Day 4 – Friday: Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life
I’d been really looking forward to going to Animal Kingdom to see all the animals, and I wasn’t disappointed. At the centre of the park is a massive 14 storey, 50 foot wide sculpted tree called the Tree of Life which had 325 animals carved into it. It was rather impressive especially up close.

We first headed to get a fast pass for the Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain rollercoaster which is the new ride. Then we headed to the Kilimanjaro Safaris. The safaris took us on a journey in a jeep, with an amusing guide, through lots of different animal enclosures. It was extremely cleverly laid out though to make it feel like it was in the wild and that all the animals were roaming freely. A number of cleverly disguised ditches and fences prevented lions from getting to antelope etc, but it was hard to spot the boundaries.

We then went on the Kali River Rapids and got thoroughly wet! Then it was time to return to Expedition Everest with our fast pass ticket. That was a rollercoaster ride up around and inside a mountain, stopping at one time where a yeti had broken the track forcing us to go backwards!

Sleeping Tiger

Loving big cats as I do, it was good to spot the Asian Tigers in the Maharajah Jungle Trek along with a Tapir and some Komodo Dragons.

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail was a nice area too where we could walk through a bird aviary, see some hippos both under and above the water and finally see the Silverback Gorillas.

Animal Kingdom today was busier than the other three parks we’ve been to so far, but it may have been that it was a Friday and nearly the weekend. We made sure we got fastpasses for the rides we wanted to go on, or went on them early so we still didn’t have to queue for anything which was great. We actually went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris twice – once first thing and once just after mid day – the latter we found many less animals as they’d sloped off somewhere in the heat of the day for a sleep.

More of my photographs from Animal Kingdom can be found on my Florida Flickr set.

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