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Disney Day Four – Animal Kingdom

Saying farewell is an awful thing, and saying goodbye to your Disney vacation is even worse. Exhausted yet excited for our last park, we headed out to Animal Kingdom, a place I had been very, very excited to see.  We had planned out today much better than our previous days so that we could enjoy the park at a slower pace. What transpired was one of our best days of the trip.

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The first thing you notice in the park is the Tree of Life which is a sight to behold. It is the only centerpiece in any of these parks to rival Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom. You can see it all around the park and it always photographs well. The animals carved into it are bursting with life and I swear that every time you look at it, you see an animal you missed before. It’s beautiful and really gives you the impression that this park will be one awesome adventure.

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We checked out the adorable “It’s tough to be a Bug” and then met up with Russel and Dug the dog who were adorable as ever. We headed to Dino-Land where we proceeded to scare mom with a few rides. We then met up with Goofy and Pluto.

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I want to say some words about Goofy. Prior to this trip, I was not much of a Goofy fan. To me, Goofy was just not on my radar. Our experiences with the two Goofy’s we met have converted me. He was always so fun and full of excitement and always gave us a laugh. Goofy, consider yourself on my favorites list!

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We then headed to Mount Everest, where we took my mom on the scariest ride of the week. I had been looking forward to this one. We rode it with our friend Joe and the look of shear terror on my Mom’s face is hysterical. See below for the photo I lifted from Photopass for reference. The ride was phenomenal and I would ride it again in a heartbeat.

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Let me tell you about the funniest characters you will meet at Disney. King Louie and Baloo are hysterical and made everyone in line laugh and pass the wait time with ease. They even danced with us. These are some fantastic folks bringing these two to life and I loved watching them take a child who was scared and making them fall in love by the end. I also appreciate that they reel back before posing for the photo just in time.

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We took a lovely safari and saw some wild animals and that was the last ride of our journey. We wandered around and did some shopping before saying farewell to the park.

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I’m sad to leave, but I’m excited too. I can’t wait to break apart everything we saw and figure out how everything works. I’m so ready for the day that will soon come when I can analyze our photos of the tree of life or really listen to the soundtrack to Finding Nemo the musical. To see the sights and hear the sounds is only the beginning. From here we get to process and understand and remind ourselves that it wasn’t a dream. We were there.

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And chances are good that before long, we’ll be back. After all, a friend of mine when looking at our photos reminded me “You’ll always know where home is.”  So goodbye for now Disney World, but don’t rest on your laurels. You have work to do. Grow. Inovate and continue to inspire. Before you know it, I’ll be back with mouse ears on my head, a magic band on my wrist, and the biggest smile you’ve ever seen on my face.

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