Day 5: The Animal Kingdom

 I had never been to Animal Kingdom, so I was looking forward to this day (and also dreading it because it was our last day).

This was the only day we had any type of bad weather. As soon as we got inside there was a downpour, but we huddled inside a store, the rain passed in about five minutes and cleared out the park for most of the morning, which was really nice!

We headed straight for the park’s only roller coaster, Expedition Everest. Because we were there as soon as the park opened and thanks to the iffy weather we managed to walk right through and get on the ride three times in a row. Watch our for the Yeti!

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Seriously, so beautiful. It’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of Orlando from this view.

The park was still somewhat empty, so we strolled on over to Dinoland. Most of the Dino area was closed off and DINOSAUR was closed which limited the number of thrill rides for the day. There was no one in line for Primeval Whirl, which is a low-key roller coaster with spins that we LOVED. People probably thought we were on something because we laughed so hard during the whole ride!

Don’t tell him I posted this picture 😂

Here’s another picture of the cool scenery to balance the terrifying picture from above.

I tried to talk boyfriend out of the Kali River Rapids because I knew I’d get soaked, but he really wanted to ride it. Like the rest of the park, it had really cool décor and atmosphere, and I definitely did get soaked. Other than having wet pants, it was an enjoyable ride and we had a blast laughing and chatting with the friendly Canadians in our raft.

Showtime!

Of all the shows at all the parks, Festival of the Lion King was our absolute favorite! I was too focused on enjoying the show to get good pictures, but the one above gives you an idea of the set-up. Everything about the show was INCREDIBLE (and the singers are so amazing)! Go see it!

Lunchtime!

After looking at several menus during my planning days, I kept getting drawn to Yak and Yeti, so I made our lunch reservations there. Disney’s site describes it as pan-Asian and you can check out the menu here. The food and drinks were delicious and filling, and the decor of the restaurant was beautiful. There’s also a fun little backstory about the restaurant here.

We started off with the Dim Sum Basket for Two. It contained pork pot stickers (my favorite!), shrimp sui mai, cha su bao (the two things that look like eggs), and pork sui mai. I don’t know what any of that means.

I had the Chicken Lo Mein (so much food!). I honestly don’t remember what boyfriend ordered…honey or sweet and sour chicken?

And you most certainly need a Yak Attack (a mango daiquiri with rum and mixed berry flavors). See? Look at how happy it made me!

We went on the Kilimanjaro Safari around 2:00 in the afternoon. Based on my research, this was one of the best times to see all the animals. All the suggestions were correct! We managed to spot every animal on the tour and even had to stop while an ostrich crossed the road in front of us (and just like the chicken, he too was just trying to get to the other side).

Rhinos!

Meerkats!

It’s Tough to be a Bug! is in the Tree of Life (below). I don’t like bugs, so this was actually a little traumatic for me. Boyfriend thought it was funny because of the different effects, but I will never do this again. I already live in fear of roaches; I don’t need to feel like they’re crawling on my back, thanks.

We then took the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to play with some animals!

Affection Section! So many goats! I keep trying to convince boyfriend to let me get some goats. I think he was hoping this would hold me over for awhile…

I was SO EXCITED when Rafiki was waiting inside! Whoever plays Rafiki must not get very much adult contact because s/he spent way too much time with us (and I think the mom in line behind us was getting annoyed #sorrnotsorry).

This was also the day NC State choked to Clemson, so the picture below is Rafiki giving boyfriend a really hard time about the game. This lasted an uncomfortably long time.

Once Rafiki got it together, we took the train back to the park and made it to our last show, Finding Nemo – the Musical. This was also a really well-done show, but I started getting sleepy. It was also kind of weird because there were a ton of songs, and you’ll be super confused if you’re expecting the show to mimic the plot of the movie.

Animal Kingdom closed around 5 that day, but we ended up leaving a little earlier. After a quick shower and clothes-change, we headed to Disney Springs (it used to be Downtown Disney) via the boat from our hotel.

Disney Springs was PACKED. It was a Saturday night, so we knew there would be a ton of people out, but by this time in the week my patience with people had run out. I don’t have a lot to begin with, but a week of screaming kids and rude adults had worn on me.

We had dinner and drinks at the bar at Paradiso 37. The atmosphere was a little too college-spring-break for me, but if you like really loud music and watching older men stare at women in teeny tiny flamenco “outfits,” it might be the place for you!

What are your favorite things to do at Animal Kingdom? Do you have a favorite restaurant or snack?

Animal Kingdom’s brand new area, Pandora – The World of Avatar opens next month! Let me know what you think if you’ll be visiting!