Happy Birthday Animal Kingdom! Today is the 15th Anniversary of the largest Walt Disney World park opening for Guests! On April 22nd, 1998, Animal Kingdom opened and proved that it was more then just a zoo.
For today’s birthday party, I thought I would take a little time and share with you some of my favorite Animal Kingdom memories that my family and I have enjoyed over the years.
Animal Kingdom Memory #1: Extra Magic Hours Block Party
I’ve written about this before — in fact, it was one of the memories I shared with you for my 15 Days to 15 Years post for my friend Didi over at DISTherapy! It was 2007, and we went to Animal Kingdom for evening Extra Magic Hours — which are no longer offered at the park. In essence, the only section that was really open was DinoLand, U.S.A., but when we got there, we came upon a block party involving Chip, Dale, and Goofy! It was so much fun, Sophie loved it! Out of that Disney Magic came these photos! Enjoy!
I don’t have any photos of Dale from that experience — he was shy in front of the camera…
Animal Kingdom Memory #2: Rafiki’s Planet Watch
We took the train out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to check it out because, quite honestly, it wasn’t a part of the park that we really went out to very often. It’s a bit overlooked in our eyes, and perhaps it is in others — which may contribute to the park’s reputation as being a half-day park. Anyway, we headed over that way because we wanted to check it out, and because it was air conditioned comfort on a blazing hot summer day, and because we never really go over there. After we got there, we learned that Rafiki’s Planet Watch has a lot of great exhibits, and we enjoyed many of them that day, but then, we went around a photo spot, and who did we find? Pocahontas herself, seemingly waiting for Sophie to come over! In that encounter, we got this picture perfect memory!
Animal Kingdom Memory #3: Jumbo Turkey Leg
We had just gotten off of Kali River Rapids when we went to Walt Disney World with Anna Jane and her family, and Sophie was hungry. She had tried some of my Jumbo Turkey Leg, and really liked it, and had to have one of her own, so I took her to get one while the others rode Kali River Rapids on their own. Sophie loved that Jumbo Turkey Leg, and this picture is one of my favorites when you talk about Disney food!
Animal Kingdom Memory #4: Face Painting
Sophie was really interested in face painting when we went to Animal Kingdom during our trip in 2007. She decided that this was the souvenir that she wanted most from that trip — to have her face painted! The price was quite reasonable (and Sophie may have gotten a more permanent souvenir in addition to her face painting…) so we went ahead and did it for her. Here is how she turned out!
Animal Kingdom Memory #5: Cindy’s First Ride on Expedition Everest
Cindy’s favorite attraction in all of Walt Disney World is Expedition Everest. To her, it is the perfect roller coaster! I asked her what her favorite memory from Animal Kingdom was, and she told me, without hesitation, “The first time I rode Expedition Everest!”
Some people may not know this, but Walt Disney World veterans know that Expedition Everest has a single rider line, and also has a system called the Rider Swap that you can utilize. We elected to do that because Sophie wasn’t big enough to ride it, so Cindy went first, and then, when she came out, I decided that I didn’t want to try it, so Cindy got to go again, twice in the span of 15 minutes or less! Here are a couple of shots of the ride for you to enjoy.
Thank you for stopping by as I took a look at some of my favorite Animal Kingdom Memories! It has been my pleasure to share with you Animal Kingdom for 2 plus years of blogging, and I wish Disney’s Animal Kingdom park many more years of fun operation! What does the future hold? Who knows? Why don’t you tell me what you would like to see at the park in the future, and thanks for stopping by! Who knows? Maybe your idea will be seen by Disney and turned into the next great attraction!