The first year Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened, we made a family trek to Florida to see it. The weather was remarkably authentic to equatorial Africa. Florida in July is, strangely, rather hot. This forced the animals to sleep in the shade or hide. Leaving, we all agreed it was incredible looking, but perhaps, the Vegetable Kingdom would be more appropriate. A couple of years later, we returned when it was not high noon and 115 degrees. This time, the animals were out wandering.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Animal Kingdom. It is visually sublime. The attention to detail is amazing, and it highlights man’s struggle at taming nature beautifully. But the attractions scare me. I like the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction, but after going on safari in Africa, it was nice, but not really the same thing. The rest of the time, I wander around terrified I will be forced to go on the scary attractions. It’s hot, and I don’t want to have a fainting spell on the Expedition Everest roller coaster, or the dizzy and spinning Primeval Whirl. That’s embarrassing when grandmothers with canes happily ride these with no fear. I am extremely terrified of the extremely terrifying Dinosaur attraction. The first and only time I went on this, I put my hands over my ears, closed my eyes, and basically curved up into a fetal position. The snapshot taken automatically at the end of the ride captured a car of happy people, and someone who looked like he was having a seizure.