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View Full Version : Animal Kingdom: do you love or hate it and what would you do to improve it



gueli
09-17-2013, 05:28 AM
So in a different thread there was quite a bit of discussion on Animal Kingdom. It was pointed out that there are 'only 7 rides/attractions' , and that some felt for a theme park this was not worth spending a day on.

So I have some questions for you guys.

Do you like or dislike going to AK ?
Do you feel that the park is a 'zoo' ?
Is it worth the money to go there ?
What would you do to improve this park?

Now for me, I consider AK to be more of an animal preserve, done Disney style.
I like the place. For my family I enjoy going there.
As far as improvements - I would like to see some more rides, or an expansion.

So what do you think ?
:thumbsup:

1DisneyNut
09-17-2013, 08:00 AM
I don't like it. In fact we have skipped it the last four years.

It does sort of feel like a glorified zoo. It often also smells like one which we don't like.

To improve it, I don't know. I really don't care if they do or not, I can live without it even being there.

TheVBs
09-17-2013, 08:23 AM
We love it. We're usually there for two full days during each trip and never fit in everything we'd like to do. Now, I have to qualify that by saying that we are NOT early risers. Combine that with the fact that the park closes early and we're certainly not getting in as full a day there as we could. We also really slow down there, which is another factor. But, slowing down is one of the reasons it appeals to us. AK actually has 20 attractions (not just rides) and 17 shows, entertainment groups and meet & greets. But we don't rush around there, we take our time and soak in the atmosphere. Never thought of it as "just a zoo", there's way too much more to it that we personally take advantage of and enjoy.

Pirate Granny
09-17-2013, 08:34 AM
It's my favorite park...and when and IF they do the expansion it'll be even better. I've never been there when it smelled, except if you take the train to the back area.

MississippiDisneyFreak
09-17-2013, 09:08 AM
We love it but it is only a half day park to us. We like that because it frees up time to do other non park activities we want to do. I don't feel its a zoo, like others said more of an animal preserve with some attractions. I understand they are building a new Avatar section which should bring some new activities to the park. Not sure what else I would add, I like this park better than DHS that's for sure

Melanie
09-17-2013, 09:13 AM
Natazu!

We enjoy AK. There are some real hidden gems there.

faline
09-17-2013, 09:22 AM
We enjoy time spent at Animal Kingdom. There are facets of the space which are very much like a zoo - even if it is billed as NOT but there are other facets that are more akin to an amusement park such as Expedition:Everest and Dinosaur. The shows here, in my opinion, are the best on Disney property.

Sometimes we spend more time; sometimes less time in this park. Often, it depends upon the weather. We are inclined to spend less time during hot, humid days and more time when the weather is cooler.

GMRO
09-17-2013, 09:44 AM
Natazu!

Funny, I remember that campaign...

I remember, still do, when we get to our resort I can't wait to put the Disney Must Do Infomercial channel on and just listen to it as we unpack and set up our room. Stacy or who ever is the spokes person for that show... I literally drive the wife crazy watching that channel like 100% of the time we are in the room. Just trying to not MISS anything!!!

NATAZU still sticks out in my mind as one of the most played ones.

DW and I really don't have much use for AK. Most of the time IF we go it's for a few hours to hit Dinosaur/Everest and maybe some food at the place on the left as you come over the bridge and see the TOL. That park for us just don't do it. I know kids love animals...but we just see it as blaaaa. We don't even ride the Safari these days. Early on we did maybe spend a 1/2 day there and we have done most...the water falls ride, the walks/tours etc and bugs life. And last visit we did take the train over to what we consider the lost area and saw the animal hospital and that was neat. Still not enough to draw us back on a regular basis or for multiple visits during our vacation.

Now if Avatar ever gets done-we may like AK more. For now it's not even a 1/2 day of enjoyment. I do like Everest but DW usually gets a headache from the backwards portion so we plan around that IF it happens.

Itís an early in the day park for us and that is about every 2 years worth of visits. May2014 would be 3 years - IF we don't go back to it. ;)

Not sure what they can do to get my demographic - "DINK" to visit that park more.

We liked MK the most. But now-a-days EPCOT is the park we really like with DHS 3rd and AK just there for a taste at times. EPCOT - it's not even due to the adult beverages. I think the PACE you can set has a lot to do with it for us. AND not many crying kids and maybe a few less strollers too!!! :)

Good question!

Mickey'sGirl
09-17-2013, 10:14 AM
None of us are fans. We don't like seeing animals in captivity (even in well loved Disney awesome preserve type captivity), and we aren't keen on "Shows". We do go about once every 2 or 3 years for our "It's Tough to be a Bug" fix. It's still one of my favourite anythings at Disney!

I think in terms of improvements, they need to add more amusement to the park. (Not for us, because our visit habits will not likely change), but to attract people who go to Theme parks looking for Amusement park type attractions.

k10
09-17-2013, 10:18 AM
AK. Love it. Not excited for the Avatar expansion that is to come.

Me and my family actually love how fast you can get through this park. We love that it doesn't take a full day. So w/ the use of our Park Hoppers, we can go somewhere else at night.

I love the rides they do have. Dinosaur is my most favorite ride ever. I hope they never change it.

And the fact that it's such a short park, it's usually the park we hit again on our last day, to breeze through the good rides again before we have to head to the airport.

Lovin' AK for what it is.

LVT
09-17-2013, 10:32 AM
A few cooling stations would be nice.
More benches to gaze from.
I love this park, the new showplace for Lion King will be nice.

EJS-Houston
09-17-2013, 10:51 AM
I fall firmly in the "Love it" camp. It's easily the most scenically beautiful of the parks in my estimation, the rides ("Dinosaur," "Everest," Kali RR") are must-dos...Kilamanjaro Safari is also a must-do, and I love the Asian and African jungle trails. I wish it weren't necessary to keep animals in captivity like another poster here, but were it not for zoos, a lot of amazing animal species would be extinct. Places like Animal Kingdom and our country's first-rate zoos take great, loving care that the animals in their care lead happy lives in spacious, well-appointed environments, full of stimulation and activity and intra-species contact. I'm grateful for places like Animal Kingdom for what it does for its charges, and the opportunities it affords folks like me to encounter species I'll never see in the wild.

Not sure what I'd do to improve it. The pathways are awfully narrow and seem crowded no matter when you're there. But I can't imagine how you'd widen them without tearing everything up.

And I do wish they'd just go ahead and fix the damned Yeti already. I mean, c'mon. Enough is enough.

Dulcee
09-17-2013, 11:26 AM
Do you like or dislike going to AK ?
We LOVE going to AK. Its one of my favorites and we usually spend 2 full days.

Do you feel that the park is a 'zoo' ?
While the park has aspects of a zoo it is so much more then just a zoo. Having worked in zoos and aquariums the park here is so well maintained. The habitats are some of the most advanced in the country. They also have well supported and established breeding programs of critically endangered groups. They are slowly becoming a serious player in the AZA world.

Is it worth the money to go there ?
Absolutely. T

What would you do to improve this park?
Any park could use growth and new attractions. I think Avatar with is message of conservation could be interesting. I'm withholding judgement until its really live.

SBETigg
09-17-2013, 11:28 AM
I love it, my family loves it. It's still a relatively new park by Disney standards and we just find more and more to come back for every time. It's a park you can just hang out in and soak up the atmosphere without rushing from attraction to attraction.

We don't think in terms of "it's only a half day park" because we park hop and only spend half a day in each park per day, then repeat parks on other days. AK has gone from a park we would only visit once per stay to a park we'll go back to two or three times during our vacation.

Yes, I would love to see some expansion, but expansion in keeping with what we have now, more animal habitats, more spectacularly themes areas, more rides. I think the Avatar expansion isn't what's needed here. But add an Australia and put in some Aussie animals, or something along those lines.

Patricia
09-17-2013, 11:35 AM
I love the park and all the details. I have no problem spending a full day in there and I don't ride Everest or visit Dino Land.

Sadly, I have to see during Icot meets now as my husband is in the "does not like animals in captivity" camp.

Dulcee
09-17-2013, 11:51 AM
Sadly, I have to see during Icot meets now as my husband is in the "does not like animals in captivity" camp.

I don't think I'll ever understand this camp... I mean I obviously don't support back yard zoos or the average person keeping a chimp. But animals bred in captivity are what allow us to understand what wild born populations need, they allow us to understand the physiology of the species, they teach kids and adults why its important to conserve animals and habitats and they allow for captive born and reintroduced endangered species.

There are several wild populations of previously wild-extinct species that are only in the wild now because of the work done by dedicated zoos and aquariums.

The real institutions do so much good.

MississippiDisneyFreak
09-17-2013, 11:56 AM
I love it, my family loves it. It's still a relatively new park by Disney standards and we just find more and more to come back for every time. It's a park you can just hang out in and soak up the atmosphere without rushing from attraction to attraction.

We don't think in terms of "it's only a half day park" because we park hop and only spend half a day in each park per day, then repeat parks on other days. AK has gone from a park we would only visit once per stay to a park we'll go back to two or three times during our vacation.

Yes, I would love to see some expansion, but expansion in keeping with what we have now, more animal habitats, more spectacularly themes areas, more rides. I think the Avatar expansion isn't what's needed here. But add an Australia and put in some Aussie animals, or something along those lines.

Aussie theme would be great :thumbsup:

Aurora
09-17-2013, 12:02 PM
I always liked AK but as our trips have gotten shorter, it sometimes gets bumped off the list. I'm making sure we do it first on our next trip.

IloveJack
09-17-2013, 12:20 PM
I used to think of AK as a half-day park, or if we only had 3 days, it got left out. But after giving it an actual try, we love it. We choose it over DHS, if the choice has to be made. I don't think of it as a zoo; there's way too many non-live-animal things to do. WDW tries hard to make sure that when you're in a park, you forget the real world, and I think this park does the best (except in CMM).

LauraF
09-17-2013, 12:57 PM
We love AK and wouldn't miss it. Ever.
It's a different experience from the other parks, and that is why we appreciate it.

The only thing I would improve is the traffic pattern/crowd paths. As compared to other parks, there are less options to get around, so it always feels crowded. It also seems the paths are narrower, but that may be an optical illusion on my part with all the vegetation.

I like the spoke and hub design of both Epcot and MK, which allows us to navigate crowds, tour groups, parades, etc. I realize this may not be possible with the topography of the current park, but it's the one complaint my family always makes.

Opus X
09-17-2013, 01:16 PM
We love it more everytime we go.
E.E. is fantastic and the rapids is a great ride also.
Kids like the shows a lot and I personally LOVE the trails and the details in each area....:thumbsup:
It is a must do every visit.
As far as improving it?.....I guess maybe a great dark ride...something long like Splash or Pirates..
It doesn't have to be a thrill, just a really good classic style boat dark ride.

Terra
09-17-2013, 02:06 PM
I did not like AK before I had children. As I've said in the past. Once I had my sons, AK became a whole new world [pun intended ;)] for me. I saw something new and exciting through their eyes.

Really? Nothing to do, not many attractions? We just went this past Saturday. Got there at 9:30am and left at 4pm [because my son was tired]. And no way did we do everything.
What we did do AND loved as always:

Finding Nemo: The Musical
Kali River Rapids
Convservation Station/Petting Area
Safari
The Boneyard
Tough to Be a Bug
Ate at Restaurantasarous
Shopped just a bit
Watched the monkeys in Asia
Watched some dancers in Asia
Watched African performers

Didn't even get too Flights of Wonder
EE, FOTLK, Meet n Greets, etc.

The one thing I would like to see added was more types of animals in the petting area.

But even at Conservation Station there are little shows, exhibits, etc. And the cast memebers there are so knowledgable.

Even walking through the beginning just taking time to spy the animals and watch them. Talk to the Cast members who have the various small animals from reptiles to insects in their cases and give little "shows about them"....so much to see and do, and learn!

And then doing the new Wilderness Tour [which we did not even get too!]

Belle of the Ball 051411
09-17-2013, 02:20 PM
I like it but would like to see more rides. It's a half day park for me. I always buy a park hopper so that isn't an issue but I would never want to buy a magic your way ticket just to go to AK.

DonaldDuckUSA
09-17-2013, 02:54 PM
Everything in the world (both real world and disney world) has its place, and that's how I think about AK.

We're not USUALLY in a rush to get everything done at AK (GO! GO! GO!) so we're able to sit, enjoy a meal, have a drink, talk, and just be together (which is what I love about Disney vacations). We think AK is one of the best places to talk to cast members, because there are so many of them on hand to discuss the animals. DBF loves EE and I love the Safari ride. I see no problem with going to AK. :-)

Some trips we don't even consider it. Other trips its the highlight of our vacation. I'm in the "love it" camp, but I love most things Disney.

DizneyFreak2002
09-17-2013, 03:03 PM
I posted this before, here and elsewhere, I think I need to post it again:

Animal Kingdon is fastly becoming my favorite theme park in Walt Disney World... While I enjoy all the parks, there is something about Animal Kingdom that grips me... What exactly is it about Animal Kingdom that I love so much??? I am not sure... Maybe it is the theme... Maybe it is the story... Maybe it is the scenary... Maybe it is the attention to detail the Imagineers put in designing the park... Maybe, it is the fact that it is a different kind of theme park that I like so much...

When Animal Kingdom first opened, I admit, I hated it... I felt the park was too big, too spaced out... Too much walking had to be done, which tired you out too fast, especially in the hot Florida summer sun... There were not enough ride, not emough to do.. Animal Kingdom was, in the begnning, nothing but a half day park, and really, a waste of a day... In my opinion...

But now, I can spend the entire day in Animal Kingdom... I can spend half the morning just walking around taking in the scenary, exploring Discovery trails... I can spend a lot of time in the queues, checking out the artifacts, and piecing together the story the Imagineers are trying to tell with the attraction... When I walk through Africa, I feel like I am atually transported to a real African village, waiting to take a real life African safari... Exiting Africa and entering Asia, I am transported to the Asian continent; where I can explore the Asian forests and jungles, see the animals in person that call Asia their home, and where I can climb to the top of Mount Everest and encounter the mythical yeti... I can travel over a billion years back in time and visit the age of the dinosaurs, and become sidetracked by a hokey road side carnival that is grossly out place and extremely tack, yet very fun at the same time... And then finally, over to a desert oasis, where we find out how tough it is to be a bug, and where the Tree of Life inspires us to respect and appreciate all forms life, whether human or animal or otherwise...

Sure, Animal Kingdom is not a complete theme park, not by any Disney theme park standard... But, what the park lacks in rides it makes up for in theme, in detail.. There are plenty of hidden trails for you to explore... There is plenty to see and more to do than one might think... Would Beastly Kingdomme have solved this issue??? Don't know, and we never will, so there really is no sense dwelling on it.... Would a new land help out?? Well, it cannot hurt... The Australian Outback or even Mysterious Island complete with Tokyo DisneySea's Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction will do wonders for Animal Kingdom... But, again, no sense dwelling on something that is not here... Let's just appreciate what we do have, and enjoy Animal Kingdom for what it is... A theme park wonder and an Imagineering triumph...

Terra
09-17-2013, 03:11 PM
I posted this before, here and elsewhere, I think I need to post it again:

Animal Kingdon is fastly becoming my favorite theme park in Walt Disney World... While I enjoy all the parks, there is something about Animal Kingdom that grips me... What exactly is it about Animal Kingdom that I love so much??? I am not sure... Maybe it is the theme... Maybe it is the story... Maybe it is the scenary... Maybe it is the attention to detail the Imagineers put in designing the park... Maybe, it is the fact that it is a different kind of theme park that I like so much...

When Animal Kingdom first opened, I admit, I hated it... I felt the park was too big, too spaced out... Too much walking had to be done, which tired you out too fast, especially in the hot Florida summer sun... There were not enough ride, not emough to do.. Animal Kingdom was, in the begnning, nothing but a half day park, and really, a waste of a day... In my opinion...

But now, I can spend the entire day in Animal Kingdom... I can spend half the morning just walking around taking in the scenary, exploring Discovery trails... I can spend a lot of time in the queues, checking out the artifacts, and piecing together the story the Imagineers are trying to tell with the attraction... When I walk through Africa, I feel like I am atually transported to a real African village, waiting to take a real life African safari... Exiting Africa and entering Asia, I am transported to the Asian continent; where I can explore the Asian forests and jungles, see the animals in person that call Asia their home, and where I can climb to the top of Mount Everest and encounter the mythical yeti... I can travel over a billion years back in time and visit the age of the dinosaurs, and become sidetracked by a hokey road side carnival that is grossly out place and extremely tack, yet very fun at the same time... And then finally, over to a desert oasis, where we find out how tough it is to be a bug, and where the Tree of Life inspires us to respect and appreciate all forms life, whether human or animal or otherwise...

Sure, Animal Kingdom is not a complete theme park, not by any Disney theme park standard... But, what the park lacks in rides it makes up for in theme, in detail.. There are plenty of hidden trails for you to explore... There is plenty to see and more to do than one might think... Would Beastly Kingdomme have solved this issue??? Don't know, and we never will, so there really is no sense dwelling on it.... Would a new land help out?? Well, it cannot hurt... The Australian Outback or even Mysterious Island complete with Tokyo DisneySea's Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction will do wonders for Animal Kingdom... But, again, no sense dwelling on something that is not here... Let's just appreciate what we do have, and enjoy Animal Kingdom for what it is... A theme park wonder and an Imagineering triumph...

This is perfectly put! The Pan. Trail is amazing in itself. I guess it all depends on one's likes/dislikes.
I'd actually like to go, sans kiddos now just so I can take the time to really look, where-as my kiddos are on the go and don't want to look at every little thing.

gueli
09-18-2013, 02:21 AM
Thanks Everyone !!!!
:rocks:

This is why I like this place so much.

I love the idea of an Australian land. An excellent idea SBETigg.

DizneyFreak2002 well put.

And everyone else, I thank you for giving your opinions. :thumbsup:

BrerGnat
09-18-2013, 09:13 AM
I don't have really strong opinions on AK either way. I can take it or leave it. (Hey...podcast segment idea!)

In fact, on my last two trips, I haven't even thought about going over there. And, I haven't missed it.

But, I do like Expedition Everest, even without the working Yeti. I think it's a fantastic roller coaster. I also like the Lion King show and I LOVE Flame Tree BBQ! I actually even like the Primeval Whirl roller coaster.

At this time, I basically go to AK if someone else in my group wants to go. I generally don't care much about seeing animals, so that part of it really doesn't appeal to me at all.

The Avatar thing won't sway me either way. I'll check it out when it is done just to see it, but if they scrap the idea tomorrow, I wouldn't care much.

I think it's fine the way it is, because it appeals to many people the way it is and it helps absorb some crowds, so that's always a good thing.

ANG
09-18-2013, 09:34 AM
It's the lowest on our priority list. My biggest grip with it is the humidity. I know they need to keep it moist for the animals and plants but no matter the temperature outside, I feel like a sweaty hot mess when we are there.

ThanxForNoticin
09-18-2013, 01:55 PM
AK has become our favorite park at Disney. The attractions they have there are great, but not our main draw. We also love the shows. But we really enjoy the animals and the peaceful/relaxed feel of the park.

We never get the sense that it's just a "zoo". They do so much more there that people often ignore (or don't know). The park is just as much for the animals as it is for the visitors. They have breeding programs, health care, and use the animals as a tremendous education opportunity.

I always look forward to going back - each trip is different when it comes to the animals.

JerseyDad
09-18-2013, 03:13 PM
....gotta' admit ...the Australian themed area is intriguing.

....however ...the "animal kingdom' is not limited to only Africa, Asia and whatever other "parts unknown" that most people think about.

....perhaps there could be some form of expansion / area ....that brings into play the forests / woodlands of the American Northwest / Pacific Northwest / Redwood Forest ...etc. And ...in doing so ...they could theme and area / attraction / ride to feature ..of course the wildlife of those regions ...but, also include the mystical / mythical / perhaps even very real ....Sasquatch!! It's always been compare to the Yeti ...and there could be some cross-promotion between EE and such a newly themed area ...."Come see the Yeti's North American cousin" ...I mean ...the possibilities are endless. Perhaps an indoor coaster or ride that features the dense / dark redwood forest ....it could almost give the "feel" that is portrayed in the Star Wars Return of The Jedi speeder bike chase scene in the forest with the huge trees (and no ...I'm not suggesting a Star Wars Themed ride / attraction / area.)

....I'm sure that in some mind (that Disney of course 'owns' ) ...someone will say that "we thought about that already". But ...if not ...and such an attraction does materialize in the future ...you heard it here first ....and I want my royalties !!

Terra
09-18-2013, 06:29 PM
....gotta' admit ...the Australian themed area is intriguing.

....however ...the "animal kingdom' is not limited to only Africa, Asia and whatever other "parts unknown" that most people think about.

....perhaps there could be some form of expansion / area ....that brings into play the forests / woodlands of the American Northwest / Pacific Northwest / Redwood Forest ...etc. And ...in doing so ...they could theme and area / attraction / ride to feature ..of course the wildlife of those regions ...but, also include the mystical / mythical / perhaps even very real ....Sasquatch!! It's always been compare to the Yeti ...and there could be some cross-promotion between EE and such a newly themed area ...."Come see the Yeti's North American cousin" ...I mean ...the possibilities are endless. Perhaps an indoor coaster or ride that features the dense / dark redwood forest ....it could almost give the "feel" that is portrayed in the Star Wars Return of The Jedi speeder bike chase scene in the forest with the huge trees (and no ...I'm not suggesting a Star Wars Themed ride / attraction / area.)

....I'm sure that in some mind (that Disney of course 'owns' ) ...someone will say that "we thought about that already". But ...if not ...and such an attraction does materialize in the future ...you heard it here first ....and I want my royalties !!
Yes!! Love these ideas! Because I see Animal Kingdom as much more than an "animal park". But a nature/conservation/wonders of the world kind of thing. They should absolutely expand their ideas to a worldwide theme!!

Arielfan98
09-18-2013, 07:26 PM
My family spend half the day there. We enjoy the rides but not so much the shows and animal attractions (except for KS). My family feels they need to include more air conditioned buildings/attractions to make this park worth an entire day.

badjujue
09-18-2013, 11:09 PM
I like AK. The park deffiently needs a expansion and needs more hours. We normally stay for only a couple hours a day when we stay on property. AK is an enjoyable park for me but needs more attractions

texas211
09-19-2013, 10:20 AM
Do you like or dislike going to AK ?
Generally dislike. The only thing I care for is the Nemo musical, which is 10x better than the real movie was. Everything else, I could leave it.

Do you feel that the park is a 'zoo' ?
No, I live in Ft. Worth, Texas. We have one of the best zoos. No, i'm not sure what AK is. Sure it has a zoo like feel in some parts, but others, its like a part of Universal or something. Just feels like another kind of park, but not a Disney park.

Is it worth the money to go there ?
Anything is worth trying once. The Nemo show keeps us coming back.

What would you do to improve this park?
Save Nemo. Bulldoze the rest and try again. Oh, and no avatar anything. Also, if you can't see the tree and everything clearly from the entrance, it doesn't feel disney enough to me. That is what I like about Epcot and MK. DHS, needs to move the stupid hat out of the way of the theatre.

Giggy
09-21-2013, 05:45 PM
We like it, my mom says it is her favourite park and she loves the theming.

I disagree that it is a half-day park. We spent a day and a half day last visit and we were still pushed for time. Basically if you do it properly it is not a half day park. ;) The rides and shows there are great and there is a whole lot else to see. I love having the chance to learn about the animals and about conservation.

Mickey91
09-22-2013, 12:15 PM
It needs a few more attractions. Maybe a couple of dark rides and more places with AC.

Terra
09-23-2013, 09:28 AM
It needs a few more attractions. Maybe a couple of dark rides and more places with AC.
I like the AC idea, however I have to admit, it would kind of defeat the purpose of AK as a conservation/Eco park as well [I know, I know!! They are not all that Eco. Don't want to start that debate ;) ]

Scar
09-23-2013, 09:35 AM
As far as improving it?.....I guess maybe a great dark ride...something long like Splash or Pirates..
It doesn't have to be a thrill, just a really good classic style boat dark ride.It boggles my mind how there is not one of these here.

RavsRuleDisney!
09-23-2013, 02:07 PM
I think to truly enjoy it you need to (obviously?) be a bit of a animal person. Walt immersed himself in many animal related activities during both his personal and professional life. This park I think is in no small part a tribute to and reflection of that life.

The park is what it is - very strong on the animal interaction through shows, pop-up animal stations, the Conservation Station, etc. and the rides/shows already mentioned. As with everything else Disney it's really personal choice. I don't think we've ever spent an entire day at the park (but really, who spends an ENTIRE day at any of the parks!) but we have always found plenty to entertain and never skip it on our trips. Now our trips have always been several days minimum and if we had a "quickie" and had to skip a park....AK may get the short end of the stick. :(

bruin1344
09-23-2013, 02:20 PM
I posted this before, here and elsewhere, I think I need to post it again:

Animal Kingdon is fastly becoming my favorite theme park in Walt Disney World... While I enjoy all the parks, there is something about Animal Kingdom that grips me... What exactly is it about Animal Kingdom that I love so much??? I am not sure... Maybe it is the theme... Maybe it is the story... Maybe it is the scenary... Maybe it is the attention to detail the Imagineers put in designing the park... Maybe, it is the fact that it is a different kind of theme park that I like so much...

When Animal Kingdom first opened, I admit, I hated it... I felt the park was too big, too spaced out... Too much walking had to be done, which tired you out too fast, especially in the hot Florida summer sun... There were not enough ride, not emough to do.. Animal Kingdom was, in the begnning, nothing but a half day park, and really, a waste of a day... In my opinion...

But now, I can spend the entire day in Animal Kingdom... I can spend half the morning just walking around taking in the scenary, exploring Discovery trails... I can spend a lot of time in the queues, checking out the artifacts, and piecing together the story the Imagineers are trying to tell with the attraction... When I walk through Africa, I feel like I am atually transported to a real African village, waiting to take a real life African safari... Exiting Africa and entering Asia, I am transported to the Asian continent; where I can explore the Asian forests and jungles, see the animals in person that call Asia their home, and where I can climb to the top of Mount Everest and encounter the mythical yeti... I can travel over a billion years back in time and visit the age of the dinosaurs, and become sidetracked by a hokey road side carnival that is grossly out place and extremely tack, yet very fun at the same time... And then finally, over to a desert oasis, where we find out how tough it is to be a bug, and where the Tree of Life inspires us to respect and appreciate all forms life, whether human or animal or otherwise...

Sure, Animal Kingdom is not a complete theme park, not by any Disney theme park standard... But, what the park lacks in rides it makes up for in theme, in detail.. There are plenty of hidden trails for you to explore... There is plenty to see and more to do than one might think... Would Beastly Kingdomme have solved this issue??? Don't know, and we never will, so there really is no sense dwelling on it.... Would a new land help out?? Well, it cannot hurt... The Australian Outback or even Mysterious Island complete with Tokyo DisneySea's Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction will do wonders for Animal Kingdom... But, again, no sense dwelling on something that is not here... Let's just appreciate what we do have, and enjoy Animal Kingdom for what it is... A theme park wonder and an Imagineering triumph...

Well said although I still like MK and Epcot better. I think a couple of dark rides may help.

Terra
09-23-2013, 03:28 PM
day at the park (but really, who spends an ENTIRE day at any of the parks!)


Say what???:blush:

**Raises hand** EPCOT, I could be there from open to close! Same with MK, especially with my sons!! Now Disney Studios, is another story. I don't care for much of it ;)

darthmacho
09-23-2013, 05:32 PM
Good questions!

Do you like or dislike going to AK ? LOVE IT!

Do you feel that the park is a 'zoo' ? No, but I like zoos, so if I did think that, I'd still love AK.

Is it worth the money to go there ? Absolutely. I spent TWO days there last trip.

What would you do to improve this park? I think I'd add more live animal attractions, perhaps Australia, which would include emus, kangaroos, crocodiles, and of course, Koalas.

:mickey:

snowflakegirl
09-23-2013, 09:15 PM
DH and I *love* AK. We easily can be there open to close and could probably spend another day there as well. This last trip we took a behind the scenes tour first thing in the morning (started just a little before opening), stayed at the park til 5:00, and then were back bright and early the next morning to a pre park opening breakfast and stayed til 1:00. While there are certainly zoo aspects to AK, I've always thought it's more than just a zoo. Although I enjoy zoos, so I'd still like AK even if it was. I have always thought of it as a true theme park because of it's incredible detail and theming. I definitely think it's worth the money to visit. To improve the park I would add another land (although I am not loving the idea of an Avatar theme). Perhaps Australia with it's multitude of environments and animals or South America.

larjani
09-23-2013, 10:10 PM
Love / Hate are strong opinions. We just skip it. We prefer to do Epcot twice.

quack arf squeak
09-24-2013, 06:34 PM
Some people spend two days at AK? I just don't get it.:thedolls:

snowflakegirl
09-24-2013, 09:10 PM
*(but really, who spends an ENTIRE day at any of the parks!)



**Raises hand** EPCOT, I could be there from open to close! Same with MK, especially with my sons!! Now Disney Studios, is another story. I don't care for much of it ;)


Me, too. In fact I can usually do two full days at Epcot and at least one full day at MK. I do an open to close at AK each trip, too. DHS has become a half day park for me. I usually end that day at Epcot.

gueli
09-25-2013, 01:59 AM
Some people spend two days at AK? I just don't get it.:thedolls:

That is the beauty of this...you do not have to get it.

Simply put, there apparently are a number of people who enjoy AK. I love seeing all the reasons why.

For those who do not like it, it is apparent that they choose to spend their time elsewhere or only spend a short visit to this park.

No matter what though, as long as you & yours are happy with how you spend your time at WDW...ITS ALL GOOD :)

Thanks again to all who have commented.

I like the idea of Australian animals more so then those from south America...

:drum:
We each march to our own beat...:D

MouseHouser
09-26-2013, 11:26 AM
Love it. We always start out with Festival of the Lion King, which picks up everyone's spirits. Soon to follow is Kilamanjaro Safari.

I do miss the tumblers in Harambe, but that outdoor bar is still always a fun location to sip a beer. In general, we find the setting of the park enchanting and would hate to ever miss it on a given trip.

tjstrike
09-29-2013, 12:45 AM
We're not in the "love it" camp but we don't skip it. I also agree that if it weren't for places like AK, there are species that would be extinct that are now thriving today.

NJGIRL
09-30-2013, 10:40 AM
I love the park and all the details. I have no problem spending a full day in there and I don't ride Everest or visit Dino Land.

Sadly, I have to see during Icot meets now as my husband is in the "does not like animals in captivity" camp.


I'm with your husband on this Patricia. I have struggled with this ever since the park opened.

I do enjoy the park and love the animals, but in my mind it is part zoo and part theme park.

I don't think that the animals are mistreated but behind the scenes they operate like any other zoo and that is what bothers me. Without getting into a debate on zoos...when animals are no longer useful zoos get rid of them and that's where a lot of the problem lies.

And we do spend the whole day there.

darthmacho
10-01-2013, 05:58 PM
Some people spend two days at AK? I just don't get it.:thedolls:

Well, we DID have the luxury of a 14 day trip, so we spent multiple days at ALL the parks, including TWO at Animal Kingdom. Want to know how?

On our first day at AK, we did Asia in the morning and Dinoland in the afternoon, after a lunch at Yak & Yeti. My kids love Kali and Everest, and I love Maharajah, and Dinosaur, so we did each multiple times until we were satisfied.

On our second day, we had breakfast at Tusker House, and then spent all morning in Africa and Discovery Island.We took our time and really savored the attractions. After riding Dinosaur again, and turkey legs for lunch, we rode Everest a few more times for the kids. We left mid-afternoon to explore the AKL and have dinner at Boma.

If money was no object, I'd do this every trip!

MOJoe
10-02-2013, 01:20 PM
Animal Kingdom. Hmmmmm. I don't hate it. But i find it hard to love it.
It is such a different type of park from the other 3. It is very zoo like. But you can't classify it as just a zoo. It has some fantastic attractions. As was said earlier, the live entertainment is the best of any park. And our disney trips would not be complete without a visit to Everest, Tough to be a Bug, Flame Tree BBQ and the Safari at a minimum. I really enjoy these attractions and others, but i still find it hard to love AK. Why?

DisneyFreak may have shed some light on this. AK feels different because it is different. This park practically demands that i slow down. From the moment i enter AK, the park is trying to tell me to relax. But normally i refuse to listen, and race off to get fastpasses like i would at MK or HS. When i do this, I feel i am missing the point. And so, rarely do i enjoy AK as much as i could or should.

It's hard to change my behavior. My family likes to hit our favorites and parkhop to some other place. So our touring style doesn't lend itself well to the needs of the Animal Kingdom. Maybe sometime soon i can get my family to slow down and enjoy all this park has to offer.