Trip Report: A Wild Time in Animal Kingdom and Plan Changes

Day 2 of our trip was a hot one. It was a rainy one. It was a day of switching a lot of our plans. And it was so much fun!

The day started out only slightly behind schedule. We made a breakfast and beverage run a little later than planned and made it to the bus stop right about the time Animal Kingdom was opening for Extra, Extra Magic Hours.

We had an FastPass+ for the Na’vi River Journey and had no intentions of running to Flight of Passage whether we had made it for rope drop or not. I was hoping to modify Na’vi to or find a later FastPass+ for the very popular ride. We leisurely made our way into Animal Kingdom around 8:30am and we soon distracted by a giant spider. I would have gladly continued moving, but my little Peanut was very intrigued and had many questions for the animal keeper.

As we continued into the park we were welcomed by this view. Look how empty the it was!!

And finally we were back to Pandora, World of Avatar. This was going to be my first time riding the Na’vi River Journey. I still don’t like the movie, but wow, the rides are amazing!

We got a little silly after our ride and took pictures in Pandora, at the Lion King Wall, and with a PhotoPass photographer, and then on our way into Asia.

It was a very leisurely walk through the park to Expedition Everest for our first, and last, ride as a family. There is no way Grumpy is stepping back on this one.

Somehow, he agreed to walk around the corner to Kali River Rapids. He didn’t love the spinning and moving backwards after getting shook up on Everest, but was happy none of left drenched! This may be one of the most fun rides for our family. Everyone is always laughing and we seem to end up with a fun group(s) of people. It’s amusing to see who is going to get wet and how wet they’ll end up.

As we dried from the little bit of water we had been sprayed by we made our way back across the park to Africa, watched the live entertainment, and then to a meal we missed having on our agenda during the last trip, Tusker House.

The skies were gray before went in for our meal and threatening, but the radar didn’t show anything so we didn’t cover the stroller. It wasn’t the best idea because it was soaking wet when we came back out. Luckily, our FastPass+ for Kilomanjaro Safaris was right around the corner. We actually turned that corner to see a line stretching far back out of the queue and nearly to Rafiki’s Watch Planet. The Safari is not to be missed, so we hopped in line and passed the time taking silly pictures in between a few raindrops.

The line wasn’t stalled for long and in under 20 minutes we were on our way through the wildlife reserve. It was a fairly quiet midday ride, but will still saw many animals, but surprisingly only a few giraffes, the one animal that seems like the most common site.

Our last scheduled FastPass+ took us to Dinosaur! Everyone else in the family had been aboard in the past except me. In our first visit, I stayed with Diva since she wasn’t tall enough and when she reached the height requirement for it, Peanut wanted to go on Expedition Everest, so I stayed with him. With my Grumpy husband telling me that he enjoyed the ride I didn’t expect as much tossing around as there was aboard. It’s up there with Mission Space on my “not favorites” list.

While waiting in line I refreshed the FP+ list A LOT until I found a Flight of Passage one so we could all ride. Unfortunately, it was more an hour away and it was getting very hot and Diva was getting very cranky. We tried to kill time in Dinoland, refilled our popcorn bucket, grabbed an ice cold drink, took some pictures at the Tree of Life, and around Pandora.

We were literally pushing it to the meltdown limit with just over 20 minutes to go before the FP+ window opened up. I took a chance and talked to one of the Cast Members at FP+ entrance. I showed him MyDisneyExperience app on my phone and he said yes. I was relieved, because if he said no we were going to just head out of the park.

Inside the ride queue was a much more comfortable temperature and she calmed down. She even smiled for a picture right before we entered the pre-ride room.

Change of plans

Immediately following we headed backed to the resort for a pool break, which literally lasted less than 10 minutes because the skies turned from pretty blue to gray and poured rain. By the time it turned blue again we had started exploring our resort and the kids requested to return to Epcot in the evening instead of our original plan to visit Hollywood Studios.

After some debating on a FP+ choice we picked Soarin’ just because the timing was better. A short nap later we were back to the parks. I was hoping after our ride to watch the Eat the Beat Concert Series featuring Tiffany and actually see some of it this time. However, we made the mistake of going stroller-less. There was a quite a bit of whining about walking through the very crowded pathways. I finally broke down and carried Diva for quite a way.

Somehow we managed to make it to America pavilion for the last MINUTE of the concert. Grumpy quelled some of the meltdown with a funnel cake while I enjoyed the music.

I also had the chance to say hi to a sweet friend I chat with on Instagram, Julie (justamomandboyatdisney).

As we prepared to leave I looked towards International Gateway and really wished the Disney Skyliner had opened. The walk towards the exit was a set to be a long one. Grumpy grabbed a snack at the food booth in Japan, I stumbled on Shimmering Sips food booth which had the (super-)mini cheesecakes I’d been wanting, and we managed to stop for a PhotoPass picture all to distract from the length of time it was taking us to leave the park.

When we approached the bus stop the Art of Animation bus was waiting so we decided to jump on it to make our way back as soon as possible and walk across the bridge to Pop Century. As we boarded the bus I said we were never leaving the resort again without a stroller. Lesson learned.