After leaving Animal Kingdom we headed over to Epcot. The majority of our time at Epcot was spent visiting the areas representing various countries around the world.
We started our third and final day at Disney in Animal Kingdom.
Breakfast was a buffet at Tusker House, which was excellent. Because we had early breakfast reservations, we were able to enter the park before it opened, and this meant that all the Disney characters who would normally be working their way around the park were able to visit us right at our breakfast table.
Our waitress was kind enough to bring by a birthday surprise for Ian
Animal Kingdom is broken up into 7 different areas. Tusker House is in the Africa area, and it really does have the look of a building in an African town.
After breakfast we went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. This is basically a big, bouncy bus that drives through a huge animal exhibit. It was tough to get pictures because the bus was bouncing around so much, but this was much better than any zoo. There were many animals from the African savanna that none of us had ever seen before.
After the safari ride we proceeded around the central lake to the Asia section.
Next up was Dinoland, U.S.A.
Later in the afternoon, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit. Katra and Ian took a nap while Kyle and I went for a walk around the resort to take pictures. Kyle has his own camera now, so he was shooting the whole time along with me (he actually took more pictures than I did, which is no small feat). I have put some of his photos below alongside mine for comparison. Aside from holding the camera level and keeping fingerprints off the lens, I think he’s getting pretty good!
This was my favorite part of the whole trip. Kyle really seems to enjoy using his camera. He copies what I do for some pictures, but he really does his own thing on most of them. He got some really interesting and unique photos on the trip, and I’ll be posting more of them after I have a chance to sort through them (he took almost 2000 photos on our vacation).
We spent the morning and early afternoon of our second Disney day at Hollywood Studios. The whole park is set up like a giant movie set, with backdrops, fake buildings, and people walking around dressed like old movie stars.
The Honey I Shrunk the Kids exhibit was set up to make you feel like you had been shrunk to the size of an ant.
On the way out we ran into a bunch of people dressed as actors from old movies.
On the sixth day of our vacation we headed over to Walt Disney World. We checked in at the Port Orleans Riverside resort (photos to come later) then headed up to Magic Kingdom for our first day of fun.
The parking lot for Magic Kingdom is actually across the lake, so you either had to take the monorail or a ferry to get to the park. We took the monorail on the way in, and the ferry on the way out.
We had lunch at the Crystal Palace, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger dropped by to see the boys.
We headed back to the hotel in mid-afternoon to get moved into our rooms and rest a bit before heading out to dinner.
Dinner was at the Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge resort. This is a really fun place to eat. If you make make certain requests of your waiter, the results can be pretty unexpected. If you ask for ketchup, the waiter will yell “I NEED KETCHUP!!!” as loud as they can, and soon you will have several dozen ketchup bottles brought to your table by every waiter in the place. Asking for a refill of your Coke will result in a GIANT bell jar full of Coke. The food was excellent, too – we ordered an “all you care to eat” barbecue platter, and received some of the best bbq we have had anywhere. We left stuffed, and ready for more fun at Magic Kingdom.
The big attraction in the evening at Magic Kingdom is the parade followed by the fireworks display. The night we were there they had a special presentation of Spectromagic, where they turn out all the lights in the park and the parade floats come through all lit up with Christmas tree type lights. The lights alternate between pure white and multicolor, and the effect is really amazing. After the parade comes the fireworks show. We had seats right next to Cinderella’s Castle, so the fireworks were exploding right above us. It was truly an amazing experience.