Day 4 – Animal Kingdom
We arrange to meet Fiona at park opening which is 9am, so we are all up and out just before 8 and head down to the bus stop. Phil spots the Animal Kingdom bus is already at the bus stop, so we sprint down there and catch it. Just what i need in the morning, a heart attack before breakfast! I sit on the bus and catch my breath for a few moments, and before you know it we are at the park. We are quite early as I’d assumed we’d need to spend some time waiting for the bus, but the sun is warm so we find a bench and sit and soak up some sunshine. Whilst we are waiting a lady walks around offering maps and fast passes to the 10am Lion King show. We take some fast passes, but on reflection we decide that there is no need for a Lion King show Fastpass, and the free fastpasses are more of an inducement to get people to come to the 10am showing then an actual bonus.
Fiona, Laura and Sally arrive just as the gates are opening, so we head into the park, and our tickets work! We decide to do Expedition Everest first, but we stop at the Central FP location and get Safari passes first. Whilst queuing fro Safari Fastpasses, we are offered Kali River Rapids fast passes from the CM working there. It appears they don’t have a machine set up for Kali so if you ask for a FP for that they just give you a pre-printed one, so it’s 9.05 and we are currently holding 3 lots of fast passes, quite a good result so far. We walk on round to Everest and the queue is about 15 minutes so we decide to go on. Unfortunately, Molly is not tall enough and Katie’s not keen, so Phil waits with the girls whilst I ride with Fiona and her girls. I’ve not done Everest before so I am a little nervous. I like some coasters but not if they are too big, but I am assured it will be just fine. The queue moves very quickly and before we know it we are on the ride and heading up the mountain. I wave to my family, but they pretend not to notice me. We keep on climbing, and then would you believe it – someone’s ripped the track up! We had to come down backwards which was rather scary, and during all the pre ride assurances noone mentioned that it went upside down! We return to safety, narrowly escaping a Yeti (Fiona’s classic quote ‘I’ve never noticed that Yeti there before’, her Daughters response ‘Mother’ in that tone teenagers do so well)
The ride was rather good so we decide to do it again, this time Fiona waits with my girls (thank you 🙂 ) and I ride with Phil. The queue is even shorter than before and we are back on in no time. It’s even better the second time around, but I am definitely not up for a third time as I left my stomach on the top of the mountain.
We have a quick debate about what’s next, and then universal decision is Breakfast, and that’s Kusafari is the place. They have my favorite cinnamon rolls so I am happy with that. As we walk around we meet Terk and have a photo and an autograph.
My kids do, Fiona’s big kids prefer to watch from afar. We are in a very relaxed mood and just chill out with some coffee and buns, soaking up the sun for a while. We have Safari fastpasses, so we head there, and as we enter I remark that we are just within our FP time, and the CM tells me a secret, she says ‘We pay absolutely no attention to the closing time on Fastpasses’, I didn’t like to tell her this was a raging debate on the Dibb and could I get that in writing! We have a good safari, although it’s cut short by Poachers, we do seem to have bad luck with those poachers! Phil gets some great shots of his knees , the empty trees and occasionally a giraffe!
We have arranged to meet Fiona’s daughters back at the Lion King show at 11, and it’s 10.45 when we get off the safari, so we hurry around to Camp Minnie Mickey – we are really not doing this in any logical order, just cutting backwards and forward across the park between attractions. We get to the show right on 11 and the CMs make us run to get in, however about 50 people end up entering behind us, so I wish I had just sauntered to be honest! We are giraffe’s and join in with the bleating. This is a brilliant show but completely impossible to photograph! The bird looks gorgeous, I think she is wearing a new costume, but I don’t manage to get a picture of her, she keeps landing before I press the button.
After the show, my girls would like to meet the characters but the lines are immense so we promise to come back later (we lied 😦 ) We are going to have to meet loads of characters next week, as we’ve met very very few this week. We all fancy Kali River Rapids, and for the first time Molly is tall enough, so we all ride together. It’s really good fun going on as a group, and nice not to have to leave anyone behind. We have fast passes, so there is no queue and we walk straight on. Fiona and I sit next to each other, and we go up the first hill and straight into a nice refreshing fountain! In fact, we hit every major water feature on the ride including the massive big splash near the end. Molly and Katie also get rather damp, in fact, we are all pretty much drenched when we get off. It’s quite good fun walking back up the line at all the people waiting to ride and seeing the horror on their faces! It’s quite refreshing being wet, at least for the time being. Very very soggy, we stand and debate what to do. We are by the tiger walking tour, so we walk (or should I say squelch) our way around that. To be honest, Fiona and I are yakking away so I don’t really see many tigers.
After the tour, we are hungry again. Well, it’s been at least 2 hours since breakfast! I quite fancy the Yak & Yeti counter service since my previous favorite CS Tusker House has closed. We get in a short queue and wait seemingly for ages. There seems to be a lot of confusion with someone’s order and the customer doesn’t speak English so it proves tricky to resolve. Eventually we get some food, we opt for Honey Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork and a Beef something, with some Spring Rolls and 2 drinks. I think it was around $40, we can’t decide if prices have gone up or we are ordering more food now that Katie is a bit older, but it seems like we used to spend $25-$30 for lunch and now it’s nearer $40. Which does make the DDP (Dining Plan) look more attractive. The other problem is the kids meals are a bit pathetic. At Yak and Yeti there is no chinese food option for kids, they can have cheese burger, chicken nuggets or Spring Roll (OK, I suppose that is chinese food). Katie wants real food, like sweet and sour pork, and who can blame her, so we are ordering more adults meals and sharing them around. The food here is very good but you have to sit outside and it’s really hot, I don’t really understand why they don’t have an inside seating area as you do really need to get out of the heat for an hour at lunch time. Anyway, we sit and natter and eat and it’s really rather pleasant. Fiona has a Mango pie with her meal so we pass that around and it’s lovely, not something I would have ordered but it was really delicious.
We are all starting to dry off, except my shorts which are too heavy a material I think, and they are showing no signs of drying this week! Fiona and the girls want to make one last trip to MGM (It’s their last day) and we want to see the Nemo show, so we say our goodbyes and head our separate ways. It’s been good fun sharing the morning with them.
We walk around to the Nemo show and get seats up near the back, only a short wait before it starts. Fiona and I had been discussing how it’s much better to get there late and get a seat at the back than to spend half an hour sitting waiting just for a front row seat, and this is exactly what we have done here. This is a great show which I really enjoy, I love the way the puppets and the actors interact, it works really well. After Nemo, I am still wet, so we decide to go home. The wet rides are fun, but walking around damp for hours afterwards is really not fun, so we head on out of the park. We have actually done quite a lot in the morning, so we are ready to go. We take the bus back, and then have a nap for a couple of hours. I think we would quite happily all just spend the afternoon sleeping, but we are on vacation we aren’t here to relax! So I rouse the troupes and we go to my favorite destination, Target. I am after a pair of shorts, and have an interesting encounter with a sales lady who looks me up and down, and announces very loudly that I need the ‘Plus department’, yes, thank you lady, I did know that already. Plus department is found, but there are no shorts, it’s August in Florida, and I can buy wooly jumpers and long jeans, but apparently not shorts. We do buy a few secret surprises for a special day next week, and then Katie and I head across the carpark to a shop called DOTS which has been mentioned on the Dibb. They do have shorts, but they are either bright pink or extremely short, the sales lady informs me they are called ‘Daisy Dukes’, I don’t know if she realises I do know who Daisy Duke is, and I really don’t want her shorts. Regardless, we head over to Lane Bryant, which is one of my favorite shops and really, I should have just done straight there. They are having a 70% sale, so I get a pair of shorts and a skort (a skirt with shorts hidden inside) for $10 each. Result.
The sky is looking really ominous and dark now, so we get in the car and head to Red Lobster. Its just starting to spit when we get there, but before long the heavens have opened again. We are getting a lot of rain on holiday but for the most part we have managed to avoid getting soaked (apart from on Kali RR)
Red Lobster is good – the kids have Popcorn Shrimp, I have a massive platter with 2 kinds of shrimp and seafood alfredo, and Phil has a portion of seafood alfredo that looks like a child’s portion – that will be why I need the Plus department I guess 😉 ($50) The food was lovely, although the waiter brought the girls Shirley Temples with their meals and Molly really didn’t like it. He was fine and brought her out a Sprite instead, but she was a little upset as she thought it sounded ok. We are quite amused through dinner as the lady in the table behind us told every person she met that her brother was general manager of Red Lobster in New Jersey, then she found something wrong with her meal and complained and again repeated about the brother being general manager. We become increasingly convinced she is trying to get a free meal, but the staff were not biting and just chatted with her, we didn’t stay to see if she got a bill but I suspect she did.