Thursday, May 1, 2008

Recap of Day 2 at Disney

Animal Kindom was at it's photogenic best today, and I've really decided that afternoon is the best time to be there. Photos will be on SmugMug in the next day or so, and I'll post a link here.

After a good night's sleep, we had yogurt parfait to go from the food court (our favorite Disney breakfast) and a relaxing swim in the main pool capped by a hot tub soak before heading out to Animal Kingdom. The wather is absolutely perfect - mid 80s and low humidity. Perfect Disney weather.

We met Katie and Leslie at AK and are starting to think about taking the Backstage Safari tour sometime next week. We did Wild By Design last time and loved it. AK is really our favorite park - way too much eye candy everywhere you look and the music is so relaxing.

We just made it to the 1:45 show of Finding Nemo: The Musical. Very well done, but Aladdin at Disney's California Adventure is still my favorite. This is every bit as good, though - easily Disney's best or second best effort at a show in the parks.

We went to Expedition Everest at 2:30 to find a 40 minute wait and fastpasses gone for the day. Harrumph. Katie didn't mind, though. ;) So, we strolled around, did some shopping, snacked a little, and then It's Tough To Be A Bug. That was our first Disney 3-D, so it's always a fave. Katie's only seen it once and still hasn't gotten all the surprises down, so watching a newbie jump makes it all the better. :) (As Jim says, 'Have you met my demon?' )

The parade is coming up. Leslie heads to the locker to clear out the stuff there while Katie joins us for a stroll the Pangani Forest. We plan on catching the parade on its return. A few of the animals are out, but late in the day isn't the best time for the Pangani Forest Trail. Leslie is cut off from us by the parade.

After it clears Harambe, we grab chocolate shakes and sit at Tamu Tamu lounge waiting for it's return. Hardly any one is around when it gets back so we almost get a personal parade. The view and angles are perfect and the sun is perfectly positioned. I'm happy! Again, photos to come. Imagine the Jammin' Jungle soundtrack running through your mind.

It's time to meet up at Flight of Wonder with the other folks from MouseOwners for our Grand Gathering Safari. Our group is the largest (20), so we're put up front and labled the Lions. Mama Dacia (Mama is Swahili for 'woman in charge' and Dacia is 'purple flower') comes out greet us and set the mood. We think she's the same person who plays the mother in Festival of the Lion King. She's great.

We then head to our safari jeep and head out at 6:00. We get a drive and a guide. The safari is 30 minutes instead of 20. We don't really stop, but move significantly slower and get a lot of culture history and folklore about how the animals are integrated into African thought. A lot of fun. Again, perfect lighting, and I get a shot of a Cheetah for the first time ever. Photos will be posted in the next day or so.

We arrive at Tusker House for dinner at about 6:45. Great food and personalized service. The buffet included roast pork, prime rib, roast chicken, various vegetables and starches (yummy Yukon Gold potato wedges with African seasoning), samosas, pearl couscous, and so forth. I did snitch a couple of corn dog nuggets from the kids' section. Yummy.

All the while, an African trio entertained us with folk music. Afterward, Rafiki and Timon came out to dance with the kids, and then we were treated to animal exhibits of a Brazilian tarantula and an Australian Horned Dragon.

Each table was then given a dessert tray and tasty chocolate cake - even better than the usual chocolate cake we pick up from Wegman's for Sunday evenings. Mama Dacia posed with us and raved about Skype when she learned our group was from an internet chat forum. She kept working that into her hosting all evening - we must have impressed!

By the time we left, the sun had set and we were the only ones in the park - the lighting was awesome. Alas, we had a car in the parking lot, which was quite a hike since the trams weren't running . I tried to tell Katie and Leslie that a bus would be better, but . . . :) Anyway, we did make it back safe and sound and are resting up for tomorrow.

Morning is Typhoon Lagoon and afternoon/evening is Epcot with dinner at Teppan Edo, the new table service in Japan. The nightcap will be Jim's first shot at Illuminations this trip. He'll be happy. (as will we all).



Susan Yates said...

Dirk, your live blog is great, but I'm getting a little worried that supplying this much detail must be eating into your park time. You are taking the time to enjoy all the fun stuff you're reporting, aren't you? (Now I'm feeling guilty for writing this comment knowing that you're going to waste good park time reading it!!!)

Danny and Jackie said...

A great little summary that leaves me with a taste of the food and atmosphere in my mouth and mind. Excellent stuff.

Dirk said...

Susan, it's my unwind time in the evening. Don't worry! It's much easier than the formal web reports that will grace the website later. Indeed, these posts will be the notes.

And my iPhone sends up nifty little photos and text from anywhere I can get the AT&T signal.