Monday, March 25, 2013

Walt Disney World Day 6: Animal Kingdom

Day 6 of our trip was our day at Animal Kingdom. Nate and the big kids were very excited for this day. Wynter loves giraffes and she was really looking forward to the safari. We were at the park before it opened. The cast members let us in through the turnstiles early and we were allowed up to the entrance of Discovery Island where they had it roped off waiting for the 9am rope drop. Expedition Everest and the Safari were our top two rides in this park. We lined up heading towards Everest with plans to hit the Safari second and use a fastpass if necessary.

Big kids all ready for a day of adventure

Little guy ready for his day of adventure

Everest had no wait. We grabbed baby swap passes and went right on. Even after swapping there was still no wait so we went again. The big kids got to ride Everest three times, lucky kids! The roller coaster was a bit intense but in a good way. It definitely was one of my favorite rides of the week.

Orion and I waiting while Nate and the big kids rode Everest

Even with no wait riding Everest three times took up some time so we packed up and headed for the safari. We did stop to have some photopass photos taken. During the trip I wasn't sure we had got a lot of good photopass shots but once we got home I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth the $17 I paid for the share.

Family photo


We headed towards the Safari but decided to get fastpasses since the wait was already at 30 minutes. Our return time was only about an hour away so headed over to Dinoland USA to ride Primeval Whirl and Dinosaur while we waited. 

Nate and the big kids rode Primeval Whirl twice. There was no wait so the cast member didn't even make them get off. I wondered what was taking so long and kept trying to spot them on the ride but never did. Next we headed to Dinosaur. We grabbed baby swap passes and I went first with the big kids. There was no wait which was nice. It was a fun ride. It reminded me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland but with a different theme. After we got off Nate, Phoenix, and Brennan went to ride with the baby swap pass. Wynter decided to stay with Orion and I because she thought the ride was a bit scary with the dinosaur trying to eat you. The ride broke down just as they got loaded into it so they got fastpasses that could be used at any time later that day. Nate was pretty bummed he didn't get to ride since the rest of us liked the ride. At this point there was probably only 20 or 25 minutes left on our fastpass return time so we decided to make our way back to the Safari.

Nate and Orion ready for the Safari

Our safari vehicle

Right as we were getting ready to load Orion started having a huge melt down. The cast members and other people in our car looked at us like we were crazy taking a screaming baby on the ride but I knew he was hungry and tired and as soon as I could sit down I'd nurse him and he'd fall asleep.

Nursing Orion on the Safari was interesting. It is a bit bumpy but Nate drives a lifted Jeep with bigger tires and I've gone four wheeling with him many times so it wasn't that big of a deal. After Orion was done eating he quickly fell asleep in my arms. Holding him steady, while asleep on the bumpy ride was also a challenge. Eventually I passed the sleeping baby off to daddy so I could take pictures since I was on the outside of the car.

Me and a sleeping Orion

This tired baby didn't wake up even when passed off to daddy

The big kids loved the animals

The safari was neat and we enjoyed seeing the animals. Our guide pointed out the different species and it was a nice, long ride. Before riding it I thought it might be more exciting and less rushed but it was still nice. On our next trip we plan to stay at the Animal Kingdom villas and I think we're all very excited about being able to see animals from our hotel.
The kids and I with Everest in the background

Next stop was Kali River Rapids. It was hot that day and we were excited to get wet and hopefully get a short break from the stifling heat and humidity. It was a fun ride but not super exciting. Splash Mountain is my favorite Disney water ride.

I did get pretty wet from Kali River Rapids

We took a break to get some lunch from the Flame Tree Barbecue quick service restaurant. It was very yummy. One of my favorite quick service meals of the trip. I would recommend it and will eat there next trip.

After lunch we wanted to try to see the Nemo show and the Festival of the Lion King but knew it would be a tight squeeze to fit both in based upon the times they were playing that day. We went over to camp Mickey and Minnie and got there just in time for the Festival of the Lion King. The show was inside and air conditioned which was a nice treat. The show itself was wonderful and we all really enjoyed the singing, dancing, and costumes.

I used my snack credit to get a funnel cake outside the show and then we headed out. On our last trip to California Adventure we had missed the It's Tough To Be A Bug show (though I had seen it on a previous trip) so Nate really wanted to see it. It a fun show but if you're scared of bugs it is a little scary and definitely would scare some younger kids (at age 5 Brennan loved it but he's all boy). 

Once we left It's Tough To Be A Bug there was only about 25 minutes until the parade, not enough time to see another attraction so we set up shop in a somewhat shady spot and waited. Nate and the girls got antsy and decided they'd try to use their baby swap pass from Everest we had saved from earlier since there was no line. They hurried over to Everest, assuring me they'd be back before the parade started. 

The parade was fun and the costumes were neat but it wasn't the best Disney parade I've seen and unfortunately it was the only parade we allowed time for this trip. Next trip we'll definitely make time for the two Magic Kingdom parades and maybe the Hollywood Studios parade.

Just one of the many neat costumes

They did feature guests in the parade which I thought was neat

Nate and the girls didn't make it back before the parade started so we played phone tag trying to figure out where the other person was. They did get to watch the parade but just couldn't get back to us because it was roped off. Nate still really wanted to ride Dinosaur since it broke down earlier and we had fastpasses. We had time for one more ride so we headed that way. Nate got to ride with Phoenix and Brennan then we had to head towards our reservation at Boma. I know some people say Animal Kingdom is only a half day park but I disagree. We were there from before opening (8:45) and left about 30 minutes before park closing and didn't see the Nemo show, didn't ride the conservation train, didn't get to walk the trails, didn't get to see the animal exhibits, and didn't get to see the boneyard. We definitely know what we need to hit first next trip.

I had made 5:00pm dinner reservations at Boma, knowing Animal Kingdom closes early. We got on a bus to Animal Kingdom and were on our way. Since our reservation was early it wasn't very busy and we got right in. The food here was amazing. Hands down my favorite table service food of the trip. I love ethnic food and trying new things so it was right up my alley. I was in heaven with a full spread of unique foods I'd never tried. I took a taste of tons of different things and enjoyed most of it. They also had quite the sampling of desserts. My kids aren't too picky either and did a good job of trying some new things.

After our dinner we caught a bus to Downtown Disney so we could take a boat back to Port Orleans. That is the one downside to the Disney transportation system, you cannot go directly from hotel to hotel. This isn't a problem most of the time but when you have dining reservations at other resorts it adds quite a bit of travel time.

We were back to our room at a decent hour. We decided to take a swim at the main pool. The big kids swam and Nate and I drank a beer while Orion hung out with us in the stroller. My big kids love the pool and will swim regardless of the temperature. I complained about it being hot all week but by 8pm at night and in the dark it was a tad cooler than I prefer to swim in. We got back to our room by 9pm and were all quickly asleep. We had to get some rest for our big day at Magic Kingdom tomorrow and our before park opening dining reservation at Crystal Palace.

In case you want to catch up on the rest of our trip, here's: Day 1, Day 2 Epcot, Day 3 Islands of Adventure, Day 4 Resort and Downtown Disney, and Day 5 Hollywood Studios.


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