They Have Giraffes at Disney World?

Day Three brought the Offermann/Reeves to the Animal Kingdom theme park. Besprinkled throughout this post are Tom’s photos of the wildlife that we spied while on a safari truck that took us on a poacher laden adventure (don’t ask) through the Disney preserve. (These shots came out surprisingly well since they make the trek as authentic as possible by including rough bridges and water filled potholes wherever possible.)

This was by far my favorite park. It was lush and green and actually afforded the visitor a relaxing ambience with fresh clean air, courtesy of the copious canopy of plants. In this location, Disney has concocted an interesting mix of modern rides, shows, and educational content.

We learned about and viewed up close and personal some babirusa or “pig deer,” naked mole rats (a family favorite), pygmy geese, and a pancake tortoise. We also had the pleasure of running into some gigantic bats, watching a hippo running around under water, and even spotted a huge rhino, which I learned has a hide that is about 1 inch in thickness and which they said cannot be penetrated by much in the wild. The guide relayed that the number one threat to the incredibly small rhino population remains poachers supplying the horn to the Chinese, who use it as a traditional medication for fever and convulsions.

I give a thumbs up to the live show Birds of Wonder, which offers a wide array of attention-getting avian performers in action, seen up close and personal. It was popular with the whole family, from smallest to tallest. The other live show we took in was The Lion King, which I give a thumbs down. It was kind of a mini-Cirque set to the music of the Lion King with the worst extras I have ever seen dancing. (The bar aerialist monkeys were pretty good though.)

Ride recommendations include two coasters: Expedition Everest and Primeval Whirl, as well as exciting animatronic adventure ride called Dinosaur.

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