Friday, October 31, 2014

{Disney} Animal Kingdom II

After a few serious posts concerning Anna's spina bifida, I thought it would be good to get back to a lighter subject.  I have to say that, during our vacation, my heart swelled seeing Anna so happy.  I know some aspects of school can be tough for her and I think she appreciated the break and the chance to just be a kid and not worry over things like whether she's going to miss snack because she's at the nurse's office.

Animal Kingdom, Part I can be found here.

Unfortunately, the rain didn't let up while we ate lunch so we donned our lovely plastic rain ponchos and headed out in search of the Adventurers Outpost to meet Mickey and Minnie.  I hadn't realized that Camp Minnie-Mickey was undergoing renovations to become something other than a character meeting spot, forcing us to find the new character meeting areas.  Rich had booked FP+ for the Adventurers Outpost and the timing was perfecto.  After a few wrong turns and bad directions, we finally arrived.  I was very happy to see that this was in a building which gave us a break from the pouring rain.  


That picture with Anna looking back at me is one of my favorites from this trip.



Minnie and Mickey were awesome and very interactive.



The heavy rain continued and with our options limited, the girls asked to ride DINOSAUR.  Now, the last time we rode this, Anna had been too short and hung outside with Grammy.  She also didn't want to ride it either.  This time she was tall enough and ready to ride.  I told Grammy that I didn't think it would jostle her too much so she should probably ride it with us to check it out and not have to find a dry place to wait for us, as all the dry places were fairly crowded.  The ride is loud and can be scary but the girls (and the adults) were fine.  I may have yelled out, "JUST REMEMBER IT'S FAKE.  WE'RE AT DISNEY!"

Sorry for the rough ride, Grammy.  Apparently, my memory is not so great.

Prior to our vacation, the girls had had many discussions over whether or not to ride Expedition Everest.  They finally met the 44 inch height requirement but this is a scary, real roller coaster.  After riding DINOSAUR, all three of them said that they wanted to ride EE.  I checked the line app on my phone and the stand-by wait was only 5 minutes so we began our trek over to Asia.  Grammy was not going to ride this and I couldn't ride with two kids at the same time so we asked about switching kids and the cast member gave us some fast passes even though he didn't expect the wait time to change due to the rain.  Emily and Rich went first and the rest of us swam over to the gift shop to hang out in our wet, squishy shoes.  As we were waiting, Anna changed her mind and said she didn't want to go on it.  I told her to see what Emily had to say about it before she made up her mind.  Yeah, so needless to say, Anna didn't ride it.  But Allie and I did.  It was scary and crazy in the rain.  Even when we were outside, I couldn't see anything because of the rain beating against my face.  At one point, I looked over and Allie was looking down with her eyes closed.  Her head was kind of bobbing around.  She was okay but it kind of freaked me out.

After hours of heavy rain, the skies finally began to clear.  We were going to leave after one more bathroom break but then I saw that Pocahontas was still meeting and greeting and we had to do that.



I had originally intended to have three different animals on the girls' shirts until Allie requested that they all dress alike with baby Simba.  She also asked me to take these pictures of the three of them together with their matching shirts when we arrived back at the Polynesian.



About a week before our trip, Rich was asking about our dining reservations and if there was a way to add a dinner, preferably non-character.  Because Animal Kingdom was closing at 5:00, it seemed like a good day for a table service dinner.  The day before we left, I found a 6:45 opening at The Wave over at the Contemporary.  We had dined there during our first vacation back in 2010 and had found the food fresh and tasty.  In hindsight, adding that ADR was a mistake.  First, the girls wanted to swim now that the rain had finally ended.  They had exactly 15 minutes to do so.  Next was the fact that starting dinner at 6:45 is sort of late in the girls' world, especially considering that they had been up super early a few days earlier and walking around the parks is a lot of exercise for kids.


The rain had ended but the clouds remained.  You can see some of the construction in this next one.


Although I had my camera, I didn't take any food pictures.  Allie and I returned from the bathroom to find our dinner had been served and there were kids who needed food cut up, etc, etc.  I had the chicken, which was delicious.  We all thought the food was quite tasty.  I have to add too that the service was great.  Allie wanted something other than chicken and was thinking of ordering the black bean chili, which was on the menu as an adult appetizer.  I asked our server if it was spicy and she brought me a small sample of it.  When she realized that Allie wanted it for her meal, she came back a few minutes after we ordered to check to see if Allie, who was now eating the sample, still wanted it.  And she did!

Because the Polynesian was under construction, not all of the shops were open and we hadn't been able to buy any cases of water or breakfast type food.  We found a store at the Contemporary that carried these items but Emily had reached the point of exhaustion and I needed to get her back to our room and in bed ASAP.  Rich stopped for groceries while we waited in the monorail line.  That poor kid was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

Up next - 1900 Park Fare character breakfast at the Grand Floridian

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