Saturday, 28 November 2015

Florida November 2015 Recap - Day 3 at Animal Kingdom

I'll be doing a recap for each and every glorious day of our last Disney vacation (14 days worth so in the words of Scar, be prepared)...

On Thursday morning we had a character breakfast booked at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom that we were super excited for. Unfortunately our excitement didn't translate into the speed in which we got ready because oops...we were very late. I spent the whole journey to the park nervously chewing my hair and worrying that they wouldn't let us in and that somehow we'd still be charged. We finally arrived at the park, ran all the way to 'Africa' where the restaurant is located, and headed straight to the maître d' ready to rattle of our apologies and excuses - the bus took ages, the monorail wasn't running, the ghost of Walt Disney appeared and stole our watches! But before we even had a chance to say sorry, the lovely cast member at the reservations desk simply said "Hakuna Matata...come on in" and showed us to our seats. Only at Disneyworld!

I'd never experienced a character meal before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but as usual with Disney everything about it was amazing - the food, the service, the character interactions, the whole atmosphere was great. It was a buffet style breakfast so we loaded up with scrambled eggs, sausages, beautiful crispy American bacon (drool) and not to forget the main staple of any Disney breakfast...Mickey shaped waffles!

We were also plied with coffee and the nicest juice I've ever had - Jungle Juice! - which I believe was a mix of orange, passion fruit, and guava juices, ughhh delicious. Due to the fact that we were late for our reservation, they started to put out some of lunch buffet while we were there, so I was also able to enjoy some roast beef with my breakfast food...a classic combo I'm sure. I had an excellent experience at the carving station as the man carving the roast told me I suited my Minnie Mouse ears even more than Minnie herself - hands down the best compliment I've ever received! Sometime during our meal we were visited at our table by Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck who were happy to pose for photos and hug us! Mickey was also floating around the restaurant somewhere but we ran out of time to wait for him as we had a fastpass that was about to expire.

Once we had finished breakfast we headed straight to our first fastpass which was for the Kilimanjaro Safari. This was a great choice for right after all that food as you get to sit down in the safari bus for twenty minutes and let everything digest! During the safari we managed to see lots of cool animals, but the ones I remember (and managed to get semi decent photos of) were rhinos, elephants, giraffes and lions!

After the safari adventure we had an extra special experience lined up at the Festival of the Lion King. On my last trip to Orlando my family and I made friends with a lovely couple that we met during some 4th July celebrations, and one of them just so happens to work as cast member in Disneyworld, more specifically, in the Festival of the Lion King show. When he found out that I was back in Orlando he invited us to meet him before the show that day and set us up with VIP front row tickets and an exclusive cast meet and greet after the show. Not only was the show phenomenal, but getting whisked away at the end by a member of staff to meet the cast all still in costume was so exciting. They were all so nice to us and happily posed for our photos! So a huge thanks to Scott Smith for making this an extra special experience for us!

Still buzzing from the show and meet and greet, we grabbed a frozen drink to cool off before heading into It's Tough to be a Bug, the A Bug's Life 3D attraction. Again, as usual with Disney, the 3D aspect was great, as were the 'special effects', but as someone that hates bugs, I was really creeped out by the whole thing - particularly when the wasps were released! By the time we recovered from this, it was time for our reservation at the Rainforest Café where we enjoyed the standard American huge portions and watched the animatronics come to life around us.

We then headed for our next fastpass rides, first up was the Kali River Rapids where I got gladly soaked in the 30 degree heat!

Next was Expedition Everest, a really fun forwards and backwards rollercoaster featuring great views from the top of Everest as well as a cameo from Bigfoot! After our fastpass for this we noticed that the stand by queue was pretty short so we rode it again and really improved our ride photo poses...

Once we'd had our fill of Expedition Everest we explored the shops and market stalls. As well as stocking the usual Disney fare, they also had loads of cool African and Asian trinkets for sale - they even had live wood carvers carving animal statues and totem poles!

We finished the day with our usual jaunt to the Magic Kindom for our favourite rides and some ice cream sundaes before heading back to the hotel for some much needed sleep!

¡Por favour manténgase alejado de las puertas!

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