I have decreed this week Disney week on the blog and each day will be a recap of our trip. If I don't do this now, it'll be June before I finish telling you all about our week! So, here goes with our first day at Disney, when we went to Animal Kingdom.
When we got there it was lightly raining, but it eventually cleared up and it turned out to be a great day. I don't know if it was because of the rain or it's just not super crowded in general, but there weren't a whole lot of people there that day - compared to the craziness of Magic Kingdom, it was awesome! However, we did have a few hiccups. Alan had called before we left Indiana to see if we needed to check into the hotel or if our magic bands would be ready to go and was told that no, they would automatically be activated that morning. Yeah, false. When we got to the park, we couldn't get in and had to go to guest services to get them activated to get into the park. After that we thought everything would be fine, but when we went to eat lunch, surprise! Our dining plan wasn't activated and there was nothing they could do there. It would have to be taken care of at our hotel. So, we wound up paying out of pocket for our meals and getting reimbursed that night when we arrived at Pop Century.
We had fast passes for Kilmanjaro Safari, Finding Nemo - The Musical and meeting Mickey and Minnie at the Adventurers Outpost. We didn't really need the one to meet Mickey and Minnie, but they were definitely useful for the other two! Kilmanjaro Safari and meeting Rafiki (one of my favorite Disney characters) were the things I wanted to be sure to do while at Animal Kingdom and they didn't disappoint. There were no fast passes to meet Rafiki and I wish there were because we waited a decent chunk of time to see him.
Ewan also really enjoyed meeting Chip n Dale, who loved his TMNT hoodie. The kids, especially Cecily, LOVED meeting Mickey and Minnie. Cecily just snuggled up to them and it was so cute. I might or might not have cried because I'm sappy like that.
Finding Nemo - The Musical was also really cool. I personally would've been happy with seeing all the shows because they are spectacular but we didn't have time.
We didn't do many rides because neither Alan nor I wanted to get in the single rider line and make the other wait with the kids. So everything we did was something we could all do. The other ride we did in Animal Kingdom was the Triceratop Spin, which they both loved. On they way over there we saw Goofy too.
A recurrent theme throughout the week was Cecily wanting nothing to do with meeting characters. The way we got her to do most of them was have her hand them the book we had for all the characters to sign. We got the Memory Maker thing, where you pay a fee and they give you all the photos that they scan onto your magic band so you don't have to pay to download each individual photo. It was really convenient and when the magic bands work the way they're supposed to, it's really really nice!
When we weren't riding rides or meeting characters, we mainly walked around the "zoo" portions of the park so that they kids could earn their Wilderness Explorers badges. You can sign up for it near the park entrance and it's a great way to keep the kids interested throughout the day. While Cecily was a little too young still, Ewan was really interested in it and had a blast filling up his book.
I have been to Disney once before and the only park I went to was Magic Kingdom, so this was basically my first trip to Disney too, as well as the kids. And Animal Kingdom was definitely my favorite of all the parks. I know a lot of people say that it's a half day park, but I don't think it is, even if you don't do everything there is to do there. I loved seeing all the animals and I especially loved the fact that it wasn't nearly as crowded as the other parks. Not that I'm rearing to go back anytime soon, but I told Alan that when we do go back again, we can totally stay in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. How cool would it be to wake up next to the animals? Pretty awesome!
What did you think of Animal Kingdom?