Monday, June 17, 2013

{Travel} The Happiest Place On Earth-Part 3

By day 3 we were hitting our Disney stride and up very early to get to Animal Kingdom's Morning Extra Magic Hour.  This is a special perk for Disney resort guests.  Each day one of the parks opens an hour early or stays open two hours after closing.

That meant setting the alarm on vacation but it wasn't too hard to get up once I opened our curtains and saw this spectacular morning view.  That's the castle to the right in the distance. We had a quick breakfast in the concierge lounge (even though breakfast didn't officially start until 7am, we still able to get cereal, coffee, fruit and juice before then) and caught the bus to Animal Kingdom.

We arrived at Animal Kingdom a little after the 7am opening but it was still pretty empty.
We split up and I headed over to Africa to get fast passes for Kilimanjaro Safari while the rest of my family went on Expedition Everest.
I love that coaster, but it doesn't love me. 
One of my favorite things to do is walk through Animal Kingdom when it's relatively deserted in the early morning. 

I even spotted the Dawa Bar that I wrote about in this post.  I have walked by it a million times. It was a little too early to hit the bar though, so my African Margarita will have to wait.
I easily obtained my fast passes so I decided to meet the rest of my party over in Asia.  They were done with Everest and hopped on Dinosaur (another one that I skip) but they were in and out before I knew it.

When it was time for our safari we hopped right onto our vehicle (gotta love fast pass!). 
I do enjoy the safari and try not to take too many pictures because we've done it so many times.

They've reworked the safari and it no longer includes the poacher story line which was fine with us. We had to stop here for a little while because this giraffe was too close to the road. I love when that happens!
There's a baby elephant!  One of our favorite experiences on the safari was the Safari Celebration Dinner that we did the last time we were there.  You can read all about it here.
After the safari, we like to walk through the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to see even more beautiful animals. 
Aren't meerkats the cutest?
This species is pretty cute too.
The gorillas were having breakfast.  
I could watch them for hours.
We did everything we wanted to do in Animal Kingdom and decided to go over to Magic Kingdom since it would just be opening when we arrived.  For me, this is the way to "do" Disney--get there as close to opening (sometimes even before) and do/see as many things as possible on our wish list, then head back to the hotel to relax (lunch/swim/nap).  We always feel more refreshed when going back out in the evenings when we do it this way.
This was a long day so it will have to be continued....
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Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

What a great way to see Disney. My husband is an early riser and could definitely do the early morning thing. So great to not have the crowds!

Jules said...

With each post, I am becoming more and more convinced that Zachary and I have got to go! And hello....African Margaritas - yes, please!

Tamar SB said...

Wow! You captured some amazing sun flares!! What amazing animals/sights!

Love Of Quilts said...

I might just enjoy this trip without the crowds. I don't like crowds. Sounds like you are having a ball.

Katie said...

This looks like such a gorgeous and peaceful morning!

It is so cool that you were able to get to the parks for the extra magic hour and enjoy them while they were still relatively empty!

Mama Hen said...

This looks like so much fun! I love meerkats! My daughter would love going on a trip there. It is definitely a goal. The pictures are fantastic. I have to say that I am not a fan of crowds. What a great day! Have fun!

Mama Hen

Bliss said...

If I could talk to the animals, just imagine it, chatting with a chimp in chimpaneeze.

Dawn said...

Animal Kingdom looks fabulous! Safari looks pretty neat!

Jenny said...

That Concierge level is really paying off for you guys!

This looks so fun!

Heather Whoneedsacape said...

We are heading to disney this Nov - I'm so excited and your pictures are great!!!! Saw you at 6 sisters ;)

Would love for you to link up to our Super Sunday Linky Party at Who Needs a Cape!

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

Okay, I just was reading some of your Disney posts - our very favorite place on earth! LOVE the Polynesian, stayed in Fiji and Tokelau (both now DVC). We stayed at Wilderness Lodge Concierge last time but next time I want to do Concierge Polynesian! LOVE THESE POSTS!!!

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