Disney’s Animal Kingdom…Hakuna Matata

Trip Start Sep 12, 2009
Trip End Sep 19, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting anxious about our Imperial assignments has played its toll on us – and we woke up early the next morning. After the morning ritual of drinking the Imperial coffee... in the Imperial mug... while watching Imperial zebras, giraffes, antelopes, ankoles, etc. we quickly made our way to the bus.

Disney's Animal Kingdom is only opened until 17:00 – as to not disturb the animals…our wishes don't count…because we are Imperial slaves, a life form lower than the most lowliest grub to grace the land of the Animal Kingdom...or the throats of Timon & Grand Poobah Pumbaa...I'm not sure who we are lower then..most likely both.

We took advantage of the extra magic hours…which only happen in the morning at the Animal Kingdom…as to not to disturb the animals…because we are Imperial slaves…lower than a groveling hyena.

One thing was clear – there will be no mid-day rest today.

As we approached the Animal Kingdom we had to go through the same search by the Uniformed Imperial guards who from some reason did not ignore such creatures as us…maybe the word hasn’t gotten to them…or maybe it’s another grand conspiracy…or maybe, just maybe they’re not looking for us?


Entering the park, we again had to compare our fingerprints to our entry tickets…except Jakey…because you don’t become an Imperial slave until the ripe old age of 3…so has the Mouse overlord decreed.

Mistakenly Cheri & I scanned the wrong tickets yesterday so now we have to switch tickets all the time…suckers…we finally fooled the Empire.

We walked gingerly towards the safari…because we heard it’s best in the morning…or after it rains…and it wasn’t raining.

We stopped for photo ops here and there, but after a gentle, yet wildly vocal, reminder from all members of the family that they don’t want to stop anymore we headed straight for the Kilmanjaro safari at the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

The line wasn’t bad and the kids were very excited. The Empire promises you a two week excursion into the wild, and even supplies a bus with suitcases.  The safari is a wonderful show of the Empire’s strength in handling even the most defiant of its subjects – like lions and tigers and rhinos and elephants and hippos (oh my!).

Suddenly, in the middle of our enjoyment... of what possibly could be the last family adventure before or Imperial servitude officially begins...the guide announces that a bunch of "poachers" (probably PETA members from a near by African village who came to rescue the Empire’s enslaved animals) were on the loose and it is up to us, the Imperial slaves, to capture them.

Capture them we did, but our safari had to be cut from two weeks to 20 minutes.

On our way to pick up our stroller (the one we brought from home, not the Imperial stroller) we stopped to see the Siverback gorillas which convinced us at the falsehood of the Imperial propaganda known as "Tarzan".  There is no way any man would stand toe to toe with these huge apes and walk away.

We made our way to pay the obligatory tribute to the Imperial gods in Camp Minnie-Mickey…where we understand the lines are short.  The ruthless beings are dressed in safari outfits…no doubt hunting runaway Imperial slaves.  We paid homage to Goofy the Guard Dog, the Mouse Overlord and his beloved wife.

We all fell in their trap and were enamored by their presence…except Jakey…who was smart enough to stay away from those majestic beings…or maybe teenagers in costumes freak him out…I’m not sure.

After finishing our tributes to the Imperial gods…and counting our blessings as we were not chosen for sacrifice…we made our way to catch the Imperial show of “Finding Nemo, the Musical” – a short version of the Imperial theatrical propaganda of self grandeur and importance.

Even though the show was in a cool, dark theatre we didn’t enjoy it as much as we thought and afterwards made our way to DinoLand where, seemingly, the Imperial has managed to bring to life the extinct creatures – and enslave them.

Isabella was brave enough to go with me on the Dinosaur ride…which scared the daylights out of her…and the Empire, in a typical move, took a picture of her face, filled with horror, only to try and sell it to us.

We didn’t buy …becase we're cheap that way...and we’re Imperial slaves…and don’t get paid.

From there we started feeling pains of hunger…because we are Imperial slaves…not just lions’ food…even though being eaten by the great King Simba might be a great honor.

Before our arduous tasks would be given to us we headed over to the Asia section (who knew the Empire owns Africa and Asia) for the famously delicious “Yak & Yeti”.  Yes, the food there was better than several of the restaurants at the Imperial theme parks, but for us poor slaves, $100 for two adults and once child (our kids split the portion) for what seemed to us as Chinese food was a bit much…because we’re cheap that way (great decor though).

Luckily we’re on the dining plan and hence will never pay for food…but future Imperial slaves - beware.

Maybe, after we brought Cinderella’s Royal Table & Pecos Bill’s to the quality of such fabled eateries as “Wendy’s”, we can bring to the “Yak & Yeti” up to the standards of the “Happy Dragon Takeout Kitchen”.

As we left the “Yak & Yeti”, we headed over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch on the Imperial Train of the Monkey Advisor…or was it the Wildlife Express…I can’t remember – a stroller-less excursion into the heart..or the edge… of the Animal Kingdom. 

We walked a few hundred feet after we got off the Imperial Train of the Monkey Advisor…the children started to get upset... because they thought their servitude has begun with a forced march…but the calmed down as we entered the cool relief of the Conservation Station.

Once at the Conservation Station we started, what we believe, our initiation into the Imperial slave force – we saw the working veterinary clinic, introduced to poop samples and even get to meet the Monkey Advisor – Rafiki himself – we expected to hear some words of wisdom only to be disappointed as he only patted Isabella on the head.

Again – Jakey showed us who has the brains in the family by staying away from the Imperial Monkey as well as the Imperial Cricket – Jiminy.

Yet he was again taken hostage by the beauty of Pocahontas and her magical tree grandmother – who put their Imperial spells on him.  However they did not get Isabella who told Pocahontas she visited her home last year in Virginia – which threw them a loop and we got booted out the door straight to the Affection Section – a petting zoo.

We quickly left the Affection Section afraid that we won’t be let out…being Imperial slaves, and got on the Wildlife Express...I mean the Imperial Train of the Monkey Advisor.

Getting off the Imperial Train of the Monkey Advisor it started to rain so we headed over to the protection of King Simba and his minions at “The Festival of the Lion King” where Imperial slaves Pumbaa, Timon and other forest animals danced and sang in order to entertain King Simba and his court.

In a moment which every Imperial slave-parent would cherish for the rest of their short lives, our Isabella was picked out of the crowd to help the forest animals entertain the King of Beasts – we bid her a teary but proud farewell, wished her well in her new life and prayed to the Mouse Overlord that she won’t be used as a sacrifice.

At that moment, the Imperial deity known as "The Genie" decided to have a laugh at my expense... the batteries in my camera ran out.

A disappointment which was multiplied because it was brought on by a former Imperial slave.  How soon we forget, oh Master of Gags…

However, on a much happier front, the Empire returned our soon-to-be-Imperial-slave daughter to us…maybe she was too skinny for King Simba….or not hairy enough…or because she's only four (AND A HALF!!!)...or King Simba found out she can’t hunt.

We are happy but cannot think what an insult it is for our family...not to mention extra air-fare...but we're not cheap that way (how dare you call us "cheap"?).

As the show ended, we left proudly proclaiming our new found celebrity – until we reached the edge of the theater and were slowly allured by the delicious smell of a freshly oiled funnel cake.  We debated whether we should buy it or not, after all we are on the Empire’s dining plan and we don’t like spending money on such frivolous, extravagant entitlements like food, shelter, parking, etc….because we’re cheap that way.

By the time we finished devouring the delicious treat (later we found out it was “slave food”) it was around 16:30 and the Animal Kingdom was closing soon – and we have yet to receive our assignments from the Empire.

Scared that we might have missed our assignments we hurried over to the Maharaja Jungle Trek walking trail with animals in Asian-themed.  We felt as if we were taking part of the live “Jungle Book” shoot, which of course we weren’t…but the trail looks like it…so we just imagined we were.

We tried to clean the tiger’s poop, but couldn’t get in the cage…and the tigers looked hungry…maybe we should get them a funnel cake?

Disappointed yet again – we headed for the hotel because tomorrow is another day…
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