May 2013 Blogging Challenge

I know I’ve been super bad and posting lately, although in all fairness…I have technically been writing up posts for i.seeKissimmee.com behind the scenes, but they just haven’t been official posted yet.  They did launch the start of my week of posts this past Friday.  Today, the first official post with a review in it has been posted, so make sure you head over to the website and read up on my post about The Boardwalk.

With that being said, if you’re having trouble posting lately, you may want to take the blogging challenge during the month of May, which I’ve posted below.  Click the link below to join in the challenge!  This blog hop is being hosted by The Blog Designers Network, Creative Girl Media & Delightfully Inspired.

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Salon Time, Shopping & Friends…

To put it short & sweet…I had a pretty good weekend.  I had taken Friday off & spent a good portion of the day at Aveda getting some new highlights/lowlights.

Then as soon as my appointment was done at Aveda, I headed to Ulta to see by brow girl.

Then on Saturday morning I got up fairly early & headed for the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall in search of a light coat, since I’m flying back him to Illinois on Friday for close to a week and a half & I know it’s going to be chilly!  It’ll probably be the temperatures I used to love, but Florida has spoiled me and chilly in Florida is 70 degrees.  Well, I made the mistake of going in the Coach store & then them handing me a 30% off coupon as soon as I walked in the door.  Doomed from the start!  I sharked the store about 5 times & finally narrowed down my choice & walked out with a brand new purse.  I love purses like most people love shoes, but I only buy a new purse maybe once a year and I use it till it’s falling apart, so I don’t feel bad.  Would love to have a matching wallet, but I have a hard time spending that much money on a wallet…buy that time, I wouldn’t have anything to put in it!
After the Coach store…I popped in one more store & grabbed a cute scarf & then headed home before I spent any more money.  After chilling out at home for a couple of hours & headed back out for an evening with friends at Downtown Disney.  The Festival of Masters art show was going on & it’s always neat to see all the Disney artwork.  The only downside of going to this even was parking…45 minutes driving around the parking lot before finding a spot to park…wasn’t a happy camper.  But the frown was quickly turned upside down when I met up with the BFF to scope out the art work.  They actually seemed to have a lot more art work out vs. last years event.

After looking around and working up an appetite, we quickly decided to do dessert first after walking by the Ghiradelli store and the amazing chocolate smell that was hanging in the air.  We ran in one of the shops and picked out one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had….so good!  After shopping around for awhile, we finally decided we were ready for dinner & decided to try the House of Blues since we’d never ate there before.  Bad side…it was about an hour wait and then when we finally got in and seated it just wasn’t the best experience.  All of the workers were pretty rude, which is unusual when you’re in a Disney area!  Food was all overpriced and nothing to write home about…I don’t think I’ll be going back, but that’s just my personal opinion.  When I’m spending money to go out, I don’t appreciate rude service whatsoever!

After dinner…when met up with a good friend to catch up on life events and what not & just had a good time out walking and talking.  So Saturday was a pretty good day in my book!  Then Sunday I ran around and did a little more shopping and picked up some odds and ends & that was my weekend.  Now I’m counting down the days until Friday when I fly home to see family!  Can’t wait, but I will miss my friends in Florida that I’ve gotten quite used to getting someone out and about at least one day every weekend. 🙂

Disney & BFF’s…Can it Get Any Better?

The weekend is over….Boo!  I had a nice long weekend, since I had Friday off.  Friday & Sunday were spent running errands and relaxing.  Saturday was a Disney day with the be sties.

We spent a good majority of the day enjoying the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.  We were kind of hoping for the cooler weather we have had all week, so we could wear jeans and sweaters and enjoy some fall weather, but we got clear skies, hot sun & no breeze.  I know it hit at lease 85 degrees, so it was a little warm, but we’re used to it, so we had fun.

When we first entered the World Showcase our first big decision was to go right or left…we opted to head left.  We walked by a couple of booths that didn’t really catch our eye & then we came to Austrailia.  None of the main dishes really sounded like anything we wanted, but the dessert sounded pretty good, so that’s what we got for out first taste of the day and it was delicious!
After that, we headed for Mexico & went on the ride there.  Didn’t bother with the food since it was mostly tacos and expensive margaritas…both which can be made at home…PASS!
Next up on our list, which is my most favorite country to get food….GERMANY!  I stepped in line and ordered one of everything…Brat on a Pretzel Roll, Schinken Nudel (Pasta Gratin w/ Ham & Cheese) & Apple Strudel with Karamel-Vanilla Sauce.  Don’t worry…I shared!
When we were all done stuffing our faces with yummy German goodness.  We decided to play around with Stephanie’s new iPhone and take pictures of ourselves.  It actually turned out pretty good because we were just being silly and having fun.  Please excuse the brows…the German came out and they went crazy again.  No worries…I have an appointment to whip them back into shape Friday! 🙂
After poking around in Germany and having some fun we headed towards France in search of Creme Brûlée & alcohol.  I passed on the Creme Brûlée, as I was too full from all the food in Germany.  I did go for a Grand Marnier Orange Slush….it tasted just like an orange push-up pop.  So good!  I was quite sad when it was all gone! 😦
After the orange slush, I was good to go for awhile as far as treats went.  I think we headed towards Greece & Canada and the group split and everyone got what they wanted.  I just wanted a water by that point, as I was a bit parched, since it was pretty darn warm out.
Next, we headed for Spaceship Earth before we left the park for the day.  Stephanie & I ended up heading over to the Magic Kingdom though, since we wanted to ride a couple of our favorite rides.  By the time we got over there, we decided we wanted ice cream.  It was pretty good, but I think they gave me more whipped cream than ice cream.
When we were all done with our dessert we headed for the Laugh Floor & watched a quick show, which is always amusing.  Then we headed for one of our favorite rides…Haunted Mansion.  Got there and it was closed due to technical errors.  So we started heading for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and quickly turned around when we seen the line & wait time of over an hour.  Next stop…Pirates of the Caribbean & guess what?!  Closed due to technical errors!  Ahhh!  After that, we called it a day & headed home.  The end.

20 Days & Counting…

That’s right….20 days and counting until an actual VACATION!!  I’m so excited!  It’s been way to long since I’ve actually taken a real vacation & what makes it even better….it’s a girls vacay with the BFF!  I’ve never taken an all girls vacation, so this should be fun…..like a 5 day slumber party.  I’m sure we’ll find plenty to do on the cruise ship & we’ve already got one of our excursions planned to the Mayan Ruins, which I haven’t been to yet, so that should be great!  Might as well go see the ruins of the people responsible of creating this calendar that ends in December…LOL!  The same day we booked the cruise, I got an e-mail for a Groupon offer for tanning, so I bit….I need to get some color before the cruise, so I went yesterday and today and already got some color, although I think I burned my bum…lol.  Oh well…fat looks better tan! 🙂  Now just keep your fingers crossed I can find a dress for the fancy dinner for one of the evenings on this ship.  I went in search today and came up empty handed!  The few I did find and liked were $100+…..uh, no thank you, especially since I don’t wear dresses!  I did find a swim suit top on clearance for $5 at JC Penny though, so I was happy I at least found something.  Any how….I’m counting down the days till a little R&R.  Speaking of R&R….hope everyone enjoys there Labor Day!

Manatees Galore at Blue Spring State Park

If you’ve had your fill of playing in the amusement parks and just want to get out and enjoy nature, then Blue Spring State Park might be just the kind of getaway that you are looking for!  It is located just North of Orlando. Now I’m not sure about all of you, but my favorite animal ever is the West Indian manatee, which lucky for me, are in various places around the state of Florida!  Blue Springs State Park is one of those places.  During the winter months in Florida, (Yes, we have cooler temperatures in Florida….like in the 60’s and you’ll see Floridians out in parka’s and mittens, which is quite amusing after growing up in the midwest), the manatees will swim into the springs because the water is warmer there, as the temperature in the spring remains a constant 72 degrees, where as the waters get a lot cooler elsewhere when we have cooler temps.

If you happen to be in the area during the months of November thru April, those are the peak months you’ll have the opportunity to see numerous manatees in the spring!  The morning my friend, Stephanie & I decided to venture off to check out the manatees, we arrived around 11am and we got to see a good 20 or more manatees just lounging about the springs.  I could have stood there and watched them all day!  It was just gorgeous…everything from the crystal clear waters, the moss trees, wildlife, 80 degree weather…it was just stunning!  We overheard one of the workers at the springs say when we got there that when they opened around 8am there were around 80 manatees in the springs!  Can you imagine!!  I’ll have to suck it up and try to be a morning person, so I can see that sight for myself one of these days!

The park has a super nice wooden board walk, with viewing area decks over the springs every so often.  It makes a great place for a Sunday stroll to enjoy the sunshine & some breath taking scenery!  During our visit, while watching the manatees and even some baby manatees playing around, we also see a huge gator sunning himself on the bank, a good sized turtle swimming around & tons of various fishes and birds.  We even came across a curious squirrel that liked getting his picture taken.  Lucky for me, Stephanie got a super nice camera for Christmas, so you can thank her for all the fabulous photos you’ll see throughout this post.  Thanks Stephanie!!

Besides just coming and taking in nature like we did for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, Blue Spring State Park has a lot more to offer!  They have boat tours on St. Johns River Cruises and Tours daily at 10am and 1pm, which is a 2 hour narrated nature cruise along the river.  If you’re into camping, they have camp sites, as well as, a few cabins for those of you that can’t handle full on camping.  The Manatee Gift Shop is also on site, as well as a place you can rent kayaks and canoes.  Stephanie tried persuading me to get a canoe or kayak, but I wasn’t about to get in a tippy canoe or kayak when I had just seen a gator not too far away, as well as signs right by the canoes that state, “SWIM WITH CAUTION…GATORS”!

There is also swimming allowed during the summer months, but swimming with manatees is NOT permitted.  If you have kids, they have an awesome playground.  If you have dogs that you like to walk, they are permitted in the park.  We met several friendly pooches while we walked along the boardwalk.  Oh, there is an entrance fees for cars which $6 or $4 if you are by yourself, which is pretty affordable for an afternoon to relax in a gorgeous park.  The park is open 8am to sundown year round, but there is a limit as to how many cars they let enter each day, so it’s best to get there early.  I hope you all take the opportunity to go & enjoy Blue Spring State Park!

 Blue Spring State Park

2100 W. French Avenue

Orange City, FL  32763

Ph: 386-775-3663

www.floridastateparks.org/bluespring

Cupcake Hearts

How many times have you been out and about on a trip and gotten a taste for something sweet?  Or been on vacation during someones birthday & wanted to surprise them with a birthday treat, rather than embarrass them at a restaurant where all the waiters and waitresses sing you there corny rendition of “Happy Birthday” and give you a dessert for free.  Well, I’ve got the place for you and it’s located right in Kissimmee!  The shop is called Cupcake Hearts.  They are open at 10am everyday, except Sunday, in which they open at 11am.  Then they close at 7pm everyday, except Friday, in which there hours are extended until 9pm & Sundays they close at 4pm.

They are an adorable little shop that makes delicious, FRESH cupcakes daily!  When you walk in you’ll see all the different cupcakes, offered in some amazing flavors, on display on the counter on pretty little covered pedestals.  It makes it very hard to try to decide what to try, because I know I wanted to try them all, but I refrained.  I will definitely be going back to try some of the other flavors that I didn’t get a chance to try!  What’s great is they have there cupcakes in two sizes, regular and mini.  I opted for the mini’s, which were the perfect size if you just want a couple bites of something sweet instead of indulging in a whole cupcake.  I ended up getting a half dozen mini cupcakes to try, each in different flavors.  They were devine!

I even took pictures of each one I tried for you….all except one.  Sadly, it didn’t make it past me & my bestie!  We had a long day of walking around one of the parks and wanted a bite of something sweet, so we split the flavor called “Bananas”, which is a banana cupcake with chocolate chips, vanilla bean cream cheese frosting with a dot of chocolate fudge on top.  It was scrumptious!  It was one of my favorites out of the 6 flavors I tried.

The next flavor I opted to try was “Red Velvet”.  This one was simply a red velvet cupcake with the vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.  I must be the yummy frosting because my 3 favorite flavors all had this icing on top.  The red velvet cake was nice & moist & was so tasty!  I would definitely recommend this one!”

Apple Pie” was the next flavor I tried.  Another favorite!  This was a cinnamon apple cupcake, with once again, vanilla bean cream cheese icing & topped with a squiggle of caramel.  As Rachael Ray would say, “YUMMO”!  I love anything apple flavored, so I knew this one would be a winner.

Next, I decided to try the one called “Coco”, which is a coconut cupcake with coconut icing!  Talk about coconut explosion….Yum!  The cupcake menu on the website also says that this cupcake is topped with toasted coconut flake, which mine wasn’t….bummer!  It was still darn good though!  I think they should make an almond joy cupcake….coconut cupcake, chocolate frosting and top with an almond….now that would be awesome!

Alright….down to the final two flavors.  Don’t get too excited when I tell you this next flavor chocolate lovers….”Nutella”!  It was a vanilla cupcake, with a hazelnut spread icing, topped with hazelnut wafer crumbles.  This one was still tasty, but it didn’t totally win me over.  Not sure if I may have changed the consistency of the icing by putting them in the fridge after I got home for a little while because they were in the hot car for the 45 minute ride home.  I’d be willing to try this one again & try it without putting it in the fridge first.

They final flavor I tried of you all & by far won me over by presentation.  It was the flavor they dubbed, “Smores”.  It’s a chocolate fudge cupcake with a graham cracker bottom & torched marshmallow icing!  It just looked awesome!  I was a little disappointed because it didn’t have much marshmallow taste, but that could have been because I had the mini version.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my review of Cupcake Hearts and I hope you decide to give them a try.  Besides cupcakes, they also specialize in cakes for all occasions, desserts in a jar, and more.  Go check out all of there information on the website at www.cupcakehearts.net where you can also find there full menu of cupcake flavors.

They are located at:
3156 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL  34744

Phone: 407-344-0404

They are located in the Wal-mart plaza off of Osceola Parkway, next to Denny’s.  I put the address in my GPS & it put me across the street, so if you see Wal-mart, just ignore your GPS and turn in there if your GPS tends to lead you astray from time to time, like mine.

Downtown Disney Fun

If you’re tired from all the park hopping & just want to take a day to relax and do a little Disney themed shopping, then Downtown Disney is screaming for you to come & visit.  The great thing about Downtown Disney is that it is a great place to go for that Disney feeling & it’s free if you’re just browsing!  Parking is free too or there are free shuttles from all of the Disney resorts as well.  It’s also a great place to go if you had seen something in one of the parks and forgot to buy it, more than likely you’ll be able to find it here.

They have tons of shops, the biggest character store on Earth called World of Disney.  You can spend hours in here looking around at all they have to offer.  Also inside the store is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where little girls can go and get their princess on!  It’s so adorable to see some of the girls when they are all gussied up in their favorite princess dress, hair up and curled with an overabundance of glitter shimmering in their hair.  It would definitely be something your little darling would remember forever!  I know I’ve seen where some people do this in the morning and then hit up the parks & get some adorable photos with different characters throughout the parks.  I guess that’s the magic of Disney!

Also, throughout Downtown Disney you’ll see several amazing Lego statues.  They have a dragon/serpent type creature made entirely of Legos in the lake, as well as Lego creations of Snow White, Buzz & Woody, etc.  It’s really pretty cool.  I can’t imagine being the one having to create these masterpieces.  Little ones that are Lego maniacs will love seeing all of creations! And then of course they have the Lego store on site as well!

Now my favorite store at Downtown Disney has to be “The Art of Disney” store.  I’m love artwork and have loved all Disney related art since a young age.  So if you are like me, it might be best to go before payday, so you don’t have any money to blow because I could easily spend an entire paycheck here.  Seeing all of the artwork just gives you that good feeling deep down inside like you’re a kid again.  I really love seeing other various artist different renditions of characters and movie themes.  The last time I was their I refrained from buying anything for myself, but I bought by younger brother, who is a volunteer fireman a picture of Mickey Mouse shaking a fireman’s hand.  It was pretty cool & my brother loved it.

My other favorite store would have to be Mickey’s Pantry.  I’m not sure why, because I’m not much of a cook & I don’t do a lot of cooking, but I love all of the Disney themed cook wear.  I think I might just have to redecorate my kitchen the more I think about it.  You’ll find everything from a variety of coffee mugs, plates, cooking utensils, cookbooks, Mickey shaped pasta, spices, wine bottle toppers, etc…

If you get hungry from walking around and doing a lot of shopping, you’ll have no shortage of choices on places to eat at Downtown Disney.  When I went, my friend and I decided to eat at the Rainforest Cafe.  A word of advice….if you don’t care about sitting inside with all of the Rainforest like atmosphere and just want to relax, eat & enjoy the weather…request a table on the outside deck.  I didn’t even realize there was an outside deck option because they didn’t ask us when we put our name on the wait list, but my friend who knew mentioned it and we were the only people out there.  It’s a very nice deck area right over the lake.  It’s a great place to enjoy some good food, an awesome frozen drink and good conversation.  I even talked them into making me a drink they had never made.  It was a mango mojito, which was on the drink list, but I asked them if they good make it frozen, so they said they’d give it a shot and it was AMAZING!

I usually just go to Downtown Disney to walk around and browse, but there is so much more that is offered besides shopping and eating.  On the other side of Downtown Disney, you have the Pleasure Island area for the evening hours, House of Blues, AMC Dine-In Movie Theater.  If you’re wanting to take in a show, Cirque de Soleil is on site as well.  I haven’t had a chance to go yet, but I hear it’s spectacular.

To find out about different events at Downtown Disney, as well as information on all of the shops, eateries, & things to do, check out the website at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/downtown-disney.

Vintage Vino…Give it a Visit!

Looking for a great wine bar in downtown Kissimmee?  Vintage Vino is your place!  After dinner & dessert, my friend and I were ready to unwind after a long work week and just kick back and relax with some wine and good conversation.  I absolutely loved everything about this place!  From the shelves of wines, brick walls, comfy chairs, a cozy nook with a high top (which is where we opted to sit) or you can go up to the bar if you prefer to sit there.  They also have outdoor seating available on the sidewalk if you choose.

As soon as we sat down, we were greeted and given a menu of there most popular wines, as were also informed that they have a lot more than listed on the menu, but those were the most popular.  I immediately put down the menu & just asked for some good suggestions.  I told her my favorite wines & my friend did the same.  I like white wines & she likes reds.  She said she had some good ideas of what we’d like and returned shortly with a couple of different bottles.  She poured me a taste, so I could try it first and she nailed what I like on the head and I quickly opted for a full glass.  She did the same for my friend, who didn’t opt for her first taste, but then the second type she got to taste, she loved and opted for a glass.  Our hostess did an excellent job at picking out the perfect wines, and she said she is better with beer & the owner, John, is the wine expert.

So we kicked back and had a good time just sitting and talking and enjoying our wine.  After a while, John, the owner came over and introduced himself and welcomed us to the wine bar.  He let us know a little about the place, hours, events & got us signed up to be on the e-mail list.  He also let us know that they have over 50 types of wines & 50 types of different beers to try by the glass.  They also always have different cheeses on hand, at all times, to try.

That being said, we decided to order a cheese platter.  Our hostess made sure and tried to find out our cheese preferences, so we made it easy and told her what we didn’t like.  She returned shortly with a sample for us to try before creating the platter, which was awesome.  You just don’t find service like that at many places.  We agreed that the cheese was delicious, so she went ahead and put that on our platter.  When she brought it out, it was so pretty…you almost didn’t want to eat it.  We had a softer cheese on one corner, a harder cheese on the other, with a couple different varieties of crackers, some sliced apples, a small bunch of grapes, some dried apricots and a few cocoa flavored almonds.  And what was even better….it paired perfectly with our wines!  So good!

It started to get late, so after sitting there for a couple of hours, we decided it was time to head home.  We will definitely be back to Vintage Vino soon, as we were really impressed with everything they have to offer!  If you’re in the area, please make it a point to stop in and check the place out.  It is very small & quaint, but don’t let that fool you.  What they lack in size they make up in all the different varieties of wines, beers & cheeses that are offered, as well as awesome service!

To find out more about Vintage Vino, you can check them out on the web at www.vintagevino.com

They are located at:

14 E. Dakin Avenue
Kissimmee, FL  34741

Cheers,

Jenn

Gators Galore in Gatorland

After a morning airboat tour and seeing a ton of gators in there own environment, you may ask, “What should I do next while I’m in Florida”?  Why not just make it a full out gator themed day and hit up Gatorland.  I’m not a huge fan of gators, but I still wanted to go and check out the park, to see what it was all about.  After you purchase your tickets, which are really reasonably priced, around $20 or so, depending on if you were able to find them discounted online or had a coupon, which you can often find in Florida tourism guides…the price is right around that range.  You really can’t beat the price for something to do for part of the day.

You walk into the park and of course you expect gators, but I guess I wasn’t expecting so many!  That had them in all sizes ranging from babies to great big gators, like Chester, who was a bit camera shy, so I only got a shot of him from behind, but even so…you can tell he was huge!  They even had albino gators, which I had never seen before, so it was kind neat seeing an all white gator.

Besides gators, the park also has plenty more to offer.  There is a petting zoo, an aviary, snakes, flamingo exhibit & a few shows.  The first show I got to watch was the gator wrestling show, in which the guy gets in this arena type sand pit that is surrounded by a trench of water along the sides.  When I got to the area and took a seat on the bleachers all of the gators were up on the sand sunning themselves & working on there tans.  Then the guy gets in the arena with them all pulls them each one by one by there tail and plops them in the water.  Then they had a little boy pic a gator from around the edge for him to catch and pull into the arena with him.  Not something I would want to do.  It took him a sec to grab the gator as he was fast & tried to get away.  Once the gator was pulled into the sand pit, the trainer proceeded to tell us random facts about gators & then did some crazy stunts like holding the gators snout between his chin and his chest…no hands!  No way would I want to try that….Yikes!  I’ll leave that one to the professionals!

Then after the show people who had paid the extra to get there picture taken with a gator up close and personal could get in line to do so.  Yes, I was one of the crazies that wanted a pic with the gator, although I refused to sit on him.  The trainer kept saying just to sit down & that I couldn’t hurt him, but I still opted to take a knee so I didn’t sit on him.  I wouldn’t want anyone sitting on me…lol.  So I extended the gator the same courtesy. 🙂

After that, I headed towards the shack where you could get some gator food (A.K.A. Hotdogs)  It really cracked me up when I got to the booth, because there were two huge white birds just chilling out like they were waiting in line.  Once I got the hotdogs and was told to guard them with my life because the area birds weren’t shy about taking them from you.  So as you walk down the dock to the observation area where you can throw in your hotdogs, its kind of weird because she wasn’t joking about those birds.  They were lined on both sides of you…some of the bigger ones were following you.  It was like a little bird mafia…haha.  Anyways, once I was at the end I was able to throw in the hotdogs, trying to get them to the gators before the birds could get them.  There was one sneaky bird standing behind me trying to get those hotdogs, I finally shooed him away as he was making me nervous.

Then there was a nice size flamingo exhibit.  They are such pretty birds.  In with the flamingos, there was some other sort of big black bird.  I’m not sure what it was exactly, but they were kind of creepy.  Every single one of them just stood still with there wings completely extended.  It was very odd.

If you’ve got kids, besides the petting zoo, there is a train that will take you around the whole park.  There is also a little water park area for kids to play in, which would be great on a hot Florida day. The other show that they have is the Jumperoo Show, in which two guys compete to see who can get a gator to grab there chicken first.  They split the audience into teams and get each side rooting for their guy.  It’s entertaining and they guys are pretty funny.

All in all, Gatorland is a good place to go to spend a half day and learn some things you might not have know about gators.  On your way out of the park, you exit through there gift shop if there are any gator souvenirs you may want to take back home.  My favorite thing that I saw, were the “Redneck Wine Glasses”, which was basically a small wide mouth mason jar super glued to a candle stick holder….Haha!  Genius!  Why didn’t I think of that!

A Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom was the only park I had never had the chance of visiting, so last weekend my friend Stephanie & I decided to make a day of it.  The weather ended up being great, as it was only in the lower 70’s, although a bit chilly for a certain someone who broke down and bought a hoodie.  It would have been warmer if the sun was out, but we had an unusually cloudy day & then of course the sun decided to show itself the minute we left the parking lot later in the afternoon…go figure!

Since Animal Kingdom has two major rides that seem to get the most attention and typically get the longest lines, it’s a good idea to grab a fast pass for one and then head straight for the other.  That’s what we did.  We went straight to the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition & grabbed a fast past and then headed straight for the roller coaster, Expedition Everest.  Luckily, we only had about a 15-20 minute wait.  It was a pretty interesting coaster…no upside down loops or anything, but I won’t spoil the fun & tell you what to expect if you’ve never been on it, but trust me…if you love coasters, you’ll want to make sure to go on this coaster!

After riding the coaster, we hit up a couple other attractions while we waited for our time to fast pass our way to the front of the line on the Kilimanjaro Safari Ride.  The safari ride is supposed to replicate the African savanna.  You get to ride in an open sided safari vehicle on a road throughout the savanna.  Every safari ride is unique, as you never know what animals you’ll encounter.  I loved getting to see the elephants, especially the babies…they were so adorable.  We also go to see so many other animals, from a sleeping warthog, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, lions chilling out under a tree, amongst many more animals.  The ride lasts a good 20 minutes and gives you plenty of opportunities for some great photos!

 

After that, we grabbed a quick lunch & then grabbed the train to the petting zoo area.  This is Stephanie’s favorite place in the park.  Give this girl a goat and she’s happy!  Besides goats, they also have sheep, the cutest little piggies, some mini donkeys that are super loud when they decide to belt out a “Hee-Haw” for you.  Made me giggle.

Throughout the day we had to chance to see many more animals in different parts of the park.  Two of my favorite animals of the day were the gorillas and the tigers.  The gorillas were hiding and kind of out of site when we were in the viewing area, but then everyone moved on since there was nothing to see, but we stayed behind & I’m so glad we did.  Mama gorilla was peeking through a tree while hiding behind a rock…papa gorilla came out and right up to the window to check us out.  And then out of nowhere, a silly little baby gorilla comes flying from around the corner, grabs hold of a barrel which took him for a roll.  It was so cute!

 

Now the tigers we got to see were awesome!  They were so beautiful with there deep orange coats with their gorgeous black stripes.  There were three of them in the area.  One of them was being ornery and pouncing about like a regular house cat.  He’d crouch down and then sneak attack the other two.  The other two weren’t to impressed by his antics and you could see some teeth being shown.  They put on quite a show.

Now onto my favorite part of the day….Finding Nemo-The Musical.  You HAVE to make sure you go to this show when you visit the park.  It’s put on several times throughout the day in a nice big air conditioned theater, so if you need a break from the heat, you’re set!  The show lasts about 45 minutes long & once you see it, it’ll leave you wishing it was longer.  It was truly magnificent & I’m surprised they don’t charge extra for the show….YES, it’s that good!  I’ve see some broadway musicals and this was just as good!  It’s visually stunning, it’ll make you laugh so hard and then all the bubbles coming down from the ceiling in the end is just magical!  Typical Disney….gotta love it!

Another great show, you’ll want to make sure to check out is located inside the tree of life!  Yep, there is actually a theater inside the tree!  I know…I couldn’t believe it.  It’s the cutest little 3-D show featuring the bugs from “A Bug’s Life” movie.  You’ll definitely want to check out this show.  You’ll love every minute of it!

Well, I’ll leave it at that for now.  I only touched on a few of the attractions that I really enjoyed, but there is a lot more to see than I mentioned here.  If you want to read more about Animal Kingdom, make sure to check them out online.  I hope I gave you some good insight on the park and hope that you’ll get a chance to go the next time you’re in the area.