Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 13

This morning we were up bright and early to get to Animal Kingdom, and while we were among the hundreds of others doing the same, while they joined the 3 hour line for Flights of Passage, we strolled onto the ride courtesy of our fastpasses! In fact, as we left the Pandora area of the park, the FoP line was going all the way down to the Festival of the Lion King theatre.

We grabbed some breakfast in Starbucks, then headed towards Expedition Everest, but opted for the single rider line as the standby queue was over an hour and we weren’t too bothered with doing one ride separately, and this saved us a bunch of time! After that, we went to see Flights of Wonder and then got lunch at Yaki and Yeti quick service.

We then decided to head out from Animal Kingdom and go explore Animal Kingdom Lodge. From the resort’s Savannah outlook we got to see some giraffes, zebras and antelope, and also caught a glimpse of some lions in a neighbouring enclosure! We also checked out the pool area, and attempted a game of table tennis but my hand-eye coordination isn’t fantastic so that didn’t go too well..

Having explored the resort, we caught a bus back to AK and then changed buses to head back to the resort for a pit stop (AKA I’m ill and needed a quick nap and to buy some cold and flu tablets).

Our evening was spent on the Boardwalk. We had dinner at Big River Grille, and then did some more exploring of the Boardwalk Inn, and then headed into Epcot as a cut-through so we could get a bus back to the resort, but we actually got to see a lot of Illuminations as we walked around the World Showcase – I’m not the biggest fan of Illuminations, but it was nice to see it before we leave!

Tomorrow is our last full day and it’s going to be packed with fun!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 8

Today was another Animal Kingdom day! We didn’t get into the park until about 11.30, and we headed straight to Pandora for our Flights of Passage fastpass. Wow.

First up, while I’ve heard amazing things about some of the features of the standby line, I did not mind missing out on this to save the amount of queue time we did by courtesy of our fastpasses. The ride itself was like no other, and I’m not gonna spoil it for anyone but it was insane. After the ride, we had lunch at the new quick service restaurant, Satu’li Canteen, which in a single meal has become my favourite QS place in Animal Kingdom – SO GOOD.

From there, we went to do Expedition Everest, then Dinosaur, and back to Kali River Rapids, which was welcome in the heat of the day! We did dry within no time of coming off the ride, and decided to cool off some more with a sit down and some air-con at Finding Nemo: The Musical.

After the show, we stopped off in DinoLand USA for a quick Primeval Whirl, and then walked back to Discovery Island and did a little bit of merch shopping before having dinner at Yak and Yeti. I’ve done Yak and Yeti once before but tonight’s dinner blew the last time out of the water!

Tummies full of food, we did our last fastpass of the day, Kilimanjaro Safaris, which I love doing in the dark; we got to see the lions up and about, a black rhino closer than I ever have done and the elephants were pretty active too!

We finished up the night back in Pandora, not to do any of the rides but to experience the land lit up in  bioluminescent wonder. If you think this place is amazing during the day, it’s even more awesome at night! 

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 2

Jambo friends! Our early night actually led to us being up stupidly early today, but oh well! 

We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then hopped on a bus to Animal Kingdom, arriving just before opening time. Now Pandora is here, everyone is headed straight there in the morning, but as we had Fastpasses booked for later and on other days, so we weren’t among that mad rush. Instead, we went to Expedition Everest, and rode that twice with absolutely no wait, then went over to Africa for Kilimanjaro Safaris. We were really lucky to see all the safari animals, including all three of the resident lions moving around, which is a rare occurrence from my experience!

After the safari, we finally headed across into Pandora. First of all, just wow. The place is STUNNING, and the detail is incredible – I was blown away. Today we only had a fastpass for Navi River Journey, which got us onto the ride in under 5 mins, unlike the crowds that were queueing for 75. Again, the ride was visually amazing, but I would have been a little disappointed had a queued for over an hour as the actual ride itself left a little to be desired, if you ask me.

After a short wander around the area, we headed back into Africa and went to see the Festival of the Lion King, and followed that up with Kali River Rapids. You know there’s always that one person who seems to get more soaked than anyone else? Well today that was me.

Having soaked myself through, we got lunch at Rainforest Cafe, and then headed back to the resort for a quick nap – our early morning was catching up – and then got ready to head into the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

First up, we grabbed our candy bags and headed into Tomorrowland, where we met Lotso, then Sully and Boo at the monster dance party, and after that had a ride on Space Mountain. Then we headed to Storybook Circus where we queued to meet the Seven Dwarfs (an hour wait, for anyone wondering), which put me just over my goal of meeting 100 characters this year, yay!

After some more trick or treating, we got ourselves a spot for the Happy Hallowishes fireworks, and after that grabbed ourselves a parade spot. We watched the headless horseman make his way down Main Street USA, and then the final Boo To You Parade of the year, before making our way back to the hotel for a good nights sleep!

February Disney Trip Day 9

So this morning we had the intention of getting up and going to Magic Kingdom for a bit before heading across to Animal Kingdom, but the reality of this morning led to us spending more time in the room trying to clear up some of our mess in preparation for leaving Riverside tomorrow, so instead we just left a little bit later and went straight to AK.

First up, we grabbed a traditional park breakfast of a Joffrey’s doughnut and drink, then our first fastpass of the day was Kali River Rapids, which we welcomed with open arms in the 28 degree heat – we were dry within an hour – then went to meet King Louie and Baloo, which we’d missed on our last day in the park.

Despite having fastpasses for later in the day, the queue time for Expedition Everest was quite short so we did that, then headed across the water to see Finding Nemo the Musical – Sarah’s first time! The show actually had a little interval due to technical problems, but it was only a few minutes before it was back up and keeping on swimming! We then headed into Dinoland for another first for Sarah: Primeval Whirl, and I’d forgotten just how much that ride throws you around!

Just outside the exit for PW, there’s a little photo booth which I’ve seen before and have always been curious to try out, so we investigated and amazingly it works with photopass and memory makers, so we gave it a go, although I did also pay the $5 for the printed photo strips too – it was too cute not to.. We also met Goofy and Pluto in Dinoland, and also Donald, then had a quick go on Dinosaur because the wait was only 10 minutes, before also meeting Donald.

From there, we left Dinoland and grabbed a late lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue. I’d just like to point out how great this restaurant is as a quick service, because our meals would have come to over $44 if we weren’t on the dining plan, and I got the biggest plate of ribs! Also, there’s so much seating available; we sat right down by the river looking across to Everest and it was beautiful.

After dragging ourselves back onto our feet, we went to Expedition Everest for our fastpass, then wandered back down to Africa where we walked onto a safari – yes, the park is that quiet today – then into Festival of the Lion King. Once the show ended, it was time for the Kilimanjaro Safari fastpass we had booked, but again it was so quiet we didn’t even bother tapping our bands and just did the standby queue. Night safaris are actually the best as well, we saw more lions, got super close to some zebras and we actually saw a mini stampede of the wilderbeast, which even the cast member said he’d never seen before!

We wrapped up the night with a walk on Expedition Everest, followed by a dark Primeval whirl, and closed the park with two rides on Triceratop Spin! We’ve now said goodbye to 3 out of the 4 parks, with tomorrow being our last full day here, and we’ll be in the Magic Kingdom for our last day and a half. Tomorrow morning we’ll check out of Riverside and into the Polynesian for a final night of magic!

February Disney Trip Day 5 and Enchanted 10K

Well that was an early morning, but I’ve done the 10K!


The race was a lot of fun. I took it pretty easy and stopped for quite a few characters along the way, including Tinkerbell who was with Terrence, Rosetta and Iridessa (AMAZING) and also Dopey, Marie and the Genie! Stopping for characters did bring my time up, but I had so much fun I didn’t really care and I still did pretty well considering!


After getting back to the hotel and recovering with a bath and a quite lay down, we hopped on a bus to Hollywood Studios, then got a boat over to Beach Club for breakfast at Cape May Cafe. It was a classic breakfast buffet, with Minnie, Goofy and Donald meeting in their adorable beach outfits!

Back to Hollywood Studios, and our first stop of the day was meeting Moana, which is at the back of One Man’s Dream. The staging of her meet is amazing; you queue through the cave from the film, with a waterfall backdrop, and you meet Moana on an island beach by the sea – it’s all super pretty! After her, we ticked Pluto off the list by Disney Junior’s, him being the final of the classic six characters for us to meet, then headed down Sunset Boulevard and caught a showing of Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.


Next up, it was our fastpass for Tower of Terror. If you know me, you’ll know I have a love/hate thing with this ride, but it actually seemed to be over a lot quicker than it normally is so win win! From there, we went to hang out and wait for the elusive Character Palooza, where we eventually met Tiana, Bert, Pinocchio and Pocahontas, then back to Pixar Place for Toy Story Mania. I, of course, destroyed Sarah, but she was a first timer so I’ll let her off..
Another character to tick off the ever growing list, we went to meet Olaf at Echo Lake because Mickey and Minnie had a crazy 50 minute queue. He really liked my medal and wanted one of his own, so he decided to run with me tomorrow, although I warned him there’d be a danger of melting!


The next character we went to see was Chewbacca, although Sarah was pretty surprised as she was expecting Yoda – these non Star Wars fans eh? Continuing her Star Wars education, we marched back across the park to Star Tours, which I was really happy with because it was a scenario I’ve never had before and I basically always see the same ones! Now the queue for Mickey and Minnie was a bit shorter, so we jumped in. I was a little upset that Mickey had been moved from his old spot, but when I saw the new area all was forgiven because that area is really nice and both Mickey and Minnie were really fun and Minnie’s dress was so pretty!


Starting to really feel the 5 hours of sleep I’ve had, we grabbed some dinner at Catalina Eddie’s, then left Hollywood Studios for Animal Kingdom so we could catch Rivers of Light. Well it turned out everyone else had the same idea. We got to the stands with 15 minutes to spare, only to find that they were already rammed, and were queueing people up for the later showing over an hour later. We did a full loop of the lake area, then I had a brainwave to follow the seating for Flame Tree Barbecue all the way down to the waters edge – it maybe wasn’t as great a view as you might get from the stands, but there was seating and hardly anyone there so it makes the perfect secret spot. The show itself was not mind blowing; sure it was pretty and the floats were beautiful, but I definitely wouldn’t be queueing over an hour like some poor unfortunate souls, and I won’t hurry back either.

I’m now exhausted and my feet are really feeling the events of the day, so we’re heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep, and I’ve got another 3.30am alarm for tomorrow’s half!

February Disney Trip Day 4

Jambo friends! Today we’ve been exploring the Animal Kingdom, and I’ve become a Wilderness Explorer!


We got into the park just as it opened, and headed in the direction of Kilimanjaro Safaris as we had an early fastpass, but on the way over we managed to randomly meet Flik from Bugs Life and also Tarzan, where we were basically rendered to awkward teenage girls but he was really nice. We then hopped on Simba-1 for a safari, and were lucky enough to see a baby elephant and a young giraffe as well as the other amazing wildlife on the ride.
One quick breakfast later, we hopped on a train up to Rafiki’s Planet watch as Sarah had never been before, and met the main mandril himself, and also caught the It All Started With A Mouse show which was really cute and something I’ve never seen before, or even knew was a thing! A quick train ride back, and we walked over to Asia for our Expedition Everest fastpasses, and we got to ride right at the back which made the whole ride seem more extreme and awesome!

A few Wilderness Explorer stops later, and we headed to Yak and Yeti for lunch. I’d not eaten there before, and I know I’ve probably said this about every restaurant so far but the food was so good and the service was amazing! I had a chicken tikka masala and cheesecake for dessert and I was super happy the whole time.

After lunch we went to meet Pocahontas, which had a fair bit of a queue, then walked across into Dinoland for our Dinosaur fastpass, via a few more WE stops, then after the ride went to meet Russel so I could show him how great I am at exploring the wilderness. Then, with time closing in on me to complete all 31 stops for my badge, the pressure was on, and we spent the next half an hour or so rushing round so I could get my Senior Wilderness Explorer badge before the cut off of 5.15pm – AND I DID IT!


While I went to collect it, Sarah got in the queue to meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost, and I joined her, sticker badge proudly on my chest! From there, we dashed back to Africa for the last Festival of the Lion King show of the day. We got there with only a few minutes to spare, so we were sat really high up, but I still thought the view was pretty good and the show was it’s usual standard – monkeys tumbled, fire baton man batonned..


With the park now fairly quiet, we took the opportunity of a 10 minute wait time on Everest, although we probably only waited 5, and riding that in the dark was pretty awesome, then all the way back to Africa again for another safari – this time in the dark. OH MY GOSH THATS WORTH DOING. I’ve always sworn by early morning safaris, but we saw 3 lions in the evening – and I’m talking up moving around lions, not just the standard one lying on a rock that I’m used to. We were also so close to a white rhino it was incredible!

I’m so happy Animal Kingdom is being kept open later cos it just seemed to make the whole day more enjoyable. I feel like a total cliche because I feel like every day I’m telling you all that it’s been an awesome day but they all really have been! We’re back to the hotel now for a pre-race dinner and an early night as I’m up at 3:30 in the morning (which is actually before this post will even go live) to run the Princess 10K, so keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram for updates!

Best Rest Rides at Walt Disney World

Speaking as a person who has not only had to do WDW parks on major jet lag, but also after being up since 3am and running a half marathon (hello RunDisney life), I know that there are always those days where you need to chill out, but also don’t want to miss out on any valuable park time, so I’ve got you covered!

Tomorrowland TTA People Mover

Magic Kingdom

TTA People Mover

Has anyone ever actually had to queue for PeopleMover? I don’t think I’ve ever been on it and not been allowed to ride around and around for ages because there’s no one else waiting. Its the perfect way to still experience MK while keeping your feet up.

Walt Disney World Railroad

One of my favourite things to do sometimes is just get on the train and ride a loop or two around the park!

Epcot

Ellen’s Energy Adventure

Hello 45 minute sit down! I will admit to drifting off while riding this one time..

Living with the Land

This educational little boat trip is one of my Epcot favourites; I love looking at all the plants and trying to spot hidden Mickeys, plus I normally follow it up with a trip to Sunshine Seasons for Mongolian beef and a red velvet whoopie pie!

Spaceship Earth

Its iconic Epcot, plus a nice relaxing trip through history and into the future!

Hollywood Studios

The Great Movie Ride

I don’t care if people think its a little cheesy, but its a nice gentle ride and I always like waiting to find out if I’m in a gangster or bandit car!

Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safaris

So I always try to make this a morning ride, but its the perfect way to ease into a day in the park, plus you never get the same experience twice!

What do you do on your down days in the parks?

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