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The Lion Sleeps Tonight–Disney Solo

Sleeping lioness on Kilimanjaro Safari

Behold the power of Disney–I didn’t write any blog posts while we were there, and now I find myself two weeks later with only one trip post!  Imagine that–super obsessive blogger me was silenced by the power of The Mouse.  Impressive.

But all good things must, of course, end.  So here’s post two–my morning at Animal Kingdom.

Before park opening

Day two of our trip was possibly the busiest day I’ve experienced in thirty years of life.  I woke up crazy early, made my way to Animal Kingdom where I spent the morning until it was time for the afternoon pre-convention sessions.  Then, after registering and attending an afternoon-long workshop, I went back to the hotel to get ready for a night ‘out’ with a friend from high school I’d not seen in years, who super-kindly drove pretty darn far across Florida just to hang out with me.  I didn’t think it was possible to fit a Disney park, a teacher convention and a mini-high school reunion into one 24 hour period, but I guess it is–if you use ALL 24 hours!

Many people wonder if Disney is fun when traveling solo.  My official decision, after only twenty minutes at Animal Kingdom is a resounding yes–yes, it absolutely is.  In fact, I’d even wager that going alone is more fun in some ways, as you can do whatever you want without having to worry about what other people want or need.  Plus, if you are nervous about traveling alone–or just plain have never done it before–Disney is a great introduction; there’s so much to see and do you’ll hardly notice you’re alone, there are crowds of nice people everywhere if you need or want anything, and counter-service restaurants are plentiful for those not yet ready to eat alone in a restaurant (though I highly recommend it–after all, when you are dining alone, the bill is always less!)

I arrived at the park twenty minutes before it opened, just in time to watch Micky and Minnie open the park from the back of a safari-looking jeep.  Fortunately I

Opening 'ceremony'

didn’t cry upon entering this park, but I did take about a million pictures.  My justification was that since my husband couldn’t be there, I had to document the entire trip for him–but I think the real reason was because Animal Kingdom is just so amazingly photogenic.

Animal Kingdom must be the worlds most theme-y theme park, and I continued to be floored by how well everything was done.  Being alone, I had time wander and to click my camera–though at first I was pretty hell-bent on getting to Kilimanjaro Safaris before ‘the crowds’ (I didn’t know it was going to be one of the slowest crowd days of the year–parts of the park were literally empty).  After the safari–which was

Under an 'adventure outfitter store', looking towards Everest

just as cool as I thought it would be, if not more so–I circled the park several times just taking photos of things.  I contemplated Expedition Everest for a good fifteen minutes, as I stood at the lookout and watched the train barrel down the tracks…and then chickened out (I was not yet over my scarring experience on Space Mountain).

Aside from the safari, the one other ride I really wanted to do at Animal Kingdom was Dinosaur.  As I approached the ride, I was struck by how very building-like it was.  Very little at Animal Kingdom is building-like.  And then once on the ride, I was struck by how absolutely horrifying it is!  My husband wants to go on the next time we get a chance to

Outside Dinosaur

return to Disney together, and I honestly don’t know if I will join him.

After Dinosaur I wandered around some more and took yet more photos.  I then made my way to the center of the park to watch the interactive show ‘It’s Tough to be a Bug’, which was, as I was told by yet another friend, super-cool.  Winding your way down under the tree of life is a pretty neat experience, and I (oddly) found myself once again wishing there was a line!  Disney does such a good job of making the line experience part of the ride experience, it’s almost a shame to miss it.

By this point I was starving and the sun was getting high, signaling my time to exit the park, make for some sort of food and find my way to the convention.  I definitely did not get to experience all that Animal Kingdom has to offer–so I guess it’s a good thing I’m going back in the spring!

Random cool building

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