Travel Journal: Entry #9

Okay. I’m going to finish this bad boy of a trip if it kills me. And at the rate I’m going, it might. But it is a long weekend, the heat has finally broken and it is grey and yucky outside. Other people should be recovering from the marathon right now, but not me. No. I am watching Harry Potter with the girls and trying to finish this travel journal. Bitter? Actually, no, not really. A little sad at my mini-mental-running-breakdown? Maybe.

So, here we are, without further ado, at our last day of Disney World.


Animal Kingdom
The day began well, with this optimistic skywriting professing divine love over Orlando. ‘Cause if ever you need a reminder of God Love, it’s at Disney.

God Lov

God might love us but the security guard at the entrance to Disney did not love J’s swiss army knife. He had to jog all the way back to the car (the only time we took it as we had to check out of our hotel) in 30 degree heat to stow it. He got back, already tired and hot and it wasn’t even 9:00 am yet.

Still, Animal Kingdom was kind of spectacular.  When we were finally allowed through the gates, we high-tailed it to Expedition Everest the only roller coaster in the park. Right in the middle of a fake Nepalese village, with monkeys climbing around fake Tibetan ruins, the roller coaster takes you so high up you can see the whole park. There is a cheesy yeti siting in the middle, but the ride on the whole is fantabulouso. So fantabulouso ( I had to use that twice, I did) that we did it twice. Just call me Jacob two-two.

After our second ride, we hiked over to the dinosaur section where we did some time travelling to the Cretaceous period on Dinosaur, and almost got squished by the big meteor. Animatronics are weird. It was not scary in the least (the dinosaurs seem to be moving at a tectonic pace), but the kids were scared out of their wits. I have a theory about bad production values being pretty scary to the small folk. I mean, how else can you explain them not freaking out over Orcs and yet, give them a badly made-up villain in a direct to DVD Disney feature and they are wetting there beds at night?  How else, I ask you?

But I digress. We finally leanred how to use our Fast passes, and, while we were waiting for the Kali River Rapids, we took a walk on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, sort of like a mini-zoo.

Bike that J coveted in “Asia”
Waiting for me to come back from yet another pitstop

But I digress. We finally leanred how to use our Fast passes, and, while we were waiting for the Kali River Rapids, we took a walk on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, sort of like a mini-zoo.

HUGE bats. I think fruit.

I hate to admit it, but I love zoos. I wish I felt worse about their captivity when I see them, but honestly, I am just so amazed at the bigness and strangeness of the world’s creatures that I instantly turn into a pushy five-year old. The Trek had bats, beautiful exotic birds, tigers, gorillas and other weird and wonderful beasties. Once again, Disney’s attention to detail made you feel like you just walked into a very manicured part of the Asian jungle.

Monkeys-golden one with child hanging off its derriere

We also were able to see the show, Flights of Wonder, which was, well, wonderful. A little scary for my budding bird phobia, but fortunately there were no pigeons, just really large birds of prey swooping just above our heads. That I could take.

Bird show

Somewhere in between here, we used our fast passes and went on the Kali River Rapids ride. And got soaked. The kids loved it so much they begged us to do it again, so the moment we got off the ride, dripping wet, we got some more fast passes for the end of the day. Yet, when the time came and the chafing from walking around had settled in to a nice burn, J and I decided to not go on with them. Instead they went on two more times alone. We could watch them as they descended to a halt from a bridge where we could also shoot water at them. It was great. The part where they were old enough to go on alone, and the part where I got to shoot jets of water at my children. Good times…
We also stopped for lunch somewhere in here, and I made the mistake of wanting to go to the place where I saw a salad. The salad was mediocre, and the “Asian” food was well, less so. Once again, I apologise J. You could have had a totally respectful sandwich if it weren’t for my salad obsession…

Big beasts with bigger horns

After lunch, we went to the Africa part of the theme park and got a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari truck. Giraffes, zebras, rhinos, alligators, lions, those big beasties above, you name it, we saw it. Although I was very impressed with the ride (the animals seemed to have lots of place to roam around in) J scoffed and said it was nothing like the safari he went on in Kenya. Yeah. I know. I bet there were no fake mountains with roller coasters in it either, Mr. I’ve been to Africa.

This guy was in the Maharajah trek. I don’t know why he’s down in the Africa section…
C & S with Mt. Everest in the background

The only other show we decided to go to was It’s Tough to be a Bug, hosted by that fun-loving pixar crew of It’s a bug’s life. It was in 4D which meant that not only did the insect venom spew directly towards the audience, you were also showered with water at the same time and the seats moved as if little insect feet were crawling under your bum. It was awesome.

Bug Eyes!
Nothing really to say about this-except..pretty? Go set designers!
The girls on their 3rd and final river rapids journey.

Really, Disney is kind of awesome. Look at this Julie Taymor inspired float? How can you not love it?  I hate parades and even I was seduced by the weird cycle creature.

We ended the day with a walk around the tree of life, which resembled a 3D Graeme Base book (if you don’t know his work you really should) with all sorts of animals carved into the trunk.

In front of the tree of life. Points to Disney for not shying away from the cheese.
Big turtle.

Next entry: our last day of theme park fun: Universal studios! Again!

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One Response to Travel Journal: Entry #9

  1. Tom Weston says:

    As Mr. I've been to Asia… and Africa (but too brief to notice anything but the jetlag), I'd just like to point out that you need to have a swiss army knife, or some sort of tool, to be considered prepared to trek about.

    Have those security guards not seen MacGiver?

    He never stabbed anyone with his knife. In fact, if you try, you'd probably just cut yourself.

    Sheesh.

    ps. still waiting for the expert view of the star wars junk.

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