Sunday, January 23, 2022

A December Disney visit - plus a visit from an old friend - 2021/12/10

A look back on a Disney trip in December. 

We're getting as many Disney World trips in before Christmas as we can. Our passes are going to be blocked out soon. 

Today we're going to start in Disney's Animal Kingdom, but we'll end our day at Epcot and get to catch up with an old friend!

Since we made it to Orlando a couple months back, we've walked through Disney's Animal Kingdom, but haven't gone on any rides. That's changing today! We arrived right around noon. 
First up, the kids became honorary bugs riding "It's Tough To Be A Bug". They don't remember it from back in California and both were very surprised by the hornets/seats stinging them, and the creepy crawlies moving under them to exit the theater. Ha!

We keep an eye on the Disney World wait time app to see what rides have short lines. The kids have been loving roller coasters, so I was excited to take them on Expedition Everest. It only had a short 25 minute line! I took the kids and it ended up being even shorter!

Wow! They've even got their hands up for the big drop! When we got off, the wait time had dropped to 20 minutes! Theresa suggested we go through and ride it again!

We did just that. The kids like to run down my phone battery by using the Disney Play app while they're in line. It has short mini-games that they play and then pass back and forth. It helps the time in line go a bit faster. 

Oh no! The track is broken!

Theresa watches from the viewing area as we ride. 

Kilimanjaro Safaris is an amazing attraction. But because it's so amazing it usually has a really long line. We lucked out today though and were able to ride after just a 20 minute wait. No two rides are ever the same! 

These birds have the poor hippo surrounded and backed into a corner. We drove away before the fight broke out. 

These are some crazy big Nile Crocodiles. 

I love how the giraffes and all the animals are right at home, next to the safari trucks as you drive along. 

Even the rhinoceros can be close to the truck with no gates or barriers between you. It's a great ride, and way better than seeing them in a zoo behind bars. 

Time to make our way to Epcot. We've got friends to meet. 
On the walk out, Santa was on a boat, riding through the waterways, greeting people. The kids were excited to see him and wave. 

At the front of the park, there's some kind of parade with puppeteers and live music. Lots of different animals are represented here. 

The kids enjoyed petting the polar bear. 

And an arctic fox. It was fun. 

Let's grab a snack. Just as you leave Disney's Animal Kingdom, there is a McDonalds. It's a lot more expensive than a normal McDonalds, but it's cheaper than Disney prices. And if you're redeeming your reward points, everything is free! 

We're making our way over the Epcot. Our friends haven't arrived yet, so we're taking a spin on the kids' favorite ride. Test Track! They love to design their own cars. The only problem is, I want to design one too! Maybe one of these times they'll let Theresa and I do it. 

We love the speed at the end, going around the banked turn at 64.9 mph. 

Afterwards, we headed to Club Cool and the Popcorn Stand. Love it!

Disney World is awesome for meeting up with old friends. Many people plan Disney trips. Since we're already here, we can meet up in the parks with them!
Today we're catching up after many years apart with our friend Mary Kate!  

We knew Mary Kate back from California where she was also a great big Disney fan. That's me, Jacob, and MK from a Disneyland trip back in 2007! Life takes us many different directions and now she lives in a different state, is married, and has 3 kids! But she's still just as big of a Disney fan!

Her kids and our kids are close enough to the same age, that they'll have a lot of fun running around and playing today. I know a great place for that! Together we rode Journey Into Imagination with Figment where we were supposed to go on a tour through the Sound, Sight, Smell, Touch, and Taste labs. Then afterwards we checked out the Imageworks "What If" labs where imaginations can run wild in the creative play spaces. Together they all made music. 

And these pressure sensitive floor pads that play music can play a lot more instruments at the same time when you've got a lot more people to stomp on them. They spent a lot of time over here just running around and being kids. Kids can make new friends in an instant. Love it!

Designing our own Figment is fun, but this area could use some updating. Two of the three computers weren't working, and the old school trackball and keyboard would work better as a touchscreen. 

At The Land pavilion, Living With The Land is a fun ride (for some). The kids enjoyed riding together. 

And right next to The Land, we went under the sea to search for Nemo. Found him!

Over by the sharks, Bruce has a submarine play area. Bruce has got a mouthful!

That's nearly everybody!

Even the littles can have fun. 

The kids spent 15 minutes running around, being loud, playing tag, doing some light wrestling, laughing, and having fun together. It gave the parents a chance to chat and catch up. 

The night is winding down and we've got time for just one more ride. Spaceship Earth it is!

Mary Kate told us something new, that I had never realized. At the beginning of the ride, it asks you which language you prefer. English, German, Portuguese, French, Spanish, or Japanese. I always thought that was just for the descent when you're traveling backwards and doing the "choose your own adventure" activity. Turns out that it actually changes your narrator as you're traveling through the attraction. One of MK's kids pressed "German" when they went before and they had to listen to the whole 10 minute ride in German since there's no way to change it afterwards! 

Yep, it's definitely time to go to bed. Great to see you MK! So glad we could catch up again!

1 comment:

  1. What a nice opportunity to catch up with MK and her family after so many years...so many life stories to share with the different directions in life you each took. The kids had a wonderful time with each other...their easy acceptance of each other is something we adults often forget to do! Alli & Ian conquered another mountain, Expedition Everest!...any other mountains left? The Kilimanjaro Safaris offer lots of up-close encounters with wildlife...can seem intimidating at times with some of those animals! Such talented puppeteers with their puppets, and the kids got some hands-on time, too. Another great visit and a wonderful time with a long-time Disney fan and her family. EOM

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