Day Five Part 1, Wednesday, July 16: Animal Kingdom
Today would be our last full day at WDW. We were going to go to Animal Kingdom. We didn’t make it to this park on our March trip and hadn’t been since ’99. After a smooth bus ride, we entered the park and headed straight for Kilimanjaro Safari. We got a fast pass and then headed to Tusker House for Larry’s famous cinnamon rolls and coffee. Now we were getting smart. Get a fast pass first and then have coffee. That way, we wouldn’t be tempted to dump the coffee to get to our first attraction.
There was some minor confusion at Tusker House. We arrived a little early, I guess, because they said they weren’t serving breakfast. We saw a sign about a bakery inside and when we headed for it, a CM said it wasn’t open yet. Then, suddenly Tusker House was open and we ordered cinnamon rolls and coffee. The CMs were very friendly there. They joked around with us and invited us to come back for lunch. We found all of the CMs at Animal Kingdom to be quite warm and friendly. That really cheered us up because we had run into a couple of cranky ones at some of the other parks. We were really getting into AK.
We enjoyed being able to relax over our morning coffee and yummy cinnamon roll. Thanks, Larry, for the tip. The whole atmosphere was nice and we considered returning for lunch but we really thought we wanted to eat at Rainforest Café again.
We had a great safari driver — she was friendly, smart, and really drove the vehicle fast. We were seated right behind the driver and had a great time. On our way out, we grabbed another fast pass. Fast pass is especially awesome for this ride. We remembered the line we had to stand in before fast pass in ’99. This was great-we were going to get to ride it twice in one day-a first for us, since we are rather AK newbies. We were more impressed with AK on this trip, the atmosphere was great-the foliage was just so lush and there was more to it than before.
We headed for Dinosaur. We had never ridden this before. We had originally thought it was going to be a simulator-type ride and wasn’t too interested but then we got clued in that it was more like Indiana Jones at Disneyland. We were ecstatic. That’s one of the biggest things we miss about Disneyland (besides the Matterhorn, which Expedition Everest should satisfy). We loved this ride. We then wanted to check out Primeval Whirl-or should I say primeval hurl ? That was absolutely awful. We were so ill. Never, never again. In fact, we really didn’t like this whole area. Maybe the kids need a place to let off some steam and have some rides just for them but it just seemed so out of place with the rest of the park. We vowed never to return, except to race through it to ride Dinosaur again. That was really well done.
It was quite hot out so we grabbed our usual ice cream and bottled water and headed back for our 2nd fast pass. This time we got a rather slow driver but it was still fun. Maybe we’d had enough flying around anyway. It was probably best to let our stomachs settle down.
We did some shopping. Rich bought an adorable AK Safari tank top. He was hesitant to do so but it looks really great on him. We also bought 2 more AK adventurers-Pooh and Tigger. We already had AK Mickey. The CM was so warm and friendly. We just love this park.
We headed to Rainforest Café. There are only 3 of these where we would consider eating-Las Vegas (the first one we tried), Downtown Disney and Animal Kingdom. If it’s located in a mall across from some department store like Sears, we’re not interested. That ruins the atmosphere for us. We were seated near a very noisy elephant and I ordered the Coconut Shrimp and a Margarita and Rich ordered the Planet Earth Pasta with an ice tea. It was so relaxing, the food was so delicious and the drink was especially yummy. We were having a wonderful day.
This afternoon we actually did make it to Stormalong Bay.
The rain had held off and since it was our last day, we had to fit this in. We had such a great time, splashing around in the water, enjoying the sandy bottom and just the whole atmosphere. I was getting sad that we hadn’t made it out here earlier. One of our favorite things to do in Las Vegas is hanging out by the pool, enjoying bar service from our lounge chair. Just put up the umbrella attached to your lounge chair, order your favorite drink and sign for it when it arrives. Stormalong Bay is somewhat of a different atmosphere but still a lot of fun. The last time we were in Vegas, though, we stayed at Mandalay Bay. We enjoyed their wave pool and the river pool (one lady moaned that it wasn’t as nice as the one at WDW) and we pretended we were at WDW. So, we always miss the place where we are not.
A day at Stormalong Bay would not be complete without an ice cream at Beaches and Cream so I grabbed a table and Rich went into the take-out section and brought out the No Way Jose. He had intended to just get a Mickey Sundae but decided it was too small. The No Way Jose was quite yummy-Peanut butter and hot fudge delight with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate morsels, whipped cream and a cherry. Fancy restaurants don’t tempt me with dessert unless they have great ice cream-chocolate soufflés and mousses don’t do it for me.
Day Five Part 2, Wednesday, July 16: Last Round at Epcot and the Boardwalk
After sleeping off our No Way Jose, we headed back to Epcot and World Showcase to see if we could ride Test Track this trip. When we got there, there were no more fast passes and the standby line was a huge amount of time (don’t remember exactly how long). We decided to pass. We had ridden it twice in March. We then thought we would check out Mission Space. When we arrived, it wasn’t open and everybody, including a rather rude CM, made it clear that it wasn’t and implied that shouldn’t even be in the area. Don’t know what that was about but we didn’t feel comfortable and left. We’re not even sure that this ride appeals to us anyway. We then decided to make one last trek around World Showcase.
We love the real Mexico and the Mexico at Epcot, including the ride, and like to eat at San Angel Inn on every trip. We headed for Mexico-we had to ride El Rio del Tiempo-but it was hard to look at the restaurant and know that we weren’t eating here this trip. Although we had made a lunch PS for this trip, our plans had changed on that day. But since we did eat at the Cantina, that helped relieve some of the disappointment. The ride put us in the mood for another stop at the Cantina for a margarita. We ordered 2 frozen margaritas-I got the lime, as usual, and Rich got the Fiesta-a mix of 4 different flavors. The icy drink was very refreshing on a hot, humid night. We sat on a bench and sipped our drinks and did some people watching and then decided to walk with our drinks around the rest of the lagoon. We were tired and wanted some kind of snack so we decided that was enough of Epcot and made our way over to the Boardwalk, for our last walk around there.
One reason we didn’t keep some of our evening PS is that the rain lasted until evening and we were usually soaked, wearing our ponchos and dripping all over the place. This night, we had PS at the Flying Fish but it just didn’t fit in with our plans. We were winding down and just didn’t want a big meal. We did look in at the diners at Flying Fish enjoying themselves and took a look at the menu. The ice wine caught our attention. Bob and Larry really know how to do it. Next time, we told ourselves, when we are staying at the Boardwalk, we’ll eat at Flying Fish.
We were looking for a small bit of something so we grabbed a couple of slices of cheese pizza at the Boardwalk Walk-up Pizza window and a couple of sodas and sat outside, enjoying the last night’s sights, smells, and sounds.
We strolled back over to the YC for the last time, headed for our room, and started packing.