Disney's Animal Kingdom

In the past, visits to Disney's Animal Kingdom in the winter or periods of sudden, cool weather have proven to be more favorible when it comes to viewing the wildlife.  Many of the critters don't care for the intense heat of the Florida sunshine, but in the early and late hours, and when it gets cool outside, the animals tend to be more active and actually more around in the open and do whatever it is that they do to amuse themselves as opposed to always laying low in the shade and acting uninterested.

For the visit on this past trip, the opposite happened as far as cooler weather and animal activity.  Central Florida experienced cloudy and cool weather from a cold front, and at Disney's Animal Kingdom it was cloudy, windy and fairly chilly.  The animals, for the most part, were hard to find.  Between going on the trails in Africa and Asia, and taking a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, it was a fairly lame day at the theme park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - porcupines - 01 Disney's Animal Kingdom - porcupines - 02 Disney's Animal Kingdom - porcupines - 03

One neat thing was that on a trail on Discovery Island, the porcupines were actually out of their hole in the wall and actually moving around in their little habitat.  I've never seen them that active before, so this was a neat little treat.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safaris - 01 Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safaris - 02 Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safaris - 03 Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safaris - 04 Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safaris - 05

As mentioned earlier, Kilimanjaro Safaris was fairly quiet for most of the ride.  Animals were hiding amongst the trees or laying low in many of the enclosures.

Perhaps the strangest part of being in Animal Kingdom that day was that the park itself was packed!  The trails in Africa and Asia were jammed with people, and other areas of the park were wall-to-wall with people.  Being a Wednesday morning and mid-day in the off season (and this was without DAK being an early opening or late closing Extra Magic Hours park that day), this took us by surprise.  We just concluded that the extra people were there as part of the golf tournament that was taking place on Disney property from Thursday through Sunday.  The key thing was that a lot of the people weren't going on rides but rather just walking around and enjoying the park.  Kali River Rapids and Dinosaur only had less than a five-minute wait, and Kilimanjaro Safaris and Everest were reasonable, staying around the 30-45 minute mark most of the time.

We didn't stay long in the park.  After making a couple of laps and seeing what we wanted, we left and went over to the Studios for a few hours and finished the day at Downtown Disney.  The unusually heavy crowds were also found in the Studios (again, not really going on the rides but rather just being there in the park), but Downtown Disney was quiet at night.  We saw that a bunch of temporary tents were being set up in parts of the Marketplace and throughout all of the West Side, and those were there for the Festival of the Masters event taking place that weekend.

Downtown Disney - Characters in Flight balloon

It was still too windy for the impressive Characters in Flight balloon.