Itinerary for the day
Park: Animal Kingdom
Must do: Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo - The Musical
The morning began with the sad realization that this was our last day of vacation and a very long (and potentially painful) drive was next on our agenda. After breakfast in our rooms, we arrived at the park about an hour after it opened. Right off the bat, we fell into a planning trap. Camp Minnie-Mickey, the meet and greet area, opens an hour after the park does, so 10:00 on this particular day. The first Festival of the Lion King show was scheduled for 10:30. We found ourselves outside of Camp Minnie-Mickey around 10:10 - 10:15. (I should note that the theater hosting the Lion King show is in Camp Minnie-Mickey.) We should have gone through the character meet and greets first and come back for the Lion King show but we were there in time to find decent seats and I didn't want to try to plan around a show time. Especially because there was another show we wanted to see.
After the show (which the girls thoroughly enjoyed), we paid the price for not following a basic touring plan. When you exit the theater, you are right in the meet and greet area so the lines filled in very quickly and became quite long. Even though the girls had already met Mickey and "Magic Mickey," they wanted to meet "Safari Mickey" so we waited in line. For us, this vacation was centered around what the kids wanted to do and if they wanted to meet characters, then we would meet characters.
Next up was Chip and Dale.
The other lines were super long so we promised the girls that we would return later. It was time to cath Anna so we visited the Baby Center and then headed to Flame Tree Barbecue for lunch. I love, love, love BBQ and the food here did not disappoint.
We hadn't been able to squeeze in the Finding Nemo musical during our Disney vacation almost two years. I'm so glad we worked it into our schedule this time around. I thought it was really good and the girls definitely enjoyed it. While Rich thought that it was a fine performance, he couldn't get past the puppet thing.
So let's talk about DINOSAUR, the ride in DinoLand. The night before, I had been flipping through my Disney book to note attractions and rides for our day at Animal Kingdom. I saw that DINOSAUR had a 40 inch height requirement so I called out, "Hey, Emily and Allie. It looks like you are tall enough to ride DINOSAUR. We can check it out tomorrow." Emily came over to me crying. "Mommy, I know the ride you're talking about and I'm not going on it. It's really scary, Mommy."
Emily changed her tune at the park and both her and Allie said that they wanted to ride it. While waiting in line, I reminded them over and over that it was just a ride. The dinosaurs are not real. It is just a ride. We are at Disney. As we were buckling our seat belts, I overheard a woman in the row behind us repeating the same statements to her son, who appeared to be older than the girls. It actually wasn't that scary and the girls didn't freak out or anything.
As promised, we returned to the terror-free Camp Minnie-Micky. Here's a story of what it's like to have triplets. There was a large family from South America behind us in line to meet Minnie. One of the guys tapped me on the shoulder.
Guy: (pointing to my girls) "Three equals? Three equals?"
Me: "Triplets! Yes!"
A brief conversation in Spanish.
Tap, tap, tap on my shoulder.
Guy: "Same birthday? Same birthday?"
Me: "Triplets! Yes! Same birthday!"
One of the guys moved up next to the line and I thought that he was attempting to photograph his family. The one that had been asking me questions then tried to ask if they could take a picture of the girls. Rich cracks me up because instead of telling someone "No freaking way," he'll politely say, "No thanks. We're all set," which usually confuses people. I think the guy with the camera took a few pictures but based on the camera he was using, the lighting and the fact that the girls were mostly blocked by standing adults, I can't see how those pictures would be very good. I know that I publicly (with a watermark and a reminder that these are mine) post photos of my kids on the internet and a lot of people read my blog because I have triplets but I find the whole taking pictures of someone else's triplets to be a bit odd. What are these people going to do? Go back home and show those pictures to their friends and family? "We meet Mickey and then Minnie and then we saw these triplets."
The girls love parades so I decided that we were going to see this last parade the right way. Our plan began approximately one hour before parade time. I knew from our prior experiences (and from reading other trip reports) that some adults have no problem walking up and standing in front of little kids during parades. We found a bench near the Baby Center and asked a CM working nearby if we would be able to sit there for the parade. He told us yes. A few minutes later, two CMs came through and placed masking tape on the ground to mark off the parade route. We had to turn our strollers sideways so that they wouldn't stick out into the parade area.
After we had secured our seats, I left to find snacks for the girls. I ended up having to hike all the way back near DinoLand for frozen lemonades. And then I cathed Anna in the Baby Center.
Do you see that woman who wedged herself between our stroller, which was backed up against the wall, and the bench? While I was off buying snacks, she asked Grammy (in a not so polite way) to move the stroller. Um, no. And then the guy that she was with asked (in a not so polite way) if they could have our bench because she needed to rest. Um, no. What really annoyed me was the fact that I had just walked a good portion of the parade route and there were still plenty of open viewing areas. She even insisted on standing and hovering over the double stroller during the parade when she could have very easily stood on the other side with the person she was with. The girls didn't really understand any of this and enjoyed their front row view of the parade. Many characters stopped to high-five or pat their heads. From this picture, you can see Allie's view from the single stroller.
So the moral of the parade story is that the early bird gets the worm. Or in this case, the better parade seats.
After the parade, we rode the safari. We were able to see many animals and the girls enjoyed the sights and the bumpy ride. We decided to eat an early dinner but my plan to stop at Pizzafari was derailed by Allie's request for tuna fish. That's the only food she wanted to eat and, of course, there was no tuna fish in Animal Kingdom. Her appetite was returning so I didn't want to try to force her to eat something she didn't want to. She finally agreed to eat chicken, which meant that we had to go back to DinoLand.
There's a meet and greet area off to the right shortly before you enter DinoLand. It's not visible at all from the walkway so as we walked by, I asked the CM standing at the entrance who was there and if there was a line. It was Pooh and friends and there was no line. The girls hadn't heard my conversation with the CM so when I announced that we were going to a surprise, Allie kept asking if the surprise was tuna fish.
She said that she was happy to have finally meet Tigger but she really wanted tuna fish.
After dinner, we browsed through a gift shop before leaving for the resort. Rich and I had been discussing different options regarding our drive home. We had originally planned to leave somewhat early on Sunday and spend Sunday and Monday, Labor Day, driving home. However, after our terrible drive to Florida, I was nervous that we would run into holiday traffic. I needed to be at work bright and early Tuesday morning and an unexpected 7 hours added onto our drive would not be good at all.
Upon returning to our rooms, Rich and I began the unpleasant task of packing. Unfortunately, a quick trip to the van in the parking lot to drop off bags took approximately 25 minutes. Almost all of our luggage was placed in the van that night. We wanted to make only one trip in the morning and there were certain items we had to keep in our room overnight - camera bags, laptops, toiletries, 30 buddies and 1 pillow pet.
It was 11:00 by the time we finished and crawled into bed. We had decided to set our phone alarm clocks for 3:00 AM.