Disney Animal Kingdom, Orlando Florida

Troy and me getting ready to enter the park
Last month, our family visited Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time. I was expecting a big zoo (like Sea World but for land animals) but it turns out i was wrong. Animal Kingdom had a good balance of amusement rides, indoor and outdoor shows, and animal encounters.

Here are some fast facts that i got from the official Disney Animal Kingdom website:

Home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species and sprawling across 500 acres of lush landscape, Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park is the largest animal-themed park in the world!

The park hours varies depending on the day and the season. It is best to visit the online calendar before going to ensure you maximize your day in Disney.

One of the best shows that we have seen in the park was Finding Nemo - the musical. The show runs for 30 minutes and the storyline is basically the same as the famous cartoon, Finding Nemo.
can you see how small the people are? now imagine how grand the stage looks!
The show has excellent effects and is comparable to a Broadway musical show. It is best to check for show schedules on your map as you as you enter the park so that you can plan your day accordingly. Try to be at the venue prior to show time so that you can get good front-row seats. It will be worth your time.

The Festival of the Lion King is another very good musical show. This one is more interactive and involves a lot of singing and dancing. This show is also available in some of the Disneyland parks in the world (i've been to the one in Hong Kong and aside from the language difference, the show is practically the same). It is still a good show especially if you or your kids enjoy watching the Lion King movie. I mean, who doesn't enjoy Hakuna Matata and all the fun Lion King songs?! There is also a bit of a 'wow factor' for the kids since the animal mascots in this show can look very real for small children. Troy kept on saying 'Mommy, it's Simba!'

The highlight of our visit to the Animal Kingdom is the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition where you get to ride an open-sided Safari vehicle to tour the wildlife reserve. You will go around the entire 100-acre savanna in the Africa area of the park and see various exotic animals such as Giraffes, Elephants, Rhinos, and many more in their naturalistic habitats.  Instead of the usual steel railings, natural barriers are used to allow guests to experience very close encounters with the animals. It  was an exciting journey for the entire family.  A great alternative if you are not yet brave enough to bring your small kids to South Africa.
wild animals grazing the grass in a naturalistic habitat
check out the horns of that bull (my mind was saying 'i wonder how safe we are in this open-sided jeep')
Giraffes roaming free

This giraffe stood beside our vehicle. I think can literally touch him if i dared.

Elephant going for a drink
Flamingos and other birds

See those Rhinos hiding under the shade of the trees?
The king of the jungle fast asleep
It was a wonderful educational experience for the whole family. The kids recited all the animals that we spotted while the adults hurriedly took pictures as we see them.

Most kids will go through a stage when they are very fascinated with animals - this is the perfect time to bring your kids to the Animal park.

Oh, by the way, one tip when exploring Disney's Animal Kingdom - bring sunshades! Whether you put sunblock, wear hats, bring umbrellas, or do all 3...this is a must especially for little children. I did all 3 yet my kids still got really tanned after our trip. It's hot in the Savannah!

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