Looking at the ZOO Media Group brand, you just had to know we would be stopping in at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during our visit to Orlando. Nothing like a little jungle inspiration to get the creative juices flowing! I have to say, as animal and nature lovers, Animal Kingdom was one of our favorite Disney theme parks.
Starting with the rides, there are several wild ones to get your heart pumping. We loved the Kali River Rapids, although I ended up getting soaked to the bone. It all depends on where you sit and unfortunately, there’s really no way to determine the best spot. Ending up in the front seat as you go over the falls pretty much guarantees a tidal wave will come crashing down on you. Glad it was a warm and sunny day!
Also loved Expedition Everest. The Tibetan and mountaineering theme along with the Yeti “artifacts” makes the time pass quickly as you wait to board the ride. And what a ride it is! Going backwards through the dark 100 miles an hour with the Yeti’s screams echoing through the air makes for a very exhilarating experience. Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl are also fun.
One thing we loved most about Animal Kingdom was the jungle theme and attention to detail. From the amazing Tree of Life carvings to the jungle ruins and wild habitat, this theme park is a nice rustic departure from the more “manufactured” environments at the other Disney theme parks. Not that Animal Kingdom isn’t manufactured, it just has a more natural feel. Perfect for animal lovers and connecting with nature.
Speaking of connecting with nature, the other thing we really enjoyed about Animal Kingdom was the educational aspects. There is so much information everywhere you look about animals and the environment and it is presented in a very interesting and engaging way. We loved it and so did our 5 year daughter. The Kilimanjaro Safari and Maharajah Jungle Trek provided a great opportunity to get up close and personal with some exotic animals in a very natural looking habitat. All the animals looked healthy and well taken care of which was nice to see.
Finally, just want to make mention of Finding Nemo – The Musical and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I wouldn’t consider myself a big theatre guy, but I did enjoy Finding Nemo. The musical is a little different in that all the characters are voiced and played by actors carrying around giant models. Very lively and colourful – worth checking out. We also dropped by the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko – The Cooking Place. The resort itself is beautiful with the African jungle branding and animals wandering on the grounds. And we had an excellent meal at Jiko which features African, Indian and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. In particular, the wood-fired flat breads are excellent as is the fish and beef short ribs. The warm avocado soup with egg and bacon is worth a try for the more adventurous eaters out there. Two big thumbs up for Dinsey’s Animal Kingdom. For now, back to the cage.