Animal Kingdom is Awesome (Despite the Crabs that Snuck In)

We started the morning with a crabby preschooler. She got 11 hours of sleep last night and we gave her breakfast before we left our resort for Animal Kingdom, but apparently that wasn’t enough. She was STILL a crab.

Things turned around notably when we arrived at Animal Kingdom. No surprise to me. Magic Kingdom is my favorite, but Animal Kingdom ranks right up there as my second favorite Disney Park.

We had Fast Passes for Kilimanjaro Safari and got right in. It was amazing, probably the best safari we’ve had of our six visits to Animal Kingdom to date. Animals were everywhere. A whole variety. Right near our vehicle and easy to see. Elephants. Giraffes. Zebras. Wildebeests. Hippos. Rhinoceroses. Lions. Cougars and a bunch more. The guy behind me was in awe. “Wow! This is awesome!” And our three-year-old Maisie agreed. “Oh. My. Gosh. This is so cool.” I applaud Disney for a job well done with the safari, as well as for the care and tending of the animals and property. It’s truly top notch and was a great start to our day at Animal Kingdom.

elephants at Animal Kingdom

After Kilimanjaro Safari, we headed straight to the Festival of the Lion King. It’s a live performance featuring various songs from the movie Lion King, and is something we never miss when we go to Animal Kingdom. Honestly, it’s one of the highest quality live performance shows you’ll find in all of Walt Disney World. It is simply that good. Another must see. This performance was as excellent as any other show we’ve seen in the past. So good I got goose bumps when the first song began. And I couldn’t stop taking photos. The show is incredibly pleasing to the senses. Near Broadway quality for sure. Our little crab magically disappeared during this show. She must’ve loved it as much as the rest of us!


After the Lion King, we had the perfect amount of time to head over to Pangani Forest, a fairly lengthy walking trail next to the safari that has a lot more animals to see. If memory serves me well, Little Miss Crab went missing during this excursion as well! She must have loved the gorillas, fish and tropical birds.


Crab #1 returned after our walk through Pangani Forest. And along came another crab. We’ll call her crab #2. She was an older crab, so she didn’t put up near the fuss, but she was getting really, really hungry. The two crabs joined me for some AWESOME live African music while the boys checked us in for lunch at the Tusker House. These dudes had it going on, I’m telling you. They were awesome. They had everyone rocking and dancing up a storm. Sweat was beading and dripping off their faces, but they didn’t blink an eye. They just kept rocking it like mad men. SO. AWESOME. Great going, guys.


It wasn’t long and we were in the Tusker House, waiting for our name to be called for buffet lunch and character dining with Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy! We’d eaten at Tusker House in the past, but never with the character dining, so this was a real treat. Just as I recalled, the food was amazing! Excellent for a buffet. The flavors were superb, rich and appealing to my palate. It’s one of those buffets where you have to be willing to take risks. The food doesn’t always LOOK amazing, but once you try it, you realize it TASTES truly amazing! Cous Cous and Salmon. Oh my. SO GOOD. Hot molten lava cakes. Goodness gracious. My husband noted that many adults were taking mac and cheese. Please! No mac and cheese for adults at Disney! Be daring! The food at Tusker House is awesome! We saw all the characters, got autographs and photos. Our server, Sylvie, was incredible as well.

Tusker House character dining

But hmmm…as much as everything was delightful, so good and amazing, our little crab showed up again half way through the meal. She didn’t want to eat her pork tenderloin and green beans. She just wanted more and more mini hot dogs and that’s it. Some parents would leave it at that and let her eat corn dogs all day long. But I have little tolerance for super picky eaters (including the boy whose parents only gave him bananas and cheese at the table next to us), so an all-corn-dogs meal wasn’t cutting it for me today! All I asked was that Miss Crab take three bites of veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy and pork tenderloin for decent nutrition, and she simply wasn’t cooperating. I picked this battle. So she went in time out. Poor Miss Crab. She got the break she needed, ate her three bites very well, and got one tiny dessert of her choosing! Hooray, Miss Crab!

Crab #2 crawled away during lunch. Food made her feel much, much better. But Crab #2 came right back after lunch. She wanted to get a $15 henna tattoo on her arm, and dad told her no. She wanted to go to see “It’s a Bug’s Life,” but we told her not now, LATER. So she was crabs again. Crabs wear sunglasses sometimes, you know. They like to look cool even though they’re crabby.

We decided to split our family. It’s become a strategy of ours this week. It’s worked when we have Fast Passes. It’s worked when kids become crabs.

The boys went to Mount Everest Roller Coaster to use their Fast Passes. I went with the two crabs to use Fast Passes we had for another character meet and greet.

On the way to the character meet and greet, Crab #1 took a ride in her stroller. Strollers help crabs a lot. I also took time to acknowledge and really listen to Crab #2’s frustrations. She was tired. She needed a nap. She wanted to rest. Did I mention she was tired? We decided we’d do two more things and head back for rest at the resort. Tears welled in Crab #2’s eyes. Crab #2 got a big side hug from mom. Things seemed to turn around.

We’d just met Mickey at lunch, but we’ll take Mickey any day, all day long. He’s awesome! A classic. Our Fast Passes were amazing. Top-notch meet and greet. Short line. Long and incredible personal engagement with Mickey and Minnie. A sure WIN for Crab #1 and Crab #2! So much a win that they weren’t crabs anymore!!! Hooray! Mickey and Minnie worked their magic!

We met the boys for one last attraction, “It’s a Bug’s Life.” The show was awesome as usual. Enjoyable for all.



Crab #1 returned in full force as we made our way to take a family photo in front of Animal Kingdom’s The Tree of Life. She was sitting in the stroller with her blanket, and didn’t want to get out. Crab #2 was quietly crabby. She got her sunglasses back on. She just needed her break. I already knew I was heading back to the resort with our two crabs, so we snapped the photo however it came out and I beelined straight for the shuttles that brought us back to the resort.


Crab #1 and Crab #2 have been sleeping peacefully for an hour and a half now. I’m feeling lively and jovial, despite the fact that I’m stuck in a hotel room at 5:30 p.m. on a BEAUTIFUL DISNEY DAY in Florida. It’s all good. Hopefully these crabs will turn into beautiful, oh-so-very-polite and patient princesses during their sleep. The boys are meeting us at Magic Kingdom for the electrical parade and fireworks later tonight! (And we’re already planning a nap time exit strategy for half of our family tomorrow afternoon.)

Have a magical day, y’all. Signing off until tomorrow’s second visit to Epcot.





31DaysofDisney_medium2This post is part of a month-long series titled 31 Days of Disney! If you’d like to read more posts from the series, click here and you’ll be directed back to the 31 Days of Disney landing page. ALL posts from the series are linked within the body of that post. Find a title or topic that intrigues you, click on it, and the post will pop up for your Disney reading adventure!

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So glad you stopped by! Make yourself comfortable. Take a peek around the place, and know you’re welcome back anytime.

  1. Tom Baunsgard says:

    Wow, so much fun! No I’m tired to… But not crabby, I just got a new car

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