This is a story all about how my sister and I had our plans turned upside down.
Might as well keep going with Disney, so this is a story all about how my sister and I had our plans turned upside down. I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you all about how we planned to snorkel with manatees but ended up at Animal Kingdom instead.
First, my sister, Jodi aka Judith, came down to Florida for her Spring Break… But it was with her friends and not specifically to see me. So, rude. But I quickly got over it and still decided to steal her away for a day of sister bonding – quite a change from last year when she didn’t leave my side for three days. My first intention was for us to cross something off of my Florida To-Do List: snorkeling with manatees, so I found one on Groupon and purchased it for us. Sadly, the day before our adventure was scheduled, I received a call that the boat was down for maintenance, so our tour was cancelled. Again, rude. I mean, it’s not like we could reschedule – she was only in Florida for one week. Thankfully, we were both itching to hit up Disney again, and this time we decided to check out Animal Kingdom! It ended up being a super last minute decision, but I was pleased with it. Not a long story, I’ll admit.
So I picked Judith up from her friends and we journeyed to the wilds of Orlando. We are both dying to explore Africa for real, but this was a more achievable goal in the short term. Obviously, our first objective was to hit up the Kilimanjaro Safari (with a pit-stop to meet Pocahontas and a short photo-shoot at the Africa entrance). The wait was kind of long, but worth it – we were SO CLOSE to some rhinos at one point. Incredible. One of my favorite parts was when the guide pointed out some of the facilities where they take care of the animals; they were huge and looked state of the art. It eased my mind in terms of animal treatment and based on my simple research afterwards, Disney takes MUCH better care of their animals than many other zoos and parks in America (*cough cough Sea World kills cough cough*). Also, they’re not forcing these animals to put on a show, we simply observe them in a natural-style habitat.
Overall, the highlights for me were the Kilimanjaro Safari (obviously), the Maharajah Jungle Trek (tigers what what, Shere-Khan up in this), and meeting Baloo (my new bestie). I think the two longest waits we had all day were for the safari and meeting Baloo – both were 100% worth it. Although, I found King Louie (who hangs with Baloo) kind of creepy. Not the guy inside the costume, but the costume itself and the fact that when you hug him there is that creepy kiss sound. Could have lived without that in my life. It doesn’t help that King Louie in any iteration tends to creep me out (can you say “live action nightmare”?)… But The Legend of Tarzan is one of my favorite movies, so riddle me that. Apes, man.
You may assume that we chose Expedition Everest for our FastPass+, and you would be partially correct. While we did choose the one and only roller coaster, we did not actually have the patience to wait until our scheduled time to go on said coaster. Instead, we opted for the Single Rider line… A time-honored tradition between my sister and I, since discovering we could ride much faster and more often if we didn’t necessarily care about sitting next to one another.
Neither Judith or I are shy about saying how we do not want kids, and honestly, visiting Disney as 20-somethings only solidifies our decision. And I mean, until the population calms down, it’s gonna be pretty tough to successfully save Planet Earth. So it was a true blessing that we happened upon the perfect place to take a picture in front of the Tree of Life. One not crawling with families (I’m sure they’re all great people). There was only one couple there, so of course we took photos for one another – and they turned out great!
As a traveler who’s favorite activity is to just wander around a new place and absorb what it has to offer, Animal Kingdom was a perfect fit. I’m sure many people are aware that this park is not the place for thrill-seekers (similar to EPCOT, very different atmospheres), but if you enter the park with the right mindset I truly believe you will have a wonderful time.