK, to be sure. But they are so beautiful, I don’t mind the stench too much. Some of them have wings that are sort of outlined in black, which is stunning when set against the deep pink of the flamingo’s other feathers, and which you can only see when they stretch their wings. The sometimes overwhelming odor near the flamingos in zoos and theme parks is probably from their diet. Flamingos eat a diet based upon an algae known as spirulina. The Nature site has a page on flamingos too, which goes into greater detail about why some flamingos are pinker than others.

IMG_0307_DisneyAK_Tiger_2004
Here’s an Asian tiger, looking pretty bored. I think these are actually Royal Bengal tigers. The environment that Disney has built for the tigers is very similar to what “Nature” calls the “temple of the tigers” – the Bandhavgahr Preserve in India. Mythology meets archeology in this place, which consists of an ancient fort (est. 2,000 years old), statues of some of India’s gods, a series of man-made caves complete with hieroglyphics, and a pleasing biodiversity that includes some members of India’s “Project Tiger” at the top of it’s food chain. I think the setting Disney has created for these tigers is the reason why I like visiting them so much. It’s as though the tigers themselves are the gods, slipping in and out of the ruins like ghosts; we are fortunate to catch glimpses of them now and then, frolicking in the crumbling remains of ancient walls and fountains.

IMG_0334_DisneyAK_Otter_2004
I saved my very, very favorite for last – it’s the river otter! There is no visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom that’s complete without making a stop, probably several stops actually, to watch the otters play and swim and tumble about and BARK. Yes that’s right, they BARK, like little prairie dogs. In fact, it would not surprise me if I found out that they were related – otters and prairie dogs, i mean. These are gray; native Floridian otters are more of a chocolate brown color, I believe, but have the same sleek coat that helps them to glide and dodge and weave through the water effortlessly. Sometimes the otters aren’t there, or you see them off in the distance, sleeping in a little cave, all piled up on top of one another. When they sleep in a pile like that, it gives one the impression that someone is going to have to go in there and unknot them, but then they slither around and voila, no more pile o’ otters.

Well there you have it – some of my favorite critters from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’ve got lots of critter photos that I took the last time I was there, and I’m happy to be able to share them on Camera Critters over the next few weeks. Please DO leave your link in the comments, so I can visit you back and see your critter posts.

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Pointing The Way, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Pointing The Way, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

(a Wordless Wednesday post)

IMG01453

Why is this couple facing in opposite directions?

What could be the reason for that?

Perhaps they’ve had a quarrel?

Or possibly, it’s a dance move.

Oh, I know – perhaps they are smitten, but shy!

IMG01452

None of the above – they are merely pointing the way to the restrooms. Ladies to the right, men to the left!

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Maharajah Jungle Trek RED Stuff, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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http://MyMobileAdventures.com
Maharajah Jungle Trek RED Stuff, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

There is a section along the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that features a good amount of the color RED. Perfect for Ruby Tuesday!

IMG01438-Maharaja-Jungle-Trek-That-Way

This sign invites guests to continue on through the “Red Pavilion”

IMG01440-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Red-Pavilion

The pavilion is indeed constructed of pale red stones. There’s also a curious little red vehicle sitting before it.

IMG01441-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Red-Rickshaw-Cycle

I want to say it’s a rickshaw, except every picture of a rickshaw that I found on Google has the driver PULLING it, not pushing! So I don’t know what it is, but it’s red. πŸ™‚ Anandapur is the name of the little town we’re in, here in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.Β  It’s very close to the Himalayas.

IMG01444-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Birds-Royal-Forest

Quite a few signs on the trek, many of them in red. This one promises Birds of the Royal Forest are lurking somewhere.

IMG01442-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Red-Bird-Sign

Now, the bird painted on this sign was red in person, not the pink that this photo would have you think it is. But what’s pink anyway, besides red with a little white thrown in? I say it’s red – let’s have a closer look.

IMG01443-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-red-Bird-Closer
Eh, closer is not really an improvement in the redness department. Well, you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was red in real life!

Also, the shape of the bird is somewhat reminiscent of the logo for the Partridge Family.Β  So what do you think – could be an exotic pink cousin, right? πŸ˜‰

IMG01447-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Please-No-Entrance

Well, now this is strange! All of the signs thus far have been friendly. This one is polite, but clearly not welcoming. I wonder what’s in that forest, and why someone doesn’t want us to enter and explore? Hmmm, the plot thickens…Β  πŸ˜€

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Pizzafari’s Gabled Roof, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Pizzafari’s Gabled Roof, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Wordless Wednesday post)

IMG_6965-Disney-Animal-Kingdom-Pizzafari-Roof-Art-10-18-2008

BTW – i was asked to enter a my photo of the Daisy Duck jack-o-lantern in a contest on Flickr. There are so many photos there that are MUCH better than mine, I’m not even going to ask you to vote for mine, but you should check them out. The last one is TRULY awesome, and I would LOVE to know how he did it! CLICK HERE to go have a look! (I’m no. 15)

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Cotton-Topped Tamarins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Cotton-Topped Tamarins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

(a Camera Critters post)
click the photo to see a larger version

IMG_0330-Disney-Animal-Kingdom-Tamarin-2004I met these two little fellas (gals?) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during a trip I took in 2004 (my pre-Florida resident days). They are called cotton-topped tamarins, and they used to be found in the wild as far north as Costa Rica. However they are now endangered and you have to go to Columbia to find them.

At the time this photo was taken, the Cast Member who is feeding themΒ  (vitamins, by the way – yum!) told me that there were more in captivity than in the wild at this point, probably only about a thousand or so in the jungles. They are the smallest of all primates, and when they speak to each other, it sounds like birds singing! I was fortunate to hear that once.

The last few times I’ve been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the tamarins were not anywhere to be found; I hope they are just resting or maybe on loan to a zoo or something like that.Β Β  I used to see them in a tree in the garden area around the Tree of Life, close to where the lemur and the entrance to It’s Tough To Be A Bug is.Β  If anyone has seen them recently, please let me know where and when.

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Sunday – Checkout Day :(

Checkout Day πŸ™, originally uploaded by Tink*~*~*.

This post is sticky.Β  Regular blogging appears below.

This is the saddest under-the -door-spam ever. It is checkout day! I’ll be leaving Disney’s Yacht Club today. Tomorrow, it’s back to reality.

I’ve got a couple of missions to fulfill before leaving Walt Disney World. First, I never took photos of the Food and Wine Festival display at the front entrance of Epcot. This is the only disadvantage of staying at an Epcot resort – you never enter through the front!
Second, I have a sooper sekrit mission to complete in Dowtown Disney on behalf of Chez Bro. Shhh! If you promise not to tell, you can come with me πŸ˜‰

So, my friends – stick around! After coffee and buggin’ outta here, there are mobile Disney adventures yet to be had!

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