Category Archives: Animal Kingdom


Disney Movie of the Week: UP

Scarlett is absolutely obsessed with Up.

She loves Ellie and watches the part where Carl and Ellie get married over and over again. We’ve probably watched the whole movie 10 times in the past week. Luke likes it, too, and doesn’t mind the repetition, although he prefers science to romance (Cumulonimbus!) 

Because of this I feel like it’s time to make it our official movie of the week.

Meeting Russell and Dug at Animal Kingdom

Look for balloons, wilderness exploring, and grape soda in our future.

Adventure is out there!


Disney World Resort Hop #2: Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

After visiting Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we drove over to Jambo House for part 2 of the AKL experience.

The lobby was amazing!



Check out that bridge above the lobby!


We headed straight outside to see more animals.



My favorite animals in this section were an awesome pair of warthogs! They were too quick for me to get a pictures, but they were fun to see (one of us may have yelled Pumbaa!).


We relaxed in the rocking chairs next to the fire pit for a bit before it just got too hot to be outside. Time for some refreshments!

I’d heard good things about Zebra Domes, so we made the trek to The Mara to have a taste.

They came four to a pack for $3.89 in the grab & go section. I found the coffee liquor flavoring to be a little too much, but Tom thought they were excellent.

It was nice to relax in Mara’s air conditioning, but there was more to see! We bypassed the pool to find the Hakuna Matata playground.


We also found some flamingos! 

Obviously, Animal Kingdom Lodge is ridiculously amazing and we were thoroughly impressed.

It was getting late and we had to get ready for 4th of July fireworks, so we left ALK to check into our (non-Disney) hotel. But we are really looking forward to getting to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge someday (hopefully soon).


Disney World Resort Hop #1: Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village

The first stop on our July 4th Resort Hop was Animal Kingdom Lodge.


It was about 3:30PM and the guard let us right in to look around. We first parked over at Kidani Village to see what animals we could see. Right away we saw giraffes, ostriches and ankole cattle through the window.



We were all very excited so we went to get a closer look. We first found a balcony so we could look from outside.




We then went through the lobby to the lower level view.

Kidani Village Lobby



Giraffe Facts
We saw a total of 4 different giraffes!

Having some fun

After all those animal sightings, we decided to head over to Jambo House to see what other adventures (and snacks) we could find at Animal Kingdom Lodge. But not before we stopped to appreciate the cool Kidani Village details.

Hidden Mickey at Sanaa
Bamileke Mother & Child


Dinosaur and The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I had been to Animal Kingdom once in October of 2001 and I remembered the ride Dinosaur being super scary. Combining this memory with the fact that Luke was pretty frightened of lava and meteors at the time of our trip (and I really can’t blame him), we decided he would skip that ride. So I went over to ride Dinosaur while Tom brought the kids to The Boneyard, then we switched.


I did not remember the dino skeleton inside the Dinosaur ride. Pretty cool.


The ride was still scary. I don’t care if it’s animatronic, a Carnotaurus lunging at my head will always make me scream! Plus it’s super fast. Ahhh! But I really like the storyline on this ride. Time travel is fun!

I got Fast Passes to ride again, but it never happened. There’s just too much fun stuff to do in the ol’ Animal Kingdom. Oh well.

Meanwhile, back at The Boneyard, the kids were enjoying an excavation site playground. With lots of slides, yay!


As soon as I could locate Tom among the bones and stones, he headed to ride Dinosaur himself. The kids and I crossed the bridge from the playground to the digging area. Oh, the joy! The kids could’ve stayed all day. These kiddie playgrounds are one of the best parts of Disney for several of us.

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Most of the dinosaur was already uncovered, but Luke was content to dig elsewhere.

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Scarlett enjoyed filling and dumping and filling and dumping a pail.

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These tiny rocks were really neat to scoop.

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This was such an engaging playspace, I wondered if they kids would ever be willing to leave.

Luckily, Dad’s return was enough of a change to get everyone to move on to the next attraction: Finding Nemo, The Musical!


Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

After our great experience on Kilimanjaro Safaris during Extra Magic Hours, it was still early and many rides hadn’t opened yet. We made our way across the park to Dinoland U.S.A. in search of breakfast and something fun to do.

Tom and the kids rode TriceraTop Spin while I looked for a place to eat.

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Turns out there weren’t any restaurants open for breakfast over by the dinos, so after the ride, our morning meal consisted of Mickey shaped cookies and rice krispie treats from Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures gift shop. Breakfast of Champions!

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We ate while Tom took a ride on Primeval Whirl. It looks cutesy but you have to be 48″ to ride this thrill ride.

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Finally, it was time for most of the attractions to open. Onward to The Boneyard, Dinosaur, and Finding Nemo: The Musical.


Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Our first stop at Animal Kingdom was Kilimanjaro Safaris. The animals are reportedly most active in the morning and we were in luck, arriving at the Harambe Wildlife Reserve at just 8:15am.

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Luke was super excited to be on a safari truck.

We saw animals right away.

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Nyala (I think)

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Nile Crocodile

The kids were fascinated. Luke chattered the whole time.

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The tour guide was looking for rhinos, but we never saw any. We did see lots of birds, though.

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Ostrich with Eggs

We also saw a warthog and some crazy cool gazelles!

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Look at that jump!

The coolest part, though, was the LIONS! They were lounging on some big rocks as we drove by.

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If that was the end of our day, it would have been worth it. It was that awesome.

But even awesomer was that it was ust the beginning of our day. Much more Animal Kingdom to come.


The Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Since Animal Kingdom closed earlier than the other Disney World Park during our visit, we took advantage of Extra Magic Hours and entered the park early at 8am.

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The kids were used to the parks by now and very excited to start the day.

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Trams are fun!

The crowds were very light, so we got some quick photos at the Tree of Life on our way to Africa for Kililmanjaro Safaris.

Good Morning from the Tree of Life!
Magic Shot with Baby Simba
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It was such a pretty morning and a wonderful start to what turned out to be a great day.