Back to the Magic, Day 4–Animal Kingdom

I once again woke up at some silly time of the morning,  I’m sure the jetlag will wear off just in time to come home,  but for the moment I’m waking around 4am which isn’t marvelous.  I had a wander on the internet for a while, until everyone else woke up and then we went out on the balcony to say hello to our giraffes.   Our room is ‘standard’ view which means we don’t officially have a Savannah view,  but we can see the edge of the Savannah and there are quite a few animals along the fence most mornings.

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There are sometimes animals in the back section you can see,  but we haven’t seen many in the nearest pen.

I also took a photo of the sofa bed for any Dibbers staying at AKL villas.  It’s not as nice as the sofa beds at the Boardwalk, but the girls haven’t complained.  You do have to take the cushions off and find somewhere to store them,  which is less convenient.   Between the cushions and the coffee tables,  it’s a bit of an obstacle course when the bed is out.

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Once we were ready,  we headed out to Animal Kingdom.   I popped down to Bell Services on the way and asked about the airline check-in service.  Apparently we can check in at the hotel,  receive all our boarding passes etc and check our bags.  This will solve the problem of the small car quite nicely,   so we are going to try that out on our return (but I don’t want to think about that just yet…)

The plan is to get the bus to Animal Kingdom,  but when we get down to the bus stop it’s absolute chaos.  There are 100s of people waiting for the bus, and they don’t seem to do a dedicated AK bus,  we are told to get the Hollywood studios bus,  which seems crazy considering we are staying at AKL.    We wait around for a while, and then decide to take the car instead.  It takes about 2 minutes to get there in the car,   and we are soon parked up and we walk to the park.   We think they are expanding the carparks here,  there is a lot of construction in the car park.

We had a photo taken on our way into the park.  (I love that I can download these immediately)

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and we headed straight back to the safari.  We had a fastpass, but when we got there the queue is only 10 minutes,   so I log into the App and change it to a Lion King show fastpass (I didn’t get many options,  Lion King,Dinosaur or Primeval whirl)

The standby line was very quick, although a Brazilian tour party followed us in,  so if we had been behind them we would have had a much longer wait.

I’d love to get some really great photos on the safari one day,  but I find it very hard with the bus bouncing around and no matter where you are sat you are always on the wrong side.

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At one point the truck had to come to a complete stop, as this guy was stood in the middle of the road.

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I definitely prefer the safari without the poacher storyline, but there were quite long stretches where we didn’t see any animals at all, and I felt sorry for the driver who had to find something to talk about

We did see some elephants, and a lion who was actually awake (never seen that before)\

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IMGP3284As we disembarked from the safari, we encountered a wilderness explorers stand.  These have popped up all over Animal Kingdom,  you need to collect a book and tehn you can earn badges around the park.  You can only collect the books in a few locations,  so I’d recommend getting one as you enter the park.  Of course, we hadn’t but we were able to get one on the Pagani trail.

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We walked around the trail to find the stand with the books,   and we met this guy

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Molly collected her book, and completed quite a few challenges around the trail,   by the time we’d left this area she had 6 stickers so she was very pleased with herself.   All around the parks, there are stalls with these signs

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and staff members wearing what looks like a scouts uniform.   They give the kids a challenge, or teach them about something to earn their badge.   Some of them were quick, but most of them shared quite a lot of information before they earned the badge.  

Trail complete,   we detoured back to pick up the badges from the safari,  and then went to use our Lion King fastpass,    but the fastpass queue was closed so we just went in the regular entrance and got seated.   I once again managed to change the fastpass,  this time to Primeval Whirl.    The basic concept of being able to change the fastpasses on your phone is fine,  but the App is really glitchy and I found it could be very frustrating.   I wanted to change them,  but I didn’t want to spend hours doing it.

I tried to take some photos of the Lion King show,   but I wasn’t particularly happy with the result.  We were quite far back in the stands,  and the new theatre seemed darker than the old one.    I thought they might have updated the show but it was exactly the same as before,  although we thought there were possibly fewer dancers.

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By the time we came out of the Lion King,  it was time for our Expedition Everest fastpass,  so we walked around there.   We stopped for a few more badges,  and to have some photos taken.

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The intrepid yeti explorers…..

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I’m Not looking quite so brave now….

I don’t mind Everest,  but I wouldn’t say I really enjoy it.   specifically the bit that goes backwards in the dark.  I have it on good authority it doesn’t go upside down,  but it certainly feels upside down and I’m always just hoping for that bit to be over quickly

When we had ridden Everest we were all quite hungry but it was still very early for our lunchtime reservation at the Yak and Yeti,   I decided to walk around and see if we could be seated early.   IMGP3370

We were seated immediately,    and decided to order 3 meals to share familly style between us.    We had sweet and sour chicken,   Combo Lo Mein (Chicken and shrimp),   and Beef and Broccoli,   and it was all delicious.  There was plenty of food for the 4 of us.

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It was all delicious,  and the restaurant is amazingly themed and looks brilliant

My photo is blurry, but I liked the ‘dodgy’ electrical wiring box on the wall.

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We had managed to miss the Primeval Whirl fastpass,   so that;’s 3 attempts at using that fastpass and no success yet.    I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to rearrange it, since we’d missed our slot , but I was able to choose another time,  so immediately after we ate we headed over that way.   We had to stop for a few more Wilderness Explorer badges on the way,   and then we saw that Minnie and Mickey had a short wait so we went to see them,  and then we spotted Daisy,  so it took us quite a while to make our way across the park.

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Earning the insect badge..

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Too old for stickers and badges…

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but not too old to meet Minnie and Mickey or Daisy Duck

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Eventually we made it over to Dinoland and Primeval Whirl,.  This holds absolutely no appeal to me at all,  so the girls went off and rode while Phil and I contemplated milk-shakes or ice cream sandwiches.   I had a little google and found the nearest spot for ice-creams, so after they had ridden twice we had a snack.

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The girls had floats and Phil and I had ice cream cookie sandwiches.  It would appear we didn’t stop for photos.  Molly did pick up a couple more badges though.   We finished our ice creams a few minutes before 3,  so we dashed down to the Nemo show and got there at the last minute,   We were sent right across the theatre and down to the front and ended up really near the front but on the side.  Not bad seats considering how late we had arrived.

I really like this show,  but I have to say at this point I would have watched anything if it meant I could sit down for 45 minutes in the a/c.   It was HOT in Animal Kingdom today, and you don’t seem to get as much relief there as you do in some parks.

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After the Nemo show it was time for our last fastpass,  Kali river rapids.   I didn’t really fancy getting wet,  so I volunteered to hold the bags whle they rode.   I had a great view of the monkeys

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They were quickly off the ride, and not too wet.   I’ve never ridden Kali without getting drenched but they were really just a little damp (although Katie cheated and wore a poncho)

It was time to leave the park,   we were shattered.  On the way out, we saw Dug and Russell,   there was quite a queue as he was in his Woilderness Explorers uniform, and they have been doing the Wilderness Explorers all over the park.   We didn’t wait as the queue was long and I was tired.

However,   we did see Meeko and Gov Radcliffe at the exit.   This has been Katie’s favourite Disney movie since forever,  so we had to havea  photo with them.  Gov Radcliffe was gesturing something to Katie,  so I said I think he wants a hug.    He came right over to me and glared right at me,  it was quite funny,  Apparantly he doesn’t do hugs….

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Back at the car we took a few photos of our spacious vehicle for the Dibb carhire thread.

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We went back to Animal Kingdom Lodge,  and had a bit of a rest and then decided to go to Sweet tomatoes for tea.   Foolishly,  we decided to drive past Downtown Disney.  The traffic was horrendous.   There are roadworks and construction at DTD and it was very very slow going.   We did eventually get there,  and all enjoyed our tea.   We opted to drive down the I4 to Osceola parkway for our return journey, rather than fight our way back past DTD.

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4 comments

  1. Wow, you’ve got some great photos there Bev. And I see what you mean about the car boot. I had a look to see what we might get as we’ve booked an economy with Alamo. Apparently they have Smart cars…

    We’ve never had a problem getting an AK bus from AKL so maybe they just had a temporary problem.

    I will mention to Stephen not to drive past DD if he can help it. It used to get bad enough sometimes before the construction.

  2. Theresly. · · Reply

    Enjoying reading about your day Bev. I’m always seated in the wrong place for safari photo’s too. Missing Disney despite the cruise, so lovely to see all the photos. Love the girls tops.

  3. Love AK…especially Everest. The badges sound brilliant, we always liked the masks in EPCOT. We met you for Chinese in AK….gosh that was so long ago now 😦 Sand L are planning a trip next spring, all grown up now but listening to them planning is hard! I will tell them about FP rearranging.

  4. Alison · · Reply

    Coming late to your trip report, Bev, but really enjoying it. Loving seeing how much your girls are growing up. Good tips about fastpass and liking the look of Yak and Yeti – on our list for next year!

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