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A Creepy Crawly Welcome!

8th Jan 2013

Nature is a wonderful thing. Nature done the Disney way is an even more wonderful thing, with an added cloud of magic dust thrown in for good measure. Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

What seems like the smaller of the Disney parks, I think you could do this park in a day, however that doesn’t make it any less action packed, as here you’ll find all manner of creatures only too happy to welcome you to their magical home. Chip ‘n Dale will also be on hand to welcome you, kitted out in their safari suits, along with their friends, and of course Mickey and Minnie!

Flights over to the heart of the magic are plentiful all year around, and I’d definitely recommend pre-booking airport extras to save precious dollars and offering a world of convenience. Check out Birmingham airport parking when flying regionally, or Luton airport parking, and see what great deals you can find. Any saved funds will be put to great use when you hit the Disney parks.

I really enjoyed Animal Kingdom, and it was actually the park I was least excited about. My lasting memory is my first up close and personal sighting of a hippo. It was magical, from an underwater viewing spot, the beautiful hippo almost swirled in the water, came up to the glass and swum off. Magical.

There are many opportunities to see lots of exotic animals, including gorillas, tigers, lions and even the chance to go on safari.

For thrill seekers, I’d highly recommend Expedition Everest, with its resident yeti! For those wanting something a little more sedate, the Festival of the Lion King show is a fantastic, colourful attraction to see, and one I wouldn’t miss, as well as It’s Tough to be a Bug, an hilarious 3D show – if you’re not into spiders and crawly things though, beware!

Of course the iconic part of the park is the Tree of Life, a huge tree with engraved animals all over the trunk. This is a great photo spot, if you can fight your way to the front. The park also features realistic nods to life in Africa and Asia, with recreated villages and scenery near to some of the attractions.

On those hot Florida days, a cool down is always welcome, so head to Kali River Rapids and be prepared to get soaked! One tip I would give – don’t wear denim, it doesn’t dry so fast, as I found out!

Of course, this being Disney, dining and shopping are top notch, and this is where those saved dollars from pre-booking airport extras will come in very handy! Try airport parking and Parking At Heathrow for flights out of the capital, and see what great deals you can find, whilst keeping those stress levels down to a minimum pre and post holiday.

I’d really recommend Animal Kingdom for anyone interested in nature and animals, as you’ll really get to see some stunning creatures, and the safari is as close to the real thing as you’ll get without heading over to Africa itself, albeit a lot shorter! This is possibly the least ‘Disney’ of the parks, along with Epcot, but that doesn’t mean any of the magic is lost, and characters still walk around for meet and greets regularly.

For a day on safari, or just a little bit of Disney magic, head to Animal Kingdom and explore.

Lucy West is a keen traveller, writer and often even dabbles in photography. Based in the beautiful Kent countryside she tries to takes time out and to write and is passionate about all things social media. You can contact her at

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