Monday, 30 April 2012

Disney Animal Kingdom Orlando

Disney World Animal Kingdom Orlando


Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando is a theme park where the main theme is animal conservation.Spread over 500 acres ,Animal Kingdom is the largest of all Disney Theme Parks ever built.The  Animal Kingdom consists of  seven themed areas and it is impossible to cover the entire park in a single visit.

Kilimanjaro Safari






The Kilimanjaro Safari tour begins in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, across the river from Discovery Island. The ride on the rugged open-sided safari vehicle is an exciting expedition through the 100 acre Savannah style wildlife preserve. The ride can be a bit bumpy as it crosses rickety bridges, rocky hills and rivers but we were rewarded with spectacular African animal sightings the kind we normally see on Discovery or Animal Planet Channels.We saw Giraffe, Zebra ,Flamingoes ,Ostrich and a Lion family which looked like toys until one of them suddenly raised its head to look at us.
The ride concluded when suddenly our tour guide received word that poachers had taken a baby elephant from its mother.. Our truck took off on a chase to help save the infant animal from harm.There was high drama with walkie talkie sets crackling and lot of shouting and yelling.


The Wildlife Express Train

The Wildlife Express Train is a one way trip that ends at Rafiki’s Planet watch. The ride took about seven minutes to complete and upon arrival we exited on to a ststion set in 1926 Africa.The coaches were open on one side and we could have a good look at the behind the scenes operations of Animal Kingdom and where and how the animals spent their nights.The engine, coaches, platform, station were quite authentically set in Africa of the early1900s.Standing was just not allowed.


Tigers In The Anandapur Royal Forest in Animal Kingdom Orlando
Maharajah Jungle Trek is a self-guided adventurous walking tour of native Asian wildlife in Anandapur Royal Forest, a tropical paradise full of plants and trees, rushing waterfalls and wild animals. in Animal kingdom at Orlando.
Maharajah Jungle Trek features beautiful murals, crumbling ruins and colorful pennants representing the cultures of northern Asia. The flowery scents and the  fascinating assortment of unique animals, created  a colorful and  alluring environment.
Tigers, the Lords of the Asian Jungle, were a special draw for the crowds and were housed in enclosures made of glass. 



Forbidden Mountain with Roller Coaster in Animal Kingdom Orlando
Expedition Everest in the Asia area of  Disney Animal Kingdom is a high-altitude, high-speed, roller coaster train ride for bigger kids  and adults to the "Roof of the World," which is the  home of the inhospitable snarling beast, the abominable snowman living at mountain's peak.
We climbed aboard a railway car for a full-steam-ahead adventure bound for Mount Everest. Our trek across the treacherous terrain of the towering Forbidden Mountain began with a few scenic twists and turns and then set out on a climb towards the summit.From this panoramic point with amazing views across Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, we plunged into darkness. Returning to the light,  the tracks had been twisted into a dead end. While careening in the darkness we got glimpses of the Yeti. The fast   hairpin turns hurled us forward and down sudden drops on the mountain slopes in a race to escape from the abominable snowman Yeti.

Festival Of The Lion King at Animal Kingdom, Orlando
Festival of the Lion King brings the familiar characters of the Disney animated classic film The Lion King from the movie screen to an action-packed stage at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. This half an hour long  live show combines the pageantry of a parade with a tribal celebration.It is in no way less than any Broadway performance.Through the original film music , vigourous dances, fire juggling etc the characters like Simba, Timon etc and a traveling band of African tribal performers  tell the tale of a lion cub who can't wait to be king.
Festival of the Lion King is performed in an air-conditioned theater with stadium seating.During the Festival of the Lion King show, we were encouraged to be part of the action. Each of the 4 sections around the stage takes turns acting like a giraffe, a warthog, a lion or an elephant. Did you know giraffes make the same sound as sheep: bleeet!We were siting in the giraffe section and people all around us bleeeted and participated merrily with our animal guide teaching us all along about the  "Circle of Life".

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Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Magic Kingdom

Cinderella castle at Fantasy land in Magic Kingdom, Orlando
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando is the ultimate theme park and quite a hit with the kids,their parents and the grandparents too. It is 107 acres of pure fun and adventure.It is not possible to visit the entire Kingdom in one day and therefore there are Flexi Tickets which allow multiple entries over a number of days.If somebody  gets tired ,they can head back to their hotel rooms,recharge the batteries and be back again,ready to enjoy the charm of the magic Kingdom.


Ferry To Magic Kingdom
The best way to get to The Magic Kingdom ,after parking the car is to take the disney world ferry across the lake.There is a mono rail also, but the thrill of travelling in a 19th century style boat is more fun.


Orlando Lake Ferry Crossing The Seven Seas Lagoon


There are 3 boats which can carry 600 guests and cover the mile long ride in about 5 minuteswith the pasengers wondering how did the  Disney Seven Seas Lagoon construction take place.


Inside the Magic Kingdom there are  seven lands which represent different concepts of Walt Disney World. The original plan was to have only 5 but finally the number increased to 7.

Main Street, Inside The Magic Kingdom, Orlando


1.Main Street U.S.A.-Takes you back to the Main Street of Nineteenth century American towns complete with Rail Road Stations, Barber Shop, Horse  Drawn Trolleys running on rails, Town hall  for meting and greeting etc along with the food outlets.Immediately after entering the Magic Kingdom you are on the main Street.At nightime there is a special Magic Kingdom Main Street Electrical Parade with radio controlled LED lighting effects and electronically synthesised musical sounds.




2. Fantasyland -This is the land of Walt Disney Characters , Mickey, Donald, Goofy etc., created and popularised initially through comics, then videos and I believe there are interactive games now. Cinderella castle which is just at the beginning  of fantasyland is the most photographed place in magic Kingdom. 



3.Tomorrow land-It is conceived  on Walt Disney's imagination of the future based on science fiction writings in the 1920s and 30s.It depicts a future that never came. But the flashing strobe lights, shining glass and gleaming metal along with futuristic rides make tomorrow land enjoyable for the parents and grandparents of the kids busy in Fantasy land. The queue  for the Space Mountain in tomorrow land is the longest.The ride took away our breath literally and it took 45 minutes to recover at the tomorrow land magic kingdom restaurant. The ride simulates a rocket blasting off  into space and the acceleration, twists and turns, in full darkness with blinding strobe flashes was the ultimate in getting blasted.After that I have not sat on any ride again.

4.Liberty Square Magic Kingdom is reminiscent of colonial America. The buildings and get up transports you to the time when independence  was being declared and there is an original replica of the original Liberty Bell. Yes, it is correct, and there is a long story behind it which can be enjoyed on wikipedia etc. The steamboat, Liberty Belle takes visitors on a tour of the seven rivers of America.The Haunted House is not to be missed and despite knowing that the whole thing is for fun, at some point the heart does skip a beat. The Hall of Presidents has robotic presidents of the USA. 


5. Magic Kingdom Adventure land represents the mystery of exploring foreign lands. It is themed to resemble the remote jungles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the South Pacific, with an extension resembling a Caribbean town square. Adventure land contains classic rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Disney Jungle Cruise.At boarding point for the disney jungle cruise(called silly jungle cruise) there were cages having all kinds of African and Asian animals-some of them quite fierce. The best was a six inch by six inch cage containing a Tarantula Spider with red lighted eyes and moving legs.It did look quite sinister.The jungle cruise started in Africa and finished in Thailand .



6.Frontierland-  Disneyworld frontierland transports visitors to the time of the American Wild West when Cowboys, Indians and Outlaws called the shots. The Frontierland Big Thunder Mountain Rairoad is a roller coaster inside an abandoned mine which appears to be crumbling and there are some  special audio effects. Splash Mountain is another attraction where if you sit in the front you can have the pleasure of getting soaked.


7.Mickey Toon Town Fair is for very small kids and we did not have the time and strength(after spending 8 hours walking around the Magic Kingdom) to visit.


Magic Kingdom is indeed an excellent experience. If somtimes the queues are long at any particular ride ,one can take a ticket which says what time to come,maybe 2 hours later,but you can legally jump the queue.It is a good arrangement ,otherwise you would spend the whole day waiting for just one ride.


Among the best places to travel to in United States,,Magic Kingdom is among the  top family holiday destinations and one of the most enjoyable tourist places in Orlando. 
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