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Day 4: Magic & Animal Kingdoms

Day 4: Magic & Animal Kingdoms

Today was our official Magic Kingdom day. We experienced a number of the rides Sunday night, during Extra Magic Hours, but today was our “real” day.

We got there on time, so that we could see the opening ceremonies in front of the train station. After the characters rode in on the train, we were welcomed into the Magic Kingdom. We hustled straight to Fantasyland to check those off the list right away.

In order, we rode Winnie the Pooh, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Peter Pan’s Flight and it’s a small world.  After that, we visited the Haunted Mansion.  Thanks to TouringPlans.com, we did all of that in less than an hour!

In the next hour, we rode Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. We would have thrown Splash Mountain in the mix, but it was temporarily out of service.

Before lunch, we caught a quick show of Country Bear Jamboree. Then it was time for lunch at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn, where we utilized the self-service kiosk. It was successful, once it finally decided to read our card.

After lunch we enjoyed a theatrical presentation put on by every US President, past and present. Our Fastpasses for Splash Mountain (which we obtained earlier when it was broken) had reached their valid time window, so we made our first splash of the trip, staying safely in the log because of the new lap bars.

Speaking of the new lap bars – we approve. Not only will they keep idiotic teenagers and misbehaved children from standing up in or jumping out of the logs during the ride, but they offer a much more convenient handle to squeeze during that final plunge. Anyone worried about the lap bars being a problem for plus-sized or claustrophobic guests need not worry. From our perspective, they will actually allow more room than the giant “dash board” pads and handles did previously.

It was time to cross the park to Tomorrowland.  We first stopped at the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor for a hilarious stand-up comedy show.  Yours truly was chosen to be “That Guy” for the show (I even got a sticker to prove it), and they used one of the joke’s my brother submitted in the show. Pretty exciting for both of us. If you don’t know what any of this means, send us an e-mail.

We crossed the street to help teleport Stitch.  The experienced lived up to my expectations…which were extremely low. We’re not a fan of this attraction. I would MUCH rather have the original Alien Encounter back, but supposedly it was too scary for the Magic Kingdom.  My thoughts on that…if your kids are scared of the dark, loud noises and aliens that touch you and breathe on your neck – heed the warning signs and don’t take them on the attraction.

We ventured over to the Carousel of Progress to learn about the evolution of technology and electricity.  The final scene really needs to be updated. It’s not 1992 any more. Virtual Reality has come and gone, “smart homes” are old news, and there’s no such thing as a “car phone” any more. Still, a classic show and always worth a visit.

After that, the obligatory ride on the TTA Peoplemover.  My favorite experience on this ride is from several years ago when my brother and I rode it over and over and over again during a torrential rain storm.

Kayla and I split up from my brother and sis-in-law to do our own things. Kayla got a Dole Whip while I took pictures around Adventureland and Main Street. Then we headed to the resort to freshen up and change for dinner.  Once the others arrived, we all headed to the Polynesian by way of the bus to the MK, then the Resort Monorail.

Dinner at Kona was fantastic. We explained to our server that we were in a hurry to get to Animal Kingdom for EMH, and she did a stellar job of expediting our dining experience.

We got to Animal Kingdom with almost 2 hours of EMH left on the clock. We headed straight to Expedition Everest and rode it as a group.  My brother and I are prone to motion sickness, so we took a breather while Kayla rode it again by herself.

Then we hustled to Dinosaurland and rode Dinosaur. A little thrashy, and not a great choice after Everest, but still an awesome ride.  Once we successfully brought a dinosaur back from the past, we headed to the Tree of Life where we saw It’s Tough to be a Bug – the 3D show inside the tree.  My sister-in-law was quite surprised by the bugs that are allowed to leave the theater before the humans are dismissed 🙂

We ended with a nice stroll through Asia, Discovery Island and Africa (alone through most of Africa), a few Photopass stops along the way, and off to the buses.

Once back at the Resort, we did a couple loads of laundry and hit the hay.

Stay tuned for Thursday’s report on Friday night.

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