Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 5 - June 11th Part 3 (Animal Kingdom Lodge and closing up Magic Kingdom)

When I last updated you, my family was reunited after the ER adventure. Our ADR for Boma was at 6 but I wanted us to have some time to enjoy looking around the resort a bit, so I insisted that everyone get ready so we could get to Animal Kingdom Lodge by at least 5. Grabbing a cab was the best plan and very affordable.

As soon as we walked into the lobby at AKL, I was just overwhelmed with the African art everywhere, the enormously tall thatched ceiling, and the window overlooking the savannah. It did NOT disappoint.

We went out the back door to look at animals and had to laugh a bit because right before we headed out, there were 3 older kids considering going outside but they said “It’s too hot out there.” After they left, Kathryn observed that they were obviously not from Texas because it felt great to us. It was humid, and you could tell it was getting ready to rain, but with the overcast skies and the nice breeze - we really liked it!

Someday I want to stay here so I can look out my window and see the animals. Someday….

We met some very nice young men from Botswana who worked at AKL, had a great conversation, and they took our family picture.

It started to rain and it was time to go in for dinner. We made our way to Boma and were seated immediately in the PERFECT location. It’s a noisy restaurant, but our table was off in a little alcove with lots of windows. Especially with the rain coming down outside, it was a very nice atmosphere. I look really happy, don't I? I had a Long Island Iced Tea.
'Nuff said, right?

Boma was on my list of things I wanted to do for two reasons: first, I’d always wanted to visit AKL and second, I’d heard the food was great. Many people who wrote reviews of it were particularly blown away by the soups. The continuous stream of compliments about the soups fascinated me so we started there.

Whoa. I have no idea how they make such delicious soups, people. The Nigerian fish stew made my tastebuds sing. Needless to say, I think this restaurant will always be on my list although my husband rightfully pointed out that we would not have enjoyed it as much if we’d been in the middle of the noisy dining room. Maybe not….but I would stand in a long line in Texas heat just to get some of that fish stew again. I can only guess that the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld must have made soup like this for people to put up with his abuse. I would totally be willing to be yelled at ("No soup for you!!") to get more of that stew. No kidding!

At the end of the meal, while the rest of the family waited for the bill, I went upstairs to the bar and asked for a glass of any African wine that I couldn’t easily find in the states. The nice bartender provided me with a glass of this and I was not disappointed.

After that we went outside again and I sat in a rocking chair, finishing my wine while David and the kids looked at some interesting snails on the foliage. I was slowing us down a bit, everyone was eager to get back to the MK and attack it with everything we had, but I needed that glass of wine and enjoyed every last drop of it!

Once I was properly wined up, we made our way to the buses and went back to the Magic Kingdom. We all stayed in our matching shirts because we didn’t have any family photopass pictures from today. It was time to change that! I told my husband how much I loved the special Disney balloons-inside-balloons and he got a nice picture for me.

Ok - a good trip reporter would be able to tell you exactly what time we arrived, exactly what rides we rode, etc. But...I’m not a good trip reporter. Too bad for you. ;)

Before Dennis and I left the park that morning, we’d changed our Space Mountain FPs because our whole family wasn’t together. Sadly, the only time available was pretty late - like at 9:30 at night. Or maybe it was even 10:30. I forget - but it was late. That was still our 3rd FP so I wasn’t able to take advantage of the “get a 4th FP, then a 5th FP” plan at MK as I originally planned.

We were, however, able to repeat a number of pictures from our trip 5 years before - such as this lovely one of my husband wearing the hanging flowers as a hat.

One of my goals will be to figure out how to do some sort of fun art thing with all our re-do see how we’ve changed in 5 years!

When we got to the Magic Kingdom after dinner, I think the first thing we did was wait in the Under the Sea line for an annoyingly long time. Over and over, I’d read tons of comments about how if the sign said the line was 20 minutes, it was probably just 10 minutes. This ride wasn’t high on my list but I figured, what the heck - the line will be short. IT WAS NOT SHORT. The time was understated and then the ride itself kept stopping. Although I didn’t time it, if I had to guess I think the whole experience at the Ariel ride sucked up the first hour of our time back at Magic Kingdom. Luckily, it was a cute ride and there was an ADORABLE little baby in the clam shell right behind me and Kathryn. No problem, really!

Then we enjoyed some of the other charming sections of New Fantasyland like the gorgeous Tangled bathrooms (I know that sounds weird if you don’t know what I’m talking about but I'm actually ok with you thinking I'm a freak for taking pictures of the inside of bathrooms because they are JUST THAT FABULOUS.)

We were finally able to walk through the Castle together and David took this picture of me in front of the amazingly gorgeous mosaic. (Heaven...I'm in heaven just remembering it...)

We rode Dumbo and it was very nice because the sun was just setting as we were up in the air.

In case you’re curious, it’s very much worth it to get a few lovely sunset castle pictures with your family when you see those PhotoPass photographers…so STOP and get those pictures. Trust me!

Once it was dark, we went to Gaston’s Tavern where we ordered a LaFou’s brew (way too sweet for us) and a cinnamon roll. Then David insisted that Kathryn take our picture like this. Yay for embarrassing your kids at Disney World!!

It was getting dark so I wanted us to head over to Adventureland so we could enjoy the Jungle Cruise at night and hopefully Pirates of the Caribbean as well. As we went by Peter Pan and It’s A Small World, we were able to ride both of those without much of a wait at all. As we came out of IASW, we heard the fireworks and although I tried to rush my family (I had this list of rides I wanted us to try to knock out before 1 a.m.), they smartly insisted that we stay right where we were so we could watch the fireworks.

It was cool, people. My family was TOTALLY RIGHT for telling me to chill out and watch the fireworks. We were near IASM and some of the fireworks were over our castle to our right and some were further back, to our left. Pretty cool. Of course, it's difficult to tell from this photo but I'll try to incorporate the video into our big trip video and hopefully that will give you the feel. If you don't like crowds, it's a cool option!

In Adventureland, Jungle Cruise was a walk on and so corny of course. Pirates of the Caribbean was also a walk on at that time of night. After that it was time for our Space Mountain FastPasses - yea!!!

We were all very excited because, of course, Dennis learned he loved roller coasters on this trip and Kathryn was looking forward to the ride. Too bad the SM cars don’t fit 4 people - my picture didn’t show up at first on PhotoPass but I’d taken the wise advice of many on the advice forums and taken a cell phone photo so I knew my PhotoPass number and they were able to track it down for me. Dennis loved the ride but Kathryn did not like it at all. She said she felt like she was about to fall out all the time and I can see what she means - the walls are rather low on those cars!

I knew my son was very much looking forward to a spin on Carousel of Progress and it surprised me to learn my daughter was as we rode that. And I will spare you the argument I got into with the rest of my family (it was them against me) because after the ride stopped three or four different times and started replaying the last scene for (I believe) the third time, I joined others who arose and tried to exit out of impatience. The very young teen boys running the ride hollered at us over the loudspeaker saying it was our fault the ride was stopped.


I was not happy (we had rides to do before 1 a.m.) but my family told me I should have been much more obedient and remained in my seat.

I’m such a rebel. Luckily - I was able to access my inner rebel on Buzz because there was no line at all. Kathryn’s gun didn’t work AT ALL and the confused look on her face contrasted with her father’s intent look cracks me up.

My family was ready to start heading out. I was a little bummed we didn’t make it to Monster’s Laugh Factory, but that’s ok...we planned to find ice cream. As we got close to the front I asked if they’d do “one more thing” for me and we rode the carousel - all of us had big smiles.

As I was soaking in the carousel, I noticed the insane line for Elsa and Anna (even at 12:40 a.m.!) but wondered about seeing Cinderella and Rapunzel. They were listed as 20 minutes but I asked the CM - is it really 20 minutes? She shook her head. We followed the line around (passing all the Elsa/Anna people on the other side of the rope) and walked right in. Oh, I”m so glad we did! One of the best parts of the whole experience was the 2 year old boy behind us who told Cinderella “I just saw your CASTLE!!!” It was great.

And I hugged princesses! (They both asked us what our secret was for 21 years of marriage and we told both of them that the kids were our secret to success.)

As we left, we picked up a couple of ice cream sundaes (yum) and my only regret about that is that by the time we got to the front of the park, it was past 1 a.m. so my last minute idea to meet Tinkerbell didn’t work. Oh, well….next time!

We were all very tired, but what a day! We truly did so many rides together at MK (especially considering the fact two of us were at the ER for a few hours, we had a nap, then dinner at AKL). It turned out to be a wonderful MK day, although I’d love to have so many more days there very soon!


Megan Willome said...

Reading your posts, I'm figuring out the key to me enjoying Disney World--wine!

Seriously, though, I'm enjoying living vicariously through you. :)

JennInAustin said...

Thanks! The wine is great, as is the grapefruit beer in Germany (sounds strange but it's great and very light - not very alcoholic at all). The best, however, are the frozen grand marnier drinks in France. Wow. ;)