Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report - Studios and Animal Kingdom
It probably won't come to any genuine surprise that Animal Kingdom, the red-haired, red-feathered, red-scaled, red-etc. stepchild of Walt Disney World parks, gets a little shafted as far as decorations go. Only one "land" is decorated at all and the one special event is... the normal daytime parade, except they chucked a bunch of Christmas stuff onto the floats.
Animal Kingdom does, however, get my favorite giant tree of all the parks. Here are some details:
*Squeeeeee* at those adorable lion lanterns! That's it; for Christmas I'd like courses in metalwork..
I can't wait until we get to see an Ikran festooned with garland.
By thew way, it's time to be honest: would a bunch of alien animals designed by Wayne Barlowe and Neville Page really be any more out of place in Animal Kingdom than a bunch of mythical animals like dragons and unicorns and whatnot?
The land named Camp Minniemickey (often sighted as AK fans' second choice after Dinoland as to where Pandora should go) is the only extensively decorated part of the park. The idea is that a bunch of favorite Disney characters have their own trees. That's Simba's tree.
And here is the Christmas tree decorated by Nemo and Marlin (don't worry about the logistics).
And every child's favorite, Pocahontas! (Well, she used to have a stage show here. Ah, park artifacts.)
Funny story about the aforementioned parade (called -*sigh*- Mickey's JINGLE Jungle Parade): We wanted to ride Everest (which is terrific) and see the baby Okapi, whom I assumed would be on exhibit in the park along with the other Okapi. We wound up following the end of the parade into the Pangani Forest trail -- to learn the baby was back at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Who knew they even had Okapi there?
Hollywood Studios, in contrast, has a lot of stuff going on during the holidays. I love the decorations on the lampposts they use; my town had very similar decorations.
Nostalgia for a campy Christmas seems to be the theme of the Studio decorations. Their giant tree has all kinds of strange old ornaments on it.
I think my family used to have one of those giant freaky Santa faces!
Taking a cue from the aforementioned WDW Today podcast: Gosh, Disney, close "Sounds Dangerous" for good or don't already. (Edit: Turns out they finally did close it for good. Bets are now on whether Stitch's Great Escape or Ellen's Energy Adventure are on the chopping block next.)
The crazy Christmas decorations reach their peak with the famous Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. These pictures don't really express what it's like to walk among them; they are mind-blowing on several levels.
The single all-white snow angel is in posthumous tribute to the creator of the Dancing Lights, Jennings Osbourne.
One of the few times where the Lights weren't pure hell for those of us who hate crowds.
Next Time: We head over to the Magic Kingdom and poke into some stores. Happy Solstice everyone! On to Part Nine!