Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Safari Day...

Continuing on our Disney adventure, we next hit up the Animal Kingdom (or as we explained to G, "we're going to the zoo!").  Again, we aimed to be there right as the park opened.  When our bus pulled up, the gates were already open.  Our plan included heading all the way back to the Africa section of the park and boarding the Kilimanjaro Safari as soon as possible.  We had already planned out our FastPass+ for the day, but we ended up not needing a single one.  Amazing!  Since we knew we were going back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner, we were able to cancel all of our Animal Kingdom ride reservations and switch them to all late night Magic Kingdom ride reservations after our dinner.  

The park has definitely changed a lot since I was last there in 1998 (the year it opened).  More big changes seem to be on the way including a whole new section of Animal Kingdom called "Avatar Land" and they are planning on a new river laser light show for the evening.  As of right now, people tend to leave Animal Kingdom early since there is no night entertainment.

Our ride on the safari was amazing and we got to spot some really cool animals...



I loved the lazy lion hanging out on top of the rock!


After we disembarked from our safari ride, we started walking towards Asia so Nick and I could jump on Expedition Everest before the extra magic hour ended.  We were able to get right on the roller coaster, so we managed to squeeze in two quick rides before we reunited with Mimi and Georgia.  Again, the photo from the ride camera was epic...



I either dropped something or thought that staring at the floor would prevent the inevitable drop?!?


We headed over to DinoLand USA and Georgia was completely 100% smitten with the boneyard sand pit and playground.  We easily could have left her there for the week!  Nick and I managed to jump on a few more rides while Mimi and G just hung out in the play area...




Showing Daddy the bones she was digging up!


Animal Kingdom's play area is awesome...











Tip #24 -- If you have time and a toddler, don't skip out of the playground at Animal Kingdom.  It was awesome for kids of all ages and a nice respite from rides and the usual craziness of the parks.






Getting her out of DinoLand was NOT EASY!  But, we wanted to check out a few more things, including the "It's a Bug's Life" show.  Ironically, it was the ONLY ride/show that she got scared during and actually cried.  It only lasted for about 5 seconds, but she was completely freaked out by the final part of the show where "stingers" come out of the seat to bite the audience.  She managed to survive the pitch black, the scary insects, etc., but the stinger freaked her out!  I've never seen her jump out of a seat faster in my life.  

Tip #25 - "It's a Bug's Life" might not be the best choice for young kids.  It's definitely intense!

We also checked out the "Finding Nemo" show, which was very cute.  Georgia has such a poker face, so it's always hard to tell if she is having a good time or completely hating something.  Luckily, we realized she was hungry right before we went into the show and she inhaled two Cocoa Loco bars as we were walking into the auditorium.  

After the show, we ate lunch at the fabulous Flame Tree BBQ.  Again, I have to give rave reviews to Disney's chefs.  I love that they come out to talk to parents individually and then go back and immediately back the meal themselves.  And I LOVE that the allergy meals come out on a separate tray that is color coded to indicate allergy food.  Georgia inhaled a chicken leg and the rest of us loved our food. 

Tip #26  -- In my opinion, Animal Kingdom, had the best allergy options.  They even have their very own kiosk that is completely dedicated to serving and providing information about the allergy options in the park!  Call me impressed.

After some more play time at the playground, we decided it was time for a snack, so Nick and I whipped out the iPhones to google some snack recommendations for Animal Kingdom.  The same little place kept getting mentioned - Kusafiri Coffee Shop in the Africa section of the park.  So, we headed across the bridge to re-enter Africa and were greeted with a fun street show.  We fought our way over to the coffee shop and had some tough decisions as to what special treats we wanted to try.  I went with the Paw Print Brownie (think - brownie + buttercream frosting).  It was AMAZE!!  My mom went with the White Chocolate Elephant cupcake - again, beyond rich.  Nick got some other massive cupcake.  Basically, everything was fantastic.  Nick ordered an iced coffee, which I didn't give a second thought too.  Until I tried it.  Iced coffee is ruined for me... forever.  Ever since our return, I have CRAVED this iced coffee!  I don't know what creamy goodness is in there (I suspect half a gallon of heavy cream), but I have found my true love and it is the iced coffee from Animal Kingdom!

Tip #27 -- Go to Animal Kingdom, even if it is just for the food!!  Don't skip the afternoon snack at Kusafiri WITH an iced coffee.

Our final adventure at Animal Kingdom included jumping on the Wildlife Express Train from Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch.  I don't remember much about the ride because I was too busy enjoying my iced coffee!!  

Georgia was starting to get a tad bit sleepy when we arrived, but she managed to rally when we got over there and she enjoyed running around the trails and exploring...







And then we spotted Chip n' Dale!  Georgia was still talking about them since her encounter with them on Day #1 during the parade.  She instantly remembered that one of them had touched her nose.  The problem -- they were going away for a few minutes.  So, Georgia decided to pout and the Disney photographer had a great time snapping a few candid pictures of her...






While we waited for Chip n Dale to return, a lovely gentleman began to serenade Princess Georgia.  I dove for the camera and managed to capture most of it...







Luckily, the famous chipmunks returned a few minutes later and Georgia joined the other kids playing a game with them before getting in line to grab a picture.  By then, EVERYONE knew Georgia's name - the photographers, the handlers, etc.  Everyone was asking why she kept pointing to/holding her nose, so we had to keep explaining WHY she refused to let go of her nose while visiting with the guys...







By the time we visited with "the boys," it was high time for a nap.  So, we headed back on the train to Africa and started our hike out of the park.  We easily could have spent a few more hours exploring the park.  The parade was about to start, but since we had dinner reservations for later that night, we knew a nap was an essential ingredient!





No comments: