Yes, Walt Disney World is a magical place, and during our most recent trip, we were selected to open Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
We were touring on a day with Extra Magic Hours in the morning for resort guests—which means that the park opened an hour early for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. We arrived at the park about a half hour before the park opened and were within the first few guests at the gate turn styles. There was a family from a nearby metropolitan area in front of us and we were chatting with them as well as a Cast Member monitoring the gates.
Before the gates opened, the Cast Member was welcoming the crowd and asking who knew how late the park was open, giving weather information, etc. He asked what time the parade was and I shouted loudly enough for the crowd to hear, “3:45.” He congratulated me and soon we were through the gates and making our way to the rope which was past the Oasis near
The boy stopped to view the warthogs in the Oasis. Discovery Island
While at the rope, I was visiting with some folks just behind me and soon the husband was tugging on my arm saying, “Let’s go.” What? The park hadn’t opened yet. Well, as he tells it, he had been chatting with a Cast Member who picked our party to open the park and head off to Kilimanjaro Safari for a private Safari. The Cast Member wanted more than a party of 3, so the husband grabbed the mom and daughter that we had been talking to at the gate and asked them to join us.
A Photopass photographer snapped a few photos and off we went to the safari before other guests were entering the park! Other Cast Members greeted us on our way.
We had a great safari ride. The animals were so alert for the first safari car. The giraffes were even in the middle of the road! The Cast Member that had chosen us went along with the ride, so we got both her narration and animal spotting as well as the driver of the vehicle!
We were deposited at the exit and were given a special certificate for the honor.