Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It’s Tough To Be A Bug

Me wearing Minnie Mouse Ears in front of the Tree of Life, inside which is a show by and about insects called “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” …

Tree-LifeDSC_3696

Here is one of the many detailed carvings of animals on the Tree of Life and the passageways into it:
TreeLife20160223_133511

It was not possible to take any pictures inside the Bug show, but the picture below was from the ceiling before the show started.  I found the entire show on YouTube so if you want to see it all, click the picture.  It takes a while for the real show to start since they filmed the entire entrance path as well;  It’s pretty cool once it starts.  We all wore “bug-eye” glasses to be “honorary bugs.”   The glasses made everything look 3-D, and there were effects of smell and touch as well, through the seats (4-D?), especially when the bugs decided we were the enemy.
WHAT-DSC_3712

Oh no!! A sudden rainstorm … and it suddenly feels like winter.  Talk about raining on my parade …..
RainDSC_3704

For a while spirits really sag as people slog through puddles
RainDSC_3710

But then the weather gets a two thumbs up as the rain stops and the sun comes back out!
RainDSC_3711

Expedition Everest

Here the riders are going up and into the mountain …
EverestDSC_3730

And here they are coming back out after going who-knows-where around inside …

Everest20160223_142338

 

Everest20160223_142339

Nope … you’re not gonna see me on a roller coaster, ever.  but it was exciting and even beautiful to watch!

Everest20160223_142503

Tom likes “record shots” so here is a picture of me (in pink) NOT signing up for the Everest Expedition EverestDSC_3716

Street Scenes

One of the popular snack bars
SnackDSC_3720

Other street scenes
SceneDSC_3746

StreetDSC_3695        StreetDSC_3693StreetDSC_3742 

scene20160223_164333

The Safari Tour – the best part for us!!

There is also a 3-hour Safari trek in which you cross “rickety rope bridges” trussed up with belts designed to save your life should you fall … maybe a few decades ago that would be attractive, but we decided on the 23-minute truck safari instead.  These were not animations (you can see plenty of those in Magic Kingdom).  These were real African Animals in protected areas.  It was, of course, a zoo – but no restraints and nothing artificial was observable.  The animals themselves seemed oblivious to our safari trucks as we rode right through waterways, crossed rough bridges and rattled over chain links (part of the invisible infrastructure to this “zoo.”  Every effort was taken to make this feel realistic; indeed, I was wishing for a pillow to sit on by the end.

Below are the pictures we were able to capture during our safari.  And here are a couple of very short videos I captured myself on my phone:

Even when there were no animals, the scenery itself was often lovely.  As Tom describes it, the Safari was like Jurassic Park — only with real animals.

sceneryDSC_3866

Here you see the back of the Safari vehicle in front of us, as it briefly appeared while rounding a turn up ahead.
Safaro20160223_155104

These are not dogs …  but … I forgot what they are.  Anybody know?
  dogs20160223_155927

Ankole Cattle – like cows but with HUGE horns:
animalsDSC_3807

The brown ones with white stripes are called Bongos:
BongoDSC_3778

The white ones with brown stripes are called Grant’s Zebras, and the stripes are quite brown, not as black as they appear here:
GrantsZebras20160223_160803

More Zebras, keeping company with a rhinoceros in the background:
ZebrasHippo20160223_160713

More Black Rhinoceros
DSC_3841

termites20160223_160007These are African termite mounds. They are hard as cement and can be very tall.  Researchers have recently realized that the presence of termite mounds slows the spread of deserts into dry lands by providing a moist refuge for vegetation  around their mounds.
termitesDSC_3807

Baobab tree – also called the “upside-down tree.”  It isn’t really upside down, but simply remains leafless 9 months of the year, giving it that look.
DSC_3791

Another Baobab:
Baobab20160223_160603

Greater Flamingo – note their very long legs and necks.
birdsDSC_3838
neckDSC_3833 This is not a toilet paper roll on a stick.  It is how the birds above sleep.   And on one leg, too.

The one below appears to have  a lump in her throat – probably swallowing lunch.  Or maybe from catching a sight of herself in the lake?

bird-swallowingDSC_3837

impostersDSC_3831

Oh no – an imposter.  Mixed in with the exotic birds above were a few local Florida types.   Our guide said they must be “migrating”…. yeah, right.  Probably they just got tired of eating dropped French fries in the snack bars.

Saddle-Billed Stork:
Saddle-Billed-Stork20160223_155405

More African birds … yellow billed stork? Pink-backed pelicans?  Do I look like a biologist?
DSC_3788

Bald Eagles?  Um … they don’t live in Africa, but they do live in Florida
BirdDSC_3786  Eagles2DSC_3784

Elephants (you knew that, of course)
elephantDSC_3824

What’s surprising is how hard they can be to see, even as big as they are …. can  you find the elephants in the next two pictures?
hard-to-see-elephantDSC_3822 hidingDSC_3817

The elephant on the left was more interested in the bushes than in  us.  Actually that is a rather trim backside for such a huge beast.  On the right is a Morr’s Gazelle that was sharing a field with the zebras.
elephantDSC_3815   MhorGazelle20160223_160806 copy

A giraffe never even stopped munching on the tree as we drove past within a few feet of him.
giraffeDSC_3810    Giraffe20160223_160158

Gorillas, also, can be surprisingly hard to see if they choose.  And they can sit for long times with ponderous stillness.
hiddenDSC_3869
gorillaDSC_3865 DSC_3863

This young one spots some interloping birds and decides to let them know who’s boss.

DSC_3858  DSC_3859 DSC_3860    DSC_3855    All gone ….

House of Blues

We topped off the day with dinner outdoors at the House of Blues which is a restaurant next to Cirque de Soleil.
HouseBLues20160223_183408

And so ended a really great day!

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Disney, Florida. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *