Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Animal Kingdom

We started off our 2nd day at Animal Kingdom. 

We began with the Kilimanjaro Safari and enjoyed checking out all the animals hanging out in their "natural" habitats. 

We had fun at Animal Kingdom, but overall we felt like it was one big zoo. Since we've done a lot of zoos, it wasn't that exciting in the grand scheme of things. The kids kept asking when we were going to go on rides or play games like we had done the day before at Hollywood Studios. 

We checked out an African drum show. It was fun to see the African influence at Animal Kingdom. We have friends who are/have adopted from different parts of Africa, so it was good to expose our kids to some of the culture/food/village feel. 

Triceratops Spin

The day started off chilly, but it warmed up enough that we cooled down with some Mickey sandwiches. 

Just a note on food… we opted not to purchase the Disney Dining Plan and just paid individually for our food. We kept a running total and ended up saving at least $350! The dining plan would have come with one counter service (fast food type) meal each day, one table (sit down) meal, one snack (see ice cream above) and one cup/day for $1217 for our family. We spent $995 on food and alcohol total for the 8 days. Since we don't drink sodas, we knew we wouldn't even use that part of the meal plan, plus, we'd have paid on top of the plan for a 3rd meal most of the days when we were hungry from all our walking and playing. Not included in the plan would have been food we would have had to purchase on our "off" day. And alcohol wasn't included either way, so we could also deduct that cost from our total of $995 as well. I did plan ahead and brought lots of snacks/breakfast with us - lara bars, peanut butter crackers, applesauce pouches, etc. I brought cereal and we bought milk at the restaurant in the lobby as a cost saving (and time saving!) measure. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it so we'd remember this for next time. It was a gamble, but we ended up ahead :) 

Tree of Life

Fun bird show

Waiting for the parade

This parade was ok… we probably would have left the park earlier, but had a dinner reservation there, so had to stick around. Our meal was worth it… but this parade was our least fave of all of them. :(

After the parade, we ate at Tusker House (African) restaurant. It was really good and a fun way to try some new foods! 

After dinner, we headed to Magic Kingdom. It was fun to go there for the first time at night when Main Street and the castle were all lit up.

 We rode the teacups over and over, until Tatum decided she was scared of going fast and didn't want to ride any more. :) 

Then we watched the Electric Parade.

Tatum loved seeing all of the Princesses

and the boys liked seeing Captain Hook. After this parade was the big light show on Cinderella's castle.  Zoe, Tatum and Levi were all asleep by the time it started and Ty had run to the bathroom with Colt, so they missed half of it. This light show was probably one of my personal favorites from the trip. Glad I was able to enjoy it! After the light show was a fire works show, but since Colt was the only kid awake and also freaked out by fireworks, we decided to leave after Colt begged us not to stay (he had an irrational fear that the fireworks were going to start a fire). It was actually a great decision to leave because we beat the thousands of crowds trying to exit the park, but were still able to watch the fireworks show on our long walk back to our resort bus! This was a late night for us, but fortunately the next day was our day off from the parks, so we got to sleep in! 

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