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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Animal Kingdom Envy

I hear a lot of lamenting from the fans of Walt Disney World that goes something like this - "yeah, we got this impressive and badly needed expansion to Fantasyland and all it adds to the Magic Kingdom but man, we sure could of used something as spectacular as Cars Land." Call it Cars Land envy.

But as a west coast Disney fan, there is a bit of envy as well from my side of things toward WDW, and specifically in my case, towards Disney's Animal Kingdom. You see, the Disneyland Traveler is an animal guy. Within 15 feet of where I write this at home a dog and 3 cats are taking their morning naps. So what could be better than the marriage of Disney and a live animal theme park for an animal guy like me?

When Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I were planning our trip to WDW a few years ago (see:  My Aborted Trip to WDW) I kind of wanted to push Mrs. DLT on staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. I knew I wouldn't get too far with my plea since the DAK Lodge is pretty remote for a first time visitor to WDW so we looked at resorts with closer proximity to the other 3 parks. But the idea of a room overlooking the savanna with beautiful animals wandering near by - wow - what a scene that would be first thing in the morning.

The complaint of even supporters of Disney's Animal Kingdom is that it isn't a full day park (a similar complaint expressed of Disney California Adventure until this past summer). Maybe true but DAK has probably the two Disney attractions I would like to get the chance to experience - Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest (not to mention all the animal life scattered around the park). I don't know when or if I ever will ever get the chance to get there.

The rest of DAK I'm kind of so-so about.  Kali River Rapids? DCA has one of those - a very good one. DINOSAUR? Kind of the same ride aisneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure only different stuff to look at. Primeval Whirl? It's just a wild mouse coaster and DCA has one of those too. It's Tough To Be A Bug? Oh.... DAK for me is all about the animals and one very impressive roller coaster.

Something like DAK can never be duplicated in or around The Disneyland Resort. Just plain no room for it. Besides, a there are two world renowned zoos within close proximity to Disneyland. So Disney Animal Kingdom is a unique and original Disney park. I hope WDW fans really appreciate what they have. Yes, DAK needs more to become a top flight Disney park and Avatar Land is probably not going to be the answer, but it still has a lot to offer for animal lovers like me.

Envy for Disney Animal Kingdom? You bet. We'll save my jealousy for the World Showcase for another time.


  1. I enjoyed that park during my visit, but like you said it is def itely not a full day park. Highlights for us were definitely expedition Everest (rode it three times in a row), the Dino ride and the Lion King stage show. We felt the safari wasn't as good as advertised though.

  2. I've heard that too. I guess often times in Florida the weather isn't conducive to the viewing of roaming animals. Left to make their own choices, they prefer to go somewhere and sleep so seeing animal activity is kind of hit or miss. Also interested in making the train trip to Rafiki's Planet Watch but a lot of people say that isn't what it's cracked up to be either.

  3. I appreciated that park for the duration of my visit when I find travel agents trip to disney , but like you said it is absolutely not a entire time playground..