One of the things I love most about Disney World in Orlando is the variety of animals you’ll find there. The many species you encounter aren’t just part of the show. Many of them are native species that have found a safe refuge within the sprawling acreage of the Walt Disney World Resort.
The egret is one of the most common birds found in central Florida. Most Floridans hardly notice them. This guy was hanging out with the flamingos at EPCOT and was reluctant to have his picture taken.
The best time to take the Safari ride at the Animal Kingdom is early in the morning just after the park opens. The animals are usually active at that time. I was able to capture this great shot of a giraffe as he ate his breakfast.
An Ankole-Watusi, a breed of native African cattle, munches on some grass as the sun rises over the Kilimanjaro Safaris, the sprawling savannah at the Animal Kingdom.
A pair of rhinos basks in the early morning sunlight at the Animal Kingdom.
Wildebeests with their signature horns and emaciated appearance graze at the Animal Kingdom. The “ant hills” are there for illustrative purposes and, of course, are not real. Imagine the mayhem if Disney had introduced African ants to central Florida!
I love this shot. The sun was just up and we had but a few seconds to see the black rhinos, which were still lumbering out of bed. The star of the show was the egret perched on one leg, his reflection caught beautifully in the water.
A closer look shows the gorgeous egret and his reflection.
One of my favorite attractions at Disney World is the Living Seas at EPCOT. Here you can explore all manner of sea life. A pair of spotted eels hide in some coral trying unsuccessfully to blend in.
A colorful Moray eel eyes me suspiciously from the safety of his coral. Doubtful he realized there was quite a bit of plexiglass between me and him.
I was so lucky to get this pair of cuttlefish to sit still long enough to take a decent picture. These fascinating creatures are able to change the color and texture of their skin at will. The striped male attempts to woo the female with an impressive display of electrical pulses that flash around his eyes and skin.
Aquariums at the Living Seas team with everything from fish to manatees.
Funnily enough I was trying to take a shot of the fish in this tank. It wasn’t until working on this blog post that I noticed the Hidden Mickey. Can you see it?
If you visit the waterpark, Typhoon Lagoon, you’ll have an opportunity to snorkel with rays, small sharks and other exotic fish. The water was so cold it took my breath away and it took me awhile to feel comfortable to take some pictures.
Although it looks as though I was right on top of the rays they were actually rather far down below me. I took these shots with an old fashioned disposable underwater camera.
I have no idea why we take pictures of ducks. It’s not as though ducks are, well, everywhere. I have pictures of English ducks, French ducks, American ducks, you name it! This duck at the Wilderness Lodge was rather funny, however. She kept wanting to get into the lobby and eventually made it. The ducks there are quite brazen and will beg for food if you’re snacking by the pool.