ParkSpotting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – May 22, 2010: Animal Luck

in Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, ParkSpotting, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Our first ParkSpotting adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom took place on May 22, 2010…

This trip to the parks was in honor of Mother’s Day. My mom was out of town for the actual holiday, so I promised to spend a day with her riding some rides and eating some good food. We ate a great meal at Yak & Yeti, but I’m not including that here as I’ll review the restaurant on an upcoming podcast. But as we wandered the park, we saw plenty of photo-worthy sights.

Ducks
I see ducks all the time near my house. But there's something about seeing ducks at Animal Kingdom that makes me want to take a picture of them. This scene is near the entrance of the park.

Animal Kingdom band
Wandering further, the distant sound of live music caught my ear. Unfortunately, it ended up being a white guy throwing up devil horns while rapping, backed by a pseudo-African-esque band of sorts. Confusing? Yes. Entertaining? Yeah, I suppose so.


Dinosaur load area
Dinosaur only had a 20 minute wait, though I was sad to realize that it is no longer brought to us "by a generous grant from the McDonald's corporation."

Ketchup, Mustard, and Mayo formulas in Dinosaur
Even though McD's no longer sponsors the ride, these overhead pipes still feature the chemical formulas for ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.
Vinylmation in the Dinosaur gift shop
On the ride, I was disappointed to find the photo op Carnotaur still motionless, on the left side of the vehicle, and greatly resembling a dino-head-on-a-stick. In the gift shop after the ride, I found Vinylmation had crept its way in here too.
Colorful Walt Disney World shirts
These brightly-colored Walt Disney World shirts caught my eye. (How could they not?)
Remote control Dinosaur ride vehicles
On a cart outside, I was tempted to purchase one of these remote-controlled Dinosaur "time rover" vehicles. But I held back, as my Ridemakerz car is still fully functional and fun to play with.
Please do not feed the animals
These signs are posted around the park and while I fully understand the harm that feeding the animals could cause, I still find the little graphic of the unknown creature with X's over its eyes to be funny. If I were to re-caption this graphic, it would say "Watch out for bad fortune cookies."
Beautiful water scene
Sometimes you just have to stop in amazement that sights like this can be in a theme park.
Turtle under the water
After noticing a few other guests peering over a railing, I spotted this turtle just as he submerged.
Gorilla sitting contently on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
Over on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, I thought this gorilla looked rather content with life.
Pangani Forest Exploration Trail camp site
Further down the trail, I spotted this small camp site setup. What's the story with this? I don't think we were close enough for it to be part of the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride.
Birds dry their wings on Kilimanjaro Safaris
Speaking of Kilimanjaro Safaris, we did hop on this attraction and lucked out with some fantastic animal findings, like these birds either drying their wings or warning us of the dangers ahead. Or both.
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Again, this is in a theme park? Really? Amazing.
Baby giraffes on Kilimanjaro Safaris
Upon approaching these two, our driver informed us that it is rare to see giraffes sitting, as it's very difficult for them to get up and run away from danger.
Baby giraffes on Kilimanjaro Safaris
And just after he said that, the giraffe in the back decided to get up...
Baby giraffes on Kilimanjaro Safaris
...and it is certainly a difficult task...
Baby giraffes on Kilimanjaro Safaris
...but he made it to his feet.
Taking notes on Flamingos on Kilimanjaro Safaris
This cast member was taking notes on the nearby flamingos.
Rhino and baby rhino on Kilimanjaro Safaris
We were told the giraffes pictured above were babies. Likewise, we were treated to seeing this baby rhino and his/her parent posing for the camera.
Lion on Kilimanjaro Safaris
Have you ever seen more than just a lion's fur on this ride? I haven't. This is quite possibly the best view of a lion I've ever gotten here.
Ape grabbing food
Over in the Asia section of the park, this ape climbed all the way down the pole just to grab one morsel of food.
Apes climbing and swinging
These two apes silhouetted against the bright blue sky was a photo opportunity I couldn't pass up.
Here's one of those Disney details that is often overlooked but really adds to the environment if you notice it. The theme of the ape's habitat is a run-down template permanently being refurbished, giving Imagineers a reason to surround it with scaffolding for the apes to swing on. Everything has a story.
Shrine / Expedition Everest photo op
This Disney detail near Expedition Everest has been noticed by most guests. The shape of the small shrine on the water's edge sure looks familiar.
Shrine / Expedition Everest photo op match-up
Yep, a perfect fit.
Expedition Everest peak
This is one of my favorite photos to take at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This particular shot was enhanced by the "uh oh" look on the girl's face.
Expedition Everest Yeti
I conclude with a shot of the menacing Yeti inside Everest. Even if this amazing piece of Audio-Animatronic technology currently doesn't move at all, he's still rather ferocious-looking. Had this photo been taken outside of a theme park, the photographer likely would have been doomed. Fortunately for me, we sailed by safely.

Through our ParkSpotting adventures, we’ve now made it to all six of Disney’s U.S. theme parks, some more than once. Perhaps next it will be time to venture outside of the world of Disney…

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