It’s summer break for my kids, or almost – depending on the weekend they’re listening. Time has flown by, and we’re all excited about the summer fun ahead. This year, we won’t be going to Disney, but we’re thrilled to be going on an Alaska cruise with another company. We’re planning our itinerary and looking forward to seeing wild animals like whales, bears, seals, and sea otters. We’ve realized that sometimes the best attractions are the animals around us, and we should slow down to appreciate them. Just like at Animal Kingdom, where it’s worth taking a break from the rides to observe the animals, talk to trainers, and learn something new, kind of like what we do in today’s memory.

Let’s dive into today’s memory. It’s a Tuesday morning in December 2021, with slightly gray and overcast skies. The clouds are clearing up, and the sun is shining, making the flowers and trees in the park look beautiful.

As a reminder from the end of Memory 302, we had just finished the Na’vi River Journey and were deciding on our next move. Our options were either heading straight to Expedition Everest while the lines were still short or stopping to see It’s Tough to Be a Bug on the way. However, we were interrupted by the playful river otters in their habitat who had just been fed. It’s impossible not to laugh at their playful behavior. They’re tackling each other, scampering around, and diving in and out of the water in front of you.

As we watched the Otters play, we heard an announcement inviting us to the front of the Tree of Life for the Winged Encounter show. We followed the directions and secured a spot right in front. The beautiful birds flew all around us, providing us with unforgettable memories and amazing photos. It almost felt like we were in a rainforest with these birds filling the skies above us. The trainers were exceptional, taking the time to answer any questions we had. Don’t forget to look up during your visit to Animal Kingdom, as you might spot these birds watching you from a roof or tree. My personal favorite was finding them watching the bird show from a tree nearby.

After the birds flew away, we resumed our journey toward Asia and Expedition Everest. However, we came across a trainer who was preparing a tortoise enclosure and setting out the breakfast for the tortoise. We decided to pause for a moment to watch and appreciate the tortoise’s mealtime before crossing the bridge into Asia.

As we arrive in Asia, we come across a charming little fountain located down an alley. Before we head over to the Gibbon exhibit, we’ll take a moment to enjoy the fountain, playing with the water and enjoying the way our hand cuts and changes the shapes it makes. Then we continue on to the Gibbon exhibit, where we observe the Animal Trainer setting up the exhibit for the day.

As we approach the entrance to the next attraction, we finally catch up with the crowds and this is where our memory ends for today. However, the whole point of all of this is when we are in this park, we need to slow down and appreciate everything around us. If we keep rushing from one attraction to the next, we might miss out on the beauty of the park. These are the things that make it unique. It’s important to take breaks, observe the flowers and animals, and explore the surroundings. Doing so will result in a more enjoyable experience. Yes, we could have sprinted to Expedition Everest and been there in 5-10 minutes, but we would have missed out on these 4 or 5 memories we had along the way.

So again, for the best experience, make sure to wear your favorite headphones as this is a binaural memory.

Published by WDW-Memories Lou

Lou the host of the WDW-Memories podcast and the owner of WDW-Memories is a podcast and blog, where fans of the Disney Parks can come and relive their Disney memories.

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