Monday, October 10, 2016

Disney Hipsters Go On The Wild Africa Trek

   As avid Animal Kingdom fans, Adam and I have wanted to experience the Wild Africa Trek for years.  After its debut at our favorite park several years ago, and the constant promotion on Stacey's "must do" channel in our hotel room, we finally decided to book a trek this past May.  This is an upgraded park experience (aka $$$) and you are highly recommended to make reservations ahead of time.

   Check in for the trek is located in Harambe, next to the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safari. Make sure you arrive a few minutes early for your reservation time, as you will be touring with other guests, and wouldn't want to hold up the trek. (yes, there was a woman who showed up ten minutes late to ours...) Close toed shoes are required for the trek, and NO DRESSES OR SKIRTS. (yes, someone showed up in flip flops and a kidding.) 

   After check in you will be suited up in a snappy utility vest and harness with the help of one of your tour guides. Your trek "outfit" also includes a branded metal water bottle and name tag which are yours to keep.  The vests are fitted very snug and tied around your maybe not a good day for you to wear skinny jeans unless you're cool with everyone seeing your junk. 

   From here your group (usually 10-12 people) are lead by two upbeat and friendly tour guides through the Gorilla Falls trail on your way to the Kilimanjaro Safari stage.  Like other Disney World tours, everyone in the group is outfitted with an earpiece to hear the tour guides speaking clearly, regardless of distance.  In the case of Wild Africa Trek, one tour guide speaks while the other snaps high quality photos, and they switch roles often. 

   Though the time spent in Gorilla Falls was fun, the real adventure is at Kilimanjaro Safari.  After walking on a trail behind the main stage, our first animal encounter was with a hippo.  Here you are tethered via carabiner, and allowed to get VERY CLOSE to the drop off into the hippo pool.  At this point a zookeeper appears to answer any questions about the animals.  He was very knowledgeable about these animals and took with each question. Oh yeah, they also entice the hippo with heads of lettuce...totally adorable. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Five Character Meet And Greets at Disney World That We Love...

     Attractions are important at Walt Disney World.  Resorts are important too.  Food is VERY important.  And guess what else is important? Meeting Disney characters.  For us these interactions are the icing on the cake of our vacation.  They add so much ridiculous joy and spontaneous laughter. Even if you are a grumpy adult who has committed to no participating in this long lived tradition, do yourself a favor and just go for it.
   Here are five of our favorite meet and greet locations that AREN'T character meals:

   At Disney's Animal Kingdom you can meet Mickey and Minnie at the Adventurers Outpost.  This location was converted from a store to a dedicated meet and greet a few years ago, and it works so well.  The space is themed to Mickey and Minnie's travels across the globe, with fun exploration photos featuring the two.  Their safari outfits are, in my opinion, the best Mickey/Minnie outfits currently in use at WDW. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Last Photos: Animal Kingdom 2014-2013

   Sorry for not keeping this blog up to date lately. Honestly, by the end of the summer it gets pretty hard to find things to write about. Since we have a trip to WDW coming up very soon I'm sure a huge swath of posts will come along with it.  So that will be fun.
   In the mean time, here is a continuation of our "Last Photo" series in which we simply go through old vacation photos, and without judgement post the last photo taken in a given park every trip. We have already looked at the last two years, and now were going back to 2014...and beyond.

   I remember this night very well.  For some reason Animal Kingdom was open much later than normal, and Adam and I wanted to take advantage.  We spent the evening exploring the recently opened Harambe expansion and meeting with random characters. My girl Daisy is perfection. 

   This is a pretty typical "last photo" for me.  Often times as a trip is wrapping up I wander around, exploring, drinking, and crying.  Here is a picture of a beer I got at Dawa Bar, we I consumed as we sloooooooooowly meandered out of Animal Kingdom. (Does anyone else say goodbye to each park?) 

   Just after our January 2014 Disney Cruise, we spent a few days at WDW.  One of things I made a point of was documenting Creature Comforts the store on Discovery Island.  This shop was slated to (and subsequently has...) become a Starbucks.  I always liked the inside of this store despite not having much interest in the wares. 

   I know this one is boing, but is VERY IMPORTANT considering how great "new Harambe" turned out.  You might remember that there was very little anticipation for this space.  Everyone thought it was just an addition for Festival Of The Lion King.  Boy were we wrong. 

   I love this picture from the inside of Drinkwhalla.  There was a time where we were totally obsessed with this space, and the adjacent lower garden.  Such great theming. 

   Going back through the history of our photos has got me so excited for our upcoming trip!  So many new things to experience! So many jacuzzis to sit in! So many schoolbreads to consume! Is there anything at Walt Disney World that you would like us to cover for the blog?  Let us know over on Twitter of Instagram! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

We're Skipping Not So Scary This Year...But Not At Home

   Many of you have been asking about our costumes for this years Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party...but guess what? We're not going this year.  We have decided to skip what has become one of our absolutely favorite things in the world. In fact we decided shortly after last years event that we would make it an "every other year" kind of thing.  This wasn't because we didn't LOVE the party, but because we wanted it to stay special.  Not enough changes from year to year to keep it feeling fresh and exciting.  So in lieu of getting bored, we decided to opt out. (Plus, we wouldn't tell you our costumes ahead of the party ANYWAY CAUSE ITS ALWAYS A SECRET.)
   Luckily thanks to the internet we're still able to enjoy the music that accompanies the various shows and such. I especially love listening to these after a long work day. An INSTANT pick me up...

   Boo To You is the highlight of MNSSHP.  Many Disney fans place this parade at the very top of the list as far as nighttime parades go.  There is plenty of spooky floats/characters, but for the most part its pretty silly.  PLUS Clara Cluck is my favorite in the world. I look forward to her clucking all year long. 

   The long running Villains Mix And Mingle was replaced last year by the AMAZING Hocus Pocus themed show (which actually contains many of the same elements)...and we don't prefer one show over the other. It's just a terribly fun, and gives Dr. Facillier some much needed stage time. What an under rated villain. 

   The night peaks with a showing of Hallowishes. This show is much more impressive than Wishes...but lacks the emotional investment that makes Wishes to endearing. 

   I'm so glad that youtube exists for situations like this.  I know that it's our decision to not visit the party this year, but I can't imagine going through the Halloween season without these soundtracks! Do you listen to a lot of Disney parks music at home?  Do you think it takes away from the magic? 

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