August 17th

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August 17th, 2019              

Today's trip marked our first return visit to Walt Disney World since our summer blackout dates passed. On this day the five of us were joined by Grandpa Gary, Grandma Terry, Uncle Steve, Aunt Erica, and Marissa.

Our first stop for the day was at Epcot, just so that we could register a visit to the park during the Food & Wine Festival. Four visits and we get a passholder set of coasters. While we were here we opted to take advantage of grandpa's retiree status and go for a quick ride on Test Track before heading out.

After making our way though the Transportation and Ticket Center, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. Our goal was to look for a special popcorn bucket, but we didn't have any luck with that. Since we were there, the kids wanted to take a quick ride on Space Mountain, as the line wasn't too long. Tara and Erica were the only ones not to participate with this ride.


Magic Kingdom

A look down Main Street, U.S.A. towards Cinderella's Castle.

Marissa and Samantha standing against the purple wall on the way to Tomorrowland.

A closer look at Marissa and Sam.

After stops at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, it was time to head to Animal Kingdom for the rest of the day. Our first activity in this park was Kilimanjaro Safaris so that we could see all of the animals.

After the safari ride we were all feeling a little hungry, so we decided to stop and eat. Thanks to some picky eaters (primarily me), our selections were relatively limited. We opted for Pizzafari, where we ate... you guessed it, pizza. Everyone seemed to like their food with the exception of Samantha, who attempted to eat the dairy free pizza offering, only to find it absolutely disgusting. Thankfully we were able to get her something else to eat, and all was well.

Once we finished with our dinner, it was time to continue our evening. Our first stop was the Kali River Rapids. This was our first time riding this particular ride, and although we enjoyed it we all would have preferred to have gone out when the sun was shining a little brighter so that it would have kept us warm and dried us out sooner when we were done.

Our day was quickly coming to a close, so a few of us decided to go on one last ride. Tara & I took all of the kids on Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain while Gary, Terry, Erica, and Steve stayed behind. Once this coaster was complete, it was time for us to call it a night and make the drive back home. Until next time Disney!


Animal Kingdom

On our way into the park, we were able to spot some ibis in the Oasis section of the park.

Another shot of an ibis.

Several birds hanging out in the Oasis.

A look at the Tree of Life as seen from entering Discovery Island.

A closer look at the Tree of Life.

One more look at the Tree of Life.

Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain in the background while looking down the Discovery River.

Here is a black crowned crane that we spotted on our way to the safari.

A sign for the Harambe Wildlife Reserve while entering the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Here is an okapi spotted on our safari. The okapi isn't related to the zebra, but rather the giraffe.

Some mountain bongo's laying down during our ride through the safari.

The great white pelicans were soaking up the heat from the sun.

There were several Nile crocodile laying along the waters edge.

We got to see several giraffes along our safari tour... well as a bunch of Ankole-Watusi cattle.

There was also a pack of African wild dogs, seemingly waiting to be fed.

Here we were able to see some sable antelope resting as a couple of blue wildebeest graze nearby.

Another giraffe spotted as the antelope and wildebeest are in the background.

A closer look at on of the giraffes on the safari.

A giraffe strolling as a wildebeest grazes in the background.

Another look at the blue wildebeest.

Another giraffe picture, this time with the Ankole-Watusi cattle in the background.

Another picture of an Ankole-Watusi cattle.

One of the giraffes reaching for some food.

A few more photos of the giraffes that we spotted on our safari...




A couple of Thomson's gazelles can be spotted behind the grass...

...while one was seen out in the open.

We were also able to see a couple of African elephants on our safari...


There was also a couple of groups of greater flamingos enjoying the water...


A white rhinoceros laying along one of the trails.

A cheetah laying in the shade.

A bontebok laying along a trail.

More white rhinoceros...

A lion laying on the rocks.

A warthog laying in the shade.

We were also able to see ostrich on our safari...

Another look at the rhinos.

Just as the tour guide told us how rare it was to spot them, a scimitar oryx dashed into sight...


...and spent some time time prancing and playing around.

A couple views of the water that we crossed near the end of our safari...


Some naked mole-rats spotted on our way to the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

A turtle (or is it a tortoise?) that we got to see.

This giant frog/toad is said to be the worlds largest of its kind.

I'm not sure those are the shoes that I would wear to a Disney park...

A Taveta weaver bird spotted in the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail aviary...


A white-headed buffalo weaver in the aviary.

A bunch of fish that get to swim around in the aviary.

A couple of African pygmy geese.

A marbled duck swimming in the aviary.

A hamerkop sitting on the tree branch.

A look at the water inside the aviary.

A couple of Taveta weaver birds near their nests in the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail aviary...

Tara sticking her head inside of a skull, recreating this shot from 2004!

We also got to see some gorillas along the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

A view of the nature along the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

We even got to see a rabbit along the trail!

Another gorilla... though this one preferred to be left alone!

A Mickey Mouse drawing on one of the buildings in the Harambe Market.

A giraffe statue.

We got to see some resting otters in the Otter Grotto.

Some Chilean flamingos that we spotted inside of the park...


A look across the water to the Port of Harambe.

Jayden and Samantha posing for some photos in front of a safari themed painted wall...



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