Sunday, January 12, 2014

1/4/14 Day 4 Disney World 2014, Animal Kingdom

With all of the up late and out early we'd been doing for three days straight, Saturday was our sleep in, afternoon-park day. Since we typically only spend about 6 hours at the Animal Kingdom before we're done, and since we'd never been before when they were open until 8:00 that night after dark, we decided AK was our Saturday best choice. Since Bob and I both were coming down with cold symptoms, this turned out to be even smarter. We kicked back the cold meds and headed out.

from the room

 to the bus stop

 to the Animal Kingdom

on the way up to the gates, Bob turned the video camera on for what would be the only time the entire trip (I'd remember to do it one time on the last day.) Nick was pretty much right this time around. I'd post the video here but Blogger has now decided even video under 100MB aren't going to upload properly. I kind of hate you right now, Blogger. Thank you, YouTube.

at the Tree of Life and on the way to grab lunch

we always do lunch at AK at Flame Tree BBQ, 1) because it's counter service and you don't need a reservation; 2) because the food is good and different from most theme park fare; and 3) because you can sit outdoors under the canopies and have a lovely view of Everest.

The secret is out, though, and since we arrived at the park around 1:00, we were in line with the masses to place our order. 

During that time, we shot the rest of the video above and Bob snapped about half of all the pictures he took the whole trip standing in line. 

After lunch, we walked over the bridge into Dinoland, which we typically avoid. Dinosaur is not a must-ride for us and the rest of the area is really underwhelming. With groundbreaking on Avatarland happening this week, it'll be even more of an under-utilized section of the park. However, the trek was required thanks to the reconnaissance from the night before on the mission to find Sam's sought after hat. We hadn't even gotten all the way into the area when she saw three of them hanging on a cat. Mission accomplished. 

Since that took way less time that we'd allotted, we stopped in for pictures with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Since the kids have gotten bigger and lost interest in collecting encounters with characters, and the lines have grown exponentially in the intervening years, we just don't do this very much. Anna and Elsa from Frozen are making appearance at Epcot and the waits grow to 5 HOURS. Are you kidding? No.freaking.way. Very glad my girl's princesses were much easier to meet when she wanted to dress up like them.

Russell and Doug from Up were doing their own Meet and Greet, and since Sam and I were both wearing our Elly pins, they were quite excited. 

By that time, we decided to go ahead and pop over to the Festival of the Lion King Fast Pass area, even though our wait window was still 15 minutes out. Good thing. Once again, the FP line was quite long and the people who showed up during the time stated found themselves way at the back of the seating. 

This will be the last weekend of performances in this space, after many years. Thanks to the new Avatarland and refurbishments around the park, the show will be moving to a new space in a few months and is shuttering until then. Glad we made it to see them one last time. 

When we got out, we made our way to the back of the park for our FP+ Safari time. The safari area makes up a very large part of the park. I was hoping to do closer to sunset, but this was the latest available, and it was also a lot colder than I'd anticipated when I set them up two months ago. That and the wearing off cold meds meant we weren't feeling very well. And the crowds were fierce. 

Post-safari, I mainly just wanted a place to sit until our Everest FP time, and we happened by just as the Flights of Wonder show was starting up. We've never made it for this and I'm glad we finally did. Lots of up close and personal with owls, hawks, and a bald eagle named Hope. 

We stopped and I got a hot chamomile tea for my throat and Nick mugged for the camera. 

By that time, our Everest window was open. It's a shame we were feeling so under the weather, since it's one of the best coasters in all of the parks. 

Third night in a row, long FP line at night. 

Once again, last car requested and granted. 

So what they don't tell you about the later hours after dark at Animal Kingdom is that they've closed down all of the walking and animal trails, which is about all we had left to do. We called it a night and decided to head back for the resort. I'd wanted to hop over to the Magic Kingdom with Sam to take in the fireworks, but I was just feeling too cruddy to make it. I suggested we try again Sunday night. 


Post a Comment