This is yet another of Disney’s theme parks in Florida, Orlando, and probably my favourite. It may have been my favourite day of the holiday actually…
This is one park that shuts early, so the animals can go to bed, so we didn’t try breaking the day into two parks. I’d read that the animals are most active morning and evening, so we did the safari drive first, and I’m glad we did as we didn’t have to queue long and we saw loads of animals. It was basically like a safari park, but being driven around with a guide in a large landrover. It was so clever how the different enclosures were done, because you never go through any gates; the animals seemed to be separated simply by cattle grids; unless there’s some Disney magic going on. The giraffes were so close to us you could almost touch them; there were also elephants, a pair of lions, zebras, rhinos, gazelles, hippos and several others I can’t remember right now. The driver gaves us loads of information about the animals, and of course, in true Disney fashion there were pretend poachers that we had to try and catch, with pretend messages coming through on the radio – so younger kids would’ve liked that.
The only problem with the park was that it was huge and everything well spread out. Chris doesn’t know how he got through the day with his sore feet. So wear comfy shoes! We were also a bit rushed at the end of the day and didn’t quite get to see everything. Really, we could have missed the train ride to the educational bit and petting zoo, which was really aimed at younger children than ours. Most of that bit was indoors, so go there if you need a bit of air conditioning in the middle of the day.
I absolutely loved the Lion King show; you cannot miss that! Though it wasn’t what I expected – I thought it was going to be a mini version of the west-end show, with people dressed and moving around like animals. However, it turned out to be more of a circus thing; still in animal-like costumes, but doing acrobatics rather than acting out the Lion King story. There were live singers singing the classic songs though, which was fabulous; and massive models of the main characters, and audience participation with animal noises every now and then!
The 4D Bugs Life show was ok, but it was all about the effects and the actual show was a bit slow and boring. The creatures running underneath the seats at the end were brilliant.
Rain and me did the Mount Everest Expedition, which was a train roller-coaster and we loved it – it was just the right amount of scary! I’d have done it again if we’d had time. We only just made it to the Finding Nemo show, which I’m so glad we did because that was fantastic. It was more like a West-end show, and with a bit more work on the songs, really could be. It was done with so many clever effects; puppets; clever lighting, and people carrying moving models etc playing a shortened 40 minute version of the whole film of Finding Nemo. Another must-see.
There were other animal exhibits at various places in the park, but I would’ve liked to do the water raft ride, but we didn’t have time and the rest of the family weren’t so keen on getting wet again! A really nice, relaxing, enjoyable day.