Finally getting adjusted to the time difference, wahey!
Today we tripped it over to the Animal Kingdom first thing to take advantage of Extra Magic hours, so we got into the park around 8.30 before it opened to the public at 9am. This was perfect timing as it meant we could dash over to Expedition Everest, which we hadn’t managed to get a Fastpass for, and queued for less than 5 minutes as the park was almost empty! So empty in fact, we rode it twice a) cos we knew it’d be a long wait if we came back later, and b) because it was awesome!
By the end of our second go it was just coming up 9 so we shot across to the Kali River Rapids just as it opened and managed to sneak another incredibly lucky short wait. The ride comes with the warning ‘You will get wet, you may get soaked!’ and well, soaked is what we got..
Like, literally wringing out clothes sort of soaked.
We then wandered across to Africa and completed the Pangani trail before out Kilimanjaro Safari Fastpass then after a quick shopping break got in line for The Festival of the Lion King performance. This 30 minute tribute to the Lion King was a great production (full review to follow) involving acrobats, floats and live singers.
Lunch was at Tusker House (table service), another Advanced Dining Reservation, which we’d originally booked just based on a recommendation from a friend of the great food, but it actually turned out to be a character meal as well, so we dined with Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy, all kitted out in their safari gear! Food lived up to its reputation, and the atmosphere was great.
Lunch was followed by another show, this time Finding Nemo, the Musical. Similar to the traditional Lion King Musical, the show was done in large scale puppetry, with live singers, and was an excellent condensed (40 minutes) version of the film. The puppets themselves were incredible, but the music lacked the classic Disney catchiness.
From there we finished up our day in Dinoland, and left the park surprisingly early with everything done by around 4/5pm, so we caught a bus across to Downtown Disney for a little look around (NB. No buses ran directly from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney, so we had to bus over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort and switch buses there).
First stop, obviously was World of Disney, the largest Disney store in the world, although it didn’t seem overwhelmingly large. Due to the offer we had when we booked our trip, we went to collect out $200 gift cards from the information desk inside, which was a bit of a faff but got there in the end. Our group then split in two for the shopping bit as 9 is too large a group for a smooth shopping experience. Our group got a taxi across to Walmart as well for some essentials before we all re-convened at the resort pool for dinner by the poolside with Tarzan on the big screen, and a quick swim!
Tomorrow we’ll be heading to the fourth and final park, Hollywood Studios!