Thursday, January 12, 2006

Day 3 - Animal Kingdom

Not "Animal Planet" which came out of my mouth more often than it did not when talking about this particular park.

Our visit this day was a nice, slow one. We only rushed to 1 FP (and it was definitely worth it) and then spent the rest of the time casually moving from one attraction to the other. This park doesn't have all the big thrills of the other ones but since we knew that going in, we weren't at all upset about the lack of edge-of-your-seat excitement.

In fact, because of our low-key expectations, we probably enjoyed it even more. We took our first rides over in an area that reminded us of the State Fair. There was a Dumbo-type ride called TriceraTop Spin that was perfect for the Hud-man. Since Hudson was able to ride it numerous times in a row, he became somewhat attached to it and cried when it was time to leave. Very cute.

The only thrill-type attractions here are Dinosaur, and Kali River Rapids. Dinosaur was pretty intense but not psychologically damaging. Kali RR was a bit disappointing for me and Donnie but was fun for the kids. (Thunder River at Six Flags Over Georgia is much more exciting.)

The one ride we rushed to get a Fast Pass for was the Kilimanjaro Safaris. The line for it built up QUICKLY and we were able to just walk past everyone. I think our tour guide could have been a little better but I hold a very high standard for cast members. Not everyone is going to live up to it.

One of our favorites can be found inside the central "Tree of Life." The funny and kinda scary It's Tough To Be A Bug 3D movie is found there. The bigger kids enjoyed it but parts of it were a teeny bit intense for Hudson. When the "bug spray" flew in our faces he said, "I don't like that."

It was a PERFECT day for being a slow day. We had spent two days in a row opening and closing the parks and we were ready for a little less activity. This resulted in a longer lunch break and skipping the non-essentials. I even talked everyone into skipping out of The Lion King Show so we could get our picture with Mickey before the big rush. The Character meeting space for this park is just outside the LK show and I knew it would be a mob afterwards. THANKFULLY Hudson said he needed to go potty and gave me a perfect non-lie excuse to ask a cast member to usher us out of the theater. Whee :)

During that long lunch break, Shayne and I did a little hunting for some Hidden Mickeys. Stephanie had given her a hint-book for finding these little gems throughout the parks. Even WITH the hints, we had a VERY difficult time. It was fun looking for and finding them but it would have been more fun if we had more time and weren't having to keep a schedule to avoid crowds. I'm showing one HM we found at the Pizzafari restaurant. Do you see it? Each room had murals covering the walls and this was in the "Nocturnal Room." Those are fireflies.

Lastly, we decided to skip the afternoon parade (even though it is one of TGM's favorites) because I remembered it as being one that I found way too...I don't know....low-budget or something...for my Disney taste. Instead we took a rest on a park bench and waited for the Tarzan Rocks! show. It was really good but we were too pooped to take any video or still pictures. Hudson was asleep in my arms during the whole thing. I think he realized he missed it after we were home (as in Alabama home, not just the condo) because he said, "Tarzan Rocks?" and pointed to the emblem on his Tarzan shirt. Today he brought me the Tarzan video and wanted to watch it. I really do think he realizes he missed something.

The show was impressive with lots of Cirque-de-Soleil-type acts mixed with a rock band and roller blade stunts. Very uniqe.

When leaving the Tarzan Rocks! show we saw the construction of an AMAZINGLY life-like snow-capped mountain with an amazing coaster flying through and down it. It will be called Expedition Everest and looks to beat out all the other Disney mountains (Space Mtn., Big Thunder Mtn., Splash Mtn.) in thrill factors. We definitely look forward to future visits at Animal Kingdom for this attraction alone.

This was our first early-ending day and THAT made for a wonderful night back at the condo. We got home, bathed, ate supper, and hit the sack super-early. It was great! We needed the rest because another long day awaited us the following morning.

And little did we know that our next day would be our favorite. Stay tuned for Day 4 - EPCOT.

Pictures from our leisurely bench-sitting, pre-Tarzan time.


Ed Harrell said...

We didn't make it a full day at Animal Kingdom...we were just beat. We did the safari, dinosaur, It's tough to be a bug and that's about it. They had most of the Asian area closed when we went anyway. We went back to the resort and napped then went to the Luau at the Polynesian that night so it was still a great day (as if you could have a bad one at WDW).


Ed Harrell said...

By the way, great Hidden Mickey!