Friday, July 17, 2015

Animal Kingdom (Thursday)

Our family loves Animal Kingdom. Don't get me wrong...the other parks in Disney World are amazing, incredible, full of fun. But there is something about the Animal Kingdom that we just adore. We are the family who, when we visit a city, will hit the zoo. So, maybe it all makes sense. Our kids love animals, we love them, and Animal Kingdom does not disappoint. 

Before we even got into the park, while we were waiting, Callie and her cousins found a lizard. Well, welcome to Animal Kingdom! It was a sign for a really good day.

Part of what makes Animal Kingdom great is the atmosphere. We love it. As you walk in, you are walking into a jungle. There are so many plants and feel like you've truly entered a different part of the world. And, what is also so great about it, is that you have immediate shade. It was a really hot day, surprise, and it felt so much cooler as soon as we walked in. 

By Thursday, the kids were tired and waiting was not as thrilling as it was before.

A Jungle Safari will always bring a smile.

And when in drums...

It was hot HOT. And we were waiting around for something...I can't remember what. Then there, on the "street" a band starts playing and this woman starts dancing. I go over with the kids and start to watch and dance along. Then, I took it one step further and started dancing with her. I brought Sammy up and we were dancing together. Other people were there and joined in too. It took a while to convince Callie to join, but she did. And so did her cousins. I stepped out because it was getting kind of crowded and it was hard to dance along with Sammy and so many people. But it gave me the chance to get some pictures. Callie was so serious trying to follow and get all the moves right. 

Animal Kingdom has some pretty incredible shows. We were advised that the Finding Nemo show was the best in Disney World. We checked it out, and it was pretty impressive. Our entire group was into it.

Sammy's feet. It breaks my heart. Sammy had a really hard time on this trip with her feet, mainly because she would get overheated. Assuming you don't wear orthotics, let me break this down for you. Imagine this.
You put your socks on.
Then your feet are pushed down into a plastic form.
That plastic wraps around your foot and heal, and goes up your leg.
Then another pair of socks is put over the brace, because if you're Samantha, you will take the brace off unless something is in the way -- like a sock.
Finally, your shoes.

It's really hot. She tried to wiggle out of them a lot, which left red pressure marks on her feet. We finally took her braces and socks off, and she was so much happier when we did.

We continued to learn, and relearn, that Micah's not a fan of rides.

Callie and Sammy, on the other hand, couldn't get enough.

It had been a long week so far, full of a lot of fun, and it was tiring. Micah figured out how to get some shut eye while we were out and about.

The highlight of Animal Kingdom, for me anyway, was The Lion King show. We already knew we liked the show, but this time, Callie, cousins, and Sammy got in on the show. Micah opted out. He wasn't too keen on the idea.

The entire time, Sammy was entranced by the performance. She was smiling and giggling the entire time. It was loud, and was everything she loves. When one of the performers came and asked if Sammy could join in, I said yes. He was trying to talk to her, and I briefly explained that she wouldn't be able to respond or follow maybe it's better if she just stayed with me. Then he said, "Well, can I just push her along in her chair?" My heart smiled as he took her and she just beamed with excitement. It truly was the best the entire trip.

So often, Sammy is the little kid or baby. The one who needs to be fed, pushed, carried, changed, spoken for...but at that moment, she was just one of the big kids. She knew it. And she loved it. Afterward, she looked at me, smiled and kept watching the show.

Another show. Animal Kingdom...lots of shows. And even though I can't see his face, I think this is such a cute picture of Micah.

To end the day, we ate at the Tuscan House in Africa. It was perfect for us. Buffet style, loud, good variety of food. We fit in well. AND, we met a few Disney stars.

As much as Daisy tried, Sammy just wasn't having it.

And this, this is just hilarious.

Animal Kingdom = success. Until next time...hopefully we'll make it back there again in the future.

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