These animals are sadly considered critically endangered and are not showing improvement.
Anyway, moving on…
I have seen a few Lowland Gorillas in zoos so it was no surprise when I discovered that Disney’s Animal Kingdom was host to a family of western lowland gorillas. These magnificent creatures are located on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. If you ever find yourself at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you must go see these beautiful animals.
I was by myself at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this day, and after visiting the characters I spoke to a cast member about what I should do, he said stop whatever you are doing and go the Pangani Trail, you will not regret it, as we just had a birth of a Lowland Gorilla. “It’s kinda a big deal, ” he told me.
Sold. I know how endangered these guys are and a birth of a lowland gorilla is a big deal.
I learned that Pangani is Swahili for “place of enchantment.” I can understand why Disney would chose this name for this trail.
You start off walking on the trail when you come up to the observation point of the Okapi, did you know this is the only living relative of the giraffe? I didn’t and I found that quite fascinating. According to the cast member these guys are very shy and it was our lucky day that the Okapi was out and about.
My next stop was the aviary where African birds where flying about. Bird aviaries always make me nervous thanks to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, so I snagged a few pics and got out!
There were also meerkats, but it was so jam-packed I didn’t even bother trying to get a picture, because well I really wanted to get to the hippos.
The hippos were swimming about and in all seriousness I tried to get at least 20 pictures, but every time my camera finally decided to take the picture the hippo was gone. Those guys are fast.
Quick fact, did you know more people die from Hippos than other animals in Africa. Cast member told me that and to me that is just crazy, but after seeing how fast the guys can swim I don’t doubt it.
Afterwards, I saw the lowland gorillas and I quickly came up to the glass viewing deck.
And I saw him, the most beautiful baby gorilla I have ever seen.
I snapped photo after photo, and this little guy was not shy, he was playing and putting on a show. He made me happy and I think I spent 30 minutes there watching him play and be a little show off.
There were two adult gorillas too!
Afterwards I ventured over to the The Colobus Monkey section of the trail. Disney appears to be doing whatever it takes to help injured Colobus Monkeys and releasing them back in the wild. These guys are not endangered per se, but are hunted for the bush meat trade industry in Africa.
Overall, I give this trail an A plus and believe me I will go every time I got to Disney’s Animal Kingdom here on out. It is now one of my favorite things to do at this park.
For all the photos I took on the trail, CLICK HERE
I love the ride for a multitude of reasons, I remember riding it with my parents and grandmother as a child, I like the spooky atmosphere, and now that I am an adult I enjoy it to get off my feet for 5-10 minutes.
The ride it’s self is top-notch, if you really sit back and think about the special effects, the sights, the sounds, it really is a ride that was superior before it’s time. Something I feel that only Disney can often accomplish.
I won’t get into the back story, yes there is a very intricate & detailed back story, but if you want to know CLICK HERE to become educated. It is quite cool knowing the story before you ride it.
Anyway, when you enter the line queue, you have two options, the “scenic route” and the not so scenic route. It was Leap Day, so we choose the scenic route. The very cool thing about this line is it interactive. Which in my opinion is a great way to keep occupied while waiting in line (just bring hand sanitizer 😉 ). You can play instruments, look for ghosts, shoot water out of the Captain’s Grave, Interact with the book shelf, and well so much more.
If you have kids that don’t want to ride the ride, it is def worth taking them through the line to interact, and then just escape before getting on.
Anyway, here are some of the really cool pics of the line. Enjoy!
In my opinion, Dinosaur is a ride that scares the bejesus out of me. I have to give it to the Disney, they test every ounce of emotion I have on this ride.
This ride is located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and it is worth trying at least once.
The back story of the ride is, you are taking a trip back in time to save an Iguanodon from extinction. You are on this “unsanctioned” trip, mind you, to save this dinosaur, right before the asteroid is supposed to hit Earth. I mean what could possibly go wrong? Right….
Disney of course does an amazing job theming the line, you are walking in the queue at the Dino-Institute, looking at Dino Remains and fossils.
Then you are of shuffled into a room where there is a pre-show. This pre-show briefs you on the actual safety of the Time Rover, and the mission, should you chose to accept it.
On the ride, well you will have to experience it for yourself, because needless to say, I am ducking, diving and dodging so I can’t really tell you what happens, except that you will have a brush with death when the T-rex pops out, but the gist of it is….
You are in the dark looking for this dinosaur that by the point you find it you could care less about it because, you are in this vehicle that is jerky, taking you in all directions, stopping suddenly for man-eating dinosaurs, that stare you down, and then jerking you around some more when you can’t see where you are going then
BAM a T-rex is in your face, and what does Disney do… take a photo of this terrifying moment, for you to always have the memory.
I really wish I would have bought this instead of taking a photo of the screen, but eh you live you learn.
I am not sure why this ride gets to me, but it just does. Maybe it is the anticipation of knowing that we are going to barely escape the T-Rex.
I don’t have any actual photos of the actual ride, because it is hard to get good photos, and well flash photography is of course not allowed, but I have some decent line queue pics.
If you missed my What I did for Leap Day post CLICK HERE
After our yummy lunch,
We decided to take a little bit of a longer break and ride the train full circle, and then continue to ride it again to Frontierland. We decided it was time to start budgeting a few more breaks, as we had already accomplished a lot, and had realized we had 18 hours to go.
After we stepped off the train in Frontierland, we saw Woody & Jessie out, the line was sorta longer than I liked to wait for anything, but we figured it would be ok, as it appeared to move quickly.
While we were waiting, a “real snake” was coming through the side of the fence, and let me just say, Jessie freaked out, she took of running and grabbed a broom. I am not sure if this was an act or not but needless to say, they moved the photo op, so a very discreet Disney Cast Member Crew could handle the situation.
After our meet & greet, we walked over to the Country Bears as it was about to start in 10 minutes, another show I slightly remember from when I went as a kid. Cute, but not a MUST DO for me in the future.
We walked around a bit, and came up to the Enchanted Tiki Room, and was advised that the show was about to start in five minutes, so we walked in sat down, and watched the show. The show is so animated, I just wish I had a better camera so I could take more photos.
Afterwards, we rode Pirates. A classic. I am not sure why I must ride this ride every single time I go, but I must. I think it just makes me think of going to Disney as a child.
At this time it was time for the 3pm parade, so we found a spot to casually watch the parade, but a cast member that we had befriended early came up to me, and told me that Peter Pan was meeting in Adventureland after the parade and I should go line up, because the line has been getting pretty long and people had already started lining up. So I looked at my partner in crime and he was like “Let’s Go” and away we went! I was able to catch the parade from a distance, so that was ok.
At this point, we were starting to feel it. We had been all over the park, already accomplished a lot, more than a lot of people accomplish in a day at the Magic Kingdom. So we decided that we would go take a break on the People Mover, which we rode twice, but decided to get off, because the line was starting to form and the cast member said we had to get off and get back in line to ride again.
So we decided to get on the Carousel of Progress, that was much needed R & R, I looked around, I noticed a lot of people napping, but I stayed up and enjoyed the show.
We then rode Buzz Lightyear, I love this ride, I think I stay in sniper mode the entire time. Not that I am sniper, but that is what I like to call the pose.
As I said we were starting to feel exhaustion of going nonstop since 4:30am, so we decided to continue our break and decided to grab dinner, after we grabbed a fast pass for Peter Pan for that evening.
None of the sit down restaurants had availability, so we decided to go grab dinner at Pinocchio Haus, which neither of us have really eaten before, we were pretty happy with the place. We were trying to avoid burgers on this trip, and this allowed us to do so.
We took a spin on the tea cups next.
At this point it was approx 7:48 pm and my phone had been dead since 10 am, so I knew I needed to get it charged, so we split up. I went back to the locker to use the charger I had spotted tucked and hidden away and my partner in crime went to go snag a rocking chair in Frontierland.
I watched Wishes and boy how I wish I had a better camera to get the awesome shots of Wishes.
I took a break and charged my phone for about a hour.
BIG MISTAKE! My legs cramped up from sitting for so long, I made the walk back to Frontierland and met back up with my partner in crime, he advised me that he was not moving for a while longer, as he was taking a much-needed break. So I told him I was going to go ride Splash Mountain & Peter Pan as I had a fast pass I needed to use.
After I rode Peter Pan I decided I had to see what the Jungle Cruise at night was about plus I had grabbed a fast pass for it earlier.
I rode the Jungle Cruise, while it was fun, I do prefer the day.
At this point my phone had died AGAIN! So I found a spot by PhilarMagic hidden behind the strollers, sat down next to the three high school kids who were passed out and started charging and people watching
I realized it 10:34pm, and the PARK WAS CRAZY BUSY! The idea that the park would be busy earlier in the day and slower after midnight, was clearly NOT going to be the case.
I met back up with my crime partner, and we decided to take get on the people mover and plan our next course of action.
ummmm the people mover had a 25 minute wait! Let me REPEAT this a 25 minute WAIT! I was stunned! I never wait in lines like this for Disney… NEVER, especially for the People Mover but since we needed to figure out what we wanted to do, we waited.
We decided to just walk around and enjoy the park and look for “special character” greets, since by this point the park had went from moderate lines, to lines on crack.
Lucky for us we had accomplished a lot by this point and we were not too heart broken.
So I ventured over to Tink’s Nook and was told Tink and Rosetta were going to be in there for the next hour, it was only a 30 minute wait so I got in line. I had not met Rosetta so I was pretty excited to add another character to my character album.
I got inside and it was only Tink, I found myself pissed off, like VERY ticked and that was the exact moment I realized I needed to go home but I stuck it out a little longer.
This might have been a mistake.
I knew Flynn, was going to come out at midnight, and it was well after midnight so we walked over to the line. I asked a cast member how long the wait is and she said about 2 hours so I sat in line.
I hate waiting but at this point I was ok to wait to meet Flynn, since my legs were pretty much spent and I found myself with anger issues over not meeting Rosetta, I needed to chill.
It was that exact moment, when I was mentally telling myself to “chill out, you are at the Magic Kingdom on Leap Day, millions wish they could be here” that….
A cast member came over and advised us that this line was actually a 4 hour wait… A FOUR HOUR WAIT. let me repeat FOUR HOUR WAIT!!!!!
Hell No. If I was going to wait for 4 hours I better be meeting Zachary Levi (the voice of Flynn), and not a cast member.
(SIDE NOTE: I have met Zachary Levi at comic con and I only waited a hour so yeah no NOT waiting 4 hours).
We decided to check out the dance party, and other special events that were occurring just to see them and hopefully spot some rare characters that I had already not met. There were none.
It was 3 am, and I told the person I was with, that I wanted to go, there was no way I would be able to stay another 3 hours. It was for the safety of others.
We took the bus ride home, got back to the room, I washed my face, laid down, and woke up at 1pm the next day. I had accepted that not EVERYONE can make it for 24 hours, but hey I can settle for 21 hours 🙂
I do want to say, aside from crazy anger issues that occurred, overall the day was pretty magical and looking back, I would not change a thing about the day.