1.2.09

Quick-drying Pants aren't much good without other quick drying things. Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom.

Ahh . . . Animal Kingdom. Saturday was our last day in the park. We set out on the last day with the full and complete understanding that we were going to be very foolish. Why? Because we were going to Animal Kingdom, then to the Magic Kingdom, which was open until midnight. Crazy, but okay. Did I mention our flight out was Sunday morning at 6:30? Did I also mention that in order to make that flight, we had to catch a shuttle at 3:30 am? So, yeah, we knew it was going to be a crazy day, but so worth it--Disney is not a regular thing for us, so our mindset was maximize, maximize, maximize!!!

My memories of Animal Kingdom are clouded by the haze of that entire last day, but I will say it is an incredibly neat place. The themes are carried so successfully throughout the park. We arrived at the park right around opening time and sped over to Expedition Everest--a great roller coaster ride! It was more intense than Big Thunder Mountain, but much more enjoyable than Space Mountain. Expedition Everest is in the "Asia" portion of the park. It's decorated like a base camp (in Nepal). There's hiking gear everywhere, prayer banners . . . It's very well themed. After riding EE, we trotted over to Dinoland, USA. It's an area of the park themed as a fifties-ish amusement park/midway. The Primeval Whirl roller coaster was one of my favorite rides. It was good old fun twists and turns and ups and downs. I screamed a lot, which I think Tuan got a kick out of. Okay, confession: I screamed and squealed on a lot of things and held tightly onto Tuan. : ) That's one of the things that made doing the parks with him so fun, otherwise, I would have been screaming and squealing to myself, which would make me look a little luny.

I digress. Anyway, we also rode the Dinosaur! Ride. You get in an off-road vehicle and travel to time to catch a dinosaur and bring it back. Intense and fun. Now at this point, we were trucking along, having a good time. It was, however, cold. This would explain why the line for Kali River Rapids was non-existent. For me, an attraction without a line is an invitation for fun. So, I admit, I drug Tuan along with me. The warning signs about getting wet just weren't taken seriously and we got on this boat with a family of four, who spoke another language. Tuan and I were wearing raincoats, but the family of four, who I believe were Belgian (no basis in reality for this, but it does seem fun to say you rode a wet ride on a cold day with some Belgians). The lady made me nervous, because she was wearing the tightest white turtleneck I've ever seen and we were about to get wet. Hmm. . . . fortunately for all of us Tuan got the brunt of the water features on this ride and she stayed dry. : ) The entire ride, if there was an opportunity to get splashed or dripped on, Tuan got it. The belgian children laughed at him and spoke in another language. As we were returning to the dock, Tuan was loudly advising people watching the ride from a bridge, "DON"T DO IT!!!!" DON"T DO IT!!!"

I loved the ride and providentially was wearing jeans which got soaked but kept everything else dry. Tuan had boasted about his quick-drying pants. Well, they dried quick, but got everything else that was not quick drying wet. I had to be especially kind and nice for about thirty minutes after that episode!

We wandered through the Maharajah jungle trek and saw tigers, komodo dragons, birds . . . I was curious as to whether or not they gave the tigers live animals to eat. Disney people do not answer questions like that in a straightforward manner. "Let's just say, that if something flies in, it's fair game," said our hostess. I think that means the tigers get goats on chains like the Jurassic Park dinosaurs.

We also walked through the Pangani Forest Exploration trail, but I don't remember it. There were hippos and gorillas. Again, I'm drawing a blank! Our next stop was the Kilimanjaro safari. It was a really neat treat. You climb aboard these huge trucks and there is a neat ambiance to even the radio chatter as you ride through the park. We saw tons of animals: Giraffes, wildebeest, lions, rhinos, hippos . . . . It's an amazing ride!

Still a bit damp, we were also getting hungry and decided to eat at the Tusker House restaurant. It was another African Buffet. Since we'd had such good fortune with Boma the previous night, we decided to push our luck further. The food was good, but not as good as Boma. They did have great bread, however. My goodness they did! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Having hit our major destinations at the Animal Kingdom, we walked through Camp Minnie Mickey, saw Daffy Duck, took lots of pictures of benches--Tuan--and decided to head on to the Magic Kingdom. Tuan had missed out on the MK when I went solo, so we wanted to make sure he got to ride Space Mountain and I was wanting to repeat some rides.

I really, really enjoyed Animal Kingdom. Like the other parks there were things we skipped that I am looking forward to going back to. AK was something Johnny and Aubrey would have enjoyed as well.

We left he Ak at 2:30 (yeah, we got through everything pretty quickly). Since you can't get there from here, but you can get there from there at Disney World, we caught a bus to the Ticketing Transportation Center (TTC) then caught the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. So fun, except our train had to make a stop on the rail for about fifteen minutes. Who knows what was going on, but I did take note of the emergency exits, just in case.

The Magic Kingdom was fun. Knowing my way around made it especially so. Space Mountain had quite a wait, so we got a fastpass and went to Mickey's Toontown Fair, then by the Haunted Mansion (which had a super long line). and to Splash Mountain/BTM. Splash Mountain had a barely there line, but the BTM line was insane!!!! I think we waited over forty minutes. This was long for someone who was spoiled from visiting DW in non-peak season. We hung out, made phone calls, found out my sister was pregnant, played some lightsaber game . . . . . But in the end we rode and it was well worth it.

After riding BTM, we headed over to Liberty Square for the Haunted Mansion. The afternoon Parade was starting, so we perched strategically between the Parade and the HM. The parade was great (another Poppins sighting--what richness!) and ran from the parade to the Haunted mansion and walked right in. It was a great strategy. We followed the HM with Mickey's Philharmagic (gotta sit sometime) and then several things happened in some order I can't remember: we ate ice cream went to ride Space Mountain ( I rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority while Tuan did SM), then met up and rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority again (!!!!!!), the Carousel of Progress, and headed back to Frontierland for Supper (at Pecos Bill), the Spectromagic parade (really, really neat) and fireworks.

By then it was late. We walked around the park via Adventureland and were excited to discover that Pirates and the Jungle Cruise had no waiting. (!!!!) The Jungle Cruise was surprisingly fun at night. Pirates is always fun. After that it was really late, so we ran through some shops on Main Street for final souvenirs and headed back to the room around eleven.

We packed up, showered and around 12:45 got in bed. The shuttle had to be caught at 3:30, which meant we needed to wake up around 2:45. Yuck. The smartest thing would have been to stay awake, but I crashed, then Tuan. We did make our shuttle, which ran late due to brake problems. We dozed on the bus, checked in, ate breakfast, I dozed in the terminal, then caught our flight, dozed in the air and landed in Jackson at 7:30 Sunday morning. I don't remember much about the airport as I was asleep (and drooling nontheless!) the entire time. Sleeping in small bursts over a six hour period is not at all restful and we returned home haggard with a children's Christmas program to put on that night. Still, we were SO ready and excited to see J and A. Although we were glad to be home, Disney was a really wonderful, marvelous trip. I'm looking forward to going back with the kids and sharing in all of the fun with them. Now I have better expectations of what we can do with them.
Thank you all for bearing with these posts. I wrote them mainly for myself, to remember. Now I can get back to recipes and things of Domestic Import.

1 comment:

guitta chaiban hogue said...

you remembered everything SO well. did you have journal or something to remember all those details. whatever you did, it really was a fun read.