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  1. #1
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    Default Disappointing Disney Vacation -- Day Three

    Cast:

    DS: 10
    Me

    To this point, the trip has gone pretty much as expected. I knew many of the things that make the "Magic" would not be available on this trip, prior to finalizing plans so I was prepared. I knew the social distancing would be in place, but to Disney's credit, they seemed to keep an adequate ratio of guests / staff in place. But that appeared to change.

    This morning, we are heading to Animal Kingdom. My son has an artistic side to him. Extremely talented for only 10 years old. He makes these "stop-action" movies where he moves his toy/creature slightly and clicks a picture. It takes him hours to make about 30 seconds of movie, but they're very well done. To him, Flights of Passage is "lazy Imagineering," because it relies on video technology and the flight is always the same. I Somewhat agree. The first time I was on FOP, I was blown away. Literally! Amazing. Stunning. But the second time I rode it, the dropoff was steep. Contrast that with Splash Mountain that no matter how many times I ride that, I'm still impressed. (I've always said: Splash Mountain was Disney Flexing its muscles. "You other parks want to build a flume ride? We'll show you how to build a proper flume ride!") So, I'm kind of on board with my son's thinking we won't wait longer than 60 minutes to ride FOP. That shouldn't be a problem. The crowds to this point have been smallish.

    Animal Kingdom opens at 8 AM today and we arrive at the Trinidad bus stop just after 7:00. We are fifth in line. The first three groups all arrived prior to 7. One AK bus arrives and can take only one group. The rest of us move ahead one spot in the queue. 7:20. No other buses. The dad to my right expresses his concern. 7:30. No buses. He questions if he should call an Uber. ("We don't want to miss the open," he says.) 7:40. No buses. He's had enough. Time for Uber. He exits line. The rest move up. 7:50. No buses. Oh, the internal shuttle comes. And comes. And comes. It's a tease. 8:00. No buses. A Disney vehicle drives past and asks what bus we are waiting for. "ANIMAL KINGDOM!" 8:10. No buses. The first group leaves and goes to another bus stop. The group that is now next has someone with an Enhanced Vehicle and states her options are limited. She's been there since 6:50 AM. 8:20 AM. No buses. They say they will go to another bus stop and take their chances. 8:23 AM, I order an Uber. Our Uber is delayed because she needs to get fuel. (Who doesn't do that BEFORE signing in? I own a construction business; that is a pet peeve of mine!) Our Uber finally arrives and we exit the line and get into the car. Only one AK bus the entire time and it took only one group.

    If you're a Trinidad veteran, you know morning buses can be sketchy. You are last on the morning stops and many times the bus is full and exits the resort without stopping at your stop. Disney used to have a dedicated Cast Member there each morning, watching the bus situation. They would station an empty bus off in the distance. After enough time has passed, the CM would call for that bus and we would get our own bus to our destination. Not this time. No CM. The guy driving in the Disney van may have asked, but apparently did nothing about it.

    We arrive just before 9:00 AM and FOP is at 90 minutes already. My son says, "Forget it." So we ride Dinosaur. No preshow. Just walk on. Very short line. In front of us, a mom is trying to convince a very young daughter the ride is not scary. The daughter is already hysterical. Not a good idea. I would like to interject, but it is not my place. On the ride, the Styracosaurus is broken and its head is flopped over. The Carnotaurus isn't chasing! It is already at the end of its run. Other than that, the ride is fine and my son loves it. Besides, he really wants to hit the toy store anyway.

    Next is Kilimanjaro Safaris. The line appears long, but is not. It moves quickly. This is one of my favorite rides anywhere and it does not disappoint. It's kind of hard to understand the driver with a mask, but there are so many animals in close proximity. Then, as we just pass the Cheetahs, we hear the Male Lion, roaring. Beautiful. He is asserting his dominance. I've never heard anything so beautiful before. We are all transfixed!

    Rhinos are very close. An ostrich is doing some weird dance that captivates the truckload. The Sable Antelope is close. Just a great encounter all the way around. After we exit, we decide to walk the Pangani Trail. I didn't think it through, because you can't just walk through. You have to stop at stations and then be allowed to move forward. It takes much longer than we want, but the gorillas are very active.

    We exit, grab a fruit snack, then I check MDX. FOP is only 60 minutes. We decide to ride. From Harambe, FOP is close. Just walk past the Festival of the Lion King Theatre and enter from the rear. Wrong. ONE WAY ONLY! We have to return to Harambe, walk to the Oasis, then enter Pandora and traverse our way to the end of the line. It moves very fast and we probably are queued up to ride within 40 minutes. It is also the first time I've ridden it without a FastPass, so I get to see the Navi Animatronic.

    My son is right. The ride is just ok this time. He wants to leave and go swimming and I "buck the system" and go out of Pandora the way I came in. I can tell I'm not supposed to because NO ONE ELSE is. As we are about to head out, he asks if we can eat at Flame Tree Barbeque. "Sure!" (I love that place.) I place my mobile order and walk over. I let MDX know I'm there and wait. And wait. And wait. Cast Members start to ask me for my order number. I hear them on their communication asking about my order. "It shouldn't be much longer." And wait. Others who have just come up and ordered have already gotten their food and are looking for seats. And wait. "What's you order number again?" And wait. Forty minutes before a Cast Member says, "Make order #such-n-such now please."

    My son wants to find a seat while I wait for the food, but I overrule here. It's a labyrinth down there. "I'll never find you. Stay with me."

    Once we get our food, a Cast Member helps us locate a seat. He calls for another Cast Member to ready a table for us, then points him out to us. As we are merely 10 feet away from our designated seat, another group sits there. The CM ushers them out. "Sorry."

    Meal was better than I remembered and I remembered it being scrumptious. It is one of my favorite counter-service locations. Once we are done, now he wants to walk the Maharajah Trek and check out Kali's wait time. Too long. The trek is good, but we don't see any tigers. I ask one last time, "Are you sure you don't want to ride Expedition: Everest?"

    "Dad, you said you wouldn't pressure me."

    "OK."

    We leave. We return to our room and our beds are still not made from the arrival day. No cute plushy dioramas on our bed, acting out some scene. Our towels are replaced and our bathroom and sinks are cleaned. Curious. We change into our swimsuits and hit the pool

    This is his favorite part of the trip. I should have just scheduled this. We stay for another three hours before we leave and ready for dinner at Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia. We dress up a bit for this meal. I'm excited.

    My son gets the Orange Chicken and loves it. I want the Duck, but I fear it will be too heavy for me and chicken out. I order the sushi tower instead. Simply amazing, but honestly after I ate the entire thing, I wanted dinner! LOL! 1.25 pounds of lobster, shrimp. Tuna, you name it. Many dipping sauces. Really good, but I'm meat-and-potatoes so I'm not full.

    The bill comes and I hand cash to the waiter (who was the best waiter of the trip and all were amazing) and he returns, saying they can't accept cash. Oh-oh. I didn't bring any credit cards. Just my Magic Band, which I haven't used yet. Fingers crossed, I give it to him. All good.

    We walk some more around Disney Springs. It is so beautiful down there and I can't wait until I'm allowed to enjoy it. I mean that exactly how it sounds! There are bands playing, but they're singing with masks on, so it's a bit muddled, but the place is still festive and lively. Very crowded. Very. So was Animal Kingdom. Very crowded!!!!

    Caribbean Beach Bus Stop is the last stop on the station. (It seems to be the case EVERYWHERE!!! Lol.) It is also the only bus stop that is ALWAYS PACKED!!!! Three buses later, we are on our way back. That sounds long, but the evening buses were very efficient.

    When we exit, my son runs off. He wants to show me he can make it back to our room on his own, but immediately goes into the wrong direction!!! "Wrong Building."

    He adjusts, dashes, and is out of sight. For a moment, I panic. "What if he's not in the room?" He is and he has to do his homework.

    The day started rough, but all in all it wasn't bad. One of the best safari rides I've encountered and a great dinner sandwiched around swimming in the pool. It seemed to me, however, Disney decided to allow more guests in the park today than the previous two days.

    And our bus woes are just beginning!
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

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  4. #2
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    Yes, of course the coronavirus has made its own adjustments. Unfortunately, not for the best. Many people still do not know how to properly organize transportation, form groups in order to make the rest safe for people. At the same time, it is important to remember that rest should be rest, not hard labor in lines.

  5. #3
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    Glad you made the best of the ups and downs. 40 minutes for food was pretty crazy!
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

  6. #4
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    Well, you certainly encountered some glitches on this day but it sounds as though you and your son made the best of it!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by faline View Post
    Well, you certainly encountered some glitches on this day but it sounds as though you and your son made the best of it!!
    We did. I’m the eternal optimist. The vacation, while being challenging, was still fun.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Arizona
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    Thank you for all the details. I'm making notes to adjust what we do from the usual based on what you are saying. The Maharajah Jungle Trek was definitely in the plans. Do you think it is too frustrating for a 7 and a 9 year old to walk it? I would rather skip it than deal with a meltdown.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  9. #7
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    The Maharajah Trek was not delayed like the Pangani Trail was on our day there.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

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