Monday, February 9, 2009

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Usually we don't do well at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Oh, we agree with all the folks who think it is a beautiful park. It is really neat to look at the lush tropical vegetation, with lots of animals in natural settings. And it has, for me and my son, the number one attraction at Disney World - Expedition Everest.

Usually, however, it's pretty darned hot in Orlando when we visit Disney, and DAK feels even hotter than the other parks. I've heard from cast members that it can be as much as 10 degrees hotter there than in the other parks, and that the beautiful vegetation helps to increase the humidity in the immediate vicinity of the park. My family does not do that well with soaked t-shirts and sweat running down the foreheads. I don't even like it, and usually stuff like that doesn't bother me that much.

But this last time, with the temps in the high 60's on the day we went to DAK, we enjoyed the park the most of any time we'd ever been there. No sweat running down the brow. No sense of rushing through the park. The crowds were relatively light that day. Everest had a long wait, but we had FastPasses, and so the lines didn't affect us much. We also had FP's for Kilamanjaro Safaris. Lunch at the Yak and Yeti was one of the higher points of our dining experiences. And the much maligned Dino Land was the source of great fun for my younger son, who discovered that he loves the Primeval Whirl. The waits for it were generally about 10 minutes. And Dinosaur ended up being a walk-on attraction when we went on.

The other thing we experienced for the first time was the Nemo musical. It was very well done, I thought. It told pretty much the whole story of the movie in the span of a half hour or so, and told it understandably, hitting all the high points of the tale. And the puppetry was very good. I suppose some day they'll adapt this thing for the stage and take it on tour, also.

We were in line to go on the train back to Rafiki's Planet Watch when they announced that the OTHER train was not running, and they wouldn't be running any more trains out there until they had that one fixed (I guess it was blocking the tracks somewhere out there), so we did not get to experience that part of the park.

All in all, I could see why others love this park so much. When you don't have to listen to kids (or spouses) complaining about the oppressive heat and humidity, it's a very enjoyable experience.


Future Guy said...

The heat really is a concern. Late June-August, it's generally a bad idea to be outside at all in Florida. September is scarcely more bearable, and not until late October does it actually start to cool down. Our last trip to WDW was Labor Day Weekend 2007, and it was miserable most of the time. Kali River Rapids was more enjoyable due to the heat, though, and the shady walkway between Asia and Africa provided a nice little respite from the blazing sun.

Animal Kingdom really is a great place. It's my wife's favorite park, and I really wish there was more stuff to do there. Don't feel bad about missing Rafiki's Planet Watch; it's mildly interesting at best. The train ride is pretty cool, though, since you get to see the backstage areas where the animals are kept at night.

Anonymous said...

I love AK but I agree that it is hotter there. I also found that your children have to the right age and enjoy animals. I saw many oarents forcing children to look at the bats when the kids were crying they wanted to go on a ride. I usually go to AK first thing in the morning when it is cooler get FP's for Everest and then walk the wonderful meandering nature trails. By afternoon I ma ready to head to another park or back to the hotel for a quick refreshing dip before heading to another park.

Scott said...

Thanks for commenting and for the suggestions. In our case it's both my wife and my kids who don't tolerate heat well. But this time we were able to enjoy the "look" of the park, which is really beautiful...

We've been in late September, mid October, and early June. January was the best time temp-wise and humidity-wise.

Again, thanks...