Also, this is kind of a random thing to pick out of the report but...
You do not have to pay an awful lot of money for a decent stay. This is a room at the Comfort Suites next to Fun Spot in Kissimmee.
Comfort Suites (the entire chain really) is my new "go-to" when I want a pretty great room for a reasonable price. We have a Choice Hotels rewards card and it's always a nice day when we can cash in some points for Comfort Suites.
Anyway, moving off of that I agree with everyone else that (aside from the amazing pictures) the cultural comparisons are definitely my favorite thing about this report.
Love these pictures, that Fantasmic shot is awesome.
Orlando is a great town for "hotels" and there really is kinda something for absolutely everyone and every budget. Some of the best weekends I've had in Orlando have been from just buying a Groupon for 2 cheap nights in some random timeshare resort I've never heard of, and they always turn out to be fine if not way nicer than what you pay for them.
I have a thing for Zoos. In Germany we call them “Tiergarten” (Garden of Animals). Yes, the word is related to “Kindergarten” (Garden of Children). My “Gymansium”, the school I attended from 5th to 13th grade was next to a “Tiergarten”, that was very old-school, which means more or less spacious cages with animals in it and a sign with the name of the Animal in German and Latin on it: “Reh (roe deer) - Capreolus capreolus”. These Zoos are in no way comparable to top American Zoos like San Diego or Busch Gardens. And of course they are no match for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
There is quite a bunch of German visitors who say that Animal Kingdom is the most beautiful park in Florida and not few who call the park their favorite. I think this is because – even for a seasoned Theme Park fan – visiting the Orlando area for the first time can be quite a shock. The sheer amount of attractions is overwhelming, it’s packed, there is music everywhere and lots of invisible people who tell you what to do and what not. And then again en español. So some visitors enjoy the “serenity” and the shaded layout of Animal Kingdom and … let’s face it … that it used to close at 5pm.
My love for Animal Kingdom took some time to grow. Although the park displays its animals in an amazingly beautiful setting, watching them can be … challenging. That’s because the areas in front of the exhibits are packed with people and some of them are … challenging:
[Me, watching Okapis. Mom arriving from the distance]
Mom: “Come Carly; let’s look at the animals, shall we?”
Mom: “What Animal is that, Carly?”
Cast Member: “It’s an Okapi”
Mom: “Look Carly, it’s an Okapi. Isn’t that a beautiful animal? Dad? Come over here. They have Okapis!”
Mom (to me): “Sir, could you step aside please? The little ones can’t see the Okapi!”
[Me, stepping aside]
Mom (5 seconds later): “Dad, Carly, let’s move on, we have lunch reservations!”
Yes, the animal exhibits in Busch Gardens are way quieter. But nevertheless I love the park. Especially now, that it stays open late. The “dusk edition” of the Safari is amazing and while you need good eyes (or glasses) to spot the animals there are way more to see than during time of the day.
Overall the park has a pleasantly relaxed vibe to it after dark. That might change drastically when they open up Pandora some weeks from now (I could kick myself in the butt, that I missed getting an annual pass holder preview spot).
And they have some great restaurants over there. I love Yak & Yeti and also the new Tiffin’s is amazing with nice theming, great food and friendly and knowledgable Staff:
Waiter: “As a parting gift I have this special drawing for you. It was made by Joe Rohde, who …”
[Me, pulling on my earlobe]
Waiter: “Yeah … that guy”
Should we look at some pictures now?
The Tree Of Life: Standard Question: "Is that a real tree?"
One of the most beautiful themed roller coasters in the world: Expedition Everest
The overall themeing is incredible
This is my favorite photo spot in any Disney Park
Let's go on a safari, shall we?
There are lot of animals
Gorillas in the Mist ... without the mist
They grow suprisingly large and get angry at times
I am 100% sure that bat #1 is cleaning bat #2. It's a family park after all, right?
Hi there! I'm green.
Cool. I'm brown.
Bird doing things.
Festival of the Lion King is one of the two park's shows
Looks like "ouch"!
Finale of the Festival of the Lion King
"Finding Nemo - The musical" is the other show.
It's Dory. Found her!
And Marlin the Clownfish.
The Rivers of Light Theater with Expedition Everest in the back
I've always thought Animal Kingdom was a bit underrated among the Disney parks. It is beautiful, as seen in your photos, and it's a nice place to hang out. Looking forward to seeing what Pandora has to offer.
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