Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Disney 2015: Day Four - Animal Kingdom

On Saturday, October 24th we were up and at 'em early so that we could get to Animal Kingdom when it opened. We actually got there a few minutes late (or either they opened early!), but no worries. It was still not all that crowded. Last time we did Animal Kingdom we spent the morning in Africa and the afternoon in Dinoland U.S.A. We completely missed a few parts of the park! This time we decided to head directly to Asia instead. 

One of the rides on my list that James could ride was Expedition Everest. I didn't want to FastPass+ it so we just hurried straight for it when we arrived. I tried to prepare James for this one - he knew it went backwards and that the abominable snowman jumps out, but it was a little scarier than I anticipated. He liked it AFTER we got off, but he had a death grip on my hand the whole time. I'll admit that it was a little intense even for me! While we were doing this, Will and Cacky were watching. After we got off we all went and walked the Maharaj Jungle Trek which has bats and tigers. We saw one bat but unfortunately October is a month that they don't come out of their "cave" very often. The tigers were out and prowling, though!

As we were leaving Asia and heading to Africa we passed a character greeting spot and hopped in line. We were fourth to meet Baloo and King Louie! The boys were excited! Will even had Baloo on his shirt.

We decided to do a mid-morning Lion King show next. This is Eddie's favorite thing at ALL of Disney World. It's an awesome show so if you get to Animal Kingdom, make it a priority.  As usual, the Lion King was amazing. James and Will met a little boy in line and they played and played and talked and talked while we waited. The little boy even sat with us during the show. :) 

After Lion King we had a FastPass+ for Kilimanjaro Safari. This is one of my very favorites and I would ride it several times if time allowed. The boys were getting tired on this ride, but we still enjoyed it. We saw a few baby giraffes!

{He's really pretty, isn't he?}

We walked through the Pangani Forest Exploration after the safari. We actually did this rapidly as we had a reservation and were on a tight time schedule, but we saw a few animals nevertheless. We'd done this one before and enjoyed it. The gorillas are my favorite part and we didn't have a chance to really watch them, sadly.


Next up was lunch at our FAVORITE restaurant, Tusker House. Poor old Tusker House gets some really sad reviews, but I am here to tell you that it is our FAVORITE. I will say that some of your experience depends on where you're seated. Last time we were seated in a small room and it was quiet and felt more intimate. There is a REALLY big room and a medium sized room, too, and they're a lot louder. We sat in the medium sized room this time. It was still SO fun. (This and Chef Mickey's are my favorite character meals and they both have the same characters.) The buffet is delicious with a great variety of food and NOT the same old, same old. It was just as good as the first time and we would probably eat here again (Mom says NO character meals next time! HA!). They DID change things up (probably because they weren't making money on it!) but before you met Donald outside with a Disney photographer. This time he just came around like the other characters.



{Contrary to his face here, Will says meeting Goofy - TWICE! - was one of his favorite things.}

After lunch we tried to do a few things and our times just didn't work out. We actually walked right past Flik from A Bug's Life and the boys just didn't want to meet him. We moseyed on down to It's Tough to Be a Bug which, to me, is a cute little show that is held under the Tree of Life. I really didn't prepare the boys for any of it and they did ok, but it is a teensy bit scary with some darkness and a few loud portions...and a few other things that I'll leave as a secret that are fun but a little surprising.

Our last FastPass+ of the day was for Dinosaur in Dinoland U.S.A. We are NOT fans of Dinoland. Y'all, it is HOT. It's the hottest part of the park and it's just tacky. I know they MEANT for it to look that way, but I just can't stand it. Ha! So our plan was to just make a beeline for Dinosaur, ride, and then get the heck out of dodge. And we did, but it wasn't exactly as planned...We arrived at Dinosaur and went through the FastPass+ line. I DID prepare the boys for this that I knew that it was scary but it wasn't real, etc. etc. They were FRIGHTENED during this one but they BOTH said they loved it. James said it was his favorite ride AT Animal Kingdom. I actually loved how this one was set up. You go into a theater room and a man in a movie tells you that you'll be sent back in time and he wants you to collect a dinosaur for him. Yada yada yada...it was just a well-done set-up. Again, the boys LOVED it, but not until after! Ha!

After we left Dinosaur we saw a dinosaur statue that some kids were sitting on for a picture. Eddie suggested we wait and put the boys on it for a picture, too. He was lifting James up to put him on top and somehow (none of us saw it), Will fell and BUSTED his eyebrow on the dinosaur. It was wide open and BLEEDING. I wasn't so much concerned about it needing stitches (he already has a scarred up forehead from almost exactly a year before), but I was worried about infection from all the gross shoes, etc. that had been all over the dinosaur. SO we took off at a race to get BACK across the park to the medical center. Mercy. The nurse at the medical center was nice. He cleaned Will's eyebrow up and put a butterfly on it. I asked about him swimming that night and he said it would be fine because Disney's pools are clean enough. (I remain skeptical of all pools after our bout with stomach virus from one this summer.) We got patched up and went on our way.

Our next FastPass+ was for Kali River Rapids. Y'all, I am not a wet rides kind of a girl. I KNOW that's ridiculous, but I would just never pick them myself. James and Will LOVE them so I FastPassed it for the end of the day in case we got wet so we could just go after that. I actually wussed out and rode with a poncho on. I was a little self-conscious but EVERY RIDER ON OUR RIDE was jealous. Mwahahaha. My legs and feet were soaked, but I was otherwise unscathed. James and Will LOVED it as I knew they would. I hadn't ridden this one before, though, and it is SHORT. I felt like it was over almost immediately!

After Kali we walked BACK to Africa (I had tried to limit our across-the-park walking but the med stop threw me off!) to try to do something else. One thing was closed (Animal Kingdom currently closes fairly early) and Kilimanjaro had a super-long wait. We decided to just grab a snack and hit the road so we stopped at Starbucks to get something. The Starbucks lady was SO NICE. I ordered something and she let me know that on the dining plan that a tall and a venti count the same so I needed to upgrade. She asked my name and I told her "Lauren" and then said, "Oh! I should've been creative and said something like Cinderella!" She laughed and wrote "Cinderella Lauren Happy Birthday Princess!" and Mom was "Queen Carolyn." The boys each ordered a cream-based drink and they were Pluto and Donald. SO fun. She also let us use one venti snack credit on the boys and then she split their drink between two small cups. You really almost never encounter a Disney cast member that seems unhappy and that's why I love Disney so much.

We headed back to our car, ready to go and when Eddie tried to start the car, the car wouldn't start. YAY! I had had car trouble in the week before we went but Eddie thought he'd fixed it by replacing the battery. There is a WHOLE story behind my car and it's issues, but the short version for the purposes of this blog is that it wouldn't start, a parking lot guy came by and tried to jump it off and it still wouldn't start, another guy came by to jump it off and it started. We know now that it probably wasn't the jumping off that started it but something else. ANYWAY, that was about 40 minutes of frustration. In the week prior if it wouldn't start once it continued to NOT start so we were nervous about leaving the next day. We decided the best thing to do would be to pack everything up, go and do what we had planned, and then try to crank the car up when we were READY TO GO so that we wouldn't have to turn the car off at all. More on that later...

{James did not wet his pants in those pictures above. I was looking at them thinking, "What in the world happened?" I think he must have been riding in the stroller with his frappucino in his lap. :) }

We arrived back at The Contemporary and we grabbed supper and then let the boys swim in the fancy pool. Eddie swam with them, too. The boys LOVED the pool because there was a fun water slide. It was a little chilly out, though!

We headed in for baths and to go to bed so that we'd be ready for one last day at Disney World.

No comments: