Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
12/14/10 - Animal Kingdom & Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Tuesday was another chilly day so we got up and layered on five shirts and started up our day. We decided to use our quick service credit to get breakfast at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory since we did not use it for lunch on Monday. All three of us got the deluxe breakfast which came with eggs(powder kind), bacon (very crispy just how i like it), sausage, a mickey waffle (which i liked the best), hash browns and a biscuit. In addition we each got two drinks as part of the DDP. We opted for three coffees and three juices. The bottles of juice were great because we brought them to the parks with us and had something to sip on all morning.
We then headed over to the buses to go to Animal Kingdom. We were very lucky during our stay and never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a bus. In addition we only stopped at Riverside once on our first day to Hollywood Studios. Otherwise it was always a straight shot to the parks or home to the resort.
Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite parks. I love the atmosphere and could walk around looking at the plant life and animals all day. My aunt who was a disney first timer was blown away by the park, she described it as being in a different world, you don't even feel like your in a theme park. We started our adventure with the Kilimanjaro Safari. We only had a short 5 minute wait and we were on our way. The only down side to being out so early was not many animals were out. This could also have to do with the cold day though. We did get the chance to see a baby giraffe up close though and he was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. After the Safari we made our way over to It's Tough to be a Bug. At the end of the trip this was voted our favorite 3-D show at WDW. We all just loved it. I've seen the show before but still jump and screech at the creepy crawlers poking you in the back or bumping up under your seat. We also really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful carving work done into the tree of life. Great Show :)
Following Bugs Life, We made our way to the big kahuna, Expedition Everest, We waited about 25 minutes in line, but as the queue is entertaining it didn't feel nearly that long. One of our pangs this trip was that many rides only seated two to a row, so often one member of our group was alone. Everest is one of those but i insisted on riding with my aunt for the sheer pleasure of seeing the expression on her face when you come to the broken apart track followed by the zoom backwards. The look of panic on her face was priceless and would have made a great mastercard moment.
We skipped over Kali River rapids due to the 31 degree temperature outside :) and made our way over to Dino-Land USA. We made several stops on the way to look at the animals. We loved the monkeys which were putting on quite the show for all the spectators, swinging from branch to branch and doing really incredible leaps. We really loved the stores in Asia. They are so eclectic and really reflect the area. When we made it to Dino-land we were ready for lunch and decided to stop at Restaurantosaurus.
I had initially wanted to stop at the Flame-Tree BBQ but was over-ruled. We used a quick service credit to get our lunch and Both my aunt and I got the Bacon Cheese Burger and my Mom got the Chicken Finger Platter. All three came with french fries and for desert we got both cheesecake and chocolate mouse glasses. My cheeseburger was very good. The bacon was nice and crispy. In addition I stopped at the toppings bar and added some mushrooms to the burger for a nice added level of flavor. The fries were a little soggy but well salted. My mom enjoyed her chicken fingers which she said were nice and crisp but found the same fry situation. The deserts were good but by the time we got to that we were just so full we barely touched them. Overall we were happy with lunch.
After lunch we walked around a but to help digest and then made our way over to Dinosaur which only had a 20 minutes wait. The crowds around the park seemed light all day. We had a good trip back in time and all enjoyed the ride. I really enjoyed seeing the guy from CSI as the actor in the film. Also the T-rex in the queue is just amazing. After Dinosaur we decided to try Primeval Whirl. We ended up having a great time on this ride even after the 25 minute wait. We laughed the whole time as the spinning ride brought us crashing into each other.
We had originally made reservations for the Tucker house restaurant at Animal Kingdom, but we decided to skip dinner and head back to the hotel after another go on Everest. We all wanted to power nap because we were going to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party(MVMC)that evening at 7pm and wanted to be energized and ready to go.
We decided to get a light dinner at the hotel at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory before heading over to the Magic Kingdom. This was going to be a cash meal for us so we tried to keep it economical. Both my mom and aunt got the chicken quesidilla which came with rice and beans as well and was only 8.95. I was still super full from the burger for lunch so i opted for the kids mac and cheese meal which also came with apple sauce and grapes for 4.99. The portion was a good size and the mac and cheese was very good, for the price i couldn't have asked for more. Although My mom and aunt both enjoyed the rice and beans which they said had a good spicy kick to them, the quesidilla left something to be desired as the tortilla was dry and broke apart way to easily.
We then made our way over to the buses to the Magic Kingdom. The Bus was full of guests heading to MVMC. The line was crowded when we got there but we made it in by seven with minimal fuss. It was all worth it to come out on main street with the castle sparking and snow falling down on us. The atmosphere was wonderful with christmas songs floating through the air and everything all lit up. Based on our bus drivers suggestion we decided to hit rides first and then make our way to the later (10:00 pm) christmas parade. We started our way through Tomorrowland with a stop at Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. We didn't wait more then 5-10 minutes for a ride all night it was the best magic kingdom experience I've ever had. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin was a cute ride. I personally like USF Men in Black better but we still had a good time. My aunt was the winner after our ride through. We then made our way to Space Mountain. We had a great time on this ride and all loved it. I did find myself ducking for most of the ride though as i could see the track running above me and with the dark it seemed so close though it obviously isn't. Just interesting the tricks the mind plays!
After Tomorrowland we made our way into fantasy land where we rode the Teacups, Peterpans flight, Mickey's Philharmagic, and it's a small world. I would never imagine a ten minute wait on PeterPan but that is exactly what is was! Mickey's Philharmagic was one of my favorite rides of the night. We really enjoyed it so much and i couldn't help singing along to all the disney classics. Following our stint in Fantasy land we stopped off to pick up some complimentary hot chocolate and cookies which were delicious and the perfect treat while we watched the fireworks show. The Fireworks were amazing, they even had one that blew up to look like mickey mouse, they were really well synchronized to the chirstmas music playing in the background as well. Following the fireworks show we went to liberty square to ride the Haunted Mansion. The ride was classic as always but we did have a stop for about 3 minutes which does interrupt the flow of the ride a bit. After the haunted mansion we went to Big Thunder Mountain for a quick ride. The ride was great with everything all lit up around the park. After the ride we made our way in front of the Country Bear Jamboree were we snagged a great spot where we could sit and watch the parade. We picked up a second helping of Hot Chocolate and enjoyed a really great parade. The floats were all decorated, and the characters were wearing their christmas garb. After the parade we called it a night as the chill was getting to us but the whole night was just perfect holiday celebration and a very good way to experience the magic kingdom.
Day 3 Trip Report coming soon!
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort