Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Animal kingdom

I, first of all, have to reveal that, in the end, my daughter chose to be a witch all-damn-day instead of ever gracing us with her home-made Elsa costume. Such is life!

Next year she will be getting a store-bought costume ;).
(And yes, we did have a great Halloween.)

And now to Animal Kingdom report! 

Quick & Dirty:
  • It's the largest of the parks, so there is a lot of walking. My almost-six-year-olds needed a stroller, even though I was originally against it.
  • It's not really about the rides, duh. It's about the animals! 
  • What rides they do have, are mostly for taller kids (44" and above.) 
Long & Winded: 

This was a great family day! We really had little planning and therefore little expectations, so I ended up framing our day with three "fast-pass" choices late the night before: 

"Finding Nemo" the musical at 11; (arrive at 10:30 for seating.)
"Safari" tour departing between 1:30 and 2:30 (we arrived right around 1:30 and the animals were still out and about, as it was not too hot that day.)
"Festival of the Lion King" musical revue and dance/gymnastics show at 4. My performer-friend is the star of the show and HOOKED US UP with VIP seating/entrance and photo meet & greet after the show. All those years of voice lessons finally paid off ;) 

Other than that, we ran around (counter-clockwise, so as to end up at The Festival of the Lion King) and enjoyed what the park had to offer. 

Bonus: lots of good vegetarian eats in Asia. I had chicken curry and my parents had falafal sandwiches with a great view in the seating area directly across from the Tree of Life. 

Ok I'll try to go in order and let the pictures do the talking.

First is Dino-land. There is a dumbo-like flying ride where the kids can control how far up you go. Bonus: controls in both seats (front and back.) 
Detraction: one controls the up-and-down, the other only controls the tilt. 
Result: Jilted twyns.

Next in Dino-land is an excavation-like site with tunnels, bridges, and slides. Also a sand-digging area. Lots of fun for exploration, especially at ages 5/6.

Next we saw Finding Nemo. SO great! They use larger-than-life puppetry a la the Broadway show "The Lion King." Not to be missed. Because we used a fast pass we were able to sit in the "bubble zone", where they float bubbles at you at the end of the show, but it is not necessary to enjoy the whole thing. 

Next up: A walk through Asia! It was a little tight because of the crowds and they are doing some construction, so I have to say it felt pretty authentic!! ;) 

There is a great jungle walk here with more animal sightings. Think: Zoo on steroids.

Then the Safari ride. 

These vehicles were huge! And yet still felt like you were actually on Safari a little. It was nice that they didn't have a set script or schedule to follow. The driver actually stopped and helped us find the animals in many non-pre-determined spots. 

The twyns enjoyed the list of animals to find on the placards above the seats. 

Requisite new loveys courtesy of, you guessed it, Grandma! 

And then finally: the denouement! 

The Festival of the Lion King show. They pulled the little guy up to perform!! He was thrilled. 

Please note: you can take photos during the performance of the Festival of the Lion King. But this is not typical of shows. Don't go thinking you can do it anywhere else! Normally it is prohibited, and you will might kill a performer taking a leap off of a trapeze, k?! 

Then: the meet and greet afterwards. I was so humbled by Tim's performance. There are four main singers who lead the revue, and then the dancers and gymnasts pepper the rest of the performance. He was awesome, and his voice has not lost any of its magnificence in all these years! 
It was super nice of Timone to stay 'out' in this heat for us.

Ahhhh, that face. So I was fortunate enough to work with Tim many years ago on a show at North Shore Theatre outside of Boston. I was even more fortunate that we have stayed in touch for over 12 years! Thanks, Facebook! And it was super duper lovely of him to give us the V.I.P. treatment at his show. 

It was such a highlight, we had to leave directly afterwards. We had a few more things we could have done, but we were so blown away by the show and his generosity. 

Hope you enjoyed the continuation of my Disney freak-outs

More posts I owe you: 

Um, I'm running the Philly half-marathon on Sunday. 
I'm still working on that musical with Sibyl.
I may or may have not signed up for something HUGE.
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. 



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