Tag Archives: Expedition Everest

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

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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!).

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 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.

The Goddess Graveyard Near Everest

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A temple lies in ruins near Everest, but the faithful still bring offerings to appease the local deities. I’ve blogged this scene before, but I don’t think I examined it very closely…


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It looks like a goddess chop-shop around here! There’s even one goddess that’s accompanied by a (no doubt) sacred cow. She may be the only one that isn’t scattered about, legs over here, torso over there… I know better than to just assume these are random idols. Disney must have researched this! Someday, I’m going to figure out who all these goddesses are. I’ll get back to all uh y’all on that!
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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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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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Respect The Power Of The YETI! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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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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