Sunday, June 12, 2016

Day 3 - Mother Daughter Disney Adventure

Day 3 - Animal Kingdom - In which we take a walk on the wild side
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Our third Disney day started early - I had made a reservation for breakfast at the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. It's a character restaurant, meaning you get a visit by characters while you're eating. I wasn't sure exactly who would be there, but I figured it was a good chance to meet at least a few of the classics, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and/or Goofy. We headed off at about 8 to catch the bus for our 8:40 reservation. 

We arrived at the park at about 8:15 and were greeted by a line waiting to get in. However, they were waiting for the park opening; since we had a reservation, we got to skip the wait and head on in. We went through bag check and were headed for the band readers, when Mom was pulled aside to go through the metal detector. Waiting in line for one of the parks (I think it was Magic Kingdom, but don't really remember), we talked about the metal detectors and wondered if the random selection really was random; I was pretty sure it was, but then joked* that maybe they'd pick one of us because we looked innocent and harmless. And maybe that's true, because they did pick one of us.
(* Security is no joke, and we were both happy to do whatever they asked in the name of safety for us and for our fellow park goers. You never who might be out to do harm, you never know where. As I write this, the country and Orlando are reeling from a mass shooting at a nightclub in downtown Orlando. I've heard that Disney is now making everyone (or at least a lot more people than before), go through the extra step of the metal detectors.) 

A Breakfast Full of Character

After getting through with no incident, we headed back to Africa for our breakfast. We were going to stop at the Tree of Life for a pic, but there weren't any photographers out yet, so we went on by and entered Africa. We signed in for breakfast and were soon taken into the restaurant and told that Mickey, Daisy, Goofy and Donald would be joining us.

We got our food from the buffet and got back to our table to see Daisy, Mickey and Goofy making their way around. Turns out Donald had been by when we were at the buffet. We ate, got pictures, and played around with each in turn, and were soon ready to continue our day. 

Our waitress asked us if we had missed Donald, and we said yes. She said she'd get him to come to us so we wouldn't miss out. We waited near the door, and sure enough, Donald came out to see us.

Venturing into the Wilds of Africa (and a bit of Asia, too)
Now it was time to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari. I warned Mom that it was going to be a bumpy ride but she didn't care - she wanted to see the animals. Luckily we got in the front row of the truck and it wasn't as bumpy as my previous experiences. We were also on the end of the row, so we had a good view. We saw all the animals we wanted, except for the elephants; apparently they were sleeping in. 

After the safari (which we both thoroughly enjoyed), we headed for the Festival of the Lion King - always a fun, awesome show. The Tumble Monkeys never fail to disappoint. Neither do the singers or dancers. I told myself that this time (I've seen the show twice before), I was actually going to watch it instead of taking pictures and watching through the camera lens/phone screen. So no pics, but a little bit of a lesson - look up from the screen; make memories with your eyes and brain instead of just the camera - you think you're documenting the experience, but there's so much more that you miss out on by not looking up or looking with your eyes and really experiencing the occasion. 

We left the theater and headed for the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to see the gorillas and hippos and whatever else we could see. It was another hot day, but there was shade on the path, so it wasn't too bad and we enjoyed the stroll and seeing the animals. 

We had a fast pass for the Finding Nemo musical in Asia but were having too much fun exploring and didn't want to have to rush, so we skipped it and instead headed to the Maharaja Jungle Trek to see those animals too. 

Fly By

By now it was hot and we were ready to go rest for the afternoon. But when we saw a stand with frozen lemonade, we had to stop and get some. We sat down to enjoy it when all of a sudden, a burst of color went flying by. Once again, purely by chance, we had perfect timing to see something cool. This time it was Winged Encounter, a flock of macaws that randomly fly through the park.

After that, we did a little bit of shopping in a cool little shop and then we went back to the resort for a relaxing afternoon. We considered going to the pool, but decided against it. We took a little nap instead, resting up for our planned trip to Disney Springs that evening.

Awe Struck by Curtains
After our rest, we were talking about something, not entirely sure what. The sheer curtains on the balcony door were closed and I was looking at them but not really seeing them. But then I did. I was in the middle of a sentence when I had a total "Squirrel!!!" moment.

 I let out an "Oh! My! Gosh! There's Lion King characters in the curtains!!" What at first looked like flowers and random designs in the lace were in fact Nala, Simba, Rafiki, and company. Disney had Disney-field the room after all. So fun (and where can I find those curtains? They'd look awesome in my living room.)

Disney Springs
After a bit, I had the bright idea that we needed to beat the crowds and head over to Disney Springs sooner than we'd originally planned. We wanted to do a bit of shopping and get some dinner, so off we went. The bus let us out in the new section, so I was a little confused about how to get where we wanted to go (The World of Disney and Earl of Sandwich). After going into the Vera Bradley store and dreaming over a few of the newer patterns, we began the search for the stores we wanted.

I wasn't sure, but thought we needed to go to the right; the app indicated that too, but when we checked the directory, it looked like we had to go left. So we did, but soon realized that it wasn't the right way.  Map readers we are not. We asked somebody and finally got headed in the right direction. It was another hot day, and there wasn't a lot of shade to be found, and we weren't thrilled about the extra walking. But eventually we made it to familiar ground and I knew where to go. We made it World of Disney and, thankful for the air conditioning, wandered around a bit, browsing.Then we got serious and starting looking for what we came for. We found it, checked out, and decided we wanted to get our dinner to go so we could get back to the room to rest. We went to the Earl of Sandwich and got salads and then headed for the Marketplace bus stop. We were tired, hot, and just wanted to sit down. 

Are we ever going to make it back?
But, it was not to be. The bus stop was closed and we had to go back through the complex to the stop where we got off. So not fun. We trudged our way back, stopping to sit several times, and finally made it back. And then we find that where we actually got our bus was at the far end of the line. Groan... It was almost a "let's get in the closest line and go wherever it goes just to get off our feet and out of the heat" situation. But we persevered and made it to the correct line, and after a bit of a wait (I'm sure it seemed longer than it really was), we were on our way back to our room.

We put our salads in the fridge so they could cool back down and decided we neither one wanted to walk any more that day. So we didn't. We put on our pajamas and settled in for the night. We eventually ate the salads (and they were very good - very fresh and tasty, even after the long walk/bus ride), and went to bed to try to recover for our Epcot adventure the next day.

Next up - Day 4 at Epcot

No comments:

Post a Comment