Thursday, June 19, 2014

Disney Trip #4 - Aria's First Animal Kingdom Visit

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Ahh, another Disney day! I was excited that Animal Kingdom didn't open until 9 so we didn't have to get up quite so early to get there by opening. 6:45 is always better than 5:45. Everybody remembered their magic bands today, so we got there and headed back to Africa for our morning safari fastpass+.

The people behind us didn't understand that it was not their turn to get in the vehicle, so they squished in next to us. He said blue line to yellow line, not blue line to wherever the heck you want to go! I was filming for the most part so this was the only picture I snapped. Aria actually really enjoyed the safari, don't let her frown fool you. She was signing elephant the whole time...show me the elephants!
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Actually we got to the safari before our fastpass+ was ready, so we just went in the regular line because it was short anyway. And, then we got off and hopped right back in line to use our fastpass+. This time we didn't pick up any stowaways in our row, so I handed Chris the camera while Aria and I just enjoyed the show.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
The giraffes were awesome on today's safaris. The first go around one walked right past our side, and the second go around they were all over the place (just not AS close) and the baby was nomming just a bit away.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Aria got to see her elephants. They were also all over the place on the second go around, and one of the wee little ones was splashing itself with water. Cute! (It's in the video below if you are into such cute things)
Disney's Animal KingdomDisney's Animal Kingdom
I thought these pictures were funny because Aria looks so grumpy/bored, but she was pointing and signing and grunting and pointing some more so I think she was enjoying herself even if it doesn't look like it.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Apart from the elephants I think she was most excited for the birds (bir, bir, bir, bir).
Disney's Animal Kingdom
The king of the jungle, or savannah. I'm not sure Aria saw him, since he was all flopped. Can you spot him? (hint: just above my sunglasses)

After our safaris we had a fastpass+ for the Nemo show, but we decided Aria had had enough of sitting so instead we walked the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Aria's favourite bit were the birds and fish. Although, there were gorillas and zebras and monkeys too.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
We couldn't get Aria to move on from the birds and fish, so we took some us-ies to pass the time.

On the way out the Colobus was rolling around on top of his box, and every time Aria sees that part of the video she goes bananas (see what I did there?) and excitedly signs monkey. But, while we were watching it in person she was calm as a cucumber.

Next we picked up some watermelon at the Fruit Market and some much needed water, and then stopped to watch the drummers.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
I love the little performances you find around Disney, but I think Aria enjoys them even more.

We made our way over to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch, but first an us-ie with Everest in the background. Chris was holding Aria and when we all grouped together so I could take our picture she leaned back onto my shoulder. She sure knows how to work the cute angle.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
My motto is dessert first, so I grabbed an ice cream sandwich from Discovery Island Ice Cream that Aria and I shared. Although, it melted faster than we could eat it...did I mention that Disney in the summer is hot?
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Aria and I grabbed a seat while Chris went and grabbed us a tray full of grub. If you are looking for a place to sit at Animal Kingdom definitely head behind Flame Tree, it had seating upon seating upon seating. I got the smoked chicken salad, but I wasn't a fan. Chris got the ribs and chicken combo that he loved, and ended up eating Aria's baked drumstick because she wasn't a fan either. That's what I get for trying new things, I've enjoyed the pork sandwich on multiple occasions though. And, while Aria didn't want her drumstick she just ate everything else instead.

After lunch we headed to the Boneyard so Aria could run around and play. She was definitely getting tired, but she had so much fun. She sported a permanent smile and crazy giggles.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
I pointed out a double little slide and Aria went down that thing over and over, laughing the whole time. I helped her back up the steps, and Chris helped her at the top. Teamwork!
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Chris spotted a little splash area and Aria took to that like a fish. She was soaked from head to toe, and tried to help get some of the other less enthusiastic kids wet too - trying to hand them water. She's such a good sharer haha.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Chris took her around the climbing bit with the big slides a few times before I said we should probably cut her off before she went into nutty overtired mode.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
But, first...let me take an selfie us-ie.

Aria and I went off to get a new outfit that was dry, and then we squeezed in one more ride, the TriceraTop Spin, before nap time.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
And, we had one of the easiest naps too. Either we are getting better at on the go naps or we just exhausted her really well! But, how we try to play it...we ignore her normal noon nap time, we make sure she gets as much out of the stroller time as is possible, and we watch her cues until she gets to that almost overtired phase and then pop her in the stroller and take it inside a gift shop for some relief from the heat. Also, we bring her blanket because she likes to suck on the tag like a pacifier to soothe herself. And, I try to remember to take off her shoes...because comfy.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
While she took her 40 minute nap, Chris and I walked around all the gift shops in the area. Chris forgot his hat so he was trying to talk me into leaving. I told him we'd already made it past the hottest part of the day and the hardest (the nap transition), so we weren't allowed to leave!

I was hoping she would sleep until our fastpass+ for Explorer Mickey and Minnie, but no dice. So we meandered around all the little trails around the Tree of Life that Chris and I have never really taken the time to explore.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Did you know they have all sorts of animals tucked up in and around the Tree? I didn't! They are also kind of hard to spot, we only found one long path, but sadly they had it blocked off in the middle and Chris couldn't convince me to cross the 'do not enter' rope for anything.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Plus, you can get up close to some of the animal carvings without having to go through the It's Tough to be a Bug line.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Look kangaroos! We also saw a really big catfish.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Aria didn't want anything to do with looking for this picture with the Tree.

Sadly my camera died from excessive usage right around Aria's nap so the rest of my pictures are via the phone.

We passed the time until our fastpass+, which was totally unnecessary because there were like 3 families in line. But, I've never done character meet and greets before so I figured better safe than sorry.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Aria was very quiet meeting Mickey and Minnie, which is funny because after our Chef Mickey experience she has been very into Mickey and pointing out characters in general. Stage fright perhaps!

After rubbing elbows with our favourite mice, we walked over to Asia - so nice when Asia is just a bridge away! We were heading towards the Maharajah Jungle Trek but the Flights of Wonder show was starting in 5 minutes so we trotted in there instead.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Aria is a big bird fan, but she was definitely antsy after a few minutes. So she made friends with the couple behind us and copy clapped every time they clapped. And, then tried to climb around on the seating bench in front of us. Shows are kind of hard to judge, but I thought she'd like this one because of the birds flying around. Although, we had to take a seat a few rows back so I think she'd have watched better if we were right up front.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
We hit up another little music performance on the way to the Maharajah. I was digging it, and again Aria loved watching.

There were komodos, and tigers, and birds...oh my! The tigers were up and moving around, so that was fun to watch - especially with one playing in the water.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
More birds. I think Disney must train their birds to behave better. The ones at zoos seem to be much more annoying and fly at your face and make the worst noises ever. But, these ones were calm and far enough away from me and made pretty noises. Good job, Disney!
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
There is a cart at the end of the Trek that I remember taking a picture with on our honeymoon, so I like to pop over and pose with it whenever we visit. And, this time we have a baby! Even more fun.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
This one above is with the cart too, you just can't see it. Bad aim. It is there somewhere though.

After our Trek through the Jungle, we started to make our way over to the Wildlife Express Train and it started to rain. But, it was just a light rain so we kept going. It was coming down a little harder by the time we got to the train, so we covered up the stroller with our handy dandy cover and kept going.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
We rode the train over and started walking to the building. A third of the way there or so it started pouring. So we waded our way there as fast as my slippery when wet flip flops would allow. We were certainly cooler.

We got inside and started to wander around, and then all of a sudden Aria notices Chip and Dale and takes off for them. Gigantic chipmunks ohmygosh!!! style. So, we figured we better snatch her up and get in line before she lost her mind.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
I think she made best friends for life. We stood there and chatted and gave kisses for a long time before we remembered to pose for a picture. I don't think we've ever seen Chip and Dale before, but she was just so excited. One of the best moments of the day!
Disney's Animal Kingdom
After Aria said bye to her new friends she ran around like a mad woman behind them, where the animals are in their little enclosures. She was also screaming with delight, and going up and down the stairs until it stopped pouring long enough for us to scoop her up and head back the way we came and out of the park.

And, that ended Aria's 'firsts' for the Disney parks. Now she has been to all 4, and we have a 'first visit' button from each. Mission accomplished! Now we can just go to Magic Kingdom over and over and over, and toss in one of the other parks every so often.

On the way home we stopped by our favourite Publix (the one right next to the Celebration turn off from 192, just in case you wanted to know) for grapes and subs! Aria made friends with a couple of ladies in line behind us that were visiting Disney from Missouri...I think they said. She's just a friend magnet!

After she filled her tummy she passed out in her car seat without a peep and didn't even open an eye when I transferred her from the car to the crib. I think she was plum tuckered out!

And, it wouldn't be a Disney trip recap without a video! Aria has already watched it a dozen times and gives it two thumbs up.

We had a lot fun this trip. I didn't realize that Animal Kingdom was so toddler friendly with all the places to let little legs walk around, plus the fun Boneyard and all the out of the way animals. Colour me impressed!
 
Thanks for hanging out with us, and see you real soon.
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12 comments:

  1. Looks like a great day! You're brave to go in this heat!! We've yet to take the kids to Animal Kingdom, we have to next time we go for sure!

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  2. She knows how to sign elephant?! You are one awesome momma! I haven't really taught Mia signing... oops!
    What a fun, fun time!! Someday we will make it here! Until then, I'm obviously living vicariously through you!

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  3. Oh my gosh, Animal Kingdom looks PERFECT for toddlers!! Love how excited Aria was about the bird (ew), and Chip and Dale!! How cute that you recreate a picture in the same spot each time you visit. You'll have to do a collage of those photos sometime to see the changes! :)

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  4. That looks like a great trip to Disney. Love the pictures and the documentation of the day. Once again, I am so jealous :)
    Chip and Dale were my favs as a kid. I remember our 1st trip to Disney that is the stuffed animal I picked out - I picked Dale!! I think Animal Kingdom would be Lia's favorite. SHE LOVES ANIMALS.
    Have a great week
    Ally

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  5. I love your Disney posts so much! I am dying for Josephine to get a bit older so we can visit all the parks. I am thinking we might need a stroller fan for our July trip. Which one do you have? Do you like it?

    www.windycitybaby.net

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  6. Love seeing all of your Disney adventures!! I live vicariously through you, ha! ;)

    And thanks for the napping tip. We're going on a little summer getaway that will involve a theme park and naptime was one thing I worried about. We will definitely need to invest in one of those stroller fans too...mama may need one too!

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  7. I didn't realize you could get those buttons from each park! Whoops! You guys sure know how to pack in a day full of fun. And so many of these things I have never even heard of. Maybe I need to give Animal Kingdom more of a shot!

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  8. I love Animal Kingdom! You did a lot that day, but it looks like Aria had a great time! Love all her outfits - they're all adorable :) The Safari is one my favorite things to do there, and that cookie sandwich looks suuuper yummy! (even if it did melt) The picture of Aria & Chris on the slide is one of my favorites that you've posted from your trip - the epitome of what Walt set out to do with the parks! :)

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  9. TOTALLY living vicariously through Aria on this one! Though I've been to DisneyWorld quite a few times, Animal Kingdom wasn't built, so I've never seen it but in pictures. Looks amazing! I especially love the slide picture of her and Chris. Oh and it looks like she's checking that little boy out...making Mason very jealous! lol

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  10. this might be my favorite Disney trip you have taken! I love the boneyard, the safari, the splash pad and her sharing water with that little boy! Mickey and Minnie in sfari gear is awesome too! oh and I want ice cream - yummy! looks like such a fun day and you guys are totally becoming pros!

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  11. You will be so thankful with how well you document these trips one day!!! I love all of these pictures. So fun!

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