Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 1 - Festival of the Lion King

After breakfast, we decided to head over and line up for the 12:00 showing of Festival of the Lion King, though it was only 11:30. The last time we were at WDW, we didn't get to see this due to technical difficulties (we found this out after we had waited 30 minutes ).

We decided to sit in the elephant section because we'd never sat there before (we're usually lions). We sat on the first row behind the wheelchair seating.

Okay, now as soon as the elephant guy came out, Rachel says, "It's Chandler!"

Chandler is the biggest guy on the football team... I suppose to understand this, you'd have to see him...

Here's some more pictures from the show. (Flash photography is allowed.) The quality isn't very good. My camera didn't care for the lighting.

Festival of the Lion King is one of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World. It's been the same for as long as I can remember, but it's great. It combines singing, dancing, acrobatics, and even fire twirling to create a very colorful production. I don't know of any other theme park with productions as elaborate as this.

Day 1 - Donald's Breakfast Safari at Tusker House

After the safari, we checked into Tusker House for our 10:20 Safari Breakfast. We were given a buzzer and sat at a shaded picnic table. We were all really hungry (it's a good thing I made this ADR... it was actually an afterthought, and I wasn't sure if we were really going to use it). After about 5-10 minutes, our buzzer buzzed.

We took a family picture and then were seated in a corner of the restaurant. Our safari guide (I don't know if that's what she actually was supposed to be, but I like that term), Veronica, gave us all Jungle Juice. Rachel chugged hers while Veronica was still telling us about the buffet. We both ordered Diet Cokes in addition to our Jungle Juice because we needed caffeine!

Donald and the gang wasn't near us, so we went on to the buffet. And, man, I filled my plate. I got like everything. But when I actually ate it, I was a bit disappointed in some of it... not all of it was hot, and the two meaty entrees had a weird flavoring to them. I really wanted some cheese grits.

I came back to the table and was greeted by Mickey. But Rachel was still at the buffet.

I managed to stall him long enough for Rachel to show...

Now, ten or so minutes later, Goofy showed up, and guess who was missing...

Once again, Rachel showed up with a big plate of food... Goofy really wanted her to share.

Luckily, she didn't miss Donald.

Or Daisy.

I can't remember what all I ate. I tried most everything. I ate a lot of fruit. The pineapple was good. So was the cheese.

Day 1 - Kilimanjaro Safaris

Now, after our second run, we decided to get FPs (FastPasses) and head on to Kilimanjaro Safaris before a crowd built over there. It wasn't crowded at all, right now.

Kilimanjaro Safaris opened with Disney's Animal Kingdom in 1998. It is quite a unique attraction, with elaborate theming and clever planning. See, Walt Disney wanted to use real animals for The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. However, he was advised not to do so because most of the animals he wanted to use were nocturnal or would spend most of the day sleeping or hiding from guests. So, they used animatronic animals for The Jungle Cruise. However, at Disney, no idea is ever completely shut-down. With Kilimanjaro Safaris, Imagineers found ways to persuade animals to stay visible throughout the day. Barriers are also seemingly invisible. As the animals adapt to their environment, Imagineers have to continue to make changes to the attraction. Though ever-changing, the storyline of the attraction has been rather consistant over the past eleven years. It is said that the best animal interaction occurs in the morning. We've also personally had good luck after rain. For the shortest wait, go here within the first hour of park opening or grab a FastPass to use later.

We actually walked at a leisurely pace. It wasn't hot, yet, and the trees provided a lot of shading.

Not bad...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 1 - Animal Kingdom Rope Drop

They let us into the park about fifteen minutes early, but held us at Discovery Island.

This was the first time Mom and Dad had ever been to WDW for rope drop. Rachel and I caught several rope drops on our last trip to the World, but they were always lagging behind.

This rope drop was super cute, with the checklist and Mickey inviting us along on an adventure.

We decideded to follow the rope through Asia to Expedition Everest. I had read in either Unofficial Guide or the AllEarsNet weekly newsletter that you can cut through Dinoland to get to Expedition Everest faster, but I figured what's thirty people ahead of us?

We were probably the second train on EE, but whatever... we still didn't really have to wait.

After our first ride, the wait was still low, so we got back in line. We waited maybe five minutes.

Back for round two!

Yeah, we're scared.