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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Honeymoon Day 4: Animal Kingdom

On day four of our wonderful vacation, we woke up to a gorgeous and sunny Florida day.  We hopped on a bus to Animal Kingdom and got there just before the park opened.  We made our way straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and grabbed fastpasses then walked (briskly!) over to Expedition Everest. 
Animal Kingdom Entrance (photo from wdwmemories.com)

Expedition Everest (photo from wdwmemories.com)

I have really grown to enjoy this park, it is so incredibly detailed and well themed.  Though we arrived at the attraction early enough to simply walk through the queue, this is one line that I wouldn't mind waiting in for a while!  There is just so much to look at.
Sign near the Expedition Everest waiting area (photo from wdwmemories.com)

View of the track (photo from wdwmemories.com)
We waited for a seat in the back of the train for Expedition Everest and it did seem more fun this way :)  This coaster has such a smooth feel to it and I love going backwards!  Sadly the yeti is still in "B mode"

Time to use those Kilimanjaro Safari fastpasses back in Africa:
Here is hubby waiting in line for Kilimanjaro Safaris

beautiful giraffes on the safari


Around 10 or so I started to get a bit hungry so I picked up this delicious fresh fruit (in a hollowed out pineapple) from Harambe Fruit Market.  It really hit the spot!
Sorry this is upside down!

We were lucky enough to catch a street performance while we snacked on our fruit and then made our way through the Pangani forest trail.  For some reason I didn't take any photos of this but it was really interesting, we saw lots of birds and different animals.  It was still relatively cool at this point so walking around in the lush greenery felt wonderful.

Fun detail in Africa: look at these darling ladybug lights! (photo from wdwmemories.com)
 Another fun (and vegetarian-friendly) snack in Animal Kingdom can be found on the walkway between Asia and Africa at a small food stand.  Here they serve chilled summer rolls that are filled with cellophane noodles, water chestnut, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, cilantro, mint, and sweet basil in a tandoori marinade. It is then wrapped in rice paper and served alongside a sweet chili sauce.  This is such a delightful and refreshing snack!

We strolled through the walkway between Africa and Asia, despite the fact that it was a very crowded day at the park, this trail was almost deserted! (photo from wdwmemories.com)

We found a nice spot to relax in the shade on the trail and took a breather while we waited for a guest appearance from....

My Aunt, Uncle (taking the photo) and two of their beautiful girls!  It was so incredibly wonderful to see my family at the parks... I really miss them!
After visiting with the family for a while, we watched "It's Tough to Be a Bug" and then they had to take off.  Brent and I decided to do some shopping before heading off to see Finding Nemo, The Musical:
He really needs to just suck it up and buy one of these hats, doesn' t he look handsome?!


This was my first time seeing Finding Nemo, the musical.  I was blown away, what an incredibly creative and different way to do a live show.  The puppeteers are part of the character also... this really is a must see! (photo from wdwmemories.com)

Around 5 or 6 we went to the Animal Kingdom Lodge (photos from wdwmemories.com):
Open main lobby (photo from wdwmemories.com)
Here is a view of Victoria Falls, the AKL bar.  We stopped in here to grab a cocktail and enjoyed the atmosphere.  This charming bar wasn't crowded at all and you can even order food here! (photo from wdwmemories.com)
From Viktoria Falls, we walked outside to enjoy the pool area and then continued to the Savannah where we saw several grazing animals... what an amazing experience!  I have always wanted to stay at this resort (in a Savannah-view room) but have not had the chance yet. (photo from wdwmemories.com)

Finally it was time for dinner reservation at Jiko (I was STARVING) (photo from wdwmemories.com)
Seating area for Jiko.   (photo from wdwmemories.com)

Sadly I didn't take any pictures at dinner (we were much too hungry for that) but let me tell you, it was AMAZING.  I would venture to say it was one of, if not THE best meal I have ever eaten.

Jiko seating area - main room (photo from Disney FoodBlog... they have GREAT restaurant reviews!) (photo from wdwmemories.com)

 First of all, the complimentary bread was ethiopian honey-wheat and flaxseed foccaccia served with Tandoori butter.  The honey wheat was just scrumptious.  Then Hubby and I split the Jiko Salad (summera peaches, crispy plantain, hazelnut praline, honeyed chevre, blood-orange vinaigrette)... yum.  My entree was the Grilled Wild Gulf Shrimp (with Citrus-Coconut Basmati, spring vegetables, and Durban Curry Sauce).  It was just beyond fantastic.  Not too heavy or too much in quantity but just right.  Hubby had the seared duck which he says was phenomenal.


After dinner we were too stuffed to do anything else so we went back to our lovely resort and opened a bottle of African wine we had bought at the park.  We sipped and chatted about our plans for the next day; we would be taking the Sassagoula River Cruise to Old Key West and Downtown Disney in the morning and then back to Magic Kingdom in the afternoon!



3 comments:

  1. Your honeymoon looks delightful! Thank you for posting. We didn't make it to Animal Kingdom during the Disney Holiday. Next time. Hope all is well. Hugs to the newly weds Suzie

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  2. Delighful post!

    I always enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari and tried to go early in the morning in hopes of seeing more animals. Expedition Everest must be new cause I don't remember it.

    So glad you got to visit with Jeanne and family at Animal Kingdom.

    Jiko sounds wonderful and hope I get a chance to try it on my next visit to WDW.

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  3. Brent really should have bought that hat. I totally agree with you...he looks GOOD in that hat, glasses and shirt:)

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