Meeting Simba’s Family: Animal Kingdom

Day 1 at Disney World!  We got to Orlando at 5 am and got to the Animal Kingdom Lodge at 6 am.  To back up a bit, our flight was delayed to 7:00 pm, but we got to LAX at 3:30 pm on Saturday because we couldn’t reschedule our shuttle.  Our long journey to Florida began.  By the time we got there, we were so exhausted.  We didn’t get any sleep on the plane, except maybe my dad.  Thank goodness that the room was already ready by the time we checked in!  We were able to take about an hour nap before starting our day at Animal Kingdom.  Crazy right?  Going to a theme park on only one hour sleep… I’m still not sure how we all made it to the afternoon.

Animals in the morning! The first thing I saw after my nap.

We went to breakfast at the Mara at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I had their special: a Mickey shaped waffle (yes!) with caramel and apples.  I tried quinoa for the first time and found out that I don’t like it.  I also tried polenta a few days before I left and found out that I don’t like that either.  At least I’m trying new things!  (I used to be a super picky eater.  I mean I still am, but at least I’m getting better at trying new food).

My breakfast: Mickey waffle with apples and caramel


My brother being a diva because of his lack of sleep.

I haven’t had such a heavy breakfast in a long time, which probably wasn’t a good idea since I was tired.  Food coma even more.  After breakfast, we took the shuttle to Animal Kingdom.  Let the theme park tours begin!

I really like this park.  I’m not sure what the general opinion or ranking is for these four parks, but I would have to say this is my second favorite (Magic Kingdom being first!!!).  I know it’s really small and doesn’t have that many rides, but I think this park is really cute and I love the whole theme of the park.  Animals!  And I feel really attached to the Lion King for some reason.  I tweeted about this after we watched a show about the Lion King.  I mentioned that I get so emotional whenever Lion King songs play, especially Circle of Life.  I don’t know what it is!  Circle of Life is definitely my favorite Disney song and Lion King one of my favorite movies.  The greatest opening Disney scene ever.

It’s like the Matterhorn, but someone stepped on it.

This day was a blur now that I look back on it.  I remember feeling queasy, getting soaked, and walking around a lot.  I think I was too tired to think.

The first ride we went on was Everest Expedition, or at least that’s what I think it’s called.  This is where the queasiness came in.  I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t gone on the ride, but I think it was a mixture of just getting off a plane, not getting enough sleep, and part of the ride that made me nauseous.  Not a good feeling!  But the ride was exhilarating.

After, we went on a bunch of rides all over the place.  We were following this tour plan that my dad found in a tour book.  It’s supposed to save you 2-3 hours of waiting time.  It worked today since all the lines were pretty short.  For some reason, there weren’t that many people at the park in comparison to the crowds at the other parks.  Curse you spring break!

We went on the rapids ride and got SOAKED.  I would show you a picture of how soaked I got, but I don’t like the outfit I’m wearing.  I can’t do airport fashion.  Or theme park fashion.  Anyway, I looked like I just jumped into a pool.  I was wet for the rest of the day and let me tell you, walking around in wet underwear and jeans in very uncomfortable.  Don’t do it!

Lunch was boneless chicken wings from a stand next to the Flights of Wonder show.  The wings would have been better if the sauce was less salty.

We went through the safari ride and the animal exhibits after lunch.  Animals, animals, animals!

I love giraffes.

After all this animal seeing, it was pretty much a consensus that we go back to the hotel to take a nap.  We were all exhausted.  We still had to eat dinner and see more shows, but there was no way we could keep going.  And I really really really wanted to change my underwear and jeans.  They were still wet.  Best change of clothes and nap ever.

The first show we watched when we got back into the park was the Celebration of the Lion King.  Go watch it!  It was like a mini musical.  I really liked it.  Like I said before, I get so emotional during anything Lion King.

Dinner was at Yak and Yeti located in the Asia section of the park.

My dad wanted to watch the Finding Nemo musical an hour later so we had to rush eating dinner.  Everything is always a rush when you go places with my dad.  He packs our schedule to the max.

Everyone agreed that this was our favorite restaurant to eat at during the whole trip.  We all liked the dishes we ordered.  I wouldn’t really consider this Asian food, since everything is really Americanized.  But!  The food was still tasty.


Miso salmon (I don’t think my mom realized her picture was blurry)

Lo Mein

We called it a night at 8 o’clock.  It was one long and tiring day.  We wanted dessert (we always want dessert), but the options at the hotel were very limited.  I think it’s a crime not to have some kind of dessert place at a hotel.  I did a search to see what we could get at the hotel and the first thing that popped up were Zebra Domes.  This is the specialty at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Delicious!  I was surprised by the texture because I though it was going to be solid, but it was soft.  There’s a reason why they’re a specialty!

I knocked out at 11 pm which is the earliest I’ve slept in a really long time.  It was a really fun day, but we still had 4 more days of more Disney fun.


  1. culturemonk

    I’ve been going to Disney since I was young and Magic Kingdom was always my favorite until……The Animal Kingdom got built….I’m in my thirties now so the rides at Magic Kingdom don’t do much for me (not to mention the fact that I’ve been their more than a 15 times!) but I never get tired of the Animal Kingdom…its a nice place to chill out and drink a coffee :) Enjoyed your photos.

    • markandmal

      Thank you! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who loves the park :) Hopefully, if I get to go again, I will be able to relax and sit around and enjoy what’s going on around me!

  2. Pingback: You’re a Wizard, Harry | Sweet Smores

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