Did you know that WDW has more parks than Magic Kingdom? They also have Hollywood Studios (we have MK and HS in Paris) plus Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Sea World. On top of that they also have two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, and a huge shopping, restaurant and entertainment area called Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), not to mention all the resorts.
We decided to skip Sea World mainly because of the animal rights issues and I felt like I would be upset by seeing Shamu in a tank, but half of me wondered whether we should go just to see what it was like. I love going to aquariums (acquaria?!) but they don’t usually have orcas in tanks doing tricks. Anyway we ended up skipping it as we only have a week so thought we could always do it next time. T didn’t really want to do it either. The ultimate parks ticket gives you unlimited entry to all parks for a set time (we had 7 days) so we could have fitted it in if we didn’t go shopping!
Day 2 of the full days (we managed Epcot on the first night for the Illuminations) was Animal Kingdom. We are DLP (Disneyland Paris) aficionados so we are quite used to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, so I was really excited to go to AK. It didn’t disappoint!
First off though: drama. I realised that morning that I couldn’t find my wallet. Agh. We had taken it to MK the previous day but I hadn’t even used it. We thought maybe it dropped out of my bag when we were getting our Halloween costumes out for the party. (We were in MK all day then Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party was in the evening until late!) We went to guest services and got a number to call. They log all lost and found items and send to one single place (the transport hub near Epcot) so I was on hold for around 40 minutes when we got to AK. It was kind of stressful.
Fortunately, Disney magic being what it is, they had it! Whoop! So we could carry on the rest of the day without being too stressed. So here is AK day in pictures…
The Tree of Life that is the symbol of AK. It has lots of animals carved into the trunk and it’s huge. I love it.
The Lion King show. We are off to see The Lion King in NYC and we wondered if this might spoil it – it was amazing! Lots of acrobatics and singing and animatronic animals, including Simba!
One of the monkey islands.
Animal spotting tour. We spotted a lot of birds but the tigers weren’t playing ball! Made me feel quite happy to know they can go off and hide if they want to.
Great music – I think this was in Africa. They have Asia and Africa areas plus a random dino land (notable mainly for the Dinosaur ride where there is a hilarious picture of me screaming in horror at the T. rex).
Then Kilimanjaro safaris. This was a real highlight. You go around in a safari truck driven by a guide and you can see loads of animals in a semi wild situation. Of course they are cordoned off in some way but it’s a bit like a large open zoo – you don’t see bars or anything but there are some ditches between you and the lions. They said that they’ve trained some of the animals to come in for the night and it can take a few hours for them all to show up! It was really interesting and fun. I’m always conscious of not wanting animals to be suffering and obviously it’s better if they can be in the wild, but these guys did seem like they were almost wild and just wandering around.
Our plan was to go back today (our last day) but unfortunately T has sprained his toe and is having trouble walking so we are going to have an easy last day today and do some shopping. (Day #2 of shopping – I’ll post an update as we are playing catch up here!) It’s a good excuse to go back next year! We are already planning a return trip for maybe 2 weeks instead of 1. There is so much to do in WDW. Apparently it’s 30 times the size of NY! We have our annual Disneyland Paris trip for Christmas (we always go in December) so that should tide us over until then. If you ever get the chance to go, I would really recommend it!