Today was our first Disney park together this trip and we had reservations at Animal Kingdom. I’ve never been to this one and wanted to experience it for the first time.
I didn’t take notes this trip so there will be less details than usual. We got ready for the day and headed to the gate for an Uber pickup. The ride share drop off at Animal Kingdom was fairly close to the main entrance.
One tip I have is to download the Disney Parks app as we used it heavily during our visit from finding the closest bathroom to making ride reservations and checking wait times.
Animal Kingdom Morning
My DIL had purchased the photo package and we took advantage to commemorate our visit to the park.
At the entrance there is a security scan where I was flagged and had my purse searched while the others were able to walk straight through. We think it was my power bank that set it off. Then we scanned our tickets and were in the park.
Here’s a map of the park so you can see the various areas we visited today. I’ll cover what we did in each area although it might not be in chronological order as it seems like we had to do a lot of backtracking to get the rides we wanted.
First we hit up Rainforest Cafe where we had reservations. Our hope was to have breakfast but they cut it off the same time as our reservations. Next time we know to go 30 minutes earlier. Instead it was the lunch menu and I had an Asian Chicken Salad.
The restaurant was good but the service wasn’t so great. As we started planning our day, it became clear to me that I needed to purchase the Genie+ service to maximize our time in the park. It was easy to add on using the app ($15 per day) and then we were able to reserve attractions.
After leaving we crossed the bridge from Oasis to Discovery Island and saw these guys were sailing by.
They’re wearing Dino-land costumes.
The tree of life is the centerpiece of the this area and it definitely catches your eye.
There’s a lot of detail carved in and worth taking the time to examine closer. Of course we took the group photo in front of it.
There are special statues around all the Walt Disney Resort parks to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Here we found Bambi and Thumper.
Dory and Nemo were also there.
We did visit the attraction “It’s Tough to be a Bug” in this area. I found it fun and very similar to “Honey I shrunk the Audience” attraction that used to be at Epcot.
We came back to this area for our lunch reservation at Tiffin’s Restaurant. It was wonderfully timed as it started to rain right as we entered.
We were seated at the far right table in the back. Our server was wonderful and I started my meal with a Snow Leopard Salvation specialty cocktail.
It was very tasty! We shared the spiced chickpea falafel.
For entrée I selected the 50th Celebration Braai-spiced Veal. The menu described it as veal with mushroom ragout, truffle polenta, seasonal vegetables, black garlic puree, and a veal demi-glace.
I enjoyed this very much! I had to try the 50th anniversary dessert special. It was a chocolate gateau garnished with almond praline, white chocolate crémeux, ganache, and chocolate-South African cream liqueur sauce.
I appreciated the edible gold dust depicting the continents of the world.
We had some time to kill while waiting for our next reservation. My grandson and I took a reading break in the Tamu Tamu courtyward while his mom looked around.
Then we headed to the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. We were able to get right in with our Genie+ reservation.
We were in the front and had a great view of the animals as we were past. Here are just a few of the ones we saw.
After the crocs, we saw giraffes.
I also got a picture of these African painted dogs taking their nap.
It was hard to get good pictures because the vehicle didn’t stop at all or too short a time. I’m used to the more leisurely rides at San Diego Zoo Safari Park so didn’t enjoy this ride as much as others.
Pandora – The World of Avatar
We visited a couple of the attractions in this area. One was Avatar – Flight of Passage. This ride reminded me of Soarin in California Adventure Park and I really liked it.
We also did the Navi River Journey which was reminiscent of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride but not nearly as fun. It was a very long line for not so great an attraction although nothing objectionable.
Behind us in the photo above is Everest where we rode the Everest Expedition train ride. It was fun (and like the Big Thunder Railroad at Disneyland).
As you can see we’ve already ridden the Kali River Rapids where we got soaked but had a good time. Fortunately, it was warm enough we didn’t mind getting wet!
We did get a picture in Asia before we got wet!
The Boneyard in DinoLand is a great place for adults to rest while kids play in the area there. My grandson enjoyed it and I got to rest my weary feet.
The ride with the longest wait today was Dinosaur. Fortunately, were able to get a Genie+ reservation in the late afternoon. I liked the concept but did not enjoy the ride as you might guess from the photo.
My grandson thought it was too noisy, I thought it was too jerky and my DIL thought it was great fun. 🙂
Animal Park Evening
After a long day with lots of walking, we took a ride share back to the resort. My grandson and I went to our room while my DIL walked to nearby fast food outlets to pick up dinner. He had McDonald’s while I had chicken salad sandwich with soup from Chicken Salad Chick.
I’d never heard of this chain and look forward to visiting regularly once we make our move to Florida.
Lights were out by 10 pm after a long, busy day with lots of walking! Tomorrow’s another Disney Park day.