We had a relaxing start to the day with a real breakfast in a real restaurant with real seats. It was really good. For real.
We found ourselves wandering around half an hour later with a map and the Disney app trying to figure out where to head first. A passing cast member realized we were at a loss and came over to give us some advice, providing a level of service that still surprises me, they really want to make sure you enjoy every moment you have. He suggested the Safari tour as the animals are out and about in the morning and he was completely right, we saw tons of animals and I ended up with hundreds of photos.
During the Safari I noticed that the passenger seating was bouncing around on the rough road but the driver was perfectly steady and it became apparent the cab had good suspension while the passengers were just sitting on bouncy spring. At one stop I had a good look at the “dirt” road we were on and it was all concrete with fake ruts and bumps. It makes sense, a real dirt road would become unusable with the traffic, and having the driver bouncing around for an entire shift would be tough.
The rest of the day, again in no particular order:
- Expedition Everest. Another roller coaster. In the middle it stops on a steep slope and then goes backwards into darkness. I found God. Iris lost her map.
- We took a train to a petting zoo and found a sheep with Mickey Mouse shaved onto it and Iris petted a sleeping pig. They also had the smallest hawk I have ever seen. It was stupidly cute.
- The Lion King “Circle of Life” show is the love child of Cirque du Soleil and Disney. It had so much going on that you would need to see it a few times from each angle to take it all in.
- There is a parade that runs through the park mid afternoon and we purposely found a quiet area to avoid it and relax for a few minutes. I took some photos of the Everest ride, and saw something amazing; we were keeping quiet, watching through the brush and trees as the shy and skittish Custodian cleaned out the garbage cans. It was thrilling to see this in the wild.
- Dinoland USA seemed strange and completely out of place for this park. As we came in to this section I couldn’t help but feel how cheap and cheesy it felt, I would swear we were at a traveling carnival setup in a parking lot. The noise, smell, and rides all gave that impression. It wasn’t until I happened to look down at the ground and saw a parking grid, patched asphalt, and a drain cover that I realized this is exactly what they wanted you to feel. It was well done, but it was still out of place with the theme of the rest of the park.
- Animal Kingdom closes much earlier than the other parks because they want the animals to have some down time. As we were heading to the exit I happened to look to my left (east) and caught the engine flare and smoke trail of a SpaceX Launch. A bunch of people were stopped, checking the internet, trying to figure out what it was. I didn’t bother with pictures as I didn’t have a good enough zoom to make it worthwhile. Pure luck to be there at the right time.
We went from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney for dinner and figured out where everyone was that day as it was insanely busy. We were starved but all the good restaurants had hour long waits so we shared a takeout Cuban sandwich to sate our hunger and then put our name down for Fulton’s Crab House (which kicked much ass). While waiting I picked up the Minecraft Nether kit and I had Iris make a mini-fig of herself to go along with one I did for the Lego house our friend Mike bought us.
A relaxing day had us back in bed before midnight. It wasn’t until I woke up feeling like hell the next morning that we realized how much we needed it.