Monday, March 26, 2007

Animal Kingdom

We woke up early Tuesday morning to pack the van with supplies and sleepy children and to drive east to Animal Kingdom at Disney World. On our last visit, we spent a day at Magic Kingdom. Our plan is to work our way through the parks, one trip at a time.

As you may expect, I had been planning this day for weeks. (Later I was talking to Steve about the benefits of extensive planning. Everything went just as I hoped it would, which left little room for surprises. That doesn't mean I enjoyed the day any less. But after reading countless Web sites and a couple of books about the park, I was able to anticipate just about everything. Of course, just enjoying the day with Katie, Cooper and Steve was the best part.)

We were the first car in the line at the AK parking lot! Later, Steve & Cooper were the first riders, in the first car, at Expedition Everest, the latest blockbuster ride at AK.

We ate breakfast in the park an hour before it opened, enjoying tableside visits from Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Mickey. Katie was so enamored of the giant costumed characters. I don't have a single photo in which you can see all of her face -- she just stares lovingly at the Disney friends.

She did amazingly well, especially considering she napped for only 15 minutes, during the end of Finding Nemo -- The Musical. She loved the safari (we spied lots of elephants, giraffes, birds, warthogs, crocodiles, hippos and more), the shows (though she understandably got jumpy during It's Tough to Be a Bug and that was without the 3-D glasses), playing in the boneyard and just walking around.

Cooper was brave enough and tall enough for the big rides, including Everest (twice), Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl. He had been doing his own prep work for the trip, watching a Discovery Channel special on the park, looking at the official Web site with me and studying every detail of one of the books Julie loaned us. He was thrilled to actually see the Tree of Life (which is beautifully detailed), go on safari, watch the parade, all the characters, etc.

Until our next trip, we'll enjoy the many photos, which are here.

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