Animal Kingdom Disney Disney World east coast Florida southeast

Day 8 Disney Bound

Just like the last couple of days, today was going to be another scorcher. Temps would be in the upper 90s with a heat index near 110. What makes that even worse is today we start our Disney portion of the trip. However, that’s not the bad part.

Today we start off at Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is one of the hottest parks in Orlando even though it is covered with trees. Did you know that interesting fact? Why not check out Nine other facts you might not know about Animal Kingdom here.

We woke up pretty early to make sure we were at the front gates around 0730. Since we already prechecked into All Star Music resort the day before all we had to do was head to the front gates. Of course, we ran into a little problem.

Although, the app said we were good to go. It turns out we needed to stop by the resort first to get our tickets activated. While we were in line right at 0730. By the time we got done with guest services, it was almost 0800. We wasted a half hour of our early park admission standing in line at guest services and missed out on all of the “perk” for today.

Our first stop was over to Pandora to maybe try and ride Flight of Passage. There was a two hour wait at 8 so we skipped it and decided to ride Na’vi River Journey instead. It had a much shorter posted wait time of only 15 minutes. The line was longer than 15 minutes but it was still under a half hour.

After we got off the ride my daughter and I grabbed food at Pongu Pongu. I don’t know what it is but I kind of like the breakfast sandwich here. It’s not really good but it’s fast and easy. It almost reminds me of a McDonald’s Sausage, Egg, and cheese biscuit.

Now at 0830 I was already sweating. It was hot and it would only be getting hotter as the day went on. Our first Disney Genie + ride was Kilimanjaro Safaris and that wasn’t until 0945. That was the earliest I could get for the safari even though I was logged on at 0700.

I wasn’t going to pay for Flight of Passage. While we both love that ride I don’t want to pay money to ride any ride. Definitely not one I could usually score a fastpass with, with no issues.

We walked around a little bit and ended up in DinoLand USA. We rode Dinosaur and kept it moving till something caught my eye while walking towards Everest. In the water were huge kites flying around. I have heard about this but haven’t seen it myself yet.

So we walked up and watched. While it was interesting. I can see why not many people watched Kitetails. I wouldn’t want to wait a half hour for a show similar to what I witnessed.

By the end of the show none of the kites where in the air. Most of them hit the water. One of them went into the stands. I think it could be a cool concept. Just they way they are going about it is all wrong.

It was getting close to our time to jump in the Lightning Lane for Kilimanjaro Safaris. I was very curious to see how they would work. Would it be the same as FastPass? Would it be quick? Would it be slow? We were about to find out.

We showed up at 0942 for our 0945 Lightning Lane. Just like FastPass we were able to go in a couple minutes early. We scanned our Magic Bands and went through the line. The lines are the same as they were for FastPass and it took roughly the same amount of time.

I didn’t clock it or anything it just felt about the same. Not any faster or slower. Once we scanned our Magic Bands, I was on the app trying to secure our next Lightning Lane. I tried to find one for Animal Kingdom but they were all in the afternoon after 3. I knew we wouldn’t be at Animal Kingdom at that time and most likely will be at EPCOT. So I booked a 3pm Soaring Lightning Lane.

Now we were loaded into our truck and on our way on the safari. I do have to say I was not expecting the safari to be this good. It was still kind of early in the day but it was already very hot.

From my passed experiences, the hotter it is the less animals you usually see. Well today we saw a lot of them. Plus a lot of them were very active.

Out of all the times I have ridden Kilimanjaro Safaris. This was the best one, hands down. We had giraffes right along side of the truck. Zebras running around.

We even seen two elephants locking tusks. Our driver was very knowledgeable and had a great eye. He pointed out some many different animals and even explained why some of them were acting the way they were.

Like I said, it was the best one I have ever been on. I have done the safari ride over 10 times going back to 2015. It will be hard to beat this one. There is no question in my mind about that.

Once we got off the safari we walked the Gorilla Falls Exploration trail. Most of the animals on this walk were hiding in the shade and we didn’t see too many of them. However, the newest gorilla and her mom were right up near the glass.

From here we went to get some water and Ice Cream. One of my favorite places to grab this at in Animal Kingdom is Tamu Tamu. Usually the line isn’t too long and it is a great place to grab ice water. Only one problem.

The ice cream melted very fast today. Not really surprised since it felt like 110 already and it wasn’t even noon yet. We made quick work of the ice cream but only because we didn’t want it all hitting the ground.

Now it was time to walk off our little snack. One of the best ways to do this in Animal Kingdom is to walk around the Tree of Life. I just love walking around and looking at all the different carvings on the tree.

It seems like each time I see something I never saw before. Or something I forgot about. The level of detail on the tree is just amazing. If you have never really looked at the tree you are missing out.

We walked around some more after the Tree of Life and even checked out some of the shops. Before you knew it, it was lunch time. We usually go to Flame Tree BBQ but we wanted to try something a little different this time.

I ended up going with the chicken tacos at Smiling Crocodile. My daughter and mother went with Eight Spoons Café. My daughter went with her favorite thing the mac and cheese. My mom got something really out of the box for her.

She got the pulled pork jelly donut. It was a very interesting choice but also a very good choice. I had a bite and it was very tasty. My daughter ate all her mac and cheese and went and got another. We were all very pleased with our lunch but now it was time to leave Animal Kingdom and check on our hotel room.

We left Animal Kingdom and took the short drive over to All Star Music Resort. The All Star Resorts are closes too Animal Kingdom and are the cheapest resorts at Walt Disney World not counting the camping sites. We went through security and parked near the lobby.

It was almost 2 and we still didn’t get a notification that our room was ready so we headed to the front desk. We were helped out by a very nice cast member named Karen. She really did hook us up and went above and beyond.

She made a couple of calls to see if there was a room ready for us. She asked if we wanted a certain floor or building. We told her it didn’t matter to us just one that was clean and available.

After two or three calls she found us a clean room that was ready for us to move into. She also give us buttons which made my daughter’s day. That wasn’t the only thing though.

She give us maps to all four theme parks and Disney Springs. While this doesn’t sound like something special to me it is. I don’t need a map when I go to the parks. I’ve been there too many times and I know where everything is. However, I would like new maps so I can put together a shadow box together for the 50th anniversary.

Having new maps that our not folded or anything will really help put the box together. She also printed out a new key card just incase our magic bands didn’t work on the door. Like I said Karen (I believe from Orlando) really helped us out.

We left the front desk and hopped back into the car to drive around to building 5. Building 5 was a decent distance away from the main building and main pool. However, it was very close to the piano pool. All my daughter cares about is the pool so at least we had one close.

Our room also wasn’t too far from the parking lot. This was very helpful when it came time to unpack the car and bring everything into the room. We would be here till Wednesday making this our longest stay of the whole trip. We could finally really unpack everything and not have to live out of a suitcase.

I finished unpacking the car while my mom and daughter went to the pool. Mom also did some laundry since we were already a week into the trip. The laundry building was right next to the pool and they had a nice little app to use so you didn’t have to stay right next to your machine. The cost was also reasonable unlike many things at Disney these days.

My daughter got a good hour and a half in the pool. However, as you would expect from any kid, she wasn’t ready to get out. Too bad though. We were going to get ready to go to EPCOT. However, the weather had other plans for us.

We might have been gone from the pool for ten minutes before they closed it due to lightning in the area. By the time we got dressed for EPCOT the skies were very dark. While heading to EPCOT it started to downpour.

We tried to wait the rain out but it kept coming down. My mom wasn’t really in the mood to walk around in the rain so after about 15 minutes in the parking lot we headed back to our hotel. It kind of stinks since we had a Lightning Lane (LL) for Soarin’ Around the World starting at 1645.

I drove back to the resort and the whole time it kept raining. It would slow down a little than pick back up. It was still raining pretty good when we got back to the room.

After a half hour in the room my daughter and I were getting a little antsy. We didn’t really care if we would get soaked or not. We wanted to go to the park. My mom decided she would go as well.

We all got back into the car and drove back to EPCOT. It was still raining but much lighter now. One good thing about us leaving earlier was we got a closer spot this time. Plus it wasn’t really raining that hard now.

I checked the app while we were walking in to see if I could grab a different LL. We were about a half hour past our time for Soarin but it looks like it just kept rolling over. So our first stop was going to be Soarin.

However, once we got into EPCOT we went right to Spaceship Earth. It was a walk on and also my daughter’s favorite ride. By the time we got off the ride the rain had all but stopped.

My daughter and I put away the poncho and umbrella and let the nice cooling rain cool us off. My mom kept hers on for a little while longer. We walked over to the Land Pavilion and scanned our bands for Soarin’.

Once inside I jumped on the app to see if I could get Test Track or Remy. I couldn’t get either one of those but too my surprise an 820 frozen was available. I made our LL for frozen and waiting for the line in Soarin’ to move.

We got the middle row on the left side. Not our favorite spot but only because we now know. If you don’t know what I am talking about don’t even look it up. It’s not that it ruins the ride for you but it kind of does.

It is one of those things that if you don’t know about it you don’t notice it. But once you know you ALWAYS notice. We still enjoy the ride even though we know now.

Once we got off the ride we headed back to World Showcase for some food. There were so many food booths it was hard to decide. All three of us ended up getting something from the Northern Bloom booth in Canada.

I must say that it was amazing. I ordered one of everything and was not disappointed in the slightest. Out of all the booths I had the next couple of days this would be my favorite.

The only issue I did have was the rain. It started to pick up a little bit so it was a bit of a challenge to eat and hold the umbrella but I made it work. I really didn’t have much of a choice.

From here we just walked around the world showcase checking out all the different counties. It was nice to see some live entertainment return to the counties too. That was something I felt was really missing the last time I visited.

It kept raining off and on for the next hour or so while we were walking around. It also started to get pretty humid so my daughter and I ditched the ponchos and just risked it. I was also starting to worry if they would have the night time show go off.

It was close to the time for our Frozen LL and we headed back towards Norway. We got in line and very quickly made it to the boats. I was really surprised by how fast the LL was for Frozen. The Standby time was 60 minutes. We were in line for maybe 5.

Once we got out we still were unsure if Harmonious was going to happen. It seemed like it might but it still kind of seemed like it was raining. We decided to just head back to the parking lot and go back to the resort.

A lot of other people had the same idea as we did. Once we exited the park you could hear the show starting. While we haven’t seen Harmonious, we watched plenty of shows at EPCOT over the years.

We did stop a couple of times and look back at the fireworks. Seeing them fly above the Geodesic sphere was amazing. It is too bad they didn’t have the music out in the parking lot.

Today was a rainy day but overall it wasn’t too bad. Tomorrow would be a little cooler but still in the 90s and also a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. We would also be starting our day at Hollywood Studios so I wanted to make sure I was on the app right at 0700.

Now it was time for bed and let my feet rest a little. I walked over 25,000 steps today. Tomorrow I am sure would be the same.

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