Dino-rific Fun at Animal Kingdom Park

 photo AK_01_zpsdvxrdicd.jpg

Last Summer I had many posts on my family’s trip to Walt Disney World in late 2014, but got caught up in Summer school classes and didn’t complete posting them all (yes, Summer school in college to get it done!). I still have a couple hotel and restaurant posts to add here, but I noticed I didn’t write about Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. To be honest, I have very mixed feelings about parks that involve animals, and we spent the least amount of time in this park, which I think is why I put this off. But, there are many things to do and see at Animal Kingdom. My personal favorite was the kitschy “dino-rific” Dinosaur themed area called “Chester & Hester’s Dino-rama” inside Dinoland U.S.A.

 photo AK_05_zpsrwlxtvip.jpg

The dino area has lots of carnival type games, shops, and some spots to eat. If you are a vintage style fan like me (aren’t you? isn’t that how you found me?), you will absolutely adore this cute and kooky area.

 photo AK_09_zpsjmjycg7a.jpg

 photo AK_06_zpsy8ysgg4r.jpg

This little walk up counter is so cute and I love the teardrop camper style with dino decor.

 photo AK_08_zpsmswgrwey.jpg

They have a perfectly themed out shop that resembles classic roadside attractions.

 photo AK_07_zpsu2zufwye.jpg

I was there in December so there were nice holiday touches everywhere!

 photo AK_10_zps1t4vsdor.jpg

Continuing on the dino theme, they also have a Dinosaur ride. It’s a quick moving car ride, similar to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. I didn’t know that during the ride a picture is taken and when I got back home we got sent the photos from our magic bands. My ride photo is easily the most ridiculous picture I’ve seen of myself. Maybe I’ll post it here someday… or not!

 photo AK_11_zpsfuqzseoy.jpg

We enjoyed lunch inside the dino-rama area– this restaurant was really cool because it was made to look like the campsite for the archaeologists working in the dino land.

 photo AK_12_zpsexiobql2.jpg

There was also an airstream attached that you could sit in and eat inside. It’s clearly a popular spot, as many people where inside so I didn’t take any photos.

 photo AK_13_zpsrurcn4ju.jpg

From my posts you can tell that I love vintage signage, so I was loving how much vintage styling is found inside the Disney parks. They really go full out in the design process and it’s fun to see. This walk up eatery mixes the dinosaur and vintage theming perfectly!

 photo AK_02_zpsmugdxnj4.jpg

As we walked through the park there were impromptu shows and we came across a trainer with this beautiful bird. The colors were even more vibrant in person.

 photo AK_04_zpswfbgqj57.jpg

Like I mentioned before I visited in December and I really enjoyed all the holiday decor.

 photo AK_15_zpsktatna15.jpg

Just as each park and each hotel has their own “vibe” the decorations also followed those themes. It was all very beautiful.

 photo AK_14_zpsllqxsyse.jpg

While not specific for the holidays, I loved the looks of the decorated trees. The park has sections for different parts of the world and this was in the Asian region. Each area you go through really feels like you’ve transported around the world.

 photo AK_16_zpsmzjgjjfo.jpg

The big event of the park is the safari ride. I absolutely recommend getting a fast pass if possible as we waited in standby and it was quite a long wait.

 photo AK_03_zpsvbd95i8f.jpg

In the center of the park is the tree of life. You can see it pretty much after you enter the park; it’s size is incredible.

 photo AK_17_zpscvavsi6o.jpg

You can walk closer to the tree by entering the “It’s tough to be a bug” show. We’ve seen it at California Adventure so we skipped the show, but the workers will help direct you if you want to look at the tree details.

 photo AK_18_zpsc1ymv4xq.jpg

Take some time to walk around it and see all the detailed “carvings” of the different animals.

So while I didn’t spend a lot of time at this park, I enjoyed walking around. It has great design, and I especially love the kitschy goodness of the dino-rama area. If planning a trip, I highly recommend:
– getting fast passes ahead of time for popular attractions like Kilimanjaro Safari // Kali River Rapids // Expedition Everest
– Watch the Festival of the Lion King live show. I didn’t take any pictures as there are acrobatic performers, but it was the best live show in any of the parks.
– Wear comfy closed toe shoes. There are many walking trails throughout the park and you could easily put in 10+ miles if you were to spend the whole day visiting all the attractions.

I hope this gives you a little information if you’re planning on visiting Animal Kingdom park. I know that they are currently constructing an Avatar-theme land which I’m sure will be quite popular! When I travel I’m always on the hunt for some vintage goodness, and even Disney delivers with so wonderful vintage-inspired attractions.
Have you visited Animal Kingdom park? What was your favorite part?


A Trip to Cabana Bay Resort

 photo UnOr_CB01_zps3fvi5buo.jpg

Seeing that it is now officially Summer, I thought it would be a good time to post my pictures from my visit to the Cabana Bay resort in Orlando, Florida. I did not stay in the hotel, but walked around and I absolutely loved it; It is a vintage fan’s dream come true! You feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of Mad Men or a film on TCM. The lobby is bright and airy with fantastic vintage-inspired signage.

 photo UnOr_CB02_zpsaggf4lpy.jpg

The front drive has this awesome Googie inspired architecture and the exterior walls have fun pops of color!

 photo UnOr_CB03_zpsklzmkgpa.jpg

I took these in December 2014 so there may be a couple of shots with holiday decorations (check the silver tree!), but the decorations overall were minimal. With the sunny skies and warm Florida weather, it felt like a nice May day over being close to Christmas.
A really cool touch in the lobby was this stack of vintage luggage. They were built to stay and people were stopping to pose with them. I love these design choices that add to the theming of the hotel.

 photo UnOr_CB06_zpsxfahupbc.jpg

Inside the lobby was a lounge area with a bar called “Swizzle.” There was also a shop with hotel and Universal Studios merch.

 photo UnOr_CB04_zpsoobit1aw.jpg

The vintage theming continued outside for the pool area. There were separate hotel buildings surrounding a pool, bar, cabanas, and even a volleyball court.

 photo UnOr_CB05_zps6sndzxvt.jpg

The outdoor bar is space-race themed with a rocket ship with Ham, the “astro chimp”, painted on it.

 photo UnOr_CB07_zpspey3lxuk.jpg

 photo UnOr_CB08_zpsycfrjjg2.jpg

 photo UnOr_CB09_zpswipxxg0m.jpg

I love how each building has it’s own kitschy title atop the roof like you’re looking at individual retro hotels.

 photo UnOr_CB10_zpseg3iinyd.jpg

Back inside, the dining area is set up like a vintage cafeteria. There are different stations to purchase food and drink and then there is a large dining area with huge screens showing vintage clips and commercials.

 photo UnOr_CB11_zpsdivtc19f.jpg

Seriously, can I just move in? I didn’t want to leave!

 photo UnOr_CB12_zpswkd6afun.jpg

Even the graphics are so well thought out. I have so many more signage posts from this visit that I will make another post just for them!

 photo UnOr_CB13_zpsd7ps8d0v.jpg

Outside the diner are 4 classic cars parked in the drop off area. Like the suitcases in the lobby, these are permanent fixtures that only add to the vintage story of the hotel. The commitment to theme and attention to detail make this one of my favorite hotels ever… and I haven’t even spent the night here! Just from visiting for an afternoon and walking around, I know that I will be back here someday and I definitely want to check out their rooms. I bought one of their refill cups at the diner because it had cute kitschy graphics. It’s my little token of Cabana Bay love until I can visit again.

So, have you ever stayed at the Cabana Bay? Is it everything I dream of and more? Let me know about your experience and if you have a favorite “kitschy” hotel (true vintage or just inspired!) that you have visited.
Hope you’re summer is off to a great start!