Friday, April 14, 2017

Orlando Day 4

Disney's Animal Kingdom is exclusive to Florida.
Our hotel is way nicer than any we've stayed in before. There is a kitchenette, which we haven't really been here to use, and a small living area. We even have two separate bedrooms and two bathrooms.  We're not really sure why we got this room, because Grandpa insists it should be the same as everyone else's room. Still, we've been happy for two bathrooms when the boys shower late at night. The boys stay in a room with two queen beds and take turns having a bed all to themselves. Mom and Dad share the other room. The boys are really excited to have 3 TVs, even though we haven't been around to turn any of them on. All three boys have been sleeping until we wake them up to take them on an adventure.

Today's adventure was Disney's Animal Kingdom, and we took it at much easier pace. We got to the park around 9:30, and one of the few rides we went on was the Kali River Rapids. Mom didn't want to get wet because the day was cooler and overcast, but Dad and the boys put their ponchos on and headed down the river. The boys were laughing and giggling the entire way, and though their hair and faces got a little wet, the ponchos kept their clothes nice and dry. Mostly shoes just got soaked in the bottom of the boat.
I was so glad I spent $5 on these ponchos for just one ride!
There was a bridge right at the end of the ride where I could take pictures of the boys as they came back.
They looked like they had a lot of fun!
Just a little wet! Not too bad!
This adventure park has a lot in common with a zoo, so next we did a few walks. Mom found out that they have a Wilderness Explorer program in the park (like in the movie Up), where you can earn up to thirty stickers for talking to certain workers and learning about the animals and their environments. All three boys really liked working in the booklets and listening to the workers, and they ended up earning 15 of the badges before we left.

We found these sticker stops as we walked around a few of the animal viewing loops. The park is divided into different continents, and we walked through the Asia section and saw tigers, bats, komodo dragons, and lots of colorful birds. Later, we went to Africa and saw gorillas, colobus monkeys, and a lot more birds. All along the way, the boys stopped to earn their stickers. The last walk that we did was called the Rafiki Walk, and we rode the train up to a small petting zoo, which mostly had farm animals. But we also met Rafiki, and listened while a zookeeper shared about a black vulture.
These bats are huge! I would be freaked out if one flew over my head. 
One section had birds flying all around you. We love things like that!
This bird had the coolest haircut! 
Seth found this "bubble" fountain!
Mark with Grandma on the train out to see Rafiki!
Aunt Brittany rode with us, too!
Our boys love doing explorer programs.
This is the youngest grandkid, and the boys absolutely adore her. 
Seth loves anything to do with alligators or crocodiles.
Grandma wanted a picture with the rhino! 
Mark is the best oldest cousin. All of the cousins looks up to him,
and he is always so kind and helpful with all of them.
Rafiki was hanging out in the jungle.
The boys love being up close and personal with the animals.
Then they found out that they could brush the goat, and everything got more exciting!
Dax would only pet this one black goat.
Mark loved the brushing.
This goat came right over so Seth and Raymond could give him a nice brushing.
Our first show of the day was the Lion King, and it was really amazing. We were sitting in the elephant section, and so we had to hold are arms up as trunks and make an elephant noise. (We were really glad weren't in the giraffe section!) The show had a lot of singing and dancing and stunts. There were monkeys doing flips on trampolines and gymnastics bars, performers dressed as birds soaring around the rafters, and lots of colorful singers and dancers. There were even massive moving animals including Simba, Pumba, and Timon. It was a really fun show, and the boys loved it.
The gang waiting for Lion King to start.
Dad and Seth being silly! 
We were in the elephant section for the Lion King show.
But we sat right next to Simba.
While Scar was singing, there was a fire dancer. It was so cool! 
Timone was in the show, too!
The Lion King performance was amazing!
That is Mount Everest in the background. We didn't make it on that ride, but Dad snapped this great picture of mom!
The boys loved this shark catfish. We watched it for about 10 minutes. 
This tree is in the center of Animal Kingdom. It has animals carved all over it, and it lights up at night!
We caught the bird show, which is always one of our favorites. None of us thought that it was as good as our own Hogle Zoo show, but Mom got picked as a volunteer to go up on stage. She got to sit on a log and take pictures as the Great Horned Owl flew right up and landed above her head. The owl flew right at her face and at the last minute swooped to the perch just above her head. The picture that she got was pretty great, and it was especially exciting because we never get chosen for anything.
Baloo and King Louie walked by while we were waiting for the bird show. 
Grandpa and Grandma with Brittany. The three amigos, I like to call them!
It was fun to be up on stage. The owl is peeking out of that window. 
The owl flew right over the rest of the family. 
Then they sent the owl up toward Mom on the stage. 
Here she comes!
Mom forgot to change the setting on her camera to fast, but she caught this pic right before the owl landed behind her. 
The bench where I was sitting is directly below the Owl's tail.
Seth was so excited to see a Bald Eagle. It's his favorite bird.
We sat next to this motorcycle during lunch. So we had to take funny pictures. 
Dax is a crazy driver, or so Mark thinks.
Since there are not a lot of Fast Pass things to do at this park, we had a Fast Pass for a character meet and greet. We got to see Mickey and Minnie in their safari outfits. We all thought it was a little anti-climatic after doing the character dinners. At the dinners they come see your family, hug everybody, take as many pictures as you want, and sign whatever. This one was like, take a picture with Mickey and get out. Mom wasn't even allowed to use her own camera. We decided we've been really lucky to meet all those characters at the dinners!
Mickey and Minnie all decked out in safari gear.
Seth loved giving the characters hugs!
After the character meeting, we went to dinner at Grandpa's favorite restaurant, The Rainforest Cafe. The food took a long time, but it was really good, and the boys ate like champs. All three of them finished their entire plate, and at the end, they brought Grandma special Volcano Cakes. They were chocolate with vanilla ice cream, and we all left stuffed.
Getting ready to go in for dinner.
Seth with another alligator.
Randy laughed at Bob for eating a hamburger with a knife and fork.
Grandma and Alice having fun at dinner. 
Grandpa, Bob, and Dad relaxing after a big dinner.
We had to hurry to get to our last ride of the day, so we took off running and left everyone else behind. We made the African Safari ride just as the sun was going down. The lighting was perfect, and the animals were pretty active. It was much like a real African safari ride (according to Dad) complete with a herky-jerky jeep and collapsing bridge. Mom took about 500 pictures, and the boys were super-excited to see the rhinos, lions, crocodiles, and many other animals along the way.
The first animal we spotted on the safari was this bongo. 
We saw lots of animals right by our jeep.
Our first alligator. Seth was ecstatic. 
We liked the springboks because they are so small. 
This is the vehicle we rode on this ride.
Mark loves this type of stuff. He said it was his favorite day so far!
The giraffe walked alongside the jeep for a bit.
The animals were super close. It was awesome!
We went at just the right time. All the animals were moving, and it was cool!
Not one, but two cheetahs! 
We felt like we were on an African Safari even though we were in a Disneyland Park. 
I don't know what to do about Seth and his faces.
This guy also crossed the road in front of us. I think rhinos look like dinosaurs.
There was a late night show, and a bunch of other stuff to see, including the park's signature ride Expedition Everest, but the boys voted unanimously to come back to the hotel and swim. Even though we got back to the hotel after 8 pm, we spent a half hour in the pool. The pool at the hotel was perfect for the boys. The deepest part was only 5 feet, and it had a long shallow area that didn't get over Mark's waist. They enjoyed using a pool noodle and a ball to play water baseball, and they had the entire pool to themselves. Mom sat on the edge of the hot tub and soaked her aching feet. We finally got them to bed by 9, which is the earliest night we've had. It's a good thing, too, because tomorrow we have Magic Kingdom bright and early!
The pool at the hotel was perfect! 
I cut off Mark's head in this picture, but it was a great jump!
Mark loves to go swimming!
Dax loves to jump in over and over again. 
Seth loves the water!
Nice jump Dax!!
Seth loved the dolphin fountains!
Dad swam with the boys, too. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Another fun day! I love the happiness on the boys' faces on the water ride. And how cool you got picked to be in the show!! The owl picture is awesome!!


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