Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Our first day at Walt Disney World was spent at the Animal Kingdom. It’s iconic symbol is the Tree of Life which looks pretty small in photos, but is actually huge and the trunk is made up of interlaced sculptures of different animals. It is worth staring at for awhile. I liked the owl and iguana and I think lobster all together in one area. The big ride was Expedition Everest which included a portion of the ride where the roller coaster car travels backwards and even does a loop da loop as we traveled backwards. I think I am glad I did not remember that part of the ride. We survived it fine, however. It was a hot day, so we went on the Kali River Rapids where you get wet. I liked the decorations as you waited in line. It reminded me of our recent trip to India. They captured the look of some of the shrines and temples. We also viewed the Lion King show which had some great singing, dancing, and the characters we remember from the movie… life-sized. Well, Timon was much larger than life-sized.
EPCOT Center was our target for the second day. The Flower and Garden Festival was taking place so there were some very impressive topiary sculptures and plantings. Our first stop was the Test Track where we designed a car and then sat in a “sim car” while it went around the test track… really fast. We got the best score for our design for efficiency, but it did not have a lot of power. Fine for driving in Los Angeles. We had brunch in the Land Pavilion where several characters came by for photo ops and to sign autographs for the kids with autograph books. Ron posed with Pluto and I posed with Dale (how can you tell the difference?… the nose). There was also a cool ground painting by Glidden Paints that looked all elongated from the side, but from below, the picture looked correct.
As the day got hotter, I tired of taking photos, but we worked our way around the World Showcase and visited little mini-countries. It was cool to relate what we saw to our recent travels. We saw Morocco, and it compared favorably with our memories… tangine slow cookers, mint tea, and the clothes. China’s building was patterned after the Temple of Heaven that we visited. This is a smaller version, but it matches my photos of the site. Pretty cool. The 360-degree film of China revisited several of our stops in China (Shanghai, Hong Kong, the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, Tiananmen Square, and even the terra cotta warriors).