Friday, September 9, 2016

{Disney} Animal Kingdom

(Day 4)

I thought the kids would be able to handle an earlier wake-up call for our breakfast at Chef Mickey's that morning.


Apparently not.

After we filled our stomachs and changed into the appropriate Animal Kingdom attire, we headed to the bus stop.


Someone's not a fan of my singing, which admittedly may not be in tune but it's not that bad.  Maybe it is.


We never seem to give Animal Kingdom the attention it deserves, choosing instead to arrive late and leave early.  This trip was no different.  I thought perhaps that we would stay late in order to enjoy and experience the new(ish) Rivers of Light but it was hot and humid and the kids were used to taking that afternoon break.

Our first stop was to meet Mickey and Minnie.

(ISO testing and annoying a child.)



And then we headed over to Flights of Wonder, which was a new experience for us.  While the girls patiently sat through it without any grumbling, afterwards they all said that they weren't fans.  They were disgruntled over the fact that the volunteers had to be adults and I wonder if this may have swayed their opinion.

The meet and greet for Baloo and King Louie was right outside Flights of Wonder so we jumped in line.  It was a really slow moving line.


And then it was lunchtime.  Cathing Anna over at First Aid took place somewhere in the mix as well.  We always eat lunch at Flame Tree Barbeque.  It never disappoints.  After lunch, we watched the Festival of the Lion King and then rode the safari.  Next up was the big ride of the day:  Expedition Everest.  During our last Disney vacation, Rich and I rode this with Allie and Emily in the pouring rain.  The water lashing our faces added to the terror, or so I convinced Rich that this is what had happened and we needed to experience it again, in the sun.  Grammy cannot ride roller coasters so Rich and I headed off with Allie and Emily in tow.  A little boy in line in front of us was a bit apprehensive and his mother told him to turn around and see who was in line behind him.  Ha ha.  I think I laughed the entire ride because of Emily's screaming.  She screamed the most when Yeti's shadow was projected on the side of the mountain and for some reason, I thought this was hysterical.  Anna was a bit unsure as to whether or not she wanted to ride this and sissies convinced her it was too scary.

As we were exiting the park, we slightly detoured to meet Pocahontas.


Prior to this vacation, we had never used Disney's bus transportation.  I was skeptical but it all worked out well for us.  We had only waited ten minutes before an almost empty bus appeared that morning and our experience that afternoon was similar.  Rich freaking loved the bus because he didn't have to drive.  I pointed out that the bus is fabulous when it's a slow time and not crowded.

The remainder of our day was spent hanging out at the pool at the Contemporary.  I suggested that we check out the menu at the Sand Bar & Grill, the little quick service next to the pool.  Blasphemy, I know, but I preferred the menu here to that at the Contempo Cafe.  We ordered several items to share, including the quesadillas.  Were they fancy?  No.  But they were pretty tasty, which is all that really matters.



The pool at the Contemporary wasn't themed or gigantic but it was never crowded and the girls just wanted a pool.  They thoroughly enjoyed the water slide.  Again, not some massive, crazy slide.  But not a baby one either.  They were completely content with this pool.


And I was content photographing palm trees.



Teej said...

I grew up in Orlando. When we visit my Mom, maybe once a year, we stay at her house (my childhood home! I have all the nostalgic feels when we stay there and wouldn't want to give that up, though my husband has sometimes suggested staying at a resort). So we usually only go out to a Disney theme park once, maybe twice, while we're there.

Our kids are 5 and almost 2. Last year, we went to MK and Epcot. Epcot was not a big hit with either. Do you think AK would be better? Or Hollywood Studios? Animal Kingdom was not open when I was a kid, and I have only been there once. I have not been to Hollywood Studios in many years. I don't know which second park would be better, or do we just do the MK twice?!

Sarah said...

If it was our vacation and we only had one day, I would go to MK again. There's a lot to do at Animal Kingdom but I feel like MK is better. While Hollywood Studios does offer entertainment for little ones, personally I would skip it until the kids are older.

Teej said...

Thanks for your input, Sarah. We are planning for early December, and it looks like we will do a full day of MK and then Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party another evening, so basically...1.5 days of MK. I think that will work out nicely. We can go to the other parks when they are older.

Sarah said...

You're welcome. That sounds like fun!

Sally Lillich said...

Hi! We are taking our 3 year old son next month and doing two days at MK and one day each at Epcot and AK (skipping Hollywood Studios). We have a Fast Pass reservation for Festival of the Lion King and I keep debating whether or not to keep it. Do you think that it's worth doing a show with a 3 year old, or would that time be better spent enjoying the animals and the playground area? Part of me thinks he would enjoy the music and dancing but part of me thinks it wouldn't really hold his attention and he'd get bored, especially if there is a lot of audience participation and talking instead of non-stop entertainment. Also, do you have any experience with The Garden Grill at Epcot? We are traveling with friends and made reservations for Chip and Dale's Harvest Feast, but the only time they could accommodate all six of us was 8:15 pm. We'd like to eat a little earlier, closer to 7, but I hate to cancel if that's a restaurant the kids would really enjoy.

Sarah said...

Sally, he may be okay for the Lion King. There's a lot going on and a lot to see. I can't recall ever seeing a little kid flip out, wanting to leave. We have never eaten at The Garden Grill but my nieces have and they liked it.