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Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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    • Day23


      July 20, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Wir holen heute unser Auto für die nächsten 3 Wochen ab. Dieses wartet aber im Hard Rock Hotel auf uns und wir müssen wieder eine Reihe von Bussen nehmen (eigentlich 3 - schlussendlich aber nur 2 + Laufen + Lyft, da wir uns etwas verirren 😂). Auch zur ersten Bushaltestelle laufen wir schon rund 45min, wo wir ziemlich verschwitzt und abgekämpft ankommen (es ist um 9 Uhr bereits gefühlte 30 Grad warm!).
      An der Bushaltestelle werden wir dann auch schon wieder angequatscht. Zuerst bettelt er um 7 Dollar (von uns Weltreisenden erhält er aber nichts🤔😉), wir unterhalten uns etwas mit ihm und zum Schluss sagt er, das Geld wäre eh nur für Zigaretten gewesen.

      Nach der dreistündigen Odysee können wir dann endlich unseren Chevrolet bei Avis entgegennehmen. Wir hatten eigentlich den kleinsten & günstigsten Wagen bestellt - da wir aber in den USA sind, gibt es weder bei Autos noch in Lebensmittelläden „normale“ Grössen.

      Januu, wir sind froh, wieder mobil zu sein und schneller von A nach B zu kommen. Zur Feier des Tages gibts dann einen pandastischen späten Zmittag bei Panda Express! 🐼😃
      Am Nachmittag besuchen wir das härzige Städtchen Winter Park sowie den Lake Eola bei Orlando Downtown. Schliesslich kaufen wir bei Walmart für die kommenden Zmorga & Znacht ein. Wir springen noch kurz in den Pool und lassen den Abend gemütlich bei Kerzenschein ausklingen.
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      Kung Fu Panda!




      schad gits dä nid in dr schwiiz🥺


      Jooo 😕

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    • Day2


      May 17 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      DISCLAIMER: These are long because they are less about entertaining acquaintances and more about documenting the trip. Skim, skip, ignore - no hurt feelings.

      I lived more life today than I have in the last month.

      To circle back on my expectations of the Salvatore Hotel breakfast - quite good actually. Very pleasant. Good coffee. Sugar cereal. All manner of cakes and muffins to take for the plane ride. Healthy people would hate it, but it worked for our family.

      Air Force One landed in Buffalo at 9:36 am about the time we were scheduled to leave our hotel to get to the airport. Traffic was apparently snarled. I say apparently because we were running late and our flight had been delayed so this had little impact on our travels but was quite the buzz at breakfast.

      Melissa has noteworthy airport security anxiety. She shape shifts into a laser focused person intent on getting to her gate. This is very noticeable and distinct from her characteristic type B self. Malcolm is old enough to notice so I had to explain Mel would act very strange until we were at our gate because she is scared of missing the flight. It makes perfect sense, but is an uncharacteristic level of neurosis I find funny and now Malcolm can join me in the eye rolling!!

      At the gate the kids curiously watched the happenings of the tarmac with Airforce One in the background. Two hours later we departed Buffalo en route to Charlotte. Eleanor thought we were going to her friend Charlotte’s house, while concurrently noting Charlotte lives at the school. So thank god she was not in charge of getting us to Disney.

      Mel and I displayed Grade A parenting on the plane. The kids were fed, entertained and content. Happy travellers, happy parents.

      Our late flight meant a VERY short connection window (about 15 minutes and American Airlines has to shut the doors 10 minutes before take off). So it was more like 5. We put Eleanor out in front because people move out of the way for her cute nugget face and then coo at her as she runs past. They then move out of the way so responsible adults can chase her while giggling and saying how cute she is. It looks chaotic but there is some strategy behind it. We pushed Eleanor to the front of where we were (row 13) and told her to run as fast as she could and get past people. And she ran - very fast in fact. And people moved. I can not even describe how far and how fast we went in 5 minutes. I have to have flown 100 times - nothing compares to this epic airport dash. Charlotte is a hub with 5 spokes. We were at the end of one of the spokes and had to get to the end of the opposite spoke - with some linear airport in the middle. After approximately 5 minutes of running Melissa was out front and in sight of the attendant closing the gate. As soon as the attendant saw Melissa she said - “Are you the Karpetz family?” to which Mel yelled back - YES!!!! The attendant followed closely by a panicked “Where are the rest of you??? We close the door in 6 second”. It took longer than 6 but maybe 15 seconds later I was in the rear of the convoy waving our Canadian passports and we were on the plane. The door shut behind us. We stripped off our sweaters, chugged my Diet Coke and settled in for a quick and painless flight to Orlando. Miraculously the luggage made it. The flight attendant said luggage generally does make it. Not sure how or why but I was too tired to care to understand airport logistics.

      WORST part of the day - taxi ride to the Disney resort. The taxi driver spewed Homophobic rhetoric, swore generally, swore at the Disney Resort security guard at the gate, tried to cheat us - it was awful. Lowlights - midway through I snapped at the driver from the back seat, while actively trying to keep the kids from hearing what he was saying, that the driver must stop a line of questioning of our relationship and sexuality as it was inappropriate generally, and in front of our children specifically. The taxi ride ended at the resort with Mel yelling to bewildered guests to get clarity on State laws around adding an extra charge for Visa. So…that sums it up.

      Finally at the room, aided by towels shaped like Mickey Mouse, Malcolm deduced he was at Disney World. He looked a bit confused and a bit excited.

      Our resort is massive. It rivals MGM Grande in Las Vegas. In fact, everything here reminds me of Vegas. Big, themed, busy, expensive. I like Vegas - but this is Vegas with kids and there are no casinos - so not sure yet.

      We decided to find dinner and the person at the front desk recommended we head to Disney Springs, since we did not have resort reservations for the day. The resort has a big bus area where buses come and go at all hours to take you to the various Disney affiliated places. So we hopped on the bus that said Disney Springs.

      Like our run through the airport, I have no life experience to ground a description of Disney Springs. Massive outdoor mall 100+ stores, 20+ restaurants, shows, boardwalks and an island. It has to be at least a mile long. That is Disney Springs. We walked in delusional ‘exhausted/travelled all day’ circles until we eventually found a giant taco and some ice cream. It started to rain so we got back on a bus and went back to the resort. The whole trip was over 2 hours which is bananas for a taco and some ice cream. Moral of the story - we need to plan better.

      The kids were maniacs. Wet, excited and exhausted. Bathing a feral cat would have been easier than bathing Eleanor who was literally taking mouthfuls of water and spitting them at me as I tried to wrestle her to wash her.

      It is 11PM now. Kids are asleep. Mel and I should be unpacking and getting organized but we are not. We have moved up one of our park reservations (you have to have a reservation to enter a park). The weekend is calling for EPiC(OT) rain, so we swapped some things around and now have reservations at EPCOT tomorrow. EPCOT is home to the new Frozen ride so the kids’ minds will be blown by lunch time.

      Have a magical night!
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      He’s so smart!

    • Day5

      Rolling with the thunder and lightening

      May 20 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

      Today was a ‘resort day’. We slept until 10AM - that is what Animal Kingdom did to us. We made our way to the quick serve eatery at the resort for coffee, Mickey waffles and cereal.

      Then off to the pool. The forecast was rain in the afternoon so we did not expect to get much pool time. But, what we have learned is common, the weather totally shifted from the forecast and we had a m sunny pool day. The kids made friends, rode and re-rode the water slide and joined the poolside activities. They even found some of the treasure a pirate buried earlier in the day. We did a load of laundry at the very handy laundry room. Then at 4PM, with limited warning the skies turned black and we went inside to watch a movie and have a rest.

      Hit the boardwalk just after 6 to go ride the gondola that leaves from near our resort, but it was down because of the weather. Then we went to do a boat ride but the boats were down too. Lightening was in the area. No gondola, boats or campfires to go to. We headed into the resort and discovered a solarium with chipper ‘cast members’ who are now entertaining our children.

      It is 8:30PM now. Kids are entertained and Mel is off to pick up our take away orders from one of the resort restaurants and we will dine in the solarium where the kids can be maniacs and watch Zootopia. We may need to get a timeshare.

      Have a magical night.
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      Impressive swimming skills from Eleanor!


      That pool is amazing! Seems to be everything you had heard about it. There are so many interesting and fun activities for the kids just at the pool. So glad the weather held out for you for the most part. I’m sure you appreciated the downtime!


      Wow, I think I’m on thew wrong vacation!!


      What a great trip! Looks like too much fun! Linda and John [Linda and John]

    • Day22

      Abrundung unserer Epcot & Disney Tour

      May 7 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Zur Abrundung ging’s dann noch in den Amerika Bereich, wo wir uns einen Funnel Cake gegönnt haben. War wieder richtig gut! Danach ging’s noch durch die restlichen Länder. Eigentlich wollten wir in Frankreich noch die Ratatouille 4D Fahrt und in Norwegen die Frozen Bootfahrt fahren. Leider waren beide mit extremen Wartezeit nicht mehr möglich. Bei Ratatouille waren wir angekommen, als die Fahrt nur 30 Minuten Wartezeit hatte. Leider war die Fahrt dann kurz außer Betrieb und wir sind weiter. Als wir zurückkamen war die Wartezeit mit 90 Minuten extrem. Die letzte Fahrt war also eine Flugsimulation namens ‚Soarin‘ around the world‘‘, in der simuliert wird, wie man über verschiedene wunderschöne Teile der Erde fliegt. Atemberaubend gemacht, sowohl die Bilder die man sieht, als auch die technische Umsetzung des Fluges. Fühlt sich sehr echt an, wirklich ein toller Abschluss unseres Ausflugs nach Epcot und auch eine tolle Abrundung von zwei wunderschönen Tagen in Disney World! Mit dem Bus ging’s dann zurück zum Animal Kingdom und dann mit dem Auto zurück zum Hotel. Nach 3 Tagen in Freizeitparks waren wir sehr glücklich aber auch K.O. Um 7:15 Uhr waren wir heute angekommen, um 17:30 Uhr wieder am Auto. Also gut 10 Stunden Disney! Alle Parks hatten uns sehr gefallen. Die Reihenfolge als Fazit war Islands of Adventure, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios und Epcot (da ähnlich zu Europa Park und zwei Fahrten haben nicht mehr geklappt). War aber alles super und wir hätten keinen missen wollen!Read more


      Hab vieles gleich wieder erkannt 😊 wunderschön 🤩

      Nadine und Dominik

      Ohja hier hat sich am wenigsten verändert 😊

    • Day16

      Disney, the adventure

      November 23, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Nach einem tollen Tag in der Welt von Universal ging es für uns heute nach Epcot, in einen der vielen verschiedenen Themenparks von Walt Disney World.
      Im Gegensatz zur "normalen" Disney Welt von Walt Disney bestimmen die Themen internationale Kultur und Innovationen die Welt von Epcot.
      Mit über 12,5 Millionen Besuchern jährlich gehört Epcot zu den am meisten besuchten Themenparks der Disney Kette.
      Neben einem interaktiven Raketenstart, einer Teststrecke von Chevrolet und einer Reise durch die Geschichte der Entwicklung des Menschen und seiner Technik, die wir im Future World Bereich des Parks miterleben konnten, besuchten wir im World Showcase Bereich die permanenten Ausstellungen verschiedener Nationen, darunter Frankreich, Marokko, Norwegen, das Vereinigte Königreich, Japan und China und nicht zu vergessen Deutschland.
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    • Day16

      Ein Genuss für die Sinne

      November 23, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Neben den normalen Abenteuern Epcots, konnten wir im Park den letzten Tag des Food and Wine Festivals genießen. Über 20 Länder präsentieren sich seit September mit nationalen Speisen und Gerichten, sowie einer Auswahl leckerster Bier-, Wein und Cocktailsorten.
      Auch wir probierten uns durch die Gerichte der afrikanischen, irischen, karibischen, hawaiianischen und der indischen Küche. Und dieses Mal hatten die Amerikaner in der Auswahl der jeweiligen Speisengröße mitgedacht. Kleine Probierportionen ermöglichten den Genuss vieler verschiedener Gerichte.
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      489days Reise um die Welt

      Das sieht ja alles lecker aus.😋😋😋

    • Day3

      Around the world at Epcot

      May 18 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Okay - quick primer. Epcot is all about the world with a civilization bent. It has the iconic globe which covers both human history and futuristic space type stuff. Then there is a large lake surrounded by “pavilions” from twelve countries. Each pavilion has experiences (food, rides, concerts) that are culturally connected to the country represented.

      Epcot is said to have the best food of the Disney parks since it has offerings from a variety of countries. Our resort is a 10 minute boardwalk stroll from the France pavilion so we set out at 9AM with empty stomachs to be filled at the patisserie.

      Shortly after getting onto the boardwalk Goofy, Donald Duck and Pluto came out to say hi to the kids who were equal parts thrilled and scared. It felt like we were in a Disney resorts commercial - maybe we were?

      Once at the France pavilion Melissa kindly waited in line at the patisserie while the kids and I took in a Beauty and the Beast sing-along attraction. Belle is from France so Beauty and the Beast feature prominently at the pavilion along with Ratatouille. Eleanor was annoyed people were signing at the sing along, but otherwise it was a great way to wait for croissants and tartes. Carb loaded and sunscreened we tackled the walk around the lake which is 1.2 miles but feels WAY longer in 35+ degree heat.

      Norway was our destination because it is home to Arrendale, where Elsa and Anna live. One of the reasons we chose Epcot is the new, very popular ride created around the Frozen characters in the Norway pavilion. Melissa woke up at 7 am to deploy two layers of paid privilege that allowed us to book a time to go on the ride. At 11:40, we arrived, scanned our cards and basically walked on. The ride was excellent. Very elaborate - very Disney. Eleanor was scared so it was more for the rest of us in the end. It was a boat ride and everyone left a little wet which helped us keep cool.

      We checked out a mariachi band at the Mexico pavilion and then another ride about the development of communication through the ages in the iconic Epcot dome.

      At 1PM we went to Space 220. Having learned yesterday it is wise/necessary to have reservations for food, I made this one late last night. Space 220 is a new experiential dining restaurant where you are brought 220 miles into space, via very convincing simulation, to dine looking down at earth. It is ‘fine’ dining meaning the food is not deep fried and there is a server. Expensive, time consuming, but memorable.

      Post-lunch we went back for a siesta at the resort and then u-turned back to Epcot in the evening. The kids protested; they wanted to check out the very exciting resort pool which they have yet to play in.

      10 minutes after arriving back at Epcot we got caught in a torrential downpour that lasted about 30 minutes. At first we all huddled under an umbrella and then the kids got bored of huddling and danced in the rain. Our ponchos and umbrellas were left behind at the resort. We had some dry clothes for Eleanor but nothing for Malcolm. Lessons were learned.

      We finished the day at a building devoted to Nemo and friends. More rides, immersive experiences and some live dolphins and manatees (which made me feel sad).

      Before crossing the bridge back to our resort for bed we paused at the France pavilion to watch Epcot’s big fireworks show accompanied over speakers by music from around the world. The kids played with their glow sticks and we ate French crepes.

      It is 11:30 now. Kids are asleep. Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and at this point I know virtually nothing about it, nor do we have a reservation to eat. Epcot is walking distance. Animal Kingdom is not which likely effects how we plan our day. Mel and I will need to figure all of that out - plus what ride we want to book at 7AM. Whatever we end up eating or whichever rides we go on we will be accompanied by ponchos.

      Have a magical night.
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      That’s a cute picture


      Looks like you guys were in Europe yesterday as well! Hope you enjoy the animals today. We have a travel day today.


      They are so brave!

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    • Day19

      Galleria Palms - Vorletztes Hotel

      May 4 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

      Angekommen an unserem Hotel konnten wir direkt einchecken. Das Galleria Palms liegt zwar ca. 30 Minuten weg vom Zentrum von Orlando, dafür aber recht nah an den Disney Parks. Taktisch schlau gewählt. Hier sind wir mit 4 Nächten zusammen mit Greenville und Miami am längsten. Gleichzeitig ist das Hotel das vorletzte für diesen Urlaub. Kaum im Zimmer angekommen haben wir alles abgestellt und sind nochmal los auf einen kleinen Abstecher in die Downtown von Orlando.Read more

    • Day22

      Der gigantische Tree of Life

      May 7 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Wie es üblich ist haben wir dann noch Fotos von und auch eins vor dem Tree of Life gemacht. Genau wie das Foto vor dem Cinderella Schloss gehört sich auch dieses Bild. Am Fuß des Lebensbaums befindet sich auch noch eine Attraktion, nämlich „It’s Tough to be a Bug“, die einen 3D-Film mit Figuren aus dem Pixar-Film Das große Krabbeln zeigt. Vom Baum ging’s in den Baum, um den Film zu sehen. War sehr lustig!Read more

    • Day4

      Hakuna Matata

      May 19 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Quick primer. Animal Kingdom is all about Africa, Polynesia and animals. Lion King features prominently. There are rides, shows and lots of live music.

      We had a very civilized (lazy) morning that included several coffees and some Mickey Mouse waffles before leaving the resort. Melissa kindly woke up at 7AM again to get us a noon reservation on Animal Kindgom’s prime ride. So that was when we arrived at the park, via Disney bus. Mickey and Minnie were floating by on a raft as we crossed the bridge into the park. This was very exciting for Eleanor because we did not see them yesterday. She is all about the characters!

      The ride was great - very elaborate and Disneyish. It was a boat ride but we did not get wet! I believe it was based on Avatar. We followed it closely with an experience based around the movie A Bug’s Life. This was hated by everyone except Mel who thought it was great. The kids were terrified and spent the whole time with their eyes closed and ears covered. Because they were upset, I spent the whole time worrying about them. Fortunately Mel does not share my sensitivity to other people’s feelings so she enjoyed it.

      Instead of rolling the dice on another ride we stopped to enjoy a Polynesian concert. Happily, a big giant bird named Kevin showed up Eleanor followed Kevin around as we danced and watched the concert.

      Next up - lunch. A total departure from our fine dining lunch in space. We did hot dogs and blue slushies in the jungle. Due to our late start we were behind the lunch rush so easily secured tables in the shade to fend off the very hot and humid conditions. To completely escape the heat we decided on an indoor show that featured Lion King characters. Huge hit! Cirque de Soleil type show - bright, music, characters. Awesome and the kids loved it.

      Right outside the exit we found a candy shop Mel wanted to check out. Eleanor left with a sucker the size of her face. It was only a matter of time before that happened. So we did not fight it. Malcolm chose popcorn. He was hungry after not eating much lunch. We also purchased these weird bandana things that soak up water and cool you down. We bought them for Malcolm who always runs hot, but once we realized the efficacy we all started using them to stay cool.

      As though that list of activities were not enough, we followed this list with a safari, watched a water show featuring music and large floats and visited a carnival. Mel snuck in a kid free thrill ride before we caught the bus back to the resort. The kids were exhausted but it was only 6:45 when we got back so we headed for the storied resort pool.

      It lived up to the hype - sand bars, lazy river, water slides. The best part - the Scotland Yard level lifeguards. They are everywhere and methodically monitoring every inch of the pools. Dead kids is really bad for Disney resort business. Mel and I could completely relax. I even got a cocktail! The food continues to be great, even from the poolside bar.

      We ended the day poolside with ice cream under the Epcot fireworks. I am starting to see why people are so into their Disney Resorts. I may have to buy a t-shirt, a fanny pack and really lean into this.

      It is 10PM now. The kids are asleep and Mel and I are on vacation highs. Tomorrow is a resort day and a rain day. The rain starts in the afternoon so we know we have Mickey Mouse waffles and some friends to meet at the pool in the morning. The rest of the day is up in the air but there seems to be no shortage of things to do so I am sure we will find something. I am too relaxed to be worried about it.

      Have a magical night.
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      Sounds like a great time. Perfect for you guys. Enjoy a quieter day.


      Maria wants you to know that it is May 20th or 520 here in China, which is pronounced Ooo Are Ling... or the way to say "I love you" in Chinese. So it is indeed a magical night!


      So many experiences in one day. It looks like the kids are having a great time and the two of you are holding up fairly well. Enjoy your poolside adventures.


    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom

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