Tag Archives: Tree of Life

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

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IMG_1150This is the fifth in a series of 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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A Tree Of Many Totems

Β© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*

All around the Tree Of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are paths you can wander from which you can view animals in their habitats as well as trees, flowers and the local wildlife that has been attracted to this lovely park. A key ingredient to that attraction is the abundance of water. It flows, it pools and it falls, over, through and between all manner of things built into the landscape. The whoosh of water is an ever-present lullaby in the background of this lush, jungle-like world. Let’s take a walk through it right now!


We’re inside a cave, with the water falling outside


The waterfall creates a constant, fine mist, which keeps things moist and encourages moss to grow.


Ooops, I think we’ve walked in on this giraffe taking a shower! πŸ˜‰


It’s a tree of many totems…

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Tree of Life: the giraffe

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*


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.


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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