Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday - Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios

Monday was our first official day at Disney. There was an extra Magic Hour at Animal Kingdom that morning and 3 extra magic hours at Disney Hollywood Studios that night. So, in order to capitalize on those, we planned both things in one day! Whew!

We got to Animal Kingdom when they opened and had to go pick up our tickets, which was a small ordeal because of how things were set up, but we got them. When the park opened, we made a beeline for the Kilimanjaro Safari because we had been told that the animals are the most active in the morning. Well, they weren't kidding. This is a ride in which you get in a smallish bus that's kind of like a Range Rover I guess and you drive through this huge wilderness reserve that has "Asia" and "Africa". It have been very well done and there are all kinds of animals. We saw hippos walking around underwater and white pelicans perching on their rearends which were sticking out. There were ostrich eggs sitting around on the side of the road. We saw lots of giraffes and the next thing we knew, a baby giraffe was passing in front of our truck and he was so cute! I got some great pics of him. We also had a White Rhinoceros cross in front of our truck and then walk away with his tail curled up because apparently we offended him and an ostrich walked by so close to me that I could not get his whole body in the picture. That was kind of freaky. There is some stupid movie that I've seen parts of where these two guys are looking for their car and they find it in the middle of a herd of ostriches and the ostriches hold them captive in their car. I have heard that ostriches can be kind of mean. Anyway, they also have an entire island of pink flamingoes and tons of rare animals. We saw real life wildebeasts and warthogs. It was great. There were also these really cool trees that they said people called an "upside down tree", I think it's real name is the Beobob Tree (sp?). I took several pictures of those! (Um, maybe I should have just done a slide show - but you can click on these pictures and see them better!)

They have lots of places in Animal Kingdom where you can see live animals like Tigers, Lemurs, Otters, and lots more including live bats (ew). I love the Tree of Life, which is a fake tree in the middle of the park and has all kind of detailed animals carved into it. At Animal Kingdom we also loved riding Everest and we rode it a couple of times because the lines were pretty short. We also did the safari again later in the morning. They had a character greeting set up for Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger and we waited in line for that because they're my favorite and I think Scott is a big fan too! That was a lot of fun! The sign at the top of this post is the sign we saw just before we went over to look at the tigers like the one you see sleeping in the picture to the left. I loved it because it looked like Tigger in the original Pooh books by A.A. Milne that I grew up reading!

We had lunch reservations at the Sci-Fi dine-in theater in Disney Hollywood Studios, but we wanted to swing by the Caribbean Beach Resort first and get our room keys and also officially have our meal plan stuff before we went to eat. The Caribbean Beach Resort looked just like your typical, nice beach resort. I actually didn't take a lot of pictures in the resort because there wasn't anything exciting, just palm trees and exotic plants.

Disney Hollywood Studios was so cool. I loved all the buildings and the street names were just like Hollywood. We loved the Tower of Terror and the Rockin' Roller Coaster with Aerosmith. We rode each of those twice. I screamed...the entire time! We looked in some of the gift shops and watched the Beauty and the Beast show as well, which was excellent!

This is the picture that was automatically taken of us on the Rockin' Roller Coaster ride. Scott knew when it would take the picture and liked to pose for those shots, hence his cheesy face. I really was terrified...and screaming. I took a picture of the screen with my camera...heeheehee.

We knew that we wanted to watch Fantasmic, a laser/fireworks/character extravaganza with limited seating. So, we got over to the seating area super early and ended up sitting behind a couple of guys visiting from Atlanta as well. We talked to them and people watched and just had a good time. The show was well worth the wait!

We had dinner at a quick service place called Rosie's All-American Cafe which was gross. Don't eat there if you go!

Altogether, it was a great, memorable day!
To those of you whose blogs I read - I am behind on your blogs and hopefully will get caught up in the next few days. I feel very out of the loop! I hope you are all doing well!
Also, check the previous post because I am about to add a slide show in there from our Sunday pictures!

I wanted to add a couple of notes. First, in talking to Lauren tonight I remembered that we saw the Lemurs, live bats, tigers, and the komodo dragon in the Maharaja Jungle Trek. It was something that I wasn't sure I wanted to take the time to do and it was so worth it. So, do it. You'll be glad you did.
Also, Carrie asked if the price difference was worth it for paying to stay in the Caribbean Beach Resort (moderate) as opposed to staying in the Pop Century (Value) and it was worth the extra money and it was actually only about $250 extra for 5 nights, so that's like $50 a night. So, maybe that's a lot, but the beds were much more comfortable. And you get a free fridge!


mom0ktdid said...

Wow...I can't wait to do Animal Kingdom with my kids! It looks like so much fun.
How was the food at Sci-Fi?
I love the story about the ostriches.
I also can't wait to see the Beauty and the Beast show....yay, I am glad we have a trip scheduled for Feb!

mom0ktdid said...

Also, how would you compare the pop century as far as beds/comfort/privacy to the Beach one? Worth the big difference in price?

Allison said...

Rock N Rollercoaster is m FAVORITE ride at Disney!!! And I LOVE the Sci Fi Dine In!!!