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Old 10-04-2013, 03:34 PM   #76
DisneyKid4Life
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No joking, I have heard those pole dancing classes are pretty intense.

Rising Star does look like a lot of fun. I think that's the first time I've seen "karaoke" with a live band. I really like that. You are so right. This would be a perfect fit for Downtown Disney, perhaps as part of Disney Springs which is supposed to add more 21+ stuff.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #77
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No joking, I have heard those pole dancing classes are pretty intense.

Rising Star does look like a lot of fun. I think that's the first time I've seen "karaoke" with a live band. I really like that. You are so right. This would be a perfect fit for Downtown Disney, perhaps as part of Disney Springs which is supposed to add more 21+ stuff.
It's true, they really are! In some ways I kinda regretted doing it because I was so sore for the rest of the trip - but it was fun!

I definitely think the concept behind Rising Star would be perfect for the new Disney Springs. I am really looking forward to seeing what they do with Disney Springs - there is so much potential there!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #78
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All caught up (after a mini DIS hiatus!) Looks like a ton of fun so far - and glad you had such an easy group while touring the parks!

Now off to read the dining reviews (of course!)
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:41 AM   #79
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Wild Africa Trek

The next morning we had scheduled the Wild Africa Trek! We were planning to get into the park around 11, since the Trek started at 11:30. I had my annual pass but Jason didn't have a park ticket, so my CM friend very kindly agreed to meet us at AK that morning to let Jason in. I have some truly amazing friends

Being at AKL we got to AK earlier than we needed to be. So we grabbed some breakfast at the coffee stand outside of the gates - a blueberry muffin for me, and a donut for DH! Once my friend arrived we headed out to the Wild Africa Trek to check in. We were still early, so we poked around in the gift shop before going back.

The Trek was absolutely incredible. To start off, they suited you up in your gear. You were weighed to make sure you were in the weight limit, and then they put a vest and harness on you. We also each got a water bottle for the trek, which we got to keep as a souvenir afterward. And we were given headpieces so we could hear the guides talking. Finally, if you wanted to bring a camera (and of course I did!) they gave you a clip and a string to secure it to your vest. Anything else had to go in a locker (wallet, keys, cell phone, etc.). Here's our group all suited up!



We started out by going on part of the Pangani trail, the one that is open to the public. However, it was great having the guides there, as they pointed out things you might not have noticed and provided some interesting tidbits along the way.



Then we were "off roading" it, going up a path that is off limits to the public. We followed our guides who led us to... the hippos! The ear pieces were great, as I could hear everything they were saying, even when I fell a little behind to take some photos (They warned us that if we got too far behind the ear pieces might not work anymore).

We ended up right above where the hippos were on the safari. They attach your harness to a metal pole so you can stand toward the edge and look down at the hippos without having to worry and still being safe! A third guide came out and told us a bit about the hippos. Apparently hippos kill more humans than any other type of animal. He said this is because they are very territorial, and if a human happens into its area the hippos feel like they have to protect their area.



They then spent some time feeding the hippos, which brought them right over to us! One came close by, with his head up out of the water, opening and closing his mouth to eat. It was neat to get to see his head up and mouth open! Talk about a great photo opportunity!





Next up on our journey was the crocodiles. This is when we crossed over a "rope" bridge above the crocodile pit. Of course it's Disney, so everything is very secure and safe, even though it's made to look treacherous. And of course they harness you in and everything. I get scared of a lot of things, but this wasn't scary at all! It was such a fun, unique opportunity! You actually crossed over 2 different rope bridges. The first one went over where the safari vehicles drive by the crocodiles, so I had this view:



You can see the height of the rope bridge from this picture of me crossing:



And here's DH, clearly fascinated by something below him:



And I love this picture of me with my camera, because I think it's very typical of me!



One thing I'll also mention here is that the guides have their own cameras that they take pictures with throughout the Trek. That's how we have pictures of ourselves. They take pictures of everyone on the Trek at various points, as well as their own pictures of the animals, so that if you didn't bring your own camera you can still get photos of the experience. Then at the end of the tour they give you a download card with a code, when you can find all of your photos! I thought that was a really great idea!

The second rope bridge is the one that goes over the crocodile pit.



Once we all made it over, we took a more in depth look at the crocodiles in the same way that we did with the hippos - by being attached to a metal pole so we could look down on the crocs.





Up next was our own private safari ride through the savanna. This truck is set up differently than the regular safari trucks. There are also designated spots throughout the safari where our driver could pull over. That way we got to spend longer periods of time looking at the animals, and we could stand up and take some time to get some good pictures.

We got to stop near the giraffes - and the baby giraffe, Mosi, was there! They told us at this point it was only Mosi's third day out on the savanna. The giraffes are always my favorite, and it was so cool to see the baby!



We also stopped for awhile near the elephants:



Then, halfway through the safari, we pulled over to a small outdoor building where we got to have lunch. They gave us little buckets with a taste of different things. It was really delicious! Check out my dining review if you want the full details, but I really enjoyed the chicken curry.



Yum, I'm ready to dig in!



After eating and using the restrooms that were there, we also had some free time to just watch the animals and take pictures.


(Umm, of course I'm taking pictures of the giraffe!)

Then we were back on the truck to finish up our safari ride. This time we stopped near the rhinos and the zebras.



We got lucky with the zebras. Not only were they out, but they were super close to the truck!





As we ended our tour, they told us that a portion of the fee we paid for it would be donated to the Wildlife Conservation fund. They let us choose which animal we wanted to give to, by putting a rock inside a box with the pictures of animals on it. I, of course, chose giraffes!



I highly recommend this tour to anyone that might be considering it. The experience was incredible, especially for someone like me who loves the Animal Kingdom. And if you are a photographer it provides some amazing opportunities for animal pictures!

Jason and I grabbed some ice cream before heading back to AKL to get ready for our photoshoot at Art of Animation that evening!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:42 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by elphie101 View Post
All caught up (after a mini DIS hiatus!) Looks like a ton of fun so far - and glad you had such an easy group while touring the parks!

Now off to read the dining reviews (of course!)
I've had a mini DIS hiatus too with everything going on in my life! I've spent the past few days catching up on trip reports and dining reviews
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #81
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I've heard nothing but glowing reviews from anyone that's done the Wild Africa Trek. I guess I'll have to get it done someday!

I'm in DIS catchup mode too!
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #82
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I've really been looking forward to hearing about this. And right off the bat a group photo. I love that.

How great that the guides are taking those candid photos. I really like that idea. Do they cost extra?

I actually remember being on the Safari and seeing a group on the tour over the Crocodile pit.

That really sounds like a great tour Becky. Thanks so much for sharing!

And YAY Giraffes!!
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:17 PM   #83
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Wow, it looks like you had an incredible Trek. It seems like the animals were really active. I think we went on the 1:00 tour and by then the hippos wouldn't even budge, but it was still a fun experience. I really like the shot of the two of you with the hippo in the background.

Mmm.. I still remember how good that chicken curry was! I may have to make some this weekend if I can find the recipe.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #84
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The Wild Africa Trek looks so fun! I love AK and the Safari so I might have to do this someday.

Great pics!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:35 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by elphie101 View Post
I've heard nothing but glowing reviews from anyone that's done the Wild Africa Trek. I guess I'll have to get it done someday!

I'm in DIS catchup mode too!
Yes! It's a little bit pricey but I think it's totally worth it.

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Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
I've really been looking forward to hearing about this. And right off the bat a group photo. I love that.

How great that the guides are taking those candid photos. I really like that idea. Do they cost extra?

I actually remember being on the Safari and seeing a group on the tour over the Crocodile pit.

That really sounds like a great tour Becky. Thanks so much for sharing!

And YAY Giraffes!!
Yeah, it was really awesome that the guides were taking photos. They were included with the fee for the tour. I think they used to mail you a CD of images, but now they just gave us a card with a web address and password to download them. They were up within 24 hours so I got to look them up the next day! I wonder how long before they'll let you instant download your photopass pics that way instead of ordering a CD...

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Wow, it looks like you had an incredible Trek. It seems like the animals were really active. I think we went on the 1:00 tour and by then the hippos wouldn't even budge, but it was still a fun experience. I really like the shot of the two of you with the hippo in the background.

Mmm.. I still remember how good that chicken curry was! I may have to make some this weekend if I can find the recipe.
If you need it, I posted the recipe for the chicken curry on my blog! Here it is: http://disneyinyourday.com/2013/08/2...d-africa-trek/

I was worried the animals would be too hot to move, since we did 11:30am Trek in August. It was definitely hot but luckily they were good for us!



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The Wild Africa Trek looks so fun! I love AK and the Safari so I might have to do this someday.

Great pics!
It's definitely a worthwhile experience! I would even think about it doing it again someday, I enjoyed it so much!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:43 PM   #86
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Wow, wow, wow!!!!! I am so jealous of this experience!!!!

What a unique thing to get to do!

Quote:
Apparently hippos kill more humans than any other type of animal.
I had NO IDEA!!!! And they also need to see a dentist based on your following photo!

Mosi - cutest creature ever!

Seriously, what an awesome thing to get to do! I'm guessing DD will have to be 18 before I will get my chance, and I may be too ancient and arthritic at that point to manage it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #87
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Wow, wow, wow!!!!! I am so jealous of this experience!!!!

What a unique thing to get to do!


I had NO IDEA!!!! And they also need to see a dentist based on your following photo!

Mosi - cutest creature ever!

Seriously, what an awesome thing to get to do! I'm guessing DD will have to be 18 before I will get my chance, and I may be too ancient and arthritic at that point to manage it.
Actually, I did a little research, and it seems that mosquitoes are technically considered the #1 killer of humans because they carry so many viruses and diseases. I don't know if that counts though!

I'm sure you could still do it in the future! There was an older woman on our tour with her granddaughter. She was hilarious - terrified of crossing that rope bridge and while she was on it kept calling to the rest of us on the other side, "How did you get over there??? What, are you all crazy?" But she made it too
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:29 AM   #88
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Yeah, it was really awesome that the guides were taking photos. They were included with the fee for the tour. I think they used to mail you a CD of images, but now they just gave us a card with a web address and password to download them. They were up within 24 hours so I got to look them up the next day! I wonder how long before they'll let you instant download your photopass pics that way instead of ordering a CD...
When my family was there in April 2013 we had PP+ (we were a group of 8, it was well worth the price), and when we redeemed the cd code after playing with borders we had the option of instant download or a cd (and paying the shipping for the cd). We went with the instant download and then created our own backup cd.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #89
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When my family was there in April 2013 we had PP+ (we were a group of 8, it was well worth the price), and when we redeemed the cd code after playing with borders we had the option of instant download or a cd (and paying the shipping for the cd). We went with the instant download and then created our own backup cd.
Oh, that's awesome! I haven't gotten a photopass CD in awhile so I didn't realize that was an option! That's exactly what I would do too - instant download and then just burn my own CD
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:16 AM   #90
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I'm hoping to get another update up soon... but life has been pretty crazy recently (in a good way!). I start a new job tomorrow, and I am also in a play that opens on Friday night. By the way, if anyone is near the Philly area and wants to come see a production of Jekyll and Hyde anytime in the next four weekends, let me know I will give you details!
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