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My Family’s Magical Moment at Animal Kingdom

I recently took a much needed vacation to Walk Disney World with my husband and three kids. It was the kind of trip I’ve dreamed of taking my entire life. We went for a whole week. We stayed at the Polynesian – which oh my sweet baby Lemur – is awesome.

The thing about Disney World that I love the most is that it really is all about Fairy Dust. Those magical moments that your family stumbles upon together where you’re made to feel like super specials, instead of just regulars. It may be for just for a moment, but that moment stays with you. One where you find yourself saying “Did this really just happen?! Did we really just see that?!”

And the real magic of Disney is that I think (hope?) that just about everyone has one of those moments when they go there. It’s more than the rides, the characters and the how-on-earth-did-they-do-that moments, it’s actual magic. My family was lucky enough to have a couple of those on this trip and I want to share one of them with you  that happened at Animal Kingdom, just before we went home.

NOTE: I should probably mention that even though I work for Babble, which is owned by Disney – no part of my family’s trip was paid for or underwritten or made swankier. We paid for everything ourselves, just like every one else. So basically what I’m saying is that this is not a sponsored post. It’s all me. 

  • Let’s go on a safari. 1 of 13
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    Day 6 of our vacation was at Animal Kingdom. We were all happy, tired and had blisters on our feet. But we also felt... Relaxed. At about 4:oo, the skies opened up and it started pouring. We missed most of the storm while watching the amazing "Finding Nemo" show.

    By the time we left the theater, almost everyone else had left the park. We grabbed an early dinner during what felt like a monsoon. By about 5:30, we were done and it felt like everyone except us had gone home for the day.

  • Do you think the safari is still running? 2 of 13
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    We wondered if the safari was still running. It would be a perfect time to go do it. The weather was now cool, the animals all ate in the early evening so they'd be around and happy, and as long as the safari was still running, there wouldn't be a wait. We were all already soaking wet - so why not walk over there?

    We were in luck. We walked right on and took off. It was still raining, but beginning to lighten up. The monsoon appeared to be almost over.

  • It was sort of great, even though it was wet. 3 of 13
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    The rain kept slowing up. And all the animals seemed really happy.

  • Well, maybe not all the animals. 4 of 13
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    This ostrich seemed slightly disgruntled about being so wet.

  • Mommy! Look! 5 of 13
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    We saw an elephant and the kids freaked out because IT'S AN ELEPHANT.

  • But then something happened. 6 of 13
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    The skies brightened. It was still raining a little, but it was also sunny. And you know what that means, right?

  • Is that what I think it is? 7 of 13
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    A rainbow. No way!  The kids got really excited.

  • Then it got better. 8 of 13
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    It was just so, so beautiful. It didn't seem real.

  • Is it just me? 9 of 13
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    I thought for a moment that it was in my head. But it was real. It wasn't just any old rainbow...

  • That’s when things got amazing. 10 of 13
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    A double rainbow. It was like Disney World was adding sparkles and pixie dust to something that was already so incredible. It went across the entire sky, both arcs were visible across the horizon.

  • Then we turned a corner and there was this. 11 of 13
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    As we approached the lion's area, we were in for a surprise. The male lion was out sunning himself in a most majestic manner. He shook his mane for us a few times, as if to let us know that he was aware how good he looked right there - at this particular moment.

    In case you need a better look at him, there's this...

  • Just gorgeous. 12 of 13
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    He was just so beautiful. But with the double rainbow above him and the raindrops making his coat sparkle and glow in the early evening sunshine, it was almost... Surreal. We were expecting Rafiki to show up with a lion cub and start singing "Circle of Life". It was that amazing.

  • We walked out of the park six inches off the ground. 13 of 13
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    We couldn't believe what we'd been lucky enough to see. The few guests and cast members left in the park were all blissed out and excited as we watched the rainbows fade away.

    As we walked out of the park, we took one last look at Everest (our very favorite ride) and realized that it just couldn't get any better. Our shoes were squishy, our bellies were full, we'd just seen the most amazing animals from all over the world, and we'd done it together.

    It was magic.

Photo credits: Julie Miner

Read more from Julie at her blog Rants from MommyLand. Follow Julie on Facebook , Pinterest and Twitter for additional goofy nonsense at no extra charge. You can catch up on all her posts for Babble Pets and or read her Babble Voices blog, Rants in My Pants.

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