We decided to get up bright and early (as if we had a choice with Garrett sleeping just inches from our bed) and get to Animal Kingdom when they first opened.
J’s coworker told him it was better to arrive early and go straight to the African Safari ride so all the animals would be active. If you get there too late, they are mostly just laying in the shade sleeping. This turned out to be great advice!
By the time we got into the park and walked to the back to get on the safari ride, the fast pass wait time was already 45 minutes long. So we had to kill some time while we were waiting to get on the ride. Garrett wanted to get down and run around, so we found an empty spot outside of the Tusker House for him to burn off some steam. It was like herding cats to keep him from running out into the crowds of people, but we managed to do it for 30 minutes while we waited.
Finally we were able to go on the safari!
First we saw some hip, hip, hippos…Which made me sing the hip, hip, hippo song from G’s Anamalz cd. In fact, I had a lot of different tunes running through my head on this Safari trip, even aside from the obvious Hakuna Matata and The Circle of Life and all that jazz.
We’re going schnap, schnap, schnap, schnap, Crocodile fishin’.
Then we saw an Upside Down tree.
Oh give me a home, where the wildebeast roam…
And the deer, and the antelope lay…
Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word. And these big cows are horny all day. (No, that song was NOT on G’s Anamalz cd.)
And then we saw these long necked giraffes.
Fourteen feet tall, is not very small.
Garrett, he sweats as we move through the jungle.
But he did like pointing at the elephants!
Doesn’t this little elephant look like he’s cracking up at an inside joke?
We saw some fine looking flamingos on their little island.
And the white rhinos were all chilling out in the shade.
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps all day. Kind of like Gus and Woodrow.
And look! A warthog! A Pumbaa! This guy was on the move! He was all, “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now.”
Ostriches with their head in the sand.
And some more hot and sweaty baby G wraps up the end of the safari photos. It was a great ride, and I highly recommend it to anyone going to Disney anytime soon.
After all that African excitement, we ventured out into the park for some more sight seeing. We ran across some folks dancing, so J put Garrett on his shoulders to get a better view.
He liked watching the dancers, but those eyes were getting verrrrrryyyy sleeeeppppyy…
But he lost that battle.
As he slept, we headed to Camp Mickie and Minnie and stumbled across the shortest line ever to meet Goofy. And the whole time we were getting pictures made with him, G snored in his stroller.
Out like a light.
So we told Goofy, “Shhhhh, baby sleeping.”
Then we headed over to meet Mickey Mouse, and J was still telling him to shush. Garrett never even flinched through all this. He’s going to be so upset with himself in about 5 years, knowing that he slept through meeting real, live Goofy and Mickey Mouse in person.
We left Camp Mickey and Minnie and headed back toward the Tree of Life, which is at the center of the park. I was simply amazed by Animal Kingdom. There were thousands of little details hidden in the park that just made you go “Wow!” All the trees and plants and flora and fauna was amazing. I can’t imagine what it takes to maintain those plants and animals. There were other little things along the way, like this lizard waterfall that you would easily miss if you weren’t paying attention.
And this looked like a real good spot to sit in a bass boat.
Finally G woke up and we had some lunch. He was starving!
We walked back around the Tree of life and admired all the carvings on it.
By this point it was 2:00 pm, and it was HOT HOT HOT. We were all sweating and very tired from walking all day. We had not even seen half of the park, but that was ok. We decided to not try to push Garrett or ourselves too hard on this trip since he is still so young. We left Animal Kingdom and headed to the hotel for a much needed rest time.
We had bought a parkhopper pass, so we planned to return to Magic Kingdom late that afternoon. I’ll fill you in on that adventure a little later on.