Last year when Dan and I went to Animal Kingdom we took it slow and slept in a little, but this year we all decided to go early because Josh wanted to see the park’s opening show.  Upon arriving, it didn’t live up to expectations, and I’d wished that I had slept in instead.  Luckily the rest of the morning turned out quite nicely.

We raced over to Expedition Everest (the main ride of the park) as soon as we were allowed in at rope drop.  Afterwards, we sped over to the opposite end of the park to ride on the safari.  Because the animals move around and are sometimes out and sometimes sleeping, every time you ride is a different experience.  This year I didn’t see as many elephants as last year, and I still didn’t get to see a lion, but I did get a couple good shots of a rhino from very close up.

We went to see the live production of “The Lion King” which was absolutely stirring.  At one point the characters picked out some young children to participate, and I actually started to cry a little because I could just see the joy radiating from the kids.  I can’t imagine how moved their parents must’ve been, let alone the kids themselves.

After the show we caught a bunch of characters in their safari garb, something that only happens in Animal Kingdom.  We saw Chip & Dale, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Minnie, and Micky.  Took quite a while since they all had individual lines, but it was WELL worth it.

We ate lunch at the “Yak & Yeti” restaurant, a nice asian cuisine styled meal, and Dan was kind enough to treat.  It was delicious, even the fried green beans Josh got as an appetizer.  Yes – I tried them.  Me.  The guy who never tries new things.  I’ll admit to that.  When it comes to food, I don’t experiment much.  But I’m glad they talked me into this time.

We then found out that Pocahontas would be making a very rare appearance, something I’d been hoping for all day, so we stuck around a little while longer than we’d originally planned.  When she finally came out, it was perfect.  She looked the part and was beautiful.  I got a picture of just her, than a couple with just the two of us, than a couple with the whole group together.  She was very patient with us, and that meant a lot.  She’s by no means my favorite character, but I was very happy to get some pictures with her this year since we hadn’t even managed to see her last year.  It made my entire afternoon just great.

Now we’re home relaxing because tonight we’re going into the Magic Kingdom for the exclusive Halloween Party.  I know I’ve said it over and over again, but it bears repeating – I can’t wait!