Friday, August 17, 2012

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom isn't a park we normally visit.  However, since the greatest in laws on the face of the earth were along for vacation, and they wanted to visit, it was easy to work it into our plans.  Once we got there, I had forgotten how much I really like it.  We even saw Devine.  Devine is a lady who dresses like a vine, is REALLY tall, and sticks herself into the greenery.  If you notice her, it's awesome.  She sort of obscure and is usually out for an hour or so a day.  Darragh spotted her and pointed her out to me.  I wish I had gotten a picture.  
Anyway, when we got to AK, it was just in time for the Festival of the Lion King.  Since it was looking like rain, we headed to the show and got in just as the doors were opening.  I absolutely love this show at Disney.  I love the music, the costumes and floats are amazing, and it's so fun!  I love how they get the crowd involved and each section is a different animal and makes sounds.  The performers on stilts, impersonating giraffes, are amazing.  I can't imagine how they can walk and dance on those things.  But, it's Disney, right?  

After Festival of the Lion King, we got in line for the Kilimanjaro Safari ride.  Love this one!  It's one of our favorite things at AK.  You get in a safari bus, and it takes you out into an African savannah with a ton of animals.  

We saw giraffes, lions, rhinos, elephants, etc.  They can't come up to your bus, but you sure can get some good pictures of them.  We had bought the boys each a disposable camera.   I think they used the majority of their pictures on the safari ride!  Of course, Natalie slept through the entire ride.  
We headed out toward Asia to get something to eat.  The boys ended up eating corn dogs-who knew?  I've never known the two of them to eat a corn dog in their life.  But whatever.  Anyway, we grabbed something to eat from Flame Tree BBQ and then it was off to ride the Kali River Rapids.  This is a huge, round boat and you get so soaked.  Well, we had our handy dandy ponchos (and it wasn't raining at that moment), but you better bet I put mine on!  Derrick sat out with Natalie, planning to use our rider switch pass for Kali River later.  Little did we know, it would start raining (and NOT stop) so he never got to ride :(.  Well, it was a super fun ride, one we had never done before.  When we exited the ride, it was kind of raining, but that didn't stop us.  
We made our way to Expedition Everest.  First, it describes the tale of the Yeti.  And if I answered the question once, I answered it a million times-No boys, the Yeti isn't real!  But, as you are waiting, there are some really cool artifacts and drawings of the Yeti and climbs of Mount Everest.  Suffice it to say, no amount of bribery could get Matthew on Expedition Everest, and Lucas only rode because of some serious encouragement from Grandma Patty and a bribe of a pin from me.  He was NOT thrilled, but he rode it anyway! 
By the time we exited Everest, it was raining pretty steady.  Like, coming down in sheets and it was very cloudy.  Pretty sure it wasn't going to stop.  Anyway, Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade was about to start, and I was determined to see it.  I've never seen it before, and we had a good spot to watch it.  Even though it was raining, I still really wanted to wait to see it.  Then, it got delayed for like 20 minutes.  But, we held firm, and squished, in our good front row spot.  Totally worth it.  Every character that came down the parade route, who was walking, gave the boys and/or Natalie a high five. The parade vehicles are like cycle rickshaws, and there were the giraffe people on stilts again.  Awesome!  We tried to do Kali River Rapids again, but it was closed because of the rain.  

So, we headed down a walking path, hoping to catch a glimpse of some animals.  Matthew REALLY wanted a picture of a komodo dragon, and we found one to take a picture of.  He was beyond excited.  It was getting to be late afternoon, so we decided to call it a day.  In the down right pouring rain, we made our way to the exit, but not without a stop at It's Tough to be a Bug.  Now, if any of you may recall, this attraction pretty much ruined our very first trip to Disney, when the boys were four.  We knew nothing about the attraction back then, and assumed the boys would love it.  WRONG!  It freaked them out and we had to leave a few minutes into it.  After that, it was tough bribery to get them on ANYTHING dark at Disney.  Fast forward to 2012.  We told them we were going to see It's Tough to be a Bug, and they got in line without any fuss.  Granted, a huge spider and bugs crawling under your back side can be a little freaky.  And not to mention when the stinkbug lets out his gas.  However, they did enjoy it, without their 3D glasses on.   After that, we hit the buses and went back to the resort.  

We ended up ordering pizzas that night and hanging out in the room.  Even Wishes, Illuminations, the Main Street Electrical Parade, and Fantasmic were cancelled or delayed because it was storming so very badly.  This was the most rain we've had on a Disney vacation, and it didn't really get sunny until our last days there :(.  

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