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  1. #1
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    Default The Good, The (Very, Very) Bad, and the Adorable - Day Five

    Our next to last day in the parks, and we're finally headed to Animal Kingdom. We usually like to do AK early in the week, because we love getting back to the hotel for dinner, then having an early night in, or a chance to explore the hotel. But the way things worked out this trip, Animal Kingdom didn't have any EMH on this day, and was only open from 9 to 5, which meant most people would choose other parks. And yet again, we guessed right.
    Breakfast. Coffee. Disney cartoons. It's funny...before Sam started Kindergarten this year, 6:30 AM was SOOOO early. Now, we're “sleeping in” until 6:30. Our mornings are much more relaxed than they have been in years past.
    I love Animal Kingdom. I do. But it took a few trips before I really appreciated it. It's a different mindset. This is the park that I really can't handle when it's crowded. I think the lazy pace and freedom to just explore is the best part of AK, and if it's crowded, you can't do those things.
    We were the only people on the bus to AK. This is going to be a good day. A very good day.
    So, we usually book it to Safaris, but we have FPs for it, and there isn't anyone in the park anyway. So we stop in front of the tree and get a family picture. Believe it or not, I now have TWO pictures of my family where nobody is making a funny face.
    We get to Safaris and it's 15 minutes before our FP+ is ready, but there's no wait, so we just walk straight on. This is a family favorite, as I am sure it is for many families. Over half the pictures from each trip are from this 15 minute ride. And this time is no different. When we get to the Savannah, the ankole cattle are in the middle of the road, and our truck has to stop. There is a silence over the entire vehicle, as everyone starts taking pictures. Then, from the silence, comes my son's voice...”Why did the cattle cross the road?”....the entire vehicle laughs, and the driver then says, “I don't know young sir, why did the cattle cross the road”. “To get to the other side, of course”.
    I really love that kid.
    The rest of the safari is great...lions were out, finally got to see the zebras. We let Sam take a few of the pictures, which made him feel ten feet tall. When we were done, we asked him what he wanted to do next, and he voted for the Boneyard. So off we went.
    And for the next hour, that's where we were. I realize that many people would balk at the idea of spending all that money to be in Disney World, then spending an hour in a sandbox, but the money was already spent, and both our kids loved it.
    Next was Triceratops Spin, and the carnival games. Again, I realize that spending money to play those games is ridiculous, but the three cheap little stuffed animals Sam won were his favorite souvenirs (in fact, all he got the entire trip was the sailor suit for Duffy...”so he won't be naked”...a Donald Duck t-shirt, and those three prizes from the AK games).
    And now our favorite park of Animal Kingdom...the thing DW and I have looked forward to for an entire year....Flame Tree Barbecue. DW – Ribs and Chicken combo with cole slaw, beans, and key lime mousse. Me – BBQ sandwich with gluten-free bun, coleslaw, fries, key-lime mousse. Both kids got a hot dog and a cookie...and life was complete again. So very, very good. I really don't know why we bother eating anywhere else, ever.
    Okay, so we're getting close to time for the Finding Nemo show, so we wander around a little bit...and we end up near the Maharajah Jungle Trek....so we go in. Sam, who has been learning about bats in school, nearly knocked over several adults on his way to see the bats. And he stared at the bats for a good 10 minutes. The CM there did a great job of engaging Sam in conversation, and talking about the fruit bats. Another happy Sam moment.
    Well, on our way to Finding Nemo, we discovered the brand new Gluten-Free cart in AK...GF beer, cupcakes, etc. And AK is now my absolute favorite park. Ever. The CM working there was incredibly helpful....they even had a brochure of all the things I could get in AK that were GF. I got a beer. It was amazing. And, interestingly enough, only $6, as opposed to the $9 my wife spent on her Bud Light the day before. This was such a little thing...and most of the products were things I could find in my local Fresh Market....but it was a welcome sight this week...watching my kids and wife eat cupcakes and cookies, while I was relegated to fruit or pudding (which is fine...but it's not cupcakes and cookies).
    Anyway, we head to Finding Nemo and are yet again blown away. This is one of the best shows I have ever seen...anywhere...not just in a theme park. My wife and I are theatre people...I used to run a theatre school, and we make almost half our money working for local theatres. This show is amazing. And I'm pretty sure Marlin has been the same Marlin since the beginning.
    So, back to the Boneyard, where the kids will play while one parent goes to Expedition Everest. Which, of course, had no line. At all. I got to ride with a family that had never been to WDW before. I got to impart some veteran wisdom, ride Everest, and get to the Boneyard in time to get a text message from my wife that they were in the Baby Care center, watching a Tinker Bell movie. Apparently Zetta was falling asleep, and Sam wanted to go inside. Okay.
    At this point, we realize we are mostly done with the day. We've had a wonderful time, and we've done most everything we want to do....so we're going to head back to the room, have some dinner, and call it a night. Also, I have to go to Wal-Mart to get another short-sleeve shirt for Sam, and more breakfasty things for the kids. So, we pack up to go. And it's raining for the first and only time this entire trip. And the parade has started, so our exit is blocked. And now we're stuck in the crowd, in the rain, with the kids. We get the ponchos on, but the kids are still getting wet. We try to get in the store, but it's blocked by people trying to watch the parade from under the awning. And then the family I rode Everest with waves at me, and starts to part the crowd, and make a path for me and the kids to get through into the store. Glad I was nice to them!
    The parade finally passes by, and we get to the bus. Where both kids fall fast asleep. When we get to the hotel, I decide to head out to Walmart. The Agent P shirt we get is only $7, but I notice that all the other “souvenirs” they have there are similarly priced to WDW. Used to be a great deal there...now the stuffed toys are as expensive as they are in the parks...and they don't look as good.
    Well, I get back, and we all have dinner at POP...DW gets the margherita pizza, which she says is wonderful, but a little watery from the tomatoes. I got the Pop Nachos, which are just their home-made potato chips with chili....but they're really, really good chips and chili! The poolside movie was canceled because of the rain....but when we get back to the room, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas is on, so that's really all we need. Before the kids fall asleep, we ask Sam where he wants to spend the last day...expecting him to say Magic Kingdom. He says Epcot.
    Whose kid says Epcot? ??!??!!
    It's DW's favorite park, and used to be mine too (too many empty buildings for my taste now), so we're happy with the choice. Just surprised.
    Well, Epcot has Evening EMH on our last day, so we're sure it'll be crowded at night. So we get FP+ for Test Track at 7 PM, and Spaceship Earth at 10 AM and The Seas with Nemo at 11:15AM.
    And my amazing dad told me that he would pay for a character meal if we could find one for Zetta's birthday...so I look, not expecting to find anything for Saturday morning...and I have my choice of every character meal in the park. Seriously. Chef Mickey had 3 openings...the Castle even had some openings. But we chose Cape May, because we hadn't been there, it didn't require a park admission, and since we weren't spending our money, we thought we'd go for the cheapest option.
    All this only took 2 hours. Again, Disney needs to upgrade their resort Wifi. A lot.
    Next day: Epcot!
    Steve

    Ohana means family....
    Schultzy means crazy family!

    Last Trip: November 2015 At POP

    Next Trip: May 2017 at POP...again. Unless the FP+ thing isn't worked out. Then we'll go to Dollywood. Or just stay home and look at pictures.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    What a great family you have!! And you are simply having an amazing time on your trip!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    McHenry, MS-594 miles from the World
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    Wow, things are going great for you


    Jan. 23-Jan.29, 2021, All Star Movies or moderate
    Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2017, Port Orleans Riverside
    Oct. 29-Nov.4, 2014-Yacht Club
    Dec. 17-23 2011-Wilderness Lodge
    Dec. 20-30, 2008-Pop Century
    Dec. 25,2005-Jan.1, 2006-Coronado Springs
    Jan. 1-7, 2003-All Star Movies

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the report.
    Vince
    aka. Vizsla

    INTERCOT Staff: Mousellaneous and Disney Vacation Club

    DVC Member 10/11/04

  6. #5
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    May 2007
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    Great report. Thanks for sharing.

  7. #6
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    Jan 2005
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    I also had trouble with the wifi at Pop. If WDW is going virtual they need strong wifi!
    Thanks for the reports!!!

    Julie
    º0º emerzmom º0º
    Disney Vacations:
    DL: 81,00,01,02,04,05,06,08
    WDW: 98,99,00,01,02,03(x2),04(x2),05,,07,09,11,12,13(x2 ),14,15,16
    Next trip Nov 2017

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Cumberland, RI
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    Excited to read your last day trip report!!!


    56 days!
    Lindsey
    1991-2005: every year!
    Aug 05/06: OKW
    March, May, & Oct 07: SS
    Nov 08: SS
    Aug 09: SS
    Sept '11: AKL
    Dec '11: BW
    Mar '12: SS, WL, DCL Dream!
    Aug '12: Pop
    Oct '13: OKW
    Feb '14: AKL
    Dec '14: AKL
    Feb 15: Beach Club
    Feb 16: BWV
    Oct 16: Aulani
    Feb 17: BWV

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