We managed to get an early non-stop flight and landed in Orlando around 10am. As usual we made a beeline for Disney’s Magical Express, this, for those of you not familiar with Walt Disney World, is their included transportation from the Orlando airport to the Disney resorts. This service is great, they take care of getting your luggage to your hotel too, unless you have a flight that lands after 10pm. So you go down to the level where the rental cars and buses are and way down on the end is the Magical Express area. You walk up to one of the friendly Disney castmembers and they scan your MagicBand(more on that later) and you are guided into the queue for the bus that will take you to your resort. Some buses make stops and more than one resort. Once on your bus, sit back and relax, your vacation has begun! The monitors will provide some information and entertainment for the ride. Our first night we stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, designed to look like the New Orleans French Quarter. We dropped our carryon luggage at our room and headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
We decided to start our trip with something different this time and scheduled the Wild Africa Trek for the afternoon. Our arrival day was a Saturday and since the crowds are heavy on a spring weekend we wanted an activity that would take us away from the lines and crowds. The Wild Africa Trek is a 3 hour guided tour safari, part walking/hiking and then a ride in a safari vehicle. This tour is purchased in addition to admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You go behind the scenes and are closer to the animals. On the Trek you will encounter hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, rhinos and other savanna animals. The guides take photos during your tour for you, (it is included in the price), since you leave your belongings in a locker at the beginning. You are fitted with a safety harness to wear for part of the journey.
There is a tether on the back of the harness that attaches to a track, so we don’t fall in by the hippo! We observed while one of the animal researchers fed the hippo some lettuce. Further down the trail we crossed a wood and rope bridge over the crocodiles, makes you think of Indiana Jones!!
Shortly after we finished our time with the crocodiles we were able to have the harness removed for the rest of the tour. We boarded a safari vehicle to go around the savannah and observed the grazing animals. Our vehicle brought us to a pavilion area for our lunch/snack which consisted of items with an African flair. They also served a delicious juice with the meal that was quite refreshing after the walk. We relaxed and watched the animals for a little bit then loaded back on the vehicle to complete our tour of the savannah. We had to sit tight at one point as there was a Giraffic jam, and all you can do is wait for the animals to mosey out of the path. We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. I definitely would recommend it.
More to come in Part 2