As if our Disney trip wasn't going to be fabulous enough all on its own, a friend (of a friend . . . of a friend) upgraded our family to Club Level at the resort. This meant we had lots of extra pampering, food, drinks, an entire level dedicated just to those with "club" status, etc.
It. was. awesome.
We also received extra Fast Passes several days, and for those of you familiar with Disney - these Fast Passes were just open, general passes. As in, we literally just walked up to the ride/attraction and walked on in. No advance scheduling needed.
And as if all that wasn't enough, this friend (of a friend . . . of a friend) arranged for the head animal keeper to take us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the open savannas that are at Jambo House and Kidani Lodge at Animal Kingdom.
I wasn't allowed to have my camera with me for most of it, but he took us in a van and we rode around the savanna for about 2 hours, observed the red river hogs up close (and their babies), and even got to go into the barns and feed an okapi. We all agreed that this behind-the-scenes safari was just about our favorite event of the whole trip.
I took a few pictures of the giraffes, because, hello! I hope they give you some perspective on how close we were. They were taken from the front seat of the van with the window down, and I most certainly did not have a zoom lens with me. What an experience!
For perspective on how big they are - this was out the opposite van door. And this was just a baby giraffe.
Not quite as beautiful, but these red river hogs are super interesting and apparently incredibly intelligent.