In pictures: Animal Kingdom

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. 

Expedition Everest. It’s a really great ride! It’s a roller coaster with some hidden surprises!


Nemo musical. “Fish are friends, not food!”

More monkeys. We saw them playing around and climbing up and down so I think (hope) they are happy.   

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. 

Birds of prey show. Really impressive. The birds kept flying in and out and did tricks like taking a dollar bill out of an audience member’s hand. And who knew you could train chickens?!

A slushie. It was so hot that day!   
Rafiki! You go on a train up to his conservation centre and it tells you all about stuff that you can do to help animals. And we met the real Rafiki there!

This little guy had had an operation this week. The silver colour on his shell is protective post op coating. 


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.

I really loved Animal Kingdom. 

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!



  1. ashleykyleanderson

    I’m loving the pics! Keep ’em coming! I didn’t get the chance to comment on the last one, but it looks like you’re having a great time!! I will be interested in hearing what your favorite park is– mine is Epcot, but I haven’t been to MK since 2009 and so haven’t seen the new Beauty & the Beast stuff (looked amazing!!!) and I’ve never been to either water park or Animal Kingdom. I have been to Sea World though and it is nice– my sister has worked with dolphins & whales in rehab areas and regular aquariums, and she has a lot to say about Blackfish and the misleading information in it. There’s a whole lot that either wasn’t true or was exaggerated and I forget it all now, but if you ever mention it to her, she gets in such a huff and will go on forever about it!

    I’m glad you’re having such a fantastic trip (minus T’s injury– hope he gets better before NYC)! When do you guys fly in? I will contact you soon about Thursday. 🙂


  2. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    This all looks fabulous!! I think the Lion King in NYC is going to be another league and you are in for a treat!

    I’ve seen black fish and cried-a lot…I think even Chris might have welled up a little too. I went to sea world when I was 10 so I probably have grandeur memories of it. But I loved it. After I saw black fish I thought about not going to an up close water experience with Dolphins in Mexico, but I discovered how much research and conservation the dolphinarium did and I was pleasantly surprised about how well they are looked after. There is def a fine balance between necessities for education, research and entertainment.
    Enjoy the rest of your dream holiday!!!


    • Nara

      Yes I bet you’re right… I’m sure it will be fabulous! I’ve had such a great time so far and only halfway through. Although now have a cold- it must be the change from Florida weather to Washington, waaaah.


  3. Pingback: In pictures (and some words): NYC roundup  | From zero to zygote

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