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Animal Kingdom Morning

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Animal Kingdom

On our last day in Disney World, we planned on a morning in the Animal Kingdom. When I made our Fast Pass reservations, I thought that we had very little interest in the new Pandora world. Then I kept hearing how beautiful and well-themed it is, so I switched things around and got a Fast Pass for Na’vi River Journey. I figured we’d be ok skipping the Flight of Passage thrill ride. However, while we were in Disney World, I kept hearing how everyone loved the ride and when I looked it up, I read that it was the best ride ever made, so we decided to head over to extra magic hours at 8 AM and get straight in line for Flight of Passage.

When the bus finally came, it was the first bus of the morning and people had been waiting for over half an hour, so it was completely packed! When we finally got to the Animal Kingdom, there was an hour wait already and just finding the end of the line had us walking a long way! But we knew that if we wanted to ride it, this was what we needed to do, and an hour wait was better than 2 or 3 hours as it was reaching later in the day!

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The theming once you finally reach the actual line for the ride brings you underground, leading from natural surroundings to technological, as you are supposed to be entering an area where researchers are working.

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We entertained ourselves a bit looking around the line area, and the people behind us were playing a game where they named Pok√©mon characters from A-Z, so we started naming Disney characters from A-Z. The ride itself was pretty cool. I had to close my eyes in a few parts! It is similar to Soarin’, in that there is a large screen in front of you and you feel like you are flying through the experience, but the vehicles are individual and move around a lot. For example, at one point they tip forwards as if you are flying straight down. I would like to ride again to fully experience everything!

I had not heard beforehand, but the ride vehicles have an issue where they don’t close correctly over people who aren’t entirely small. I am glad I didn’t know about this issue, although I’m not sure I would have been concerned. However, the cast member had to tell me to move forward more so that my vehicle would lock, and because my chest was all the way forward, I had to squish in for it to work. Luckily, it did, because waiting an hour and not being able to ride would have been no fun at all!

Before it was time for our Na’vi River Journey Fast Pass, we stopped in the bathroom and I loved this wall:

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Na’vi River Journey is a calm river ride with gentle music. It would not be worth waiting an hour for so I’m glad we had the Fast Passes!

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Back outside, we experienced just a bit of the Animal Kingdom’s beautiful theming as we headed for the Festival of the Lion King show.

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Next, we got in line for the safari. The line wasn’t supposed to be that long, but there was an animal in front of a vehicle, so there was a bit of a wait!

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I love baby animals!

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We didn’t get up close to the tree of life this time, but I think it’s beautiful.

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I also love the theming in the Asia area of the park!

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We had time before our Everest Fast Pass, so Simon and I got in line to meet Mickey and Minnie. The others were going to join us after a visit to Starbucks, but they didn’t make it back on time! I guess Simon thought the line was too long though, because we played a bit of Head’s Up. This is one way we occupied ourselves in lines on both this trip and our last trip. If you have the game, there is a free Disney themed pack that you can access in the parks.

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Simon enjoyed this meet up!

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What Simon did not want to do was ride Everest. So we split up and got Rider Switch passes, although they didn’t really work correctly. They wanted to know who was going to ride again and who was going to wait with Simon on the second time through and we weren’t sure. Then, since Simon still had a Fast Pass we hadn’t used, Dave ended up using that to ride again, while Zachary and I used the switch passes. This was supposed to be recorded on our tickets / Magic Bands, but it didn’t exactly work automatically. I think they were just learning the system. Anyway, Simon and I hung out in the store at the end of the ride until the first group came out. Gabbie didn’t really like the ride and she ended up waiting with Simon for me, Dave, and Zachary to go on together.

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Zachary showed me the Yeti on the ride, which I missed the last time I was on it. And I think it was smart that Simon didn’t go on it, because it was pretty fast and rough!

It was now time to head back to the hotel and check out. We reserved a rental car because that night we were staying near the airport. So we planned to pick it up in the middle of the day and then drive over to the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon. On our way out of the park, we watched the monkeys a little bit.

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Simon sat in a rickshaw.

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I got another photo of the tree and checked out the flamingos.

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And then we saw someone I had always wanted to run into – DiVine! DiVine is a character who is only found at the Animal Kingdom. She is painted in green and wears leaves so she looks like a tree. She stands still so you have to know what you’re looking at to find her!

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We arrived at 8 AM and left at 1 PM. In that time, we rode: Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, the Safari, and Expedition Everest (twice for some of us). We also watched the Lion King show, met Mickey and Minnie, and spotted DiVine. Not bad for a Disney morning!

Next week, I’ll share what we did on our last afternoon at the Magic Kingdom!

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