May 5th

Home Up May 5th - Page 2


Friday, May 5th, 2023              

Although I typically have a normal Monday-Friday schedule at work now, I do occasionally have to work a Saturday as well. Because of that, I was able to finagle a three day weekend out of it this week, giving me a Friday off. The kids are in testing weeks at school, so they were both able to be home early today as well, so we decided to make plans to go to Walt Disney World. We chose to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom as they were both interested in exploring the walking trails that I enjoyed during my solo trip on Sunday, April 23rd. We also decided that it would be fun to stay in the parks late to catch a nighttime show, as we usually leave early. We chose Epcot to see the Epcot Forever show, as we had never seen that one (or any show in Epcot at night).

We decided to eat lunch at home before heading over so that we would only have to pack one meal. Because of that, we were later in the day arriving at the park (around 3:20pm before we made our way through the gate). We checked the wait times for our favorite rides and settled on waiting the 45 minutes for Avatar Flight of Passage. It was the first time in ages that we actually waited in line for this ride, so it was almost like going through the queue for the first time all over again! The ride was as fun as always!

We walked the trail from Pandora-The World of Avatar to Africa for our next ride, the Kilimanjaro Safari. This is always one of our favorites at this park, and the 10 minute wait made it a no-brainer to go on today. Our driver was awesome too, stopping at prime picture taking opportunities during our safari, giving us some extended looks at some of the animals.

Once our safari was over, we headed out on foot on the Gorilla Falls Conservation Trail. Although some of the animals weren't out today (like the trails namesake gorillas), we got a chance to see a lot of cool ones during our hike. We saw okapi, naked mole-rats, snakes, several varieties of birds, a hippo going for a swim, a zebra, and a family meerkats.

As I did on my solo trip on the 23rd, we next headed to Asia, except this time we had the knowledge of the Maharajah Jungle Trek. This was our next stop, and it provided us with the opportunity to see a lot of new and different animals. On this trail we saw a komodo dragon, a Sumatran tiger, water buffalo, and several new varieties of birds.

Just off the trail we saw a white-cheeked gibbon in its exhibit as we made the walk over to Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain for our ride. We breezed through this line and enjoyed the thrills of the ride as well.

At this point it was nearing time for Disney's Animal Kingdom to close, as we made our way to the front of the park so that we could make our way to Epcot for our final stop of the night. See the next page for the rest of my daily recap!

One quick note - I brought my camera today, but in a major (but all to common) fail moment I didn't bring a memory card. Without my camera we had to use our phone cameras a lot more than usual. Thankfully Drew and Jayden were able to help me out with some quality pictures of their own that I am sharing with you. Be sure to look for (Drew) or (Jayden) after the picture caption below to see their photos. Thank you kiddos!


Disney's Animal Kingdom


Jayden and Drew made a trade on the tram from the parking lot to the entrance to Disney's Animal Kingdom - his glasses for her giraffe ears!


The Disney100 logo at the front entrance to the park.


A monarch butterfly spotted in the flora in the Oasis. (Jayden)


We also saw this roseate spoonbill in the Oasis... well as the southern giant anteater...


...resting in the same spot that I found it in during my last visit on April 23rd.


Jay and Drew making their way towards the Tree of Life on Discovery Island... we head into Animal Kingdom.


A red kangaroo that we spotted on the Discovery Island trails.


This service dog had cute little booties and its very own Mickey ears!


The floating rocks of Pandora-The World of Avatar.


Another look at the floating rocks. (Jayden)


Some of the plant life of Pandora-The World of Avatar in front of the floating rocks.


A look at the inside of the Avatar Flight of Passage queue...




...including one of a scary looking guy - oh wait, that's Rodney!


Some of the plants in the Avatar Flight of Passage queue.


A banshee skull in the Avatar Flight of Passage queue.


A look at the scenery on our walk towards Africa from Pandora-The World of Avatar.


An anhinga that we spotted along the water on the trail between Africa and Pandora-The World of Avatar.


We spotted this okapi on the Kilimanjaro Safari tour... well as this yellow-backed duiker.


Here is the duiker and two okapi together.


The black rhinoceros was hanging out in the back of the enclosure and was tough to spot today.


The bongo kept its back pointed towards us as we rode past.


A pod of pink-backed pelicans hanging out together.


A couple of hippopotamuses swimming in their pond.


One of the larger hippos swimming in the pond... (Jayden) another hippo peers over the edge at our safari vehicle passing by. (Drew)


A Nile crocodile enjoying the warmth of the sun... another rests nearby. (Drew)


A couple of looks at waterfalls that we passed by on our Kilimanjaro Safari tour...




A couple of wildebeest out grazing in the savanna.


An Ankole-Watusi cattle enjoying a meal.


A spotted hyena out and about on this nice day... (Drew)




A black vulture hanging out on a rock. (Drew)


A pair of Ankole-Watusi cattle butting heads... (Drew)




A Masai giraffe hiding amongst the trees. (Jayden)


A herd of wildebeest in front of a pair of springboks.


Another look at the Masai giraffe hiding in the trees.


An eland resting near a pair of wildebeest.


Another shot of the eland laying near the bushes.


A shot of one of the Masai giraffes as seen from our safari vehicle. (Drew)


A shot with a couple of Masai giraffes. (Drew)


Drew taking a picture of one of the giraffes that we saw on our safari.


A close-up of a Masai giraffe as it prepares to enjoy a meal. (Drew)


A couple more shots of the giraffe from the close-up picture above... (Jayden)




A set of pictures of another Masai giraffe on the safari... (Jayden)




The African elephants out and about on our Kilimanjaro Safari tour... (Drew)










...including this baby near the water... (Drew)


...who was getting a drink... (Jayden)


...before returning... its nearby mother.


A couple more African elephants.


A flamboyance of greater flamingos hanging out on their Mickey Mouse shaped island... (Drew)






A cheetah going for a stroll... (Drew)




Another cheetah walking the opposite direction in their enclosure... (Jayden)




A lion fast asleep on the rocks.


A male lion and a lioness sleeping on a smoother rock.


The male lion and two lionesses sleeping nearby... (Drew)










A white rhinoceros resting in the shade.


A Nigerian dwarf goat at the ranger station.


A look at more of the Nigerian dwarf goats hanging out at the Kilimanjaro Safari ranger station.


An okapi that we saw while walking on the Gorilla Falls Conservation Trail...


A giraffe skull... (Jayden)


...with an even scarier sighting - Rodney! (Jayden)


Naked mole-rats are ugly! (Jayden)


A boa peering out of its cage. (Jayden)


A Taveta golden weaver seen in the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail aviary...


...along with this white-headed buffalo weaver... (Jayden)


...and this African spoonbill. (Jayden)


A marbled teal swimming in the aviary.


Another African spoonbill.


An African pygmy goose grooming itself.


A few shots of the waterfall inside of the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail aviary...




A hippopotamus swimming in the pool along the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail...




Jayden inside of a hippo skull, recreating this photo and this photo from past visits!


A Grevy's zebra relaxing in the sun that we spotting during our walk on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail...


A meerkat on lookout patrol as its brothers dine nearby. (Jayden)


Please click here for page two of the photos



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