Our Disney World Anniversary Trip: Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Enjoying a Visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It had been just over 20 years since I had been to Disney and over 25 for Price, so when we were trying to figure out what were going to go to celebrate our belated honeymoon/first anniversary we quickly considered Disney. It just seemed like the prefect situation as it’s close by and something we had never done before.  The first Anniversary is paper, surprisingly we didn’t spend as much as we thought we would.

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We worked with Victoria, a great Disney travel agent at Hi-Ho Vacations to help book and plan out our trip. It was no-cost to us and it was comforting to know that we had someone comparing prices and looking for the best discounts to get us the best deal. We compared a few different resorts and got the best deal by staying at the Coronado Springs Resort with Park Hopper Passes and the Disney meal plan.

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Before we knew it our anniversary was here and we were checking into the Coronado Springs Resort.

Leading up to that moment, Victoria sent us information on different plan options for us to book. There were several we could consider at different price points. As well, she sent information on the different parks, restaurants, and attractions we wanted to see.  It’s Disney, so the options were endless.

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Here’s to one year, and many more!

Now that we live in Florida, Disney is no longer a “maybe next year” or “in our lifetime we will go” now it’s less than a 2 hour drive and Voila, Mickey Time!!  We got up early and drove in, around the park, around the complex, and finally to our destination, the Coronado Springs Resort.  No lie, the magic is all around you and it better be, because people come from around the world to see something we hopped in our cars and drove to.  We checked in which was very pleasant.  This is Disney! So of course checking in is an experience.  “There are your magic bands… This is where we are… your room is here… pool… restaurants… buses to any one of our parks located here…” I could go on and on but we were given so much information and every question we asked was answered.

Mickey Meltdown Meter – 0%

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After getting our stuff set up in our room in Casitas 4, we headed over to the closest bus stop (#2) to get to the Animal Kingdom theme park. A short wait and then a bus ride later, we were at the park for some much needed fun.

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We didn’t really have a plan, aside from dinner, when we got there so we wandered around checking out the animals a bit since it was just fun to be there. We ended up heading over to the Tree of Life since pretty much centrally located in the resort on Discover Island. Plus, it’s just so cool. The central location basically screams “um yeah, I’m the Tree of Life”

On our way there, we noticed we were perfectly timed up with heading in to the “It’s Tough to be a Bug! show. We didn’t know what the show was about but decided to just wing it and head in. It was geared more to younger kids with the animation and he characters from It’s a Bug Life, but it was fun to learn about bugs. Plus, the special effects were just cool. I recommend it for anyone.

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Then we wandered some more taking it all in.

Plus, we didn’t prepare and make FastPass+ reservations with our Mickey Bands to sign up for up to three events, shows, rides, etc.  And we didn’t know which ones to pick from that worked around our dinner reservations. Thankfully we didn’t really need to use it right away since there were plenty of attractions with short rides.

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Checking out the monkeys in in the Asia part of the park!

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Again, the lines were short and quick so we didn’t need to use our Magic Band Fast Pass Reservations for the Dinosaur ride in Dinoland, USA section of the park.

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Ultimately, we needed to head back over towards the Africa section of the part, as our dinner reservation was in that area.

We took a quick stop off to visit the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail before dinner. It was so fun to check out all the animals they had on display. We learned to much from the cast members in the area. We learned the grooming and social habits of the Angola colobus monkeys (pictured above and below). I think they have nicer hair than me they groom it to much!

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There were so many animals in there to check out and learn about

Plus, it was nice to walk around in the shade under the canopy holding hands enjoying all the sights. So romanical.

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We walked all over and worked up a real appetite so we couldn’t wait for our dinner reservation at the Tusker House Restaurant, which featured a great buffet. This was one of those places we researched from what Victoria sent us weeks before our trip. It had great reviews for the selection and quality of food.

We were so, so hungry by that point that we immediately dug right in. Who wouldn’t be hungry!?! Our Fitbits were telling us that we both crushed our 10k step goal wandering around the park.

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We got to take some pictures with Safari Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy. It was so silly but wonderful. Even as an adult they come over to make your night special.

Also, there were a few outlets here so I was able to charge my nearly dead phone for some juice. Finding outlets to be able to charge your phone around the theme park was tough so I was happy to get some time to give it a decent charge.

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Our next be adventure took us on Safari! An after dinner safari, sure why not!?!

We went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride that loaded up groups into jeeps to go on a safari. The guide set up the experience to to guide us on a 2 week Safari, when in reality it was about 20 minutes long.

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Why did the Rhino cross the road?

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Rhino does what Rhino wants!

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There were some natural barriers to keep animals away from the jeep, but for the most part they could roam all over. It was so cool to animals in the ‘wild’.

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Both of us were so impressed with the amount and variety of animals we saw on our safari. We have been to plenty of zoo’s before but have never had seen animals like this before. They were active, playful, and were happy to just go about their business while we drove around.

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We used one of our three FastPass+ reservations for the safari. At this point we found out how to easily use the magic band  by signing up for reservations at kiosks around the park. So long 55 minute wait, let’s go to the front!!

While we didn’t do it, Disney set up a new Nocturnal Encounters experience which allows you to check the African Safari out at duck/night so you can check out the animals when they are more active. The animals were so close you just wanna reach out and touch them. BUT DON’T!

After dinner we also went on the Kali River Rapids, which was so much fun. Plus, it was just so refreshing to get wet on that hot June night.

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Since we didn’t drink at dinner we decided that we needed to grab a drink to enjoy while we walked around the park. We stopped off at walk up bar at the Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks as we crossed over into the Asia section of the park. We split the Khumbu Icefall ($8.50), which was a frozen drink make of Cruzan Guava Rum Blended with Coconut and Raspberry Puree, and the Himalayan Ghost($9.50), which was Snow Leopard Vodka, Guava, and Odwalla Lemonade.

As expected, alcoholic drinks are pricey, but can be hard to come by, depending on what park you are in.  Understandably, no vendor in the Magic Kingdom has alcohol, which we learned the hard way the following day.

Mickey Meltdown Meter – 20%

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We headed over to the Tree of Life with our drinks to enjoy the Nighttime Awakenings light show that is illuminated on the tree. We just missed one show so we snuck to the front of the viewing area to get the best spot for the next show. So worth the 10-15 minute wait between the shows, especially with our frozen drinks on the hot Florida night.

By then we had been on our feet for hours and hours so we were so ready to head back to the room to crash.

In the end, my Fitbit read I had taken 20,671 steps for the day and had covered 8+ miles, which is pretty impressive all around, especially since we did the majority of our steps/distance for the day while at Disney, not at home.

We hopped on the bus which dropped us near the hotel room and crashed in our big comfy king sized bed.

Next Up: One day at the Magic Kingdom

 

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