Animal Kingdom

On our second park day of our trip we went to Animal Kingdom. Zach and I both LOVE Magic Kingdom. I think most people agree that if you can only choose one park to see…then Magic Kingdom is IT.

Therefore, we kinda have a plan in place where we save the other parks for the BIG trips and visit Magic Kingdom on it’s own throughout the rest of the year. We haven’t been to either Animal Kingdom or Disney Hollywood Studios since Kye’s first visit in 2011.

When we went to Animal Kingdom on that trip we were in a MAD DASH the entire time. This time I knew we’d have a more leisurely morning. Sadly, Lion King wasn’t showing during our visit. While we were bummed about it…it also meant we would have a good chunk of time betweenn when the park opened and when the Finding Nemo show started at 11. I was eager to see more of the park as I’ve heard from SO many people that it’s one of their family’s favorites!

We wanted to make sure we were at the park when it opened to be able to go straight for the Safari. I heard that all parks actually do an opening show prior to opening? I must have heard wrong…or maybe they just don’t do them on low crowd days? Because we got there as early as we would for the Magic Kingdom opening show and there wasn’t a show.

However, there were a TON of people already lined up waiting to get in AND they ended up opening the gates and letting us in about 20 min early. Lesson learned? Get to EVERY park at least 30 min prior to opening time! You might get in early!!! We were pumped to be able to go in early and joined the masses in a crazy race for the safari 🙂

When planning our outfits for the trip I really wanted to find a Simba shirt for Kye. Lion King stuff is REALLY hard to come by! I searched and searched and then randomly got lucky just a few weeks prior to our trip when I saw that Old Navy had this Lion King shirt!!! I was excited 🙂

I feel like he has so much Mickey and Lightning McQueen and I liked the idea of him wearing Simba to Animal Kingdom. I’m also not typically too big of a fan of animal print of any kind but I thought a zebra print Minnie Mouse appliqué would be super cute for Britt.

I found this dress on clearance at Target over a year ago for literally only $2! Isn’t it PRECIOUS? Zach said it was his favorite outfit of hers the entire trip 🙂 I stuck a white sweater over it since it was chilly and I think the appliqué and bow that Green Feet Boutique made for me turned out perfect 🙂

Exactly what I had envisioned! I also paired her outfit with some animal print shoes I got at a kids sale and it really did bring it all together. I was nervous they may hurt her feet but really it was such a relaxing morning that they weren’t an issue!

Last time I rode the safari it was a BAD experience. Disney doesn’t have too many rides that they consider not to be safe while pregnant. But the safari is one of them. I rode it anyway and we were in the very last row. Y’all. Seriously I was in PAIN and couldn’t enjoy the ride AT ALL because I was so scared. It was horrible.

This time we requested a front row. I was super, super nice about it and just said we get sick (which is true b/c that last time I DID get sick!). It ended up being SO GREAT this time!!! If you are pregnant at Animal Kingdom request a front row for the safari! However, I didn’t tell them I was pregnant b/c the signs posted said not to ride if pregnant!

Being that the park opened early and that my husband is a beast behind a stroller we ended up being in one of the first jeeps to head out. It was PERFECT and the weather was amazing! I know I personally am not a fan of animal pictures. Snooze fest. But I took some to remember the ride by for the kids. I made a photo book for Kye of his first trip and plan to do the same for Britt and I know she will enjoy seeing the animals 🙂

Britt loves the crocodiles 🙂

Baby Giraffe!

Baby Elephant!

Seeing the lions AWAKE was a really neat experience. A big benefit of sitting at the front was being able to truly hear the tour guide, being able to see the chart of animals, and being able to have a more interactive experience with the guide. You know us, we love to interact 🙂 Britt was especially hilarious!

When we first saw the lions she roared SO LOUD it was so, so funny. Everyone in our jeep was cracking up and the guide even laughed and made comments about it. She sounded like a little lion herself! Then when we got closer to them Kye yelled out “Look! A Lion! Like on my shirt!” Our kids are def not shy 😉

After the safari we hit up the bathrooms. I had planned for us to walk around the Pangani Exploration Trail but we had gone a different way to find the bathroom and didn’t really want to back track to go walk through it.

So instead we just rested and took our time deciding where to go next. I seriously LOVE how relaxed this trip was. I know many people say that a Disney trip is NOT a relaxing type vacation…but honestly this really was for us 🙂

Classic Britt face 🙂

My dress is also Old Navy and I just thought it had a “safari” feel to it 🙂 Yes, I’m a nerd and love being themed haha

We were truly in such a rush last visit that I don’t remember ANYTHING about Animal Kingdom. The only thing I remembered about the park itself was that there were a lot of hills, tough terrain to be pushing a wheel chair, and that the things we were wanting to do were very spread out.

Having time to walk and enjoy the beauty of the park really allowed us to appreciate it this trip. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Next time we visit there we will probably work it out where we will have more time to be able to explore more of it. This visit though we had our sites on Dinoland!

I knew from reading ride reviews that TriceraTop Spin is basically Dumbo but with dinosaurs…but who cares? The kids like it and it gave us something to ride!

Poor Britt was smiled out I think haha

Prior to the trip I went through and looked into all the rides that Kye is now tall enough to ride. He and I had a special night together where we watched YouTube videos of the rides and kinda decided what was going to be okay for him and what wasn’t.

Zach had high hopes of Kye doing Tower of Terror. Are you kidding me?!?! I’ve never done it myself, but watching the video I KNEW he wasn’t about to be doing it! Just because a child is tall enough for a ride does NOT mean they will enjoy it. 

For example, we still haven’t done “It’s Tough to be a Bug.” Both kids could do that experience but ALL the reviews say it’s horrifying and I watched the video myself of it and could totally see it freaking them out. As a kid I visited Animal Kingdom with my dad and we did do the bug thing and I don’t remember it bothering me? However, I remember Dinosaur WELL.

I did NOT know going in that it was a roller coaster ride and omg I about died. I do NOT do roller coasters. I also read a lot about it and it got very mixed reviews. My friend Liz says both of her kids love it. So I showed Kye the video and asked him and he said he wanted to do it. The reason it says it’s not best for the younger crowd is two fold: the dinosaur is scary and the ride is very bumpy and jerky. If you have your younger child ride be sure to sit them on the inside as that is less jerky. 

Ready for guy time!

Mrs. Charlotte had a few phone calls to make and we knew the line was super short for Dinosaur so I didn’t see any reason to try to go anywhere with Britt. We just enjoyed walking around the area surrounding the ride. We checked out all the dinosaur stuff, she danced a little, and even impressed a few cast members enough where they gave her some more themed cards she loved 🙂

We went into the gift shop to wait on the boys so we could see their ride picture. I KNEW when I saw this that I was NOT going to be getting a thumbs up from this ride for Kye! (Check out the front row…).

When they came out I asked him if he liked it and he said “I liked it but I don’t want to ride it again until I’m 8.” Haha. I read that kids either respond one of two ways with the scary rides: they freak out and cry if they are scared OR they want to please people so they don’t say anything.

The guidebook I read said the BEST way to know if your child was afraid of a ride is to ask them if they want to ride it again. Kye is a people pleaser type. I can’t ever picture him freaking out and sobbing (Britt…another story for sure…) so he acted mega tough about the whole thing but when he said he wants to wait until he’s 8 to ride it again that meant he def didn’t like it!

It’s SUPER important to me to make sure my kids love Disney and the magic of it and I never, ever want to push them to ride things. I know firsthand what that does to you. I had nightmares about the old Snow White ride for YEARS.

Pregnant Mama is such a cool mom 🙂 When buying snacks for the trip I saw some Fruit Roll Ups and decided to splurge on them. Y’all know you ALL chowed down on some Fruit Roll Ups back in the day! I thought it’d be fun for the kids to try them!

We still had a large chunk of time before we needed to be at Nemo so we rode the Triceratop Spin ride again and then hit up the Boneyard. I read that the sand was messy? Y’all. The sand isn’t REAL?!?! Like I was going to avoid this place b/c I didn’t want to deal with sand haha. I will say though that it would be pretty easy to lose a child there.

We are kinda helicopter type parents when it comes to public places so we were fine…but if you have little ones they WILL want to go way up in the super tall play place and you will want to send an adult with them. Zach was in an awesome mood and was totally cool with going…and even suggested for them to go up again haha! It surprised me but I think he was enjoying it!

It was a wonderful chance to REST for Mrs. Charlotte and I as well as a great opportunity for the kids to run and play and get some energy out. I can imagine that it would be awful in there if it was super hot and crowded. But it was nice and cool and not crowded at all so we quite enjoyed it and it’s something we will for sure be visiting again! Plus it’s located SUPER close to the Nemo entrance so it’s a great thing to do if you have a little time before the Nemo show 🙂

I know that Nemo has a fast pass option now…and I just don’t understand why??? Maybe if you are going on a SUPER crowded day you would need one? But we walked right in about 20 min before showtime and got the exact seats we wanted. People naturally think you want to be in the front section for the show…but actually the best spot is right in the front row of the 2nd section up. 

You have NO ONE blocking your views and a lot of action takes place in the aisle right in front of you that the people in the front section can’t see 🙂 We busted out our little drawing notepads and the time flew by. The kids were super cute together and sat beside each other while we waited. They kept cuddling and Britt kept rubbing Kye’s back. So precious!

Nemo was Kye’s FAVORITE thing when we brought him for his first trip. He really, really loved it. Britt? Poor thing just cannot sit still long enough haha. She was bored. And restless. We all did still enjoy it but Kye is at an age where he likes to point out all the things that are “wrong” so he commented a lot about how certain parts weren’t like the movie. Kinda like I probably do when I see a movie based on a book haha.

After Nemo we hit up the bathrooms and got the kids lunches out for them to eat on our way back. Next trip we will probably do more time at Animal Kingdom so we can experience more that the park has to offer but we planned to do Epcot that afternoon and getting back for naps was important with us having a late night that night (and we had a late night the night prior!).

I wanted to be sure to get some pics in front of the Tree of Life so we did that and then headed to the room!

Haha Oh Britt 😉

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1 Comment

  1. Katie1315
    April 15, 2014 / 2:39 pm

    Britt's smiles are cracking me up!!!

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