In Which Jenn & Elizabeth Have the Best Day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom EVER!


JENN: Today I would like to introduce my fantastic pinch hitter, Elizabeth, another victim I have dragged to Walt Disney World on numerous occasions.

ELIZABETH: Willing victim!

Disney's Animal Kingdom
What? No, Jenn didn’t take this photo in Epcot’s Norway
pavilion. Liz just always wears that hat.

JENN: Incidentally, she seems to have been conditioned from birth to act as my ideal traveling companion. She stays out late, gets up early, will ride just about anything, and – this is the most important one – WALKS FAST.

ELIZABETH: It’s all because you have everything PLANNED, which I love. Planning sucks.

JENN: See? She lets me do all the planning. Ideal! 😀 Of course, since she rides everything, she has been known to force me onto Tower of Terror, but nobody’s perfect.

ELIZABETH: You secretly loved it.

JENN: It has its moments. Like the bit in the star field. Oh, and being done.

ELIZABETH: Haha, yes. The anticipation is definitely the worst part. I rode it the first time when i was 7, and I thought I would die.

JENN: But today I would like to talk about the Most Perfect Day Ever in the Animal Kingdom. Which was the end of January in 2010. Which was three and half years ago. This passage of time thing displeases me.

ELIZABETH: Hmm, same.

And it didn’t look like it would be a good day, either. It was rainy and cold. Was that the day we bought emergency sweatshirts?

JENN: Yup! We both bought sweatshirts to put on over the sweatshirts we were already wearing.

ELIZABETH: Who knew you’d need so many layers in FLORIDA? Sunshine State, my butt.

JENN: I KNOW! But the wonderful thing about it was that nobody showed up to the park. We got exactly one Fastpass that entire day, for Kilimanjaro Safaris, and we didn’t even need it.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
We had our own row!

Incidentally, a rainy day is a great day for the safari. Didn’t we see a bunch of gazelles menacing a… different kind of gazelle-type thing?

ELIZABETH: Yeah! Was that the time we almost got run over by giraffes? It was awesome. Well, by “run over” I mean they were right next to the road but I exaggerate.

JENN: But the BEST part was when we took the train to the ghost town that was Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

We had already petted some adorable goats and wandered through the show building. We happened to walk in the general vicinity of the stage where they have the mini animal encounter shows. The benches were COMPLETELY empty. One of the handlers was there, and she called out to us that there was a show starting in a couple minutes and why not come see it?

I think we just kinda shrugged and had a three-second pow-wow that consisted of “Why not? We’ve got nothing pressing planned.” So we sat down.

ELIZABETH: Front row!

JENN: Naturally!

Eventually a few families sat down and the show started, the theme being animals with quills.

ELIZABETH: The hedgehog they brought out first was adorable.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
The hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

JENN: It was! After a brief segment on the hedgehog, the animal handlers brought out the world’s MOST adorable animal you will never, ever be able to hug: a porcupine named Jasper.

ELIZABETH: He rattled when he walked!

Disney's Animal Kingdom

JENN: They explained that Jasper had been taught certain behaviors, not as tricks, but as simulations of natural behavior and also means of better ascertaining his health.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Then – THEN! – they said they were going to let someone help train him. And the lady said, these girls over here were the first ones to come to the show. I’m going to let them do it. Which was AWESOME because, let’s face it, usually kids have all the luck in these scenarios.

ELIZABETH: It WAS pretty awesome. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty sure I giggled with excitement. But I think the parents of little kids were a little confused.

JENN: Psh, whatever. We pay rent. We deserve a little happiness as compensation.


JENN: We were given a stick with one of those pool-floaty things on the end – do you know what they’re called? Strung along a rope they make lane piders. I’m sure you know what I mean.

ELIZABETH: I want to say “floater” but I don’t think that’s right. Buoy?

JENN: Regardless, we had a stick with one of those thingees on the end. We were instructed to say “Jasper, target!” and then Jasper came and bumped the floaty thing with his nose. We each got to do it. And that five second span of time was MAGNIFICENT.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

ELIZABETH: It WAS. He was so cute! If only petting him wouldn’t have ended in a trip to the hospital. I took a picture of you, and I don’t think I’ve EVER seen such a big smile.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Don’t worry, the ill-advised red hair only lasted about three months.

JENN: He was SO CUTE! I wanted to snuggle his funny face! Which was MUCH MUCH funnier than Audrey Hepburn’s. I’m just saying.

ELIZABETH: Psh. she didn’t even HAVE a funny face! She just had short hair. Which I guess was kinda edgy for the time, but come on.

JENN: In conclusion: Jasper would probably make a great supermodel/empathicalist. [Bear with us here. Elizabeth and I watch a lot of old movies. Because they are awesome. Subscribe to TCM today and never be confused at the beginning of The Great Movie Ride again!]

Oh, and after the show, we each got a Conservation Station pin and an Animal Kingdom pencil!

ELIZABETH: Yeah! I still have mine somewhere… it has a picture of the hedgehog!

JENN: Mine has an armadillo, I think… I need to dig it up.

Found it!

To review: 1) Go to Animal Kingdom when it’s raining. 2) Check out the shows at Conservation Station. 3) Don’t hug the porcupine, no matter how much you want to.

ELIZABETH: It’ll be hard. They look so cuddly!

Many thanks to Elizabeth for subbing in during Moon’s absence – hopefully you will return, perhaps for some Wizarding World of Harry Potter discussion?

ELIZABETH: I could be down for that!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

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