Once a year for the past couple years a group of my friends and I humor the child inside of us all and go to Disney World. This year was the longest we stayed at Disney and instead of getting a park hopper (a pass that lets you go to multiple parks in one day) we did one park each day for 4 days.
We started our Disney adventure by leaving the house at 7:30 a.m. and driving 4 hours to Orlando so that way we would have a whole day at Animal Kingdom. There isn’t as much to do in this park so we were ok with not being there right when it opened. We were able to check into the hotel early so we dropped off our stuff and headed to the park. As of right now Animal Kingdom is a park that only needs half a day to complete and even closes early. This will be changing in the coming years since they are expanding and even adding a section inspired by the Avatar Movie. Click here to read more about these changes.
I have been going to Disney since I was a child so I remember going before fast pass was around and then during. My family and I got so good at mapping out what fast passes to get first and on what rides. It was definitely a weird experience not doing our routine of running back and forth to the fast pass kiosks now that they have Fast Pass+. I have to admit I was a little stubborn at first using it because I was so set in my old fast pass ways but I think it will really help people and it’s pretty nice and convenient having everything on your phone. You get to pick 3 rides to have fast passes for and what’s really nice is you can change the times and rides as the day goes along. For example, we got Fast Passes for Mount Everest but the line was so short we could change the Fast Pass to a different ride instead of using it on the Everest Ride that had no wait.
The first thing we did was set up our Fast Pass+ and head for the rides. Animal Kingdom doesn’t have many but you have to go on all of them because they’re all great. Our first stop was the Kilimanjaro Safari ride where you sit on a tram and African animals roam around as if wild and free. It’s a fun way to get a pretty close look at the animals. This ride, however, can be a hit or miss depending on the whether and if the animals want to be social or sit far away from the path.
This is my favorite ride at Animal Kingdom. It is a roller coaster type ride with sharp turns and drops and even a couple surprises. One of my friends in the group is very afraid of roller coasters so of course we guilted her into going and trying the ride. She was pretty nervous the entire time in line (which was super short) but when we got of she loved it and we even ran back in line to do it again! I’m not sure if this ride usually has a long line and we just got lucky because we went in June when it was so hot the parks were pretty empty, but we were able to walk right on. The great thing about Animal Kingdom is because there aren’t many rides you can get a fast pass for all the major ones that would have a longer wait.
Animal Kingdom has a whole “land” designated to dinosaurs. There is one portion that is set up like a carnival with fun carni rides and booths that you can win stuffed animals and such. A great ride in this part is the Tricera Top Spin. It sits 4 people and the entire ride is just weaving back and forth and making sharp turns. It is very fun as you slide back and forth, the decorations are also very fun and there are cute puns as you ride along. I am someone who gets very sick on rides that spin too much and I really enjoyed this one. There is only one part where the carts spins continuously for a little bit but by the time I started to not feel well the spinning stopped.
The main ride is the Dinosaur Ride which is definitely not recommended for little kids. It is a lot of fun but the entire ride is in the dark and dinosaurs keep popping out unexpectedly. I hate to admit that we were caught off guard quite a few time and our surprise was even caught on camera.
Finding Nemo Musical
We went to see this show when we were all dying of heat and wanted a place to sit and soak in some AC. I was pleasantly surprised with the musical though. The music was very catchy and got all the kids around us super excited and even standing and dancing. They have puppets kind of like The Lion King Broadway so it is visually very impressive as well. If you are a parent and looking for a break to sit and relax while your kids stay entertained I highly recommend going to see the show. You will be just as surprised as I was how entertaining it is for you as well.