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Spring Break at Walt Disney World: All Shook Up at Animal Kingdom – Daffy Does Disney

Come along as I get an exceedingly early start on my day at Animal Kingdom. Then watch as I gawk at wild animals on a safari and take on one of the roughest rides in all of Walt Disney World. It’s NOT a zoo!

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Posted on May 3, 2017, in Animal Kingdom, Daffy Does Disney, theme parks, travel, Trip Report, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. That’s weird about the misinformation on the TV. Were there other people looking to take advantage of a non-existent Extra Magic Hour? Once I thought Hollywood Studios was open later than it was and I got chased out by a less than magical castmember, so sometimes confusion happens. Especially when Disney does make last-minute changes to their operating hours. Doesn’t seem like you were too put out by it.

    We spent a fair amount of time in Dinoland during our 2012 trip. We don’t always make it to Animal Kingdom for a variety of reasons, but that was the year Mom was with us and it was going to be her only chance to see the park. Since the kids were pretty young at the time, most of Animal Kingdom’s headliner attractions were off the table although the adults did make time for Dinosaur. We went in two groups with one grown-up staying back at Dinoland with the kiddies.

    You can’t argue that Dinoland is anything but an eyesore. It is not up to Disney standards and saying it looks cheap on purpose is no excuse. Don’t pick “tacky” as a theme then. Those valid criticisms aside, Dinoland was okay for what it was. It kept the kiddies occupied in a park that was light on things for them to do.

    We rode Primeval Whirl for the first and only time on that trip. If it were at a regional amusement park like Kings Island, it would make a fine addition to the attractions at Planet Snoopy where rough rides are expected. We had FastPasses when we rode it. No way I’d wait in line 20 minutes for it.

    As always, Animal Kingdom is a beautiful park. I look forward to seeing it in person again some day now that the roster of attractions has been expanded.

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    • daffystardust

      There were definitely other people who got there almost an hour early based on the same error on the TV station. I spoke to some on the bus and a few others while we waited.

      I really wasn’t that put out for 3 reasons: 1) As it was, I would have been a few minutes late to an 8 o’ clock opening, so this meant I was among the first people to enter the park. 2) as a theme park veteran, I’m in the habit of getting to parks early, so I’m used to waiting a while to get in. Not an hour, but a while. Some of the other people around me were less accustomed to this kind of waiting, and though nobody was outwardly crappy about it, they clearly were a little peeved. 3) What was I going to do? Be mad? What would that have solved? It wouldn’t have made them open the park early. There was no point in me getting worked up about it when the prime victim of my bad mood would be me.

      There were more than a couple of operational issues during this trip, but nothing as bad as the bus with no AC. After that, nothing else seemed so bad.

      When you go at Spring Break time, 20 minutes is a pretty mild wait time. Plus, I got some fun footage out of it. Certainly better than I could get in “Dinosaur.”

      I will say that I noticed some amusing touches in Dinoland this time which were openly satirical of other Disney parks stuff, but I generally agree with you about the overall quality of the area. They needed more rides and they needed those rides to be okay for kids. I guess this is all they could think up to fill those needs at the time. I think I’ve walked in there a grand total of two times.

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      • Well, I guess it’s good to know you didn’t misread the park hours. The time I got chased out of DHS, I clearly had made a mistake. If I had been in your shoes, I’d be annoyed. But it wouldn’t get me too hot around the collar if I was by myself. That’s a big “IF”. If I was there with the family, I’d have two bored kids and a furious wife. Mindy would be beyond livid. Not at Disney. At me. Everything that happens at Disney no matter how unexpected is 100% my fault if for no other reason than I’m the one who likes to be there. Even if the trip was Mindy’s idea (and this has happened before) I am fully to blame for any unpleasant surprises. Since I would be on the hotseat, I would respond in kind. Hopefully I could get some kind of compensation for our trouble. I imagine a minimal amount of fuss would have netted you a FP, but I wouldn’t have raised a ruckus under any circumstances.

        Of course, this situation would never come up with my family for a few reasons. One, the TV must never be turned to the resort channel. That is forbidden. Two, if by some chance I happened to notice an Extra Magic Hour at the last minute, it would be extremely unwise of me to suggest that we move at double-speed in order to make use of it. Any attempt at hurrying the group along will not go well. We are early arrivers at the park, but rarely make it in time for rope drop. Usually, we show up just after which has the benefit of missing the stampede when a park opens.

        The last time we went to Animal Kingdom, there was an Extra Magic Hour in the morning which we had hoped to make use of. We arrived with only about 15 minutes left on the EMH, but by then the crowd for rope drop was not letting anyone near the gates. We couldn’t push our way through to make use of it, so we waited. Of course when they opened the gates, we had to wait for the crowd to start moving. So by the time we got in, we had waited about 40 minutes instead of getting in early. We haven’t attempted to attend morning EMH’s since then as far as I can remember.

        Whew. I wasn’t planning to say so much about morning EMHs. Bottom line is I think your approach is the right one to take if you’re going to enjoy yourself.

        We have done Spring Break at Disney World in the past. It was under the paper FP system. We wouldn’t wait for anything more than 10 minutes. The kids were younger and it just wasn’t worth it. Under the old system, we would collect FPs all morning and use them after they “expired”. I imagine the new FP system makes Spring Break (or any busy season) harder to navigate than what we dealt with under the old system.

        Since you bring it up, I’ve been impressed by the amount and quality of your on-ride footage. I am very reluctant to handle my device during an attraction. With the flash off, I’ll snap a picture in something like Small World. For most dark rides or rides with any decent movement, pictures are out. I haven’t attempted video. I’m debating to what extent I am going to document our Universal trip and whether or not to attempt to vlog.

        I’m sure Imagineering had other ideas aside from Dinoland. Remember, plans for Beastly Kingdom were collecting dust on a shelf. Dinoland was a cheap, fast way to add some much needed capacity. While something was needed, Dinoland wasn’t it. I wouldn’t do away with it because that need for family attractions is still there, but I’d replace it in a second.

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        • daffystardust

          It is nice to be able to decide for myself whether I’m annoyed or not. I used to be much more easily perturbed. In general, I have found that just being at Walt Disney World, while it has its stressors, can be its own salve. I could be doing road construction in Texas in July. Somewhere along the line I developed that mind space and have mostly been able to maintain it. You will see me get peeved about another guest later in the trip, but it doesn’t last long.

          I’m working with a couple of different cameras on this trip, which helped me improve the video a bit. One is a device called an Ozmo which I can hook my phone to in order to get smoother moving shots. The less shaky stuff is mostly when I’m using that. I also found a re-built Sony camera on line at a pretty low price which has a flip screen to help with those “selfie” shots and which is just a much better lens than what’s on my phone. I still haven’t figured how to make it do better in low light, but it’s still a step up. Those on-ride shots simply involve me douible-fisting the camera for the most part, and of course I ALWAYS have the strap around one wrist. Some of the best footage I got of the ride rather than of me was probably in It’s a Small World. The easy slow motion of the boat and the bright colors combined to make it easier to shoot. I’m also learning a few new tricks in the process of editing which have helped a lot.

          Watching vlogs by other people continues to be instructive about what works and what I personally find tiresome. I have seen lots of different kinds of vlogs. Some cover a full day in 5 minutes and I often feel like they failed to tell me what their day was like. That can be done visually or with words, but without any kind of “story” I feel like I might as well watch ride videos or those park walkthroughs. On the other hand, there was one couple whose vlogs were so exhaustive that despite their charm I found myself wondering how they didn’t find more cuts to make (we’re talking hour-long videos weekly for 6 months from a single trip). Obviously, some people are more expert photographers and have only the best equipment and it’s hard not to feel jealous of that skill. I also find that some vloggers focus entirely on just showing themselves having fun while others are more like travel hosts. Ideally I would prefer a nice portion of each. I would also say that if you can’t work up some enthusiasm for whoever you’re talking to on the video, you maybe shouldn’t be vlogging. I’ve seen some people who seemed to be bored even though they said they were having a good time.

          Obviously I’m really enjoying doing it, but it’s something that not everybody will fit into well. As a single traveler or someone going with other Disney enthusiasts, the shooting could happen pretty much any time. That won’t be the case in all parties. Some people do not want to be on camera, or will be picky about when it happens and you have to respect that.

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        • Yeah, for me, I’m happy just being at a theme park. It takes a lot to dampen my mood at someplace like Disney World. By nature, I’m an introvert. But at Disney I’m happy to strike up a conversation with strangers. Just being there brightens my mood.

          I will probably experiment with some video footage this time. Apparently Universal allows selfie sticks which are banned at Disney. So I may attempt to use my daughter’s for some things. I have zero desire to be on camera and neither does Mindy. But I have the kids as stars. I may work up the courage to step in front of the camera myself. If I do, it’s because you have inspired me. I genuinely enjoy your videos and I think you have struck a good balance between telling a full story and overloading on details. (The one thing I will admit to skipping over was the interviews with strangers. After the travel day, I’d seen enough of them.)

          I did the minimum amount of research on low light photography. The wider the lense, the better. That was my take-away. I was thinking about buying some new equipment. I don’t think the microphone on my phone is ideal for vlogging. But I will probably make due with what I have this time. The one thing I have going for me is that all four of us will be carrying devices so there should be plenty of pictures. I did pick up a portable battery which can be used to recharge all our phones in the park. I have been using it at home and it’s a life-saver.

          If I do make an effort to vlog this trip, you’ve set the bar quite high. Not sure I can hope to clear it.

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        • daffystardust

          You’ll only see something like 2 or 3 more of those interviews. After my first couple of days I slowed down on them pretty significantly. I was excited about the idea initially, but as I kept doing them I felt like something was missing. I tried to keep the questions easy so the subjects could engage with me, but it just didn’t work out that way. I found that sometimes even people who had been really friendly and easy-going suddenly froze up after they agreed to go on camera. But of course they all asked where the videos could be seen so I felt like I had to include all of them. I had thought these interviews would help hold the overall series together. Oh well…I’ll think of something else for next time.

          Thanks for your kind words about the project as a whole. If it helps at all, you should know that all of October’s videos were shot on my iPhone, and that’s where the audio came from too. I also shot some stuff that way this time. There are some moments where I feel like I can tell the difference, but I’m not sure most people will notice. I’m not sure what kind of computer you’re on, but iMovie has been really easy to work with. I hope I’ll see a little something from your time at Universal, even if it’s just a highlight reel that can be a document for you guys in the future.

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  2. Telling you. You have a career as a budding cinematographer. That left to right camera movement over the water… the animals….

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  3. We almost always ride PW. It if was just myself and Mike, maybe not, but JD loves it, so we do it. But, if the wait is more than 30 it’s a no for us. We don’t spend a lot of time in Dinoland really…just a pit stop on our way to or from Dinosaur. JD sill likes to run around the play area they have there, so that provides us a nice opportunity to sit and have a cool drink while he plays. And, we eat lunch at that Quick Service place they have there a lot.

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    • daffystardust

      Dinoland serves its purpose for families with kids. I just wish they’d found a more sophisticated way of doing that.

      I probably would have skipped Primeval Whirl if the wait had been any more than the 20 minutes it was, but I enjoyed myself on it this time, obviously.

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