Disney Recap - Animal Kingdom & Downtown Disney

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Touring the Animal Kingdom was an...interesting...experience for us. It was our fourth day in Florida, and third day in a row in the parks. It was the halfway point in our vacation.

Which, of course, meant that was the day that we started getting irritated with one another.

The day started innocently enough; as soon as we got to the park, we headed toward Kilimanjaro Safaris, which was our first FastPass of the day. We really enjoyed the safari; there were a lot of animals to see, and it was a much different experience than seeing them in the zoo.

a young elephant
Afterward, we ended up roaming the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail for a bit before taking the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch, which was interesting, but I think they can do a lot more with it. I think the most interesting part was learning about how African farmers are using bees to deter elephants from trampling and eating their crops.

Afterward, we hurried over to Dinoland, U.S.A. so that we could use our DINOSAUR FastPass. We got into the loading area, but for some reason, the cars that they loaded up didn't move. We waited. Someone said that the ride should be moving soon. We waited some more, and worried about making our FastPass for Festival of the Lion King. Once again, we were assured it would be working soon. We waited some more. They finally declared that they had done a ride stop, and they gave all of us waiting a FastPass good for any attraction at Animal Kingdom through the end of the month.

We quickly went back over to Africa for Festival of the Lion King, which was an extremely impressive show. There were so many different elements, and all of the performers were very talented.

a dancer at Festival of the Lion King
We were trying to keep this day pretty short, since we had been touring pretty nonstop and Tom really wanted to not be there all day. The only other things we really wanted to do were the Maharajah Jungle Trek, It's Tough To Be A Bug!, and Finding Nemo - The Musical. The Finding Nemo show was going to start in like twenty minutes, so we figured we'd try to hurry back over to Dinoland, U.S.A. and catch it (there was only one more show for the day, an hour after the one we wanted to see, and we didn't want to be in the park that long). On the way over, however, we were getting seriously crabby. Tom wanted to eat, and I was getting irritated because I thought he was being whiny, and we just agreed to leave the park all together and go to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to grab a bite at The Mara.

There are definitely some things we still want to check out, and I think it would be nice to fully explore the park and get to experience the ambiance of the park, but we both thought it was our least favorite park.

On our first day in Florida, we ended up taking the boat from our resort to Downtown Disney. We grabbed a late lunch at Earl of Sandwich. We both got The Earl's Club, and it was pretty good. We browsed a few of the shops and made our first souvenir purchases; Tom got a stuffed Fozzie Bear from Once Upon A Toy, and I got some coconut tea (that I still need to try) at The Spice & Tea Exchange.

Tom picking Kristoff's nose, because Tom is weird
We enjoyed checking out the sculptures at The LEGO Store!

LEGO Nessie in the lake
I really wanted to ride Characters in Flight (the tethered balloon), but due to storms in the area, it was down (as was boat service when we wanted to go back, so we had to catch the bus back to POFQ).

the Characters in Flight balloon
The next time we go, I'd like to try some of the restaurants and check out the shops more thoroughly. Tom's not really into shopping, so I was trying to keep it quick, but he enjoyed shopping more than I thought he would. Hopefully next time we can try Characters in Flight too!

Part 1 - Trip Details & Resort Hopping
Part 2 - Magic Kingdom
Part 3 - Hollywood Studios
Part 5 - Epcot

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