We went to Epcot while we were in Orlando to enjoy the Food & Wine Festival. At Africa, we had a wine flight consisting of Cederberg Chenin Blanc, Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, and Groot Constantia Pinotage. We were not impressed by any of them. Here are some of the other things we tried. They were all good. Probably my favorite was the last one on this list. Chicken Dumplings at China, $4.45 Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce at Thailand, $5.00 Shrimp Skewer at Africa, $6.75 Wine Flight at Africa, $6.50 Carrot Cake at Hops & Barley American Adventure Apple Strudel at Germany Banana Almond Soft-Serve Sundae at The Almond Orchard $4.50 Our visit on another day was to the Animal Kingdom. We enjoyed a stroll through Pandora and then went around Africa to Asia, past the youngsters area, and back to the front section where we exited. We’ve seen the shows and have gone on most of the rides, so we can just savor the ambiance, the plants, and the animals for a couple of hours. And so ended our wedding journey and escape into a fantasy realm. Now it’s back to reality.
We visited Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and set out to explore the world of Avatar. Our entrance into this magical land took us past a lounge that looked inviting. We skipped the new rides, not having fast passes and not caring to wait two hours in the standby line. It was delightful to stroll around and view the amazing flora and fauna. Disney did a wonderful job making you feel you’re on an alien planet. Mountains rise in the distance, past this floating masterpiece, while musicians welcome visitors to their land. Hungered by our journey, we entered the canteen where healthful choices tempted us. I had the chicken bowl with rice and vegetable slaw. Others in our party had cheeseburger pods or vegetable curry pods. My non-alcoholic drink, a Pandoran Sunrise, was green and tasted like melon juice. Inside the gift shop, you can buy all sorts of theme-related wares. It was fun to browse although we left with our wallets intact. It took us a couple of hours to stroll around. If you go on the rides, allow more time. You’ll still have the rest of the day free to explore the Animal Kingdom. I love the lush greenery of this theme park anyway, and the new addition adds to the allure. View more photos and videos here:https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor GIVEAWAY Enter Here to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench Sign up for my Newsletterfor my latest book news, giveaways, bonus content, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers. Save
We had another enjoyable visit to Disney World, our favorite weekend getaway. Over Mother’s Day weekend, we strolled through Disney Springs, enjoying glimpses of new eateries like The Edison (under construction) and STK Steakhouse. A new section is scheduled to open this month. Planet Hollywood is undergoing renovations as is the old paddlewheel boat restaurant. New shops have also opened up. It’s great that parking is still free, and the garage is a marvel of technology that parking garages everywhere should emulate. The second garage is still under construction.
At Animal Kingdom, we saw building cranes over where Avatar land is being developed. We didn’t spot much else that was new. It was already crowded when we arrived late morning, so we passed by the rides/attractions and stood in line for lunch. This place could have used more than one cashier. Sit-down restaurants are not readily available in this park, other than the Asian one and the Rainforest Café. The windows at the fast-food places get crowded. Let’s hope the Avatar section will have more dining choices. It’s still pleasant to stroll around the park with the tropical vegetation and authentic-looking scenery.
March weather in Central Florida can be variable, and the day we chose to go to Animal Kingdom was cool and overcast. But the clouds kept the sun at bay and the temperatures comfortable. We strolled through the winding paths amid tropical foliage with temps in the delightful low seventies. I noticed the location for the Lion King show had been moved to a new section in Africa, presumably because of Avatar land being constructed. The new theater has a cool design as an old fort. Everything in this park looks so authentic.
While in Africa, we ate lunch at one of the take-out eateries. Our chicken curry came with rice and was a substantial meal.
After dining, we hit the tiger trail, spotting a Komodo dragon and other creatures along the way. The tigers didn’t disappoint us, ranging their turf in full view. The path took us to an Indiana Jones-type realm with ancient ruins and crumbling temples.
From Africa, we headed toward Asia with its thrill rides and passed through dinosaur territory with its circus arcades and kiddie play areas. Another live show about Nemo attracts visitors at this end. We didn’t go on any rides, having been on most of them before. The African safari remains my favorite. If you have time, take the train to the conservation station and hear the behind-the-scenes talk. Once back at the central island with the Tree of Life, we headed for the exit. It’s the perfect time of year to hit this park if you’re visiting Orlando.
We’ve visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom numerous times, and I never fail to admire the lush tropical landscaping, the attention to detail in the various lands, and the excellence of the live shows. This time we strolled around at our leisure, roaming first toward the great artificial tree of life. Myriads of paths criss-cross around the tree where you can stop for photo ops or to admire the animal life.
At Africa, we passed on the safari ride that is my favorite, on the train ride to the conservation station, and on the longer nature trail. Instead, we opted to veer toward the Asian section where the snowy mountaintop towers over all, along with its thrill ride.
We passed by the Dinosaur land and the kiddie carnival to head back once again toward the entrance and to lunch at the Rainforest Café. Their portions are generous and I had leftovers. Fortunately, we headed home thereafter as it began to rain heavily. The tram station at this park has no shelter. Once aboard, we got wet, despite my having brought along an umbrella. At least we’d accomplished our purpose in getting our morning exercise.
Another day here we started out eating breakfast at the Riverside Resort. We ate in the food court and then strolled among the lush grounds. It’s one of the most scenic resorts on Disney property.
We ate dinner one night at Bahama Breeze, or rather we had drinks and appetizers and that was enough of a meal. I had coconut shrimp. My husband had a crab cake. And we shared the hummus platter. Make you hungry?