Happiest Place on Earth: Day 5 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Lets catch up with Lars and the students and staff of Massachusetts Hospital School as he blogs about day 5 at Animal Kingdom, Florida. He writes…
We really lucked out today. We decided to take advantage of the one hour early start for all Disney hotel guests.
We arrived to Animal Kingdom at 8 am and went right to Mount Everest, one of the new roller coasters. There was no line so we got on and off in about 20 min.
We then went straight to the Safari ride. Traveling on a tram, we saw many African animals roaming. We got some great pictures and we were lucky that so many were visible. After the safari we went to see the Lion King show, probably my favorite stage show. Before lunch with did the Dinosaur ride which was smart choice because it’s a very bumpy ride.
After lunch we saw Nemo the musical and the day culminated in a very wet way. We went on the Kali rapid river. This is definitely the ride everyone goes on and we usually get to go around at least twice, guaranteeing that most of us are soaked. The smiles and laughter from the children when they see the staff get soaked is priceless and of course I was drenched.
After that walking in the park is not fun but it’s so worth it. There are so many moments throughout the trip where the interactions with the children gives you warm feelings. I keep calling them children when in fact they are young adults but most of them have been with us for several years so they are still our children.
The day culminated in Epcot where we had a catered Mexican meal right on the lake, under the stars. Epcot and the world showcase is beautiful at night with all the lights, street entertainment and crowds of people enjoying themselves.
Dick took the time to thank Ann Carr who retires in the fall after 40 years of service to the state of Massachusetts. As the nurse, she has traveled with Dick not only to Disney multiple times but also on many, many other trips. We wished her a wonderful and well deserved retirement. As I was sitting and watching staff and children interact I felt myself fortunate to be part of this extended family. Many of the staff on the trip has worked for MHS for many years. For me 10 years have gone by very fast.
The evening culminated with Epcot’s firework and tribute to the world and all humankind. I get shivers each time I watch it. What a wonderful way to end the night and a trip of a lifetime for these children. Tomorrow we say goodbye to Disney but the memories will last a lifetime.
I’m so thankful to everyone who worked so hard to make this trip a reality. A special thank you goes to our Sponsors who, without their support, this trip would never happen. Dick Crisafulli who’s vision and determination will always be remembered. To Barbara McLaughlin and Maryanne Kiley who advocated and took over after Dick retired to make sure Disney lives on. Brian Devin, who’s dedication to MHS and all the children enabled the trip. Finally, to all the staff that came and worked behind the scene to prepare the children for the trip and let the magic of Disney surround them for just a little while.“
Donations to the Massachusetts Hospital School Foundation are what keep this once in a lifetime pilgrimage possible for its students. Donate here to keep this 30+ year tradition alive.
Also, check out our Disney Photos in the gallery!