src="" />

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Animal Kingdom

     Day Two we headed to the wild side of the park- Animal Kingdom! This park was the least crowded of the four we visited and also closed the earliest at 6pm. It allowed for an evening to recharge our batteries and get a great night's rest for the second half of our trip.

Parking entrance to Animal Kingdom.

Riding the shuttle from our car to the park entrance. Ready for a beautiful day!

Christmas Tree decorated in an African and animal themed ornaments greeted us at the park entrance.

John and JT were excited to see some animals today.

The iconic Tree of Life.

We took a photo with one of the Disney Photographers with the Tree of Life in the background. (sorry about the quality, it's a photo of the proof on the website.)

We walked though India to Asia for our first ride. 

I love the attention to detail that Disney places on having touches of other parts of the world in their lands.

We headed straight to Expedition Everest. Our first "big" ride.

Blurry, but John and JT were ready for his first roller coaster!
This is an amazing ride! I loved how the coaster went backwards in the dark for part of the ride and there were some pretty intense drops and curves.

John did a great job of protecting JT's head to make sure he wouldn't bang it around on the seat. Lindsay and Courtney in the front row showing their expressions as we headed down the steep drop. Sarah and I were in the back row with me looking a bit nervous, yet holding my hands up.

We were able to go on the ride immediately after for a second round. JT enjoyed it, but said it made his eyes "blurry" aka, watery eyes from the speed/wind.

I LOVE this photo. My sheer terror, Lindsay screaming, Courtney's intense expression, and Sarah doing a Gene Simmons impression.
Sadly, this Momma is getting old and going back to back served to be a bit too much. I wasn't sick, but I had that pre-sick feeling and didn't want to press my luck. John agreed and JT was fine to protect his blurry eyes with us.

While John and I enjoyed a drink on a bench, the girls took an eager JT on the Dinosaur ride.
When they exited the ride and joined us again, JT told us something we heard only 1-2 times the entire trip.
"I didn't love that ride."
That simply meant that JT wasn't going to be going on that attraction again. The girls said that the ride was in total darkness and had a few scary moments with the big dinos.

When we saw a photo from the kids ride, it made perfect sense.

Our kids in the back row. Sarah fearful and Lindsay and Courtney shielding their baby brother from the enormous T-Rex. Also just look at the other passengers- doesn't look like a super kid friendly ride.

After that point, the old and young stuck together in a more appropriate dinosaur land while the girls headed back for some more fun at Expedition Everest.

HUGE feet!!!

JT taking me for a ride.

John, JT, and I then went to this great play area. Caves and tunnels to explore.

Jeeps to play and pretend drive.

Slides for big and little.

Places to explore and climb.

Fast tube slides that JT loved.

We then headed over to the dinosaur dig area.

Ready to look for some bones!

JT loved digging in this area!

The girls also did a solo ride on Dinosaur since they didn't see much when they were protecting JT. It still looks pretty scary for adults- ha ha!

All of their Expedition Everest ride shots.

They then joined us for a bit of digging.

After our digging was done, we found this area that JT put together some dinosaur jaw puzzles.

While there, we received the book and sticker to be Wilderness Explorers for the day! There are several stations set up around the park that talk about different parts of wildlife, ask a question about an exhibit we just looked at, or observe some of the animals. JT then had a sticker to place in his wilderness book for that station.

Then it was time to go on a safari!

This 20 minute ride was really fantastic with many different animals in their natural habitat. The giraffes with the reddish termite homes. One termite home was easily 5 feet tall!

I loved the elephants!

Beautiful Lioness keeping watch on top of the rocks.

After the safari were were ready for some refreshments.

Lindsay decided she was ready to eat a huge turkey leg!

After lunch she also did her first blind pin exchange. She was happy with her pick and kept it.

Backside of the Tree of Life.

Directly under the Tree is the 3D feature of "It''s Tough to be a Bug!" These were my favorite glasses. The movie was so much fun and startled JT at one point that he flung his glasses off!

Later in the day we went to Finding Nemo the musical.

This was a fantastic production! Creative costumes and great music. When you are ready for a break, this is the perfect spot to go to.

JT couldn't get enough of the Tricera Top Spin. Think of the Dumbo ride and switch out to some dinos. I think we rode this ride almost half a dozen times that day.

For the final ride of the day the kids rode in one dino.

The craziness that happens when Mom and Dad are in the dinosaur behind.

John and I had a peaceful few moments to ourselves.

Smooch time!

Huge  snowman! Right next to it held a Santa Goofy and Pluto. JT wasn't interested in meeting them saying, "I met them already." Ok kiddo, no problem.

This was the closest thing to anything cold we had during our trip. Loved our sunny 70 degree weather! Another magical day in the books and ready to hit the Magic Kingdom tomorrow!