Drew and I took our first trip to Walt Disney World together in 2001. We had both visited the parks before but I was really looking forward to our first experience together. But there was another aspect of the trip that I was really looking forward to.
My last trip to Walt Disney World had been in 1997. Drew hadn’t been back since 1989. That meant that we would both be visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the first time. There is just something amazing about exploring a new park or land at Disney. I remember being so excited to visit MGM Studios for the first time and that was probably what fueled the excitement about the Animal Kingdom.
I can tell you that it was love at first sight. I remember seeing the Tree of Life for the very first time and just feeling such a sense of joy. I don’t know how to explain it other than saying that this park just fits me. All of my loves and interests are in one spot.
It’s funny that I really don’t have too many specific memories associated with that visit. It’s more of an overall impression but I do remember a few things. We spent the entire day there (it’s a full day park!) and had an amazing time. I was, and still am, so impressed by all of the details. Kilimanjaro Safari made a great first impression. We were able to see lots of the animals up and active.
We also loved exploring the trails. The Maharajah Jungle Trek is always going to be a favorite because I love seeing the tigers. I do remember that we sat and watched the gorillas on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail for a really long time. I’m a sucker for animal babies!
It is always hard for me to tell someone what my favorite park is when they ask. I love them all for very different reasons. I still feel that joy every time we visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom and being able to experience that with the wonderful guy I share my life with makes it even more special.
We are so grateful for Melissa, this is her third series with us! Please take the time to read her other posts here at DIStherapy, (40 Days to 40 Years, 30 Days to 30 Years), and be sure to follow her @DisneyonWheels, on Facebook and Pinterest. Not only is she the Disney and wheelchair accessibility guru, she is an Independent Vacation Planner. Visit her today!
2002 you ask? Tomorrow our British pal Jane of Tips from the Disney Diva fame takes us there…