I will be honest, I was skeptical of going to Animal Kingdom on my Disney World trip last month. The only other time I had been there was when it had first opened about 13 years ago, and when the park first opened it wasn’t completely done and didn’t have all the attractions it has today. So, the park was half finished, it was super hot that day, and I was just entering the throes of my deep teenage angst years, so needless to say, I didn’t really want to be there and I definitely didn’t give it a fair shot.
I wasn’t really expecting much from Animal Kingdom this time around, but I will admit, I was VERY pleasantly surprised by the experience I had there.
We started off our day with breakfast at Tusker House, which was very enjoyable. The food was great – they had all the traditional breakfast items plus some interesting and exotic items, like mealie pap (similar to cream of wheat), and bobotie (a delicious sweet curried beef quiche dish).
And it was a character meal, which is always fun, we got to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy – all in their safari gear!
Once we were done with breakfast, we were ready to conquer the park! We got our fastpasses for Expedition Everest, then my husband and I split up from my parents, as they wanted to go ride the safari ride, and we wanted to ride something slightly more thrilling (a daring choice right after a big breakfast, I know!)
So we got in line to ride Expedition Everest, which is a roller coaster where you sit in a train that is in search of the mysterious mountain Yeti – and I have to say, I LOVED this ride!
The best part is when you come to the ‘end’ of the tracks (where the Yeti has no doubt had a hand in destroying the ride’s path!) and you have to travel backwards to get back to safety!
One thrill right after another, we decided to hit up the Kali River Rapids – where you ride in a giant inner tube down waterfalls and rapids – and where the signs caution “you WILL get wet!” and we did – but luckily it was a hot day so we weren’t wet for long!
Over the course of the rest of the morning, we did both Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids again (they were both that fun!), and we also took a trip over to DinoLand USA – where we enjoyed spending time in “Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama” – a carnival-themed area where there are midway games and rides, and we also took a ride on DINOSAUR – where we traveled back in time to meet up with some (really) old friends!
Overall everyone really enjoyed spending the morning here – there are a lot of fun attractions and things to see, and its got a much different vibe than the other Parks, it’s unique and worth a trip for sure. I know my opinion of it has certainly changed for the better, Disney has really worked hard to make it a place where all members of the family can have a good time
Probably the only drawback would be the crowds – by about 11am, it was so crowded we could barely walk around! Since it was also very sunny, we kept trying to find shady spots to take breaks in – but there weren’t that many, and by about 1pm we had had enough of the heat and crowds. Even so, we will definitely be back to visit Animal Kingdom on our next trip!