My Disney Adventure: Part III – Animal Magic

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Cinderella's CastleDAY 4 — The Magic Kingdom

This was the one I was most excited for. The other parks are great and everything, but when I think of Disney I think of the Magic Kingdom. I mean, Mickey lives there. Enough said.

We started out the day with a FastPass+ for Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid. Again, this one was just my speed: slow and no spinning. Plus, you get to sit inside a big seashell! What’s not to like?

Next we hit the Haunted Mansion, a Disney World icon. It was so cool and spooky, and just scary enough to make my kids nervous, but not enough to make them cry. Which is really what you want in a haunted house.

Me and The Beast, aka, The Animal
Me and The Beast, aka, The Animal

After that we headed to Enchanted Tales with Belle, an interactive experience where they pick people out of the crowd to help reenact the Beauty and the Beast story. I was chosen to play one of Belle’s guards; The Animal, appropriately, was chosen to play the Beast. Fortunately, other than letting out a fearsome roar, the little guy behaved himself and didn’t get us ejected from the park.

Uncle Rob meeting one of his heroes.
Uncle Rob meeting one of his heroes.

Throughout the day we explored every corner of the Kingdom, hitting old favorites like Thunder Mountain Railroad, the It’s a Small World ride, and even the Hall of Presidents, which is very cool and also somewhat creepy.

For dinner, we met up with everyone at Crystal Palace, where the kids were delighted to meet Tigger, Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore. Meanwhile, outside a raging storm soaked our double stroller, rendering it useless. Coincidentally, we decided to leave the park a little early that day.

Before heading out though, we took the kids into the Emporium on Main Street U.S.A., where Boogieface bought a pair of Minnie hands and The Animal purchased a bucket of little green men from the Toy Story movie. For once were home at a decent hour, which gave the kids a chance to hit the sack early and Daddy a chance to hit the box ‘o wine a little early.

So it was a win-win-win kind of a day.

 

DAY 5 — Animal Kingdom

The closest I'll ever be to Nepal. And I'm OK with that.
The closest I’ll ever be to Nepal.
And I’m OK with that.

When I heard we were going to Animal Kingdom, I had no idea what to expect. I figured we’d be seeing a lot of exotic creatures, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that one of them would be a Yeti!

Pretty sure this is where we'll be staying next time.
Pretty sure this is where we’ll be staying next time.

As soon as the park opened, we took off for Expedition Everest, one of the park’s premier rides. Off in the distance I could see the majestic peak of Disney’s Mt. Everest eerily cloaked in fog. (Actually, I think it was humidity. How could it be 90 degrees at 9 a.m. in the middle of October?! Only in Florida.)

As we went to get in line, we noticed that there wasn’t any line, and so we ended up going right to the front. I don’t want to give anything away (There was a Yeti!), but let’s just say it was pretty much my favorite roller coaster ever (Did I mention the Yeti!?). So much so that I rode it three times in 20 minutes! Not the smartest idea, considering I get sick on the swings at my local park. I was nauseated for the remainder of the day, but it was worth it. (Yeti.)

Actually, the whole Asia section of the park was so incredibly realistic, I now feel no need to actually visit the continent in person. Thank you, Disney!

Some of the wildlife we saw at dinner.
Some of the wildlife we saw at dinner.

After starting the day with a big dose of adrenaline, we decided to dial things down a bit and take a leisurely ride on the Wildlife Express Train. At the first stop, we asked the engineer if we had to get off or if we could just relax and stay on for the entire loop, which seemed to annoy him for some reason. “Stay on if you want,” he said. “You ain’t gonna see nothin’.” Sounds like somebody’s rode the train one too many times.

Next up we did the Kilimanjaro Safari, which, just like the Asia section, was so realistic I now feel no need to ever visit the African continent. Thanks again, Disney!

Our next stop was DINOSAUR, a raucous, whirlwind of a ride that takes you back in time to find, capture, and bring back a Hadrosaur. When it was over, my son turned to me and said, “That…was…AWESOME!”, followed immediately by, “Let’s not ride it again.”

That evening all sixteen of us gathered at the Animal Kingdom resort’s Sanaa restaurant, where we could view exotic wildlife while we dined on wildlife. (I had the giraffe; tastes like chicken.) However, with eight hungry, tired kids all worked up after four straight days of wall-to-wall Disney, believe me, the real wildlife was inside with us.

Eventually we made it back to the hotel. I’ll let you guess what happened next. (Hint: box o’ wine)

Next up… All things must come to an end.

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Copyright © 2014 Valentine J. Brkich

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