We woke up early that morning and dined on a breakfast of cold cereal in our hotel room. After dressing and catching the shuttle bus we arrived at our destination. Ellie and Maggie we so excited to be there.
One of the attractions that the girls had been anticipating ever since we started planning our vacation was the newest roller coaster at Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest. We had purchased Birnbaum Guides Walt Disney World for Kids for them to use to see all Disney had to offer, and to find rides and attractions they may want to explore on our trip, and Expedition Everest made it to the very top of the list for them.
We were thinking that we may need to get a Fastpass for this ride, as we had heard that the wait can get pretty long, but we were at the park so early that the wait in the stand-by line said it was only 15 minutes, so we went for it. The 15 minute wait time I think comprised about 13 minutes of walking through the cue area and only about 2 minutes of actual standing and waiting for our turn on the ride.
Once we got to the front of the ride, Paul and I were concerned that one (or both) of the girls would change their minds about attempting the ride, but that was not the case. They bravely climbed into the car, and off we went.
|We are next to ride Expedition Everest!|
After Expedition Everest, we next tackled another popular ride at Animal Kingdom, the Kali River Rapids. That was also a very fun ride with a relatively short wait. Maggie was the one in our raft that ended up getting the brunt of the splashing. She loved it, though.
We then grabbed Fastpasses to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride and checked out the Maharajah Jungle Trek, a self-guided walking tour of native Asian wildlife. The girls loved seeing the silver back gorillas on this tour!
|A sleeping gorilla.|
After that, it was time for us to use our Fastpasses for the Kilimanjaro Safari. This ride provides the chance to see African animals including giraffes, black rhinos and lions, as they roam the 100-acre savanna in the park. This was great! We saw so many wonderful animals and being able to see them in an open air truck really made you feel like you were in the African grasslands.
After that, it was time for our lunch at Tusker House (review to come), with which we received priority seating for the Finding Nemo: The Musical show. We had time before we needed to be at the show, so we stopped by the Tree of Life to catch the It's Tough to be a Bug movie. This 3-D attraction ended up being a favorite of both the adults and kids. The 3-D effects were done very well, as were the "interactive" effects of the film. A must see!
|Our family fooling around while checking out the Tree of Life on our way to It's Tough to be a Bug.|
Then we headed over to Finding Nemo: The Musical -- and not a moment too soon. We were getting to the hottest part of the day; the perfect time to sit and relax for about 30 minutes in a nice air-conditioned theater. The premium seats were excellent, and we sat right next to the stage, which enabled us to see much of the action up close. The production was wonderful, and the girls found the show both entertaining and magical.
After the show, we headed over to try out the DINOSAUR ride, a thrilling adventure aboard a time rover that transports Guests to the age of dinosaurs on a daring quest to bring back a living piece of history. This ride was very loud, dark, and rough, and when it was over, Maggie declared her dislike of it. In fact, I think she kept her eyes closed and covered her ears for the entire ride. Ellie, however loved it, and while she and Paul got back in line to ride it again, Maggie and I partook of some of the carnival games in Dinoland USA while waiting for them to finish.
After that we headed to dinner at Yak and Yeti (review to come). When dinner was done, the park had already closed for the evening, so we went to catch the shuttle bus back to our resort.
Our first theme park was done, and all-in-all, it ended up being a very successful, fun day. Coming up...