Hakuna Matata.

*This post is in continuation of the last post*

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Saturday morning we woke up more excited than EVER! We ended up choosing to go to Animal Kingdom since Magic Kingdom is a replica of our Disneyland (which will never be beat in my heart), Hollywood Studios is the replica of our California Adventures, and Epcot just seemed too museum-y and didn’t seem to have the whole “theme park “aesthetic, we desired. But for sure, next trip we’re planning on checking it out.

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Animal Kingdom wasn’t as big as we were expecting, but that ended up being a big plus for us because we were able to go through the whole park multiple times. Thanks to the advice of multiple Disney blogs, we had a perfect time frame of when to do which activity. The very first thing we did was the Kilimanjaro Safaris- the animals are said to be more active during the morning.

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Throughout the safari, you’ll see a wide variety of animals- giraffes, zebras, more antelope and relatives of antelope than I can remember the exact names of, crocodiles, lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, monkeys, hippos, hyenas, wildebeest, cattle, and tons of birds. But don’t worry, when you enter the park they give you an Animal Guide that tells you which animals you’ll see throughout different excursions.

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The safari was probably my favorite thing. What’s great about it, with the exception of the big cats, is the animals are all allowed to mingle and mix with each other. Throughout the “savannah” giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, rhinos, are all in the same space, as you would see them on a real safari. The big cats have their own cage-less “savannah” separate from each other and from their  natural prey.

After getting off the safari, we headed to the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and then the Wildlife Express Train to see all the remaining animals located within “Africa.” What I found so cool about Animal Kingdom was the way it’s set up. Once you enter the park, you walk through an area called Discovery Island which hosts stores and snack bars and meet and greet areas. Past that, you have Africa- where the Safari is located, all animals related to Africa, rides, and African themed food. To the right of Africa is Asia- the smell of Pan-Asian cuisine fills the entire place and you have the native species here along with rides and a bird show. Then they have Rafiki’s Planet Watch– which is a train that takes you behind the scenes to the back of the park where the veterinerary  facilities are. And finally, you land back towards the front of the park in Dinoland U.S.A.- a jurassic themed “city” set up in fair like fashion with a variety of rides and games.

So back to our itinerary- after finishing all the treks and trails throughout the jungle to see all the animals, we headed to the “Festival of the Lion King” a broadway style show and a nice break from the Florida heat.

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Next up was Asia! And the rollercoaster I’d been dreading- Expedition Everest. Natalie and Joey loved it. I lost my voice the next day, so that should give you an idea of how much I liked it- hint- not at all. I’m for sure NOT one for rollercoasters of any type, I just don’t like that dropping feeling in my stomach but I’m a trooper and hang in there for my friends (pat on the back to me :)). We also did another animal trek- Maharajah Jungle Trek- where we saw tigers, bats, and a wide variety of reptiles.

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Lastly was Dinoland U.S.A. where we rode the Primeval Whirl rollercoaster and watched Finding Nemo- The Musical, which was so much fun!

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After we finished everything we planned on getting done, we went through again for drinks and Joey’s favorite dessert- the Dole Whip soft serve ice cream and waited in line to meet Safari Mickey and Minnie. Fun fact- Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the only park where you can meet Minnie and Mickey together at the same time. Pretty cool right? The park closed at 8 pm and we were on our way back to Miami after stopping for some coffee and Chipotle on the go!

Friday and Saturday flew by way too fast and I’m sitting here typing this wishing we could go back.

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xoxo,

Amanda

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