Disney World: Animal Kingdom

I had one of the best times of my life yesterday. Wanna know why? Because I was blessed to be able to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando along with JJ and Brenda, my two Filipino friends, and Tim, one of our Captains.

We left Hobe Sound before sunrise. Tim readied his car and himself for the trip. The rest of us were just too elated. The thought of getting a breather after the crazy work shifts during the holidays was awesome. Not to mention I have three consecutive day offs. How cool is that?

The drive to Orlando was two to three hours. We had to stop at Chick-fil-A for breakfast before the long trip. After eating, I dozed off and woke up when we were around twenty minutes away from Disney World. I kept seeing all the Disney signs and wanted to take at least one picture, but I failed, because the sign was either too far or we were going too fast for a nice shot. It was okay though. I got a picture of the entrance which told us that we were in Disney World.

Let the memories begin.

Disney World had four parks. With Tim as our guide, we automatically had an itinerary with the best attractions. If I remember correctly, it was his third time. Lucky us.

Animal Kingdom

Our first park. Animal Kingdom, as its name suggests, is a sanctuary for various types of animals. We had to buy our tickets here for the entire day. Since it was our first time, we got complimentary pins along with our tickets.

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Along the way, we got to see all these different kinds of animals. I saw Pumbaa (a warthog), an anteater, and a whole lot more. One thing everyone would definitely notice is the Tree of Life, the icon of the theme park. It is a sculpted 145 feet (44 m), 50-foot-wide (15 m) artificial tree. Even though it was artificial, it was so life-like. It must have taken a long time to sculpt it.

Our first attraction was a 3D show called “It’s Tough To Be A Bug.” It featured the characters from the Disney•Pixar film, A Bug’s Life. It was fun being able to watch a 3D show again after a long time. The wind, water, and vibrating effects were so nostalgic and fun at the same time. I couldn’t help but reminisce my Busch Gardens days.

The next attraction was supposed to be the Expedition Everest rollercoaster ride, but they were experiencing technical difficulties, so they suggested Fast Passes for lesser wait times later on. I was actually glad that I didn’t have to make an excuse not to ride a rollercoaster. Being an acrophobic, I just can’t handle being above, no matter how safe it is.

Our second attraction was Kilimanjaro Safaris, a tour of the savannah of the Africa Area in an open safari vehicle with a very witty tour guide. I got see, with my own two eyes, animals that I could only see on T.V. Giraffes, zebras, rhinos, hippos, and even lions (which were really sorta scary even though they were taking naps).

We had lunch first before our last attraction of the park. The Expedition Everest had a 45-minute wait time. We got a 30-minute rest before proceeding, so the food got digested. Still, my fear hindered me to ride any rollercoaster, so I had to sit this one out. Luckily, Brenda had to do the same because she needed more time to rest. As a result, Tim and JJ had to ride by themselves.

Brenda and I found a nice spot right around the exit. While waiting, we got to meet a fellow Filipino who works there. Our conversation was mostly about him. Brenda and I kept bombarding him with questions. He didn’t mind. And he also had a few questions of his own for us. It was fun chatting. He left a few minutes later to continue his work. By the way, he was from Davao.

When JJ and Tim got back, their faces were brimming with excitement. It was fun for me seeing them as it was for them experiencing the ride. After seeing their reactions, Brenda had the urge to ride it too after resting. Good thing I still had my fast pass. I gave it to Tim and they both hurried to the ride’s entrance. Not a second was wasted. When they got back, Brenda had the same reaction. She loved it just as much as JJ and Tim did.

All of us had so much fun. I couldn’t believe it was just the first of the four different parks we were gonna visit. The fun was just starting.

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