I am so happy that I was able to attend the Niche Parent Conference last week in Lake Buena Vista, FL. My family and I drove down from North Carolina and left really early (like 3:00 a.m.) Thursday morning in order to arrive just in time for check-in and evening festivities. We arrived in the Sunshine State around 9:00 a.m. and decided to take our sweet time getting to the Disney Coronado Springs Resort. We arrived and checked in around 1:00 p.m. We had just enough time to settle down for a little while before our Thursday evening scheduled events at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We were able to visit the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and enjoy a simulated Kilimanjaro open-sided Safari ride through an East African Savanna. I enjoyed every bit of the bumpy ride and even got spooked as we went over a bridge and it seemed as though we were going to fall as it collapsed. There weren’t too many exotic animals out due to the time of day, I guess they were ready for bed. However the exotic animals we did see were awesome!
The land was so beautiful, I took lots of pictures. I loved the way the sun set as we were on the safari and I was able to take some really good shots with my camera phone. I was able to see cheetahs, elephants, Crocodiles, Flamingos, Hippopotamus and a Watusi. When that Watusi started to walk towards us with those incredibly huge horns, we were ALL ready to go! I think everyone on the ride yelled at our tour guide in unison… GO! GO! GO! Lol! There are over 34 different species of African wildlife that roam free on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I’m sure my husband and children enjoyed themselves as well and were snapping away with their cameras to capture as many memories as possible. There is something cool about seeing exotic animals live in their habitat. Our tour guide was very helpful and humorous as he provided us with information while we were on safari. I will definitely schedule another visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and do it all over again, maybe just a little earlier so I can catch some of the action on the reserve.
After our African Safari ride was over we were whisked away for our Kickoff Niche Parent Conference Dinner/After Party! This is where I got a chance to re-connect with a lot of my blogging friends and make new connections. I caught up with Jewel Figueras @JewelFigueras (It had been 4 years since I last saw Jewel), Jennifer Hutchinson @Mami2Mommy (It had been 2 years since I last connected with Jennifer), Onica Cupido @MommyFactor (I haven’t seen Onica since 2010 or 2012) I can’t keep track! Ha! There was music, a DJ, and Food… That right there is a great combination! We met Disney PR as they welcomed us and we honored Nadia Jones @JusticeJonsie for putting together an amazing event. This was just the beginning! We also had a surprise visit from Mickey & Minnie Mouse! You know I was like a kid all over again. Not only was this my first visit to Disney but, I get to meet Mickey & Minnie! I also got to take pictures with them. Squeeee! Oh… let me not forget to mention that it was also my Birthday weekend! So, you know I was in super excited!
The night ended well and I made it a point to go to bed at a decent time so that I could get up early on Friday and be ready to start with the professional learning sessions and not miss our first keynote by Kim Garst. She is one of my all time favorite Social Media Influencers, Author, Speaker, and Social Media Consultant! She is all the way around awesome and there was no way I was going to miss her speak. So, we wrapped with day 1! I’ll be back with more Niche Parent Conference Disney Fun! To Be Continued…