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Vacation First Day: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Now that I wrote about our races, I want to go back and show the fun that we had at the Disney theme parks.

The first park that we went to was Animal Kingdom.  While looking at photos from Layla’s first time time at Animal Kingdom, and I definitely wanted to get another family photo in front of the Tree of Life.

After our photo op, which Layla was not completely into, we headed over to Tusker House for the character lunch.  This was my first time eating at Tusker House, and it was delicious.  I was so hungry that I finished my first plate of food before my husband even returned to the table with his food.

Meeting characters is my favorite thing to do at Disney World.

I had also purchased Layla’s first autograph book.  My husband wasn’t sure if she would understand what to do.  I knew after one or two characters, she would get the hang of it.  She became so excited to ask each character to sign her book and take a photo with her.

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I am such a huge Disney lover, and I will always love taking photos with characters.  Having Layla to share these moments with is just icing on the cake.  Donald Duck has always been my absolute favorite so I just had to get an individual photo with him.  Overall, it was a very successful character lunch!

After lunch, we enjoyed some of our favorite attractions at Animal Kingdom.

Tusker House is right next to The Festival of The Lion King so we went to that show after lunch.  We have taken Layla to this show every time she has been to Animal Kingdom.  She enjoyed the singing and dancing even though she is not as familiar with The Lion King as some of the other Disney movies.

When the show ended, we headed over to Pandora.  It was our first time going to Pandora, and we loved it.  We had Fast Passes for the Na’vi River Journey.  Although I am not the biggest fan of Avatar, it was a beautiful ride.  I definitely think the Pandora area fits right into Animal Kingdom.

My husband joked that we were at Animal Kingdom and had barely seen any animals.

We solved that problem by going on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.  Layla especially loved seeing all the fish.  I have photos of Layla as a baby looking at the fish so this was a special moment for me.  It is amazing to see how much she has grown over the years and how different our Disney photos look.

After walking the trails, we had Fast Passes for the Kilimanjaro Safari.  There were so many animals out and about, and Layla loved every minute of it.

We try to do mostly family rides, but we still make an effort to go on our favorite big kid rides.

One of the down sides about not having family go with us to the theme parks is that Darin and I can’t ride the big kid rides together.  Since Expedition Everest is one of our favorite rides, we decided to get Fast Passes and the ride individually.  One day Layla will be old enough to go with us, but it was still fun for Darin and I to take turns and ride Expedition Everest.

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A successful first day at Disney.

Originally I planned on staying for the night show – River of Lights.  However, we were pretty tired.  This had also been one of the hottest days of our trip.  We decided to head back to my sister’s house shortly after we rode Expedition Everest.  It had been a successful first day at Disney so we decided to relax for the rest of the evening since we had a busy day planned for Day 2.

Of course… I had to buy the Millennial Pink Minnie ears before I left the park.


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