Animal Kingdom Walk About – 5/5/16

Deb's Digest Blog

It was such a beautiful morning in Orlando, temps in the 60s, low humidity and blue skies! I had to go walking in Animal Kingdom! I arrived at the park about 8:35 am.

As I pulled up to the toll plaza I noticed the Preferred Parking Sign (additional $15 for resort guests or Annual Passholders, $35 for everyone else). Ever since they announced the preferred parking in March, I have never been told about it or asked if I wanted it at any park Toll Plaza. Same held true at Animal Kingdom.

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I parked in Dinosaur 34 and had a clear view of the Preferred Parking area.. looked empty to me.

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A frequent site these days as you walk into Animal Kingdom are the cranes working on Pandora: the World of AVATAR.

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There was a decent crowd considering the park had not officially opened yet. The security check did extend back some. However, according to friend, by 10:00 ish, it was backed up to the gift shop.

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I love wandering through the Oasis. I noticed that once again, the anteater was missing and the sign covered (as it has been for some time now). I did find an Animal Keeper in the area and inquired. She told me the anteater has been moved backstage so the construction noise doesn’t bother it.

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Wandering over to the Scarlet Macaws I was in for an unexpected treat. Two cast members were walking around the tree and placing special “browse” in the holes for the macaws. Then they returned to their cart and brought out the 2 birds. They gave them peanuts (in the shell) for a treat.

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Coming up the hill I saw the Tree of Life… this never gets old!

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From here I wandered over to Pizzafari and the blocked off area leading to AVATAR. On the right you can see Tiffin’s restaurant being built.

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My favorite Discovery Island Trails are closed and under some kind of construction. I hope the birds and animals will return. Missing the Galapagos Turtle, the African-crested Porcupines and the painted storks. Anyone know what’s going on in this area?

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Since I couldn’t get a last minute, or actually any FP for the Safari, I headed to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. One Okapi was out grazing…

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One Hippo was actually close to the viewing window 🙂

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The Meerkats were hiding but the Zebras were out and about, including the camera shy baby.

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Swung by the Harambe Market but it was too early for lunch.

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Then it was off to Asia! The Caravan Stage and Flights of Wonder show are open again. I kept missing the start of the show but was told it is pretty much the same thing as always.

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Here’s a couple photos of the Rivers of Light seating areas:

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Walking “deep” into Asia I noticed a sign has been added for the lantern festival:

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Now in the Rivers of Light area, this is one of the gates that will allow folks to enter the seating area:

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Walking further I found what appears to be the wheelchair seating area. I will say this area concerned me because it looked like you won’t be able to sit in the wheelchair and see much of the show, unless you are tall. But, since it is closed, I couldn’t walk into the section and actually see for myself. Hope I am wrong.

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Here is another area a bit further down that might be wheelchair and/or standing room?

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At the Upcountry Landing, Baloo and Louie have new signage since I saw them last.

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Nice lunch at Flame Tree with friends from the west coast and soon it was time to head back home. Here is a panoramic view of the Discovery River and seating area for Rivers of Light.

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As I walked back to my car, I again passed the Preferred parking area (1pm) wasn’t but a couple cars inside, maybe.. hard to tell.

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Here’s an exclusive look at the Rivers of Light that I filmed during the April media event. It is from the middle of the show:

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the walk about.

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7 Replies to “Animal Kingdom Walk About – 5/5/16”

  1. Hi Deb – really nice to see how things are coming together in the Animal Kingdom. Any idea when Pandora is due to open next year? We’re visiting in Sept 2017 for my son’s 21st and he’s a big Avatar fan!

    DEB: No dates yet for Avatar other than 2017.

  2. Thanks Deb! We just missed you by a day! Th funny thing is that I told my family that if I lived closer I would come to AK often just to walk the grounds. So much to see. What a neat idea and how fun you get to do a walk about! My daughter and I love your sight btw. We check it almost daily!!!!

    Deb: Thanks Jen!! Hope you enjoyed your trip.