Monday, January 7, 2013

Part 1 of From 9 AM - Midnight -- Another Disney Adventure

I was still reading a book until nearly 2 AM on Saturday morning. The time got away from me and finally I fell asleep. I woke up about 7 and decided the sun would shine this day so it was time to get going.

Set off for breakfast at the resort restaurant and discovered it would be a golf tournament day. Saratoga Springs sits next to and in the Lake Buena Vista Golf course.

I was surprised, too, at a line for airline check in so early in the morning.

I got to Animal Kingdom just after it opened. My first goal is always to go to Africa and do something about the safari ride.

No need to get a Fast Pass, the wait time was only 10 minutes. Soon we were on our way. Saw lots of animals, but hard to photograph as the truck continues to move, the animals move, and they are hidden in the forest.

As we crossed some water we got a good view of the hippos. In the picture below a hippo looks like a log floating in the water in about the 2:00 position.

Below is a bit of video as we traveled through the savanna area. Here is becomes easier to see animals for they are out in the open and bigger than the horned animals.

My personal favorite are giraffes. I always like to see them.

The next time I come there should be even more. Six of the females are expecting babies. Learned a female giraffe is pregnant for 16 months!

And speaking of motherhood, elephants must be the best.

A female elephant is pregnant for nearly 2 years and then the calf nurses until about the age of 4 years! Went looking on the web to verify I had heard right about the length of gestation and found an interesting report on the BBC web site. It reports a study of elephants that says the lengthy gestation is needed to support high level brain development, so that the calf is able to immediately become part of a group and understand communication among the members.

The guide explained that elephants operate on a matriarchal basis, no males allowed with the group. One 9 year old male calf will soon be leaving the group, for he will reach maturity and no longer lives and travels with the group.

After the safari I wandered down the walking trail as well to see animals. This is always a good place to see gorillas.

And a good view of a wart hog.

Next I took the train to Conservation Station.

Found not much happening there on a Saturday morning. This often is a good place to watch vet procedures, but all was quiet during my visit.

Returned back to Harambe and found some good musicians. (Sorry very short video.)

I next walked through Asia. Spent some time with a man from Indonesia exploring a musical instrument made of bamboo rods that one shakes to make music. I ended being able to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and he recognized it. He told me when I go to Indonesia I could arrange to take lessons on this instrument!
Here are some scenes from the Asia part of the park.

There is a roller-coaster ride inside the mountain. I don't do this ride and here's one reason why.

 From here I went into Dinoland and rode Primeval Whirl.

From there I headed to the Lion King show. I just missed entry seating for the 12:30 show and rather than take standing room, I found myself a bench and put my feet up for awhile.

Soon it was time to line up for the 1:30 show. A bus driver said this show is rated as the #2 attraction based on rankings for all Disney properties. I surely can't figure out what might be #1. Lion King is a great show.

Here's a bit of high energy and talent.

After Lion King I walked back to Pizzafari restaurant for some lunch and then back to the bus to the hotel. My short night between 2:00 - 7:00 AM was catching up with me.

A 2 hour nap got me ready for the next adventure which is reported in Part 2 of 9 AM to Midnight.

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