Friday, March 26, 2010

Disney 2010, Day 3: Animal Kingdom

Previously - Disney 2010, Day 2: Magic Kingdom

Saturday was our last day at Disney for 2010, and we spent it at the Animal Kingdom, after we packed the car and checked out of the hotel, once again arriving a little before 10 AM. This year's first objective was The Festival of the Lion King, which is all the way in the back of Camp Minnie Mickey, and nowhere near the front of the park! Lots of quick walking there. It was also something that neither Luke nor Mom had ever done, and it had probably been a good 8-10 years since DH and I had done it (back when it was open air and not enclosed/air conditioned!). I thought we had quite good seats, close to Simba (turns out we were in the lion section):

And it was quite easy to see the various acts:

But Luke didn't really seem to be awake. I thought he might be hungry, but even after two packs of fruit snacks, he was still a zombie. And then, it happened. We were punished for skipping nap the previous day and pushing so hard while we were there. As we left the theater, Luke had a complete and total meltdown. And not just any meltdown, oh no. He wanted to "buy something." Now, this has been a refrain of his since early this year. He always wants to go to Target or Toys 'R Us, which is fine. Up until this year, he has just wanted to walk around and look. But now, he wants to "find something to buy." Um, no, that's not how it works. So with him crying and screaming "I want to buy something," I was flatly saying no. We were not going to just wander around until we found something to buy just to spend money. If you cannot articulate something *specific* that you want to purchase, then we can't even negotiate something. But any question along the lines of "what is it you think you want" was met with more wailing, and it pretty much ended in a full blown tantrum, which I don't think has ever happened anywhere before.

I know I wasn't helping the situation. I was tired and hot and tired and hungry. And did I mention tired? After a good 10 minutes of this (it is a good long walk from the Lion King back to the hub), I had had enough. I walked off (it was either that or likely cause a scene (or a bigger one than I already had)), leaving DH to walk (or not) with Luke as he saw fit. I then plopped down on the first bench I found that was in front of a store, waited for them to catch up (Luke was still crying, though less so), and ordered DH to take him in and buy something just so he would be quiet!! In the meantime, DH had finally pieced together what specifically it was that Luke wanted to buy, and luckily, the store I had found had it. (You will get to see it momentarily.) I also realized while we were there that we had not bought a single pin! Well, we can't have that, now can we? So I picked up some pins inside, then found the pin trading station outside (by a different door than the one with the bench), and picked up a few more. Quite a few dollars later, and even I was feeling better. Retail therapy works on me, too, I guess.

By now, it was after Noon, and we were all getting pretty hungry. We split up, sending DH to get Expedition Everest fast passes, while Mom, Luke, and I headed over to the Restaurantosaurus, which was much harder to find that I thought it should be. How something so large can be so well hidden, I'm not sure, but it was. (Did I mention I was tired? LOL) I had heard a lot about the theming in this restaurant, and it was nice, but not as grandiose as I was expecting. Still, a perfectly acceptable place to eat, and again having the perk of being something we had never done (I think it was closed last year). They also had free refills on drinks. Awesome!

We had a good bit of time to kill before our fast passes were ready, so it was time to catch something we missed on the last trip: the Discovery Island Trails that go around the Tree of Life. Yes, there will be several pictures! Live of some of the beautiful carvings (remember, we only had our point and shoot cameras).

And Luke with the pterodactyl, and his new constant companion. The receipt says it is supposed to be baby Simba (they have a whole line of "babies" wrapped in various blankets), but the blanket it came with was shaped like a leaf (cute!) and fastened with a pink butterfly. "Are you *sure* that's the one you want? Not the Buzz Lightyear or Mickey Mouse?" Oh no, he was sure. Except that he kept insisting that it was a girl, due to said pink butterfly. Fine. How about we call her Nala (the girl lion from Lion King)? Fine. Nala has gone most everywhere (sans blanket) with us ever since, and continues to do so.

Luke doing his own Lion King impersonation, LOL! And a "front view" of the same turtle (it was huge!).

More amazing carved animals:

And a final group shot with the rhino:

By now, it was time to rest, so we caught Flights of Wonder again. No photos. Most of them only turned out so-so or were a repeat of last year's pictures. Other than the *extremely* rude woman who sat right in front of Luke in a reserved handicapped seat (well, if any handicapped people show up, I'll move), we all enjoyed it. For the first time, Luke showed an interest in being a crowd volunteer. He didn't get chosen, but I consider it a good sign for his development.

And now, the moment we had all been waiting a year for: the return to Expedition Everest! We picked up another set of fast passes for later in the afternoon, then used the current ones and got in line. After that, we headed over to see Nemo again. On the way, we walked behind the absolute tallest man I have ever seen in person. I was literally looking at his waist. At the time, I did not know how tall he was, but I suspected it was at least 7 feet (2.13 m). His wife was easily 6 feet, and he dwarfed her. They ended up behind us in line for Nemo, and a group of folks in front of us asked about his height, which he said was 7'1" (2.15 m). Wow. Based on his accent, I would guess he was from Eastern Europe or a former Soviet nation. I don't know how he ever fit on a plane!

Nemo was still excellent. Our seats were not as good, so I didn't get many good pictures, and many were much the same from last year. I did manage to get the one shot I really wanted and missed last year, though. Nigel!

After that, it was back to Everest. We checked for one more set of fast passes, but they were out, so this would be our last ride of the afternoon before our dinner reservations. At first, I was a bit upset that we were in separate "cars." Up to now, we had been separated into the front and back of the same car on the train. This time, I was in the back of one, and Mom and Luke were in the front of the car behind me. It actually worked out great, though, because I was far enough away to get good unobstructed photos of the two of them together. Going forwards (this is early in the ride, not going extremely fast yet):

And sliding backwards into the Yeti's cave! So much fun!

The park was preparing to close, and we had 5:15 reservations at the Rainforest Cafe back at the front of the parks. You may have noticed that we had not eaten at any restaurant that required reservations to this point in our trip. I knew the schedule would be tight and we would be trying to fit in as much as possible. I didn't want us to feel restricted by having to be somewhere at a particular time, so I left everything open. If we decided we wanted to wait somewhere nice, we could have, but it didn't turn out that way (and I hadn't expected it to). But with Animal Kingdom closing at 5, and with us leaving to head back right after, I thought we'd better have reservations for Rainforest. I can say I was not impressed with our waiter at all. And I didn't even think to take any pictures. (Did I mention I was tired! LOL)

One thing I had not considered is that the parking lot trams quit running an hour after the park closes (I'm sure there is an exception to that when they're really busy and there are clearly still many guests waiting in the queues), so when we finished our dinner, it was about 6:30, and we had to walk all they way out to the car. Yikes!! But it did show me this perfectly beautiful, dusky, and empty shot of the Animal Kingdom front gates. What a nice way to end our trip!

And we'll just neglect to mention that we had to go back to the hotel to pick up Mom's car, and it took us nearly 90 minutes to go 2 miles from the hotel to the interstate. Let's just forget that part, shall we? LOL Still, all in all, a very good short trip. Looking forward to next year! Maybe we can actually get a baseball game in next time....

Currently feeling: done with Disney for another year

1 comment:

  1. Great pics Erin! I have so been there on the child meltdown drama - my symphathies!


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