The Alexander Home Page presents
Alexander in Florida
Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom

Alex played archeologist at the "Dig Site" playground, left, and visited the petting zoo. It has become something of a tradition for Alex to pose with goats at petting zoos.
Disney's Animal Kingdom is the most recent addition to Disney World's roster of major theme parks. And though there are many live animals there, it is most definitely more theme park than zoo.

Thankfully, Alex found Animal Kingdom to be less stressful, and therefore more enjoyable, than the Magic Kingdom.
Alex saw this rhinoceros during the Jungle Safari ride.
Alex, along with his parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, rode the Jungle Safari and saw elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and other jungle animals in a skillfully recreated African landscape. The entire party was enjoying the ride, when suddenly, danger loomed! From among the bushes that lined the trail, gunfire erupted! A team of poachers, in search of the elephant known as "Big Red," actually fired upon the safari bus! Luckily, the safari guide kept a level head, and was able to speed away from the villains. It was a close call!

Surprisingly though, none of the passengers seemed to be alarmed to find themselves under gunfire. In fact, many of
From a distance, the Tree of Life may not look like much more than a big fat tree, but from beneath it's quite impressive.
the passengers seemed entirely disinterested in what was obviously a dire situation. While we find such bravery to be admirable, we must admit that we also find it rather puzzling.

(And in case you're wondering, the poachers were captured, and "Big Red" was unharmed.)

After the excitement of the safari, the rest of the day at Animal Kingdom was comparatively calm. Alex and his family attended a bird show, during which Alex's uncle was called onstage to be attacked by an owl. Alex also enjoyed the playground, which was designed to look like an archeological dig.

The centerpiece of Animal Kingdom is a huge artificial tree, adorned with hundreds of animal carvings. It's called the Tree of Life, and it's really an amazing structure. Alex and his parents got a good view of the tree while on line to see "It's Tough to be a Bug," a 3-D animated film featuring characters from A Bug's Life. Attending the show with Alex turned out to be "not a good idea," as Alex put it. The show turned out to be a full sensory experience, with computer generated bugs shooting stingers and venom into the audience. Alex and his parents had to sneak out through the Terrified Child Exit. Two of Alex's uncles, including the one who was attacked by the owl, also attended the show, and were brave enough to stay until the conclusion.