Title Chosen: World of Friendship! October 2017 Girls Getaway Caring 4 Giants p. 7 Pandora p. 5

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by natebenma, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Small Mexico is also Andy as far as I know. That's also what I call it, but I have a feeling I probably heard it from him first. Not sure about the second one...but it also works nicely!
     
  2. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    ::yes::
     
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  4. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    An Elephantastic Tour!


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    Caring for Giants- Get a closer look at the majestic African elephants at Disney Animal Kingdom park- and learn what it takes to care for them.


    An Experience You’ll Never Forget

    Delve into the wondrous world of our park's largest inhabitants.

    During this 60-minute experience, you’ll meet with dedicated animal specialists who provide for the care and wellness of our African elephant herd. They’ll give you a glimpse into their day-to-day responsibilities as they provide fascinating facts about the elephants.

    African cultural representatives will also be on hand to share stories of Disney’s conservation efforts dedicated to the preservation of wild populations throughout their homeland.

    Throughout this experience, you’ll be able to observe the elephants from approximately 80 to 100 feet away—so you’ll enjoy a closer encounter with the elephants than you would during other in-park experiences.

    Note: A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Disney Conservation Fund.


    The current cost of the tour is $30* per person.

    *Some discounts apply- DVC, AP. Maybe AAA or Disney Visa, not sure. Will check.

    I’ll see if I can find if there are age restrictions- there was a family with two children, maybe around 8-10 years old with our group. The tour is offered around 10 times each day, from 9:30 am to 4 pm.


    We started by checking in at the tour desk, near where you enter the queue for Kilimanjaro Safari. There are no restrooms on the tour, so they recommended that we go before we go.
    (Note- if you are reading my Alaska cruise report, you know that I take this suggestion seriously)

    We boarded our transport jeep/bus and were reminded that pictures were not permitted during the part of the journey when we were backstage.

    When we got to the observation area, I asked the driver if it was ok to take a picture of the vehicle.


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    Our driver pointed out that the plants in the background are missing the bottom leaves. That shows where the water line rose to the previous month during Hurricane Irma!


    We met the naturalist I am not great at remembering names- was it Mark? Or something else? @JanetMom @woodnymph @Ninja Mom

    Also, please feel free to add any details or pictures from our Caring for Elephants excursion.

    ******************************************************************

    When Mark (IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME) explained that elephants are a keystone species and their survival is important to maintain the ecosystem, we were all ears.

    For the next 40 mintues or so, we could observe these beautiful creatures, take pictures and ask questions.


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    Ignore that it says Diana, but take a look at my nametag. At the end of the tour, we were told to return the lanyards but the nametags were ours to keep. They also had us read the small note on the back that informed us that the paper was made from elephant dung fibers.

    What a craptastic souvenir!



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    There are currently 10 elephants at Animal Kingdom- 7 female and 3 male. Elephants live in a matriarchal society- females are in charge! Rafaki is the matriarch of the AK herd. Her name means “elephant” in Swahili.

    When male elephants hit adolescence (I want to say around age 7) they are kicked out of the herd and live a mostly solitary life.

    As the mom of two teen boys, I can certainly appreciate the wisdom of this policy!


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    We were treated by the appearance of baby Stella!


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    So cute!


    One of the challenges faced by elephants is the threat by farmers who want to keep them off their land. Mark showed us these bee boxes.


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    It turns out that elephants are afraid of bees. Although bees can’t sting through an elephant’s thick skin, they can cause pain when they sting the elephants’ large, sensitive ears. So the farmers set up these bee boxes to make a fence along the perimeter of their land to keep the elephants away.

    Brilliant!


    And an added bonus is the production and sale of honey.


    As our tour wound up, we asked our naturalist to take a picture of our group. He took a couple of pictures, handed back my phone and said “This is my favorite shot”


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    LOL!


    This is better…


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    This was a great tour! The length was perfect- it doesn’t eat up too much park time. And the price is definitely reasonable by Disney standards, especially if you are able to apply discounts.

    I give it 2 trunks up!


    :dumbo::dumbo:


    Next Up: To Market, To Market
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018 at 8:39 AM
  5. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Awesome tour! I might have to try it when I go in March. I've been looking at tours to try.

    Also want to mention I started my own trip report if you are interested.
     
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  6. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Wow!! That's wild!

    :rotfl:

    Nice pictures! We also enjoyed this tour back in the spring. Baby Stella is adorable! She really showed off for you :)
     
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  7. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    What a fun tour! You got some great up close and personal shot of the elephants! And Baby Stella! She is adorable!
     
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  8. wdwnut61

    wdwnut61 DIS Veteran

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    Love the bathroom break reference and as one who is following your Alaskan adventure... duly noted :thumbsup2
    craptastic souvenir :rotfl:
    Great pictures Stella is so cute
    Love the group shot :goodvibes
    I think Kathy and I will book this for our March trip
     
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  9. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    Annnnddd... caught up!

    Glad you got your Dad's phone number back. :)
    The elephant tour looked pretty cool! (All ears... I see what you did there. ;))
     
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  10. annie170

    annie170 DIS Veteran

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    I love elephants, so I may have to look into this tour next trip. Baby Stella is too cute!

    I hope your dad's new place works out better than the last. We had to move my mother-in-law once and I know what an ordeal it can be.

    I completely forgot about your Alaskan Cruise trip report. As I'm not getting alerts, out of sight, out of mind. I'll have to go get caught up.
     
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  11. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    I highly recommend this tour. As I said, relatively low cost and not a huge time commitment.

    Thanks, again, for the heads up on your report.

    ::yes::


    I couldn't believe that you could see how far the water had gone up by looking at the bushes. I thought I had a better picture demonstrating it, but I haven't found it.



    It's a great tour.

    Loved when we heard (Mark) say "Here comes the baby!"

    :cool1:


    Mama Rafaki may be queen of the herd, but baby Stella is the star!

    :love:



    "I don't always have to go, but when the tour guide tells me there isn't an opportunity, and that I should go, I go"

    Some of the best advice ever.

    Not many times when the term "craptastic" is absolutely appropriate.

    Yes, Stella is adorable.

    That is a nice group shot of us. Not sure why we didn't have Sue & her husband in the shot, but I think they were elsewhere watching the elephants when we were posing.

    You should book the trip! I'd love to hear what you think.


    :thumbsup2



    Nicely done! And thanks!


    You and me (and he) both!

    He was understanding when I gave him the bad news, but then when I was finally able to get his number restored, he was thrilled. We are going to be moving him again at the beginning of Feb because he is not happy where he is, and I have assured him we won't need to change his phone number because I'm not cancelling his service this time!


    :listen:

    The tour is totally worth it!

    It shouldn't be an extremely difficult move, with the help of my family and my brother and nephew. It is all within the same town. The new place is on the same road, a few miles away, from his house and just a bit further from his current apartment. He won't have much that we need to move.

    No worries about the cruise report. I haven't been over there much, either, so I suspect you aren't very far behind. Almost finished there, thought.

    :dogdance:
     
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  12. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    I bet! 60 years, I think you said?

    Oh! I'm sorry to hear that. It looked like a nice place. What doesn't he like?
     
  13. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

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    We really enjoyed the elephant tour. The elephants were very active and we were so much closer to them here than you are on the safari. The weather could not have been better, too.

    I learned a lot about elephants and was glad to hear that Disney gives a portion of the money you pay for the tour to Conservation.

    We got a discount for the tour because we were annual pass holders.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018 at 7:44 AM
  14. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Oh wow, I would have thought it would cost more. That's a pretty good price in Disney terms.

    :rotfl2:
    That's taking recycling to a whole new level!


    Dang. Female elephants have no time for silly male elephant antics. :rotfl:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Caring for Giants tour. I really enjoyed reading about it.
     
  15. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    Love your craptastic souvenir. The tour sounds brilliant- who doesn’t love baby elephants :love:
    Great group photo :thumbsup2
     
  16. wdwnut61

    wdwnut61 DIS Veteran

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    Dee I meant to ask what time was the tour you went on?
     
  17. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    Yeah, I exaggerated. My parents moved into their home in 1963, so he only had the phone number for 55 years.


    Primarily, the cost, I think. This place is beautiful and has lots of bells and whistles (rooms have balconies, nice walking paths, free laundry, transportation, lots of activities), but he isn't using any of those, so they are not of value to him.

    The food is excellent, but meals are also very long- breakfast can take almost 2 hours to be served, lunch is an hour or more.

    I thought he would like the social aspect a lot more than he does.

    The new place he is going is much smaller- about 35 residents instead of 130. He will have a separate bedroom instead of a studio. He can purchase meals in the dining room, but he will also have a stove/oven so he can prepare light meals instead when he wants. And it is less expensive than his current apartment. He knows a few of the residents at the new place- the golf pro at the country club where he was a long-time member, a neighbor of ours who was very kind to my mom, and the priest who performed my mom's service.

    My brother and I just want him to be safe and happy

    :grouphug:
     
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  18. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    I am so glad we did the tour and I agree, it is fantastic that the profits for the tour goes towards conservation. Disney is putting their money where their trunk is!

    Nannette paid our tour fee with a DVC discount and we reimbursed her (I think), but I wonder if she wasn't truthful about the cost to us... I think she told us it was just $20.

    But I'm not sure I am remembering any of this correctly- after all it was 3 whole months ago!

    :rolleyes1
     
  19. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    It really was a reasonably priced tour.
    They could probably make a ton of these using the elephant waste. There's probably a term you could use for that, but I don't think I can use it here.


    :rotfl2:

    That's funny!

    Glad you enjoyed my review of the tour.

    I enjoyed your excursion to the wildlife park.

    Encounters with animals are awesome!


    :dogdance:
     
  20. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

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    It was really funny that they didn't tell us about the name tags until after the tour.

    "And you may want to wash your hands..."

    All of the elephants were cool, but baby Stella

    :love:


    Our tour was at 11 am.

    :dumbo:
     
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  21. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    [​IMG]

    Aww... it sounds like you're doing all you can to make your father happy. :)
     
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