Friday, October 25, 2013

Disney Trip 2013 - Animal Kingdom

This is the second post of my Disney Trip report – click here for post #1.

When we were planning our trip, we decided to skip Epcot. We felt that Emily would enjoy Animal Kingdom more this time. Since both Todd and I feel that Animal Kingdom is a half day park, we thought it would be a good starting park.

We met my in-laws in the lobby at 8:30 so we could all ride to the Animal Kingdom together. Emily was a little grumpy; we don’t think she slept a lot on the drive down. But she looked adorable in her Alice costume.

The bus ride was short and we were soon at the Animal Kingdom. My mother-in-law and I went through bag check while Todd and his dad went to get the tickets. I had ordered the tickets from Disney’s website a few months before and it was really easy to pick them up.

Our entry into the Animal Kingdom was the first chance we got to use our Magic Bands as a park ticket. It was cool to see the Mickey head light up. We got our maps and headed toward the Kilimanjaro Safari. The wait was pretty short and soon we were seeing a lot of cool animals. Emily was very excited to get to see a
Waiting for Festival of the Lion King
baby giraffe.

After we were done with the Safari we were walking by the Festival of the Lion King. The first show was starting soon so we decided to all go do that. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this show but we never got a chance to see it on our honeymoon. It was an amazing show though! Definitely a must see from now on!

An aside here – we got Emily some Disney gift cards so she could have her own spending money. She wanted to get one thing when we got into the park and she picked a baby Simba stuffed animal.
We tried to keep her from going to hog wild because we knew she’d burn through her money fast that way.

Since we were already in Camp Minnie-Mickey, we decided to go see Donald Duck. Donald was awesome – he asked for Emily’s Simba and then he lifted Simba over his head like from the beginning of the Lion King. It was so funny!

From there, Emily was getting worn out already. So we stopped for a snack which was the Mickey bar that she had been talking about eating for months. It made quite the mess and ended up with a trip to the bathroom. Luckily she didn’t get a lot of it on her dress.

We headed over to Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama in Dinoland so we could play in the Boneyard. Emily liked going down all the slides and wanted me to go down some slides too. In the process of going down the slide, I lost my phone. This lead to a freak out
but Todd went to talk to the cast members at the front of the play area and thankfully someone had turned it in.

From there we went to Triceratops Spin, which is basically a Dumbo clone with dinosaurs. Emily enjoyed it but was getting crankier as her normal naptime approached. There wasn’t a long wait for the Primeval Whirl roller coaster so Todd rode that while Emily and I shopped. I got some pins and she got some princess gummy candies.

Todd was kind enough to volunteer to take Emily back to the hotel for a nap so I could stay and ride some more rides. I walked with them on the way out and we passed by where Pooh and Tigger were meeting. We asked Emily if she wanted to meet them and she did.

I love Pooh Bear in part because of my own bear. He was one of the only characters I went out of my way to meet. Pooh and Tigger were really sweet. But it was extra awesome because Pooh came over to give me and then Todd a big hug. The Photopass photographer got
the shot so I was very happy with that.

From there, we went to see Mickey and Minnie in their safari clothes. Emily was happy to see them again, but really didn’t have any desire to stand in line to meet them again at the other parks we went to.

I walked Todd and Emily to the front of the park and then went back to Dinoland so I could ride Dinosaur. This was the longest line of the day for me – about 40 minutes. I played on my phone a little but I didn’t get great signal and my phone was dying.

Dinosaur was a lot scarier than I remembered! But it was still a lot of fun. I thought briefly about riding Expedition Everest, but chickened out. I headed to the only other ride I wanted to do at Animal Kingdom - Kali River Rapids, which is a whitewater raft ride.

The post wait time for Kali River Rapids was 20 minutes but I walked right on. The ride was fun and I didn’t get too wet. Since I hadn’t waited at all, I decided to ride it again. This time I got soaked! So I thought it was time to go back to the resort. At the bus stop, I met up with my in-laws who were heading back

After I got changed and Emily got up from her nap we met the in-laws in the lobby again. We got Emily’s
carseat into their car and all rode over to the Polynesian to have dinner at Ohana. This is my all-time favorite Disney restaurant from our honeymoon. We got there early since we had to wait a long time for a table on our previous trip.

We got checked and want went over to the gift shop. We had made one pressed penny and then our buzzer went off! It was so fast! We were seated near the window, which you could make out Cinderella Castle through the trees.

When I gave my information to my travel agent, I had her notate that I am allergic to shellfish and to tree nuts. Nearly every table service restaurant we ate at, the chef would come out and advise me what the safe dishes to eat were. It was very nice to know which ones could cause my issues. Thankfully the only thing I couldn't eat at Ohana was the shrimp.

There was course after course of meat on skewers that had been freshly cooked on a huge fire pit on the other side of the room. It was so good, and even Emily liked it, though she mostly ate the noodles that were
part of the side dishes.

There were games for the kids (though Emily opted not to play) and a lady who roamed around the room singing songs and giving out leis. Once we were done, I took Emily over to the lady so she could get some leis. The lady saw Emily’s birthday button and gave her extra leis in the form a lei crown. 

We made one more stop to the gift shop. There was a Minnie Mouse dress up toy set that Emily had seen and decided she wanted. The price was pretty good, especially since we were at Disney, so she got it with her gift cards. It was a great purchase because she still plays with it daily.

It was time to turn in for the night so we headed back to the resort. Emily got a bath and went right to sleep. I didn’t stay up too long either because we had to be up early the next day.

Up next post – The Magic Kingdom, Part 1

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