Friday, September 21, 2007

Animal Kingdom

Note: While viewing the above slide show turn off your air conditioning, open you your windows and bump around in your seat. There it is just like you are really on the Kilimanjaro Safari Ride at Walt Disney World.

WDW's Animal Kingdom is an amazing zoo with a few rides tossed in to make it a theme park. Every path is scattered with lush flora & fauna. We were able to see new animals we'd never heard of and up close views of old favorites. You can find a list of some of the species here.

Some exhibits were captioned by "chalk" boards rather than static printouts. Such as this one at our new favorite animal the Okapi.

Or the Massive Gorillas


Did you know that Hippos sleep underwater and that their bodies natural rhythm floats them to the top for air about every 5 minutes? G thought that the one in our picture was a rock or dead until he bubbled up for air. I could have stayed in there all day.

In one section there were bird guides you could carry with you. Talk about the Ultimate Hide and Seek. G loved this and was disappointed that we did not find all of the birds.

While at Rafiki's Conservation Station we listened at a trainer explained how and why they train the animals to respond to a clicker (feeding, measuring, medical care...). They demonstrated this with a Tamandua or Lessor Anteater. Once they put the animal away they talked some more with the 3 kids... did I tell you September is a great time to visit?! Because there were only 3 they each got a turn "being" an animal and learning with the clicker. Then they gave each a button to wear. Buttons are big this year at Disney but more on that later.

Oh... I almost forgot, there is a really cool dinosaur play land made to look like a dig. There are many educational posters and replicas. G enjoyed the actual dig, though at closing time they must cover the mastodon bones to hide them from a poaching professor. Wink, Wink. G didn't know there were fessors at Disney.

Finally (I promise), at the Animal Kingdom you must walk around the Tree of Life to get to the Bug's Life 3D movie (Excellent by the way). The carvings are breathtaking. Once inside the tree there are buggy things like one of G's all time favs... the Dung Beetle. He insisted on a couple of pictures.

I hope to lapbook about these truly wondrous animals, and if we do I will surely post it, but for now we have a bulletin board covered with our pictures and books & videos from the library. Until next time...


Charlene said...

HI! This year when we went to Animal Kingdom we saw very few animals. We mostly did the rides. Last year we saw almost all the animals, however I missed the hippos. Now we have something to look for next year! Love your slide show - I think you've inspired me to try and do one myself! Thanks

Katie said...

Hello I stumbled upon your blog. I homeschool my 9 year old son. Thanks very much for the neat slideshow. I agree with you the tree of life is amazing. We went to Disney a few years ago and are hoping to go again soon. I look forward to continuing to read your blog.

Chris said...

We took our three kiddo's to Disney in September as well! You're right - it's a great time to go.

We also enjoyed our day at Animal Kingdom; particularly at Rafiki's Conservation Station. One of the "station's" inside is a view into the Vet's operating room. While we were there they performed surgery on a Pigmy Goose right in front of us! Complete with a narrator standing out with us answering questions. It was amazing.

Note: Epcot is also rich with schooling opportunities. We're looking forward to going back again in a few years with a better "school" plan prepared.