Our Experience on Disney’s Wild Afrika Trek Tour

There are a ton of tours available by Disney. I chose the Wild Afrika Trek tour because of a video that I saw on the Disney World Facebook page that highlighted the tour experience. It looked so amazing. And in all honesty, my tour was just as amazing, if not more, than that video.

Please note: I spelled Africa with a K in this entire post to make it look cooler. I know how to spell, I promise.

You have to schedule it in advance, we went in the winter and scheduled it just a few weeks before our trip. Even then, we still did not get the exact date and time that we wanted. Everything worked out in regards to planning since I had a few weeks to move things around. In the summer, I’m going to assume, that you will have to book way in advance.
Now, on to the fun stuff!

This is us getting suited up in our gear. These harnesses are legit. They even gave us a little hook for our cell phones so that we could bring them while trekking. We also got badges and water bottles.

harness1

badges and bottles

These were our tour guides. They were awesome and so knowledgeable. I fell in love with them already even before the tour got started.

tourguides

We first walked through a trail and then through part of the “forest”.

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We crossed the two bridges with ease. It was a little bit scary, to be honest, but they do make it very safe. They took some great photos of us while walking the bridge.

bridge-nikki

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bridge-prentyce1

bridge-prentyce2

We were able to encounter quite a few animals, including hippos, alligators, giraffes, just to name a few. They say that the animals are more active in the morning, our tour was at 12:30 PM, and the animals were still pretty active at that time. But, we did go in early December and the average high at that time when we went was about 70 to 75°.

We got in the little Safari jeep and got a personal safari tour. We were able to stop, unlike the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, which we ended up not riding because we got the real tour instead.

animals

We got to eat a very lovely meal. I put the flower in my hair after the meal, and Andy, the tour guide, teased me about having food in my hair. That was funny. I regret not eating that flower now.

meal
The best part about this trip was that we got to experience something new together. The second best thing was that the weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot and there was a light breeze.

Not that they will ever read this, but special thanks to the photographers and tour guides for this tour! I’m a picture fanatic and I was satisfied with the quality and style of the photos.

If I find the time to update this post with more pics, I will! I have so many! 🙂

How to get a discount on tour?

We paid approximately $400 for the both of us for this tour. You could’ve gotten a discount if you had used your Disney Visa card and if you would booked in the late afternoon. For my next trip to Disney World, I’m definitely going to have a Disney Visa card!

 

5ive List: Universal Studios Orlando Planning

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There are not very many websites dedicated to planning your Universal Studios Orlando trip. The ratio of Disney World to Universal Orlando planning websites is at least 100 to 1, if not more.

I know that I’m only a first timer for both WDW and Universal, but I felt like I need to write this article because Universal Orlando doesn’t get the love that it so very much deserves! My husband and I had an amazing time there!

1. Find Pinterest boards

There are a ton of pins on Pinterest about Universal planning! Search ‘Universal Orlando’ or ‘Harry Potter Wizarding World’.

2. Podcasts

There aren’t very many good podcasts dedicated to Universal Studios Orlando planning, but you will find some episodes dedicated to Universal on Disney World podcasts! When you find a Disney World podcast, look at their episode list to see if they mention Harry Potter World or Universal Studios Orlando. They can can give you some decent tips in regards to getting there and back if you’re also going to Disney World and comparisons between the two parks.

3. Use Undercover Tourist.

The best things from Undercover Tourist that I used for Universal Orlando were the following:

a) Map – it is easy to read and understand; I wish I could make graphics this nice!
b) Touring plan – the 2-day plan was the one we used as a template
c) Crowd calendar – this helped me decide which park to go to on which days; very useful

P.S. I have heard that Undercover Tourist is a reliable seller for tickets, but I purchased my tickets from TicketsAtWork.com through my job’s affiliation.

4. Download apps before you go! 

Use an app to track wait times! The app made by Universal Orlando is not the best, I would recommend Magic Guide for Universal Orlando. I only used the free version. I used the app to track wait times mostly in the afternoon and early evening, the wait times were very minimal for us early birds!

I also used an app for weather called AccuWeather. They have a MinuteCast feature that will let you know rain is coming, e.g. “Rain in 60 minutes.” This will help you plan accordingly! Luckily for us, we went in the beginning of December and didn’t encounter much rain.

Undercover Tourist also has a nice app! The layout is decent and very modern.

P.S. Don’t forget to have adequate memory on your phone for pics! I backed up to Google Photos while on the trip nightly.

5. Create your own touring plan and use it as your screensaver!

We had a four-day park hopper at Universal Studios Orlando. Since our flight got in late on arrival day, we were not able to go to the park, so we only did a total of 2 1/2 days. This was enough time for us to get to see and do most of everything we wanted. We could’ve stayed more, but I only would have used that extra time to guzzle down some more butterbeer.

Here are photos of my touring plan. (These are sized for an iPhone 6 wallpaper. To size it to your phone’s dimensions, you will need to adjust the size of your Microsoft Word document.)

Some things to note about our touring plan:

  • We are two adults that can move fairly quickly, so we were able to get a ton done in a short period of time (e.g. less potty breaks too)
  • We woke up early for the first two days for Universal Orlando and were there for rope drop (which was about 20-30 minutes before the scheduled opening time); the last day we took our time
  • We didn’t stay at a Universal Orlando resort, it was too pricey! We stayed at a La Quinta that was literally 5 minutes away! We were able to get up later and go home sooner because it was so close!
  • I knew I wanted to meet characters
  • We paid extra for the Photo Connect plan, which is why it is referenced on our touring cards
  • We did all the water rides at once (with ponchos that didn’t really help)
  • We were flexible, so if we rode or did something the day before or needed to ride it the next day, I just edited my touring plan on the Microsoft Word app on my phone and saved a new screenshot of the plan
  • We did a ton the first day, we had so much energy since it was day 1 of our 10-day honeymoon. Instead of doing more, I wish we would have slowed down because I ended up getting horrible and painful blisters!
  • We didn’t wait for any ride for longer than 20 minutes
    • A few of our longer waits were: Grinchmas (45-60 minutes wait – it was opening day), meeting the Grinch, Raptor Encounter, and Poseidon’s Fury show
  • The numbers in the parentheses after each attraction (on my touring cards) is how long the attraction is, i.e. (7m).  I got these values from TouringPlans.com
  • The colors mean something: black for rides/shows; orange for Harry Potter stuff; and purple for meet & greets. Lastly, pink is for snacks, which is the most important part! 😉
  • Remember, not everything will go according to plan! But, you’re an adult and you already knew that!

NRT-UnivTourCards101

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I hope you guys find this useful. Good luck with your planning! I’ll be posting more planning posts soon!

 

Estimate the cost of a gas for a trip

I can almost TASTE Spring Break… just this week and TADA! The week off should be nice. Prentyce and I are planning to go to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit his cousin Joe and Joe’s fiancé Erika.

Joe and Erika Johnson
Joe and Erika

Since he was so late in telling of these plans… I could not get any of the airfare specials that Southwest was offering. Bummer!

So, I’m guessing we are gonna drive, unless something better comes along.

AAA Trip Gas Price

I found this neat website that calculates the cost of gas for your trip. You need to input the following:

To and from locations
Make and model of the car that will be used
Year of the car that will be used

Then hit ‘Calculate.’ The data generated that gas will cost me $100 round trip, which doesn’t sound right. It sounds way under than what I expected. My guess is around $150, plus the six and a half hour drive! Ugh.

Knotts Berry Farm… the coolest rides ever!

Knotts Family Photo 2007

So after about a week and half back from Hawaii, a family trip was due to California and you know we had to go to at least one theme park. Knotts Berry Farm was really cool. I’m so mad I didn’t get to ride all the rides, but the ones I did ride were so fun! They had some really unique ones, especially Rip Tide (watch clip). The Perilous Plunge was a really short ride, but so worth the wait! You get so soaked! The best ride though was the Super Scream! It is like 200+ feet up and it drops you down at like 50 mph. The best rush of my life…. It was even funner with family there! They even invited Princess (Prentyce)! We got really great pictures from the trip from the park photographers.

As for the theme park, you definitely need two days to enjoy it all and I haven’t heard of this park closing down so I’m definitely planning a trip for next year. A lot of people say that Six Flags is better, and although it is really fun there because of the big adult rides, it is always so busy and most of the rides are roller coasters… everytime I go, I only get to ride like 4 rides the entire day! Anyways, what a fun trip. I’m actually still in California blogging this and probably won’t be coming back ever… hehe, just kidding.

Hawaii… damn near the best trip ever!

Wow people… Hawaii was everything I needed! It was so great! Water was perfect, weather was on point, food was delicious… life was so good for those nine (was it 10?) days… we went to the beach damn near everyday and I came out with a damn good tan even though I didn’t mean to. We did so many things on this trip… We went snorkeling and I saw lots of cool fish and even two turtles, one was really big too, like two feet long! Our visit to the Aloha swap meet, where I probably spent close to $150, was super! Shopping there was at its finest, even though the 4-story Ala Moana Mall was nice too. The hotel we stayed at was decent — some crazy nights there, lol. I met a new friend (hey Chris!) and bonded with the ones I already. All in all… it was so worth all the money I spent. I got a lot of souvenirs, but I just feel like keeping them all… sorry. I am so lucky that I got to experience Hawaii better than any other tourist because Nicole was a local. THANK YOU NICOLE! I LOVE YOU! Mahalo. Aloha. Shee-shee. Hehe.

Hawaii 07 - At Nicole’s BBQ

 

Hawaii… maybe here I come?

So I’ve been basically having the most stressful two weeks of LIFE. So much relationship drama has been happening and it is SO NOT what I am use to. My lovely Nicole is going to Hawaii in two weeks… and since I’ve never eva eva eva  been there, I really, really want to go. So I can go if I pay like $250 round trip, pretty cheap right? But… my only problem is days off because we are going to be gone like 10 days! Isn’t that amazing? School is no problem, I can do my online class and my teachers aren’t super lame… even though I haven’t met them all. But… this is like a once in a lifetime chance! Should I do it?

Six Flags is closing…

… Or so we (people at work) have heard so you know we had to go this year! This work trip was pretty fun. Not everyone went because not everyone was invited (thank God). But, sadly, some people didn’t even stay the entire time! Nonetheless, we had fun. Group tickets for 10+ people were only $22.50 and we got Flash Passes (speeds you up to the front of the line) for $20 (four passes only).

We all drove there, me and Prentyce in his car following Cedric, Bridget, and Carol. We didn’t really make any stops except to see the other group at Barstow. We went straight to our rooms at the Santa Clarita Motel ($71/night—I got a $3 discount because of my AAA membership). They were pretty nice. Our rooms were on the first floor, easy access! Small, but cozy place. We got the handicapped room. We got a really big bathroom. We all shared rooms because the place ran out of rooms (could you believe it? — I think it is because the people that own the place give the rooms to their family members.)

We ate at Popeye’s (the best chicken joint ever). Went to the mall. We played board games later that night and everyone got kind of hostileeven though they didn’t want to admit it. Mark’s brother Raul is good at Cranium… I’m so jealous! Teehee =) We tried playing Cranium Turbo Edition, but those mofo’s were complaining it was too hard. Can you believe that? Whatever. We also played Scattergories, Jenga, and Taboo.

Note:

  • Parking costs $15 per car! Carpool to the park.
  • The best ride was X
  • Tatsu, their newest ride, wasn’t that great, but still worth riding
  • Decent meal for one person, $10
  • Get a souvenir cup, it’s worth it, plus $1 refills all day
  • It’s not worth spending $5 a shot for a stupid stuffed animal
  • Play the guess your age/weight game. They don’t check your license and their weighing scale is off by 20 pounds plus
  • Caramel apples are so good! 2/$5
  • They sell funnel cakes, but the lines are so long! Get in there early
  • You can’t bring any food into the park, unless you have an infant or young child
  • Metal detectors — don’t bring any guns/knives/etc. you delinquents!
  • Lockers are $0.50-$1.00; but there are places on the ground where you can put your stuff before you get on the ride
  • Waiting times for the lines were between 1-2 hoursget a Flash Pass
  • Eat before you get into the park, food is expensive
  • A colored caricature will run you $36/couple

Any-who, we had loads of fun and are planning a trip for later in the year again. Hopefully it won’t be closed?!

Salt Lake City, here we come

 


Why:
My boyfriend’s birthday celebration & our two year anniversary
Cost: $466 (just the airfare)
When: February 22nd to when we want to come back! (Just kidding. Monday.)

Supposed things you can do in Salt Lake City…

  1. Visit the church (it’s huge!)
  2. See where the Utah Jazz practice/play
  3. Go to Trolley Square, where that crazy gunman just started shooting everyone recently
  4. Skiing
  5. Snowboarding
  6. Sledding
  7. Other miscellaneous snow stuff

Informational websites for when you want to visit!

We’ll see! I’m so excited. This will be Prentyce’s first plane ride EVER. Mine without my parents (eek!) I was going to tell him the day of the flight, but he had so many things planned for his b-day, I didn’t want to upset him! So I told him two days before =) He was so happy.