Saturday was Animal Kingdom day. This park gets the award for being the 'physically largest park on resort but fastest to finish.' We were able to get most of the park done and still have a little bit of relaxation time before we passed out at the condo. Here's what made Animal Kingdom memorable:
Cranky line attendant
Our gate attendant wasn't the nicest. To be fair, she does deal with A LOT of people in a day. However, my pass wasn't working (we didn't realize until later that your fingerprint is matched with your pass and we had all been using them---whoops). She asked to see my ID, even though my name wasn't with my pass, and then she had a change of heart and let me in. I felt bad that she was cranky already in the day but we were worried for a bit because I left my ID at the condo.
The hottest line ever had to be this line. It was the only line we were able to bring the stroller in, so it was also the most difficult to get through. We also had a few girls behind us verbally complaining about the size of our stroller and then complementing it (really, you're at Disneyworld, there are strollers everywhere). We had just barely got to the park and we were already snacking and the kids were already using their spray fans. But it was worth it to see...
The Kilimanjaro Animals
The 'safari' was really impressive; it's like what the Jungle Cruise would be if it had real animals. Our driver was pretty fun which made it all the more fun. Jared, being the animal enthusiast that he is, was excited to see so many animals. He really liked the crocodiles, Hippos, elephants, rhinos, and giraffes. The rhinos got pretty close to car and Jared called him BIG. He and Bellie also spotted the giraffes first walking around; they both got excited and pointed them out. If we thought about it, it would have been a good idea to do it again later in the day, but we were all so tired.
Humid with a capital H
Even though Epcot was hot, Animal Kingdom felt way more HUMID. I honestly don't know how people vacation down there in the summer. More crowds, more hot.... I shudder to think about it. Definitely wouldn't mind going back during the 'more-off' season. Anywho, the best way we tried to beat the heat was to get a frozen treat each day. AK was frozen lemonade. What was Jared's reaction to the paper straw (to 'protect' the animals). Jared kept telling us it was broken and exclaiming 'oh no.' We had to convince him it was okay or at least try to get him to drink it out of his cup.
Tough to be a Bug
Another fun stop was the "It's Tough to Be a Bug" show underneath the Tree of Life. Flik shows us a bunch of different bugs from the bug world and Jared thought it was hilarious. He wasn't even scared during the 'scary' parts; he actually shouted 'mommy look spiders, whoa!' and 'it's a really big 'glasshopper' (for Hopper when he comes out)'. Apparently he's got more backbone then his Mommy (but that's a story for the Dinosaur ride).
Bats, Tigers & MORE Tigers
On the Maharajah Jungle Trek, it's just like a zoo loop. Jared was really looking forward to the giant fruit bats. Jared's reaction said it all, he gasped and said "wow, really really big bats.' They were seriously HUGE bats; like nightmare-size bats if they weren't vegetarians. One of the great parts about it was the fact that it was open. It made it that much cooler seeing them up close.
After the bats, there was a seriously impressive tiger encounter. When you first walk into the encounter there is only one tiger visible; it's pretty cool, but it seems like any other zoo tiger exhibit. As you walk down the path, you suddenly realize that the tiger exhibit keeps going. For example, we thought the tigers were done, so Jared started running ahead to the next animal. We turned the corner and there behind the glass were TWO tigers sleeping less than 20 feet away. Jared was so impressed by their size; he wouldn't stop saying, "look TIGERS... MORE tigers... WOW!' The last one we saw was taking a dip. All in all, they have six tigers and each morning the tigers have a choice out of three habitats to spend the day it.
Unlike Test Track from the day before, this ride didn't disappoint (although the Yeti didn't swipe at us). It was lots of fun; Greg, Meg, Z, and I had lots of fun. The best part about Disney rides is how they make stories out of them; Everest is true to form as our trip up to base camp goes awry. It's definitely a multiple-rider.
Since the kiddos did some waiting for us, we decided to let them have some fun in this huge play area. It's basically set up as a Dinosaur Dig which, of course, Jared loved. Greg followed him on the more adventurous areas while Bellie found some slides just her size (and yes, I made her shirt--- it matches Jared's pants):
After eating dinner at Restauarantosaurus and almost losing a bag (whew--- good thing Disney staff is effient at picking up after tables), we tackled the Dinosaur ride in rider switch-a-roo groups. All I have to say is: ridiculous. I knew about this ride and knew there would be surprises around corners, so I purposefully sat in the middle. I didn't want to look like too big of a sissy; well, that was impossible on this ride. First off, it's dark and lit by black lights, so you really have no idea what's going on. Then, around each corner you meet another Dinosaur and every time the dinosaur is a carnivore it jumps out at the car. Even though I was in the middle, it freaked me out. And the last time a dinosaur jumps out, he jumps from above and gets closest to the middle passengers. Yep, I cowered; I cowered like a little girl. I will always maintain it was that scary; fun, but scary. Now that I've been on it, I think would handle it better the next time. Greg, Meg, and Z left the ride laughing at me and I had to defend me reaction. Oh well...
While we waited for Oba & Jiji to take their turn on the Acid-fueled Dinosaur ride, Meg and I decided to take Jared and Bellie on the Triceratops Spin (basically Dumbo but dinosaurs). We're about half way through the line when Jared turns to me and whispers 'Mommy, I have to poop.' Oh no. After asking him if he's sure, we rush out of the line and try to run back to Gweg until I realize we're running away from the bathrooms.
So, I turn around while Meg drops Bellie off with Greg and gets me the emergency supplies. Jared and I rush in the bathroom, pick a stall, I bend over to put him on the pot when he lets it go. AH! Just a minute too early! Luckily, it was easy to clean, so we spent the next little while cleaning him up and making sure he didn't have more. Looking back, I think this helped him turn a corner because he hasn't had any 'poop' accidents since... here's hoping.
If you're wondering, we did go back to the ride because I wanted to show him I was proud of him for almost making it to the bathroom. I know that sounds weird, but it took us like 5+ minutes to get to the bathroom, if we would have gotten there sooner, this would be a much different story.
Private Pool Party
We left the park earlier than closing time one, to get Megbo to work and two, we were all exhausted from three straight days of park. We spent the extra time playing in our condo pool, watching Disney movies, and passing out on the couch. It was a good thing we had a rest day planned next.