We set off bright and early in one heavily packed vehicle - 4 children and 5 adults to Animal Kingdom. Even Poppa came along, because he hadn't been to that park yet. We figured he would regret that decision by the end of the day. We got there by Out 9, which was later than Chantal's guidebook suggested. However, we headed straight for the recommended first ride, the Safari ride. It is the main one that takes you through the animal reserve. It was fun, but not much different than similar rides elsewhere. I think there is one that is almost identical at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
We then walked through an Asian themed area with Tiger in cages. The other animals, the bats and Komodo dragon were so cold that they stayed I side. It was actually quite cool all day and most of the park is well shaded. The Disney stores were making a killing selling toques and blankets. Poppa was the only one in the group, who spent the day in shorts, likely something else he regretted.
We learned all about Fastpasses today. You get these issued for specific rides and avoid the hassle of lining up for more than an hour. The Fastpasses gives you an hour window when you can go through a special line and bypass all the poor saps waiting. It is awesome. We took them at Expedition Everest and Dinosaur. We were on the thrilling coaster ride through the Himalayas in five minutes. Rory was terrified and thrilled at the same time. He took it much better than the Dinosaur ride, which was anothe fun one. It's more of a simulation coaster with a lot of quick movements. Rory got off it shaking like a leaf, but praising it for being exhilarating. We stopped by the photo booth to see the snapshot from the ride. Geoff and I are clearly having fun, but Rory is barely visible. He had his head in his lap, trying to avoid getting scared by a fake dinosaur.
This park is less about the rides and more about the shows. We skipped the bird show. We've seen similar shows recently at the Toronto Zoo, Busch Gardens, African Lion Safari and at some animal park in Scotland. The rest of the shows that we saw at Animal Kingdom did not involve real animals. In fact, I was a little disappointed, because I expected it to be more like a Eco-friendly zoo than it was. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the big-puppetry of the Finding Nemo musical, the acrobatics of some of the performers in the Lion King show, and the unexpected surprises of the 3D-plus show, It's Tough to be a Bug!
All in all, it was a busy day. It was a good opener to our Disney Experience, despite the chilly weather.