We kicked off our Disney World vacation at Animal Kingdom. We saw so many cool animals, a great show, and ate great food. We had a wild time!
We recently went on an amazing, fun trip to Disney World for a 2 Night, 3 Day stay. While there we stayed at the Art of Animation and visited all the parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. My family was invited to experience all the magical things that Disney has to offer, including their new Toy Story Land and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We had a wonderful time!
I was really excited planning our trip. Planning out our days, shopping for fun outfits, packing up our stuff. All in secret! Price and I decided not to tell the kids so that we could surprise them while on our way to Disney. Surprises are so fun!
Our Thursday morning started early with making sure we had packed up everything the night before- nope, always forgetting something! Then we loaded the kids up in the car and away we were!
The hour and a half long ride from our house to Disney felt like it was taking forever, according to Autumn, since we lied and said we were going to the zoo. We didn’t want her nagging us the whole time in the car “are we at Disney yet!?!”, plus a surprise is so much fun! Once we got to the exit, I pointed out the Mickey Pylon and she figured out were were going to Disney. woohoo!!!!
A quick stop over at the Art of Animation, for our magic bands and to check into our Cars Family Suite, and then we were off to the Animal Kingdom!!! I guess you could say we didn’t exactly lie about going to the zoo! We did spend the day getting to see lots of cool animals.
We had some issues with our magic bands, as our tickets were not properly linked to them all. That gave me a minor heart attack. However, the Cast Members were fantastic about getting it all fixed up.
Soon after we arrived, we walked over to the Wilderness Explorers Headquarters. Autumn was really excited to become a Wilderness Explorer by taking the oath and getting her little book to take around the park. For the rest of the day we stopped by Wilderness Explorer locations and she worked on completing challenges and earning badges. It was a fun interactive adventure for her.
Our first Fast Pass was in Pandora so we headed over there.
To be completely honest, I HATED the movie. Like I almost walked out, but I’m too cheap to walk out of a movie. So, while I disliked the alien version of Fern Gully, I did want to check out the rides there. I had heard such wonderful things about them.
We headed over to Na’vi River Journey (Fast Pass – 9.00-10.00am) to take a journey deep into a rainforest in Na’vi. The boat took us on the Na’vi river through the darkest part of the jungle, which highlighted all the bioluminescent plants and animals that were floating around. The journey we took was in search of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs- who sang beautiful songs as we passed by in our boats.
There was so much to see in Pandora, it was so beautiful and lush. I loved all the ‘floating’ islands, just like the movie. They did a wonderful job of creating Na’vi. Besides it’s overall beauty, we liked how much shade there was. Florida is HOT, but it was extra hot during our visit – 94F!!! Like, the hotter than normal heat in September set a record in Tampa Bay. We basically all melted the month, so the shade was welcome. Plus, overhead fans in the queue areas and the AC while on rides… bliss!!!!!!
We then headed over to use our next Fast Pass (10.00-11.00) for the It’s Tough to Be a Bug show.
It’s a fun 3D show that is put on by the crew from A Bug Life Movie. Flik and friends tells you about cool things that bugs can do. I loved the show years prior when Price and I did our belated Honeymoon, and I loved it again. It’s fun. Plus, there is AIR CONDITIONING!! Autumn was kinda spooked with some of the 3D parts, but I think it was only because we just ending up with seats that were super close to the stage.
From there, we decided to leave the Tree of Life area to head over to the Africa section of the park.
I love all the activity there with the interactive drums and the performances done by cast members. It just feels so alive and fun there.
Dole Whip with Rum Guys. I repeat Dole Whip with Rum!!!!
Enjoying a Dole Whip is one of our favorite things about going to Disney World parks. When we learned that Tamu Tamu Refreshments sells Dole Whip with Rum, it became obvious that we needed to get one. We got it with dark rum, which was awesome. Next time, I think we will try it with coconut rum, just so we can compare and figure out which is the best rum to enjoy with Dole Whip.
While we enjoyed our adult treat, the kids split a Mickey Ears Ice Cream. It was a messy treat, but so needed on the hot day. (High of 94F!!!)
To keep cool, we headed over to the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. The shade is a definite plus to all the cool animals that we got to see. It really felt like a tropical forest that we could explore the trails through. From the trails we could see various monkeys, gorillas, hippos, exotic birds, and some larger animals, like zebras.
One of my favorite things to do while at Disney is to ‘Baby Wear’.
The stroller is great for getting the kids around, but there are just times when Baby Wearing is the best. I really liked wearing Hunter while on the walk here because he mellowed out quite a bit from all the activity that was going on. I was able to talk to him calmly and point things out while rubbing his back. So relaxing for us both actually.
(I’m using my Baby K’tan here)
I totally geeked out when I saw the Hippo. For a while he was under the water right in front of the glass, then he moved back and popped his head up to say hello!
It seemed like it was a great time to visit the gorillas when we arrived since they were very visible from where they were snacking or snoozing. One silly gorilla must have thought that smooshing its tush up against the glass was cool, since it did that for a bit as well. HAHAHA!!!
Before we knew it, it was lunch time, so we grabbed some lunch at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes.
Hunter managed to fall asleep right before lunch and Autumn managed to eat most of my lunch. But really, I couldn’t complain since she was gobbling up my sauce soaked rice from my my vegetable curry, and I never thought she would touch curry, let alone love it.
While the curry was good, I thought that there was not enough veggies. It was mostly sauce and rice, while it was a rather small portion, it was very tasty.
We then did a large clockwise loop through the park through Asia, Dinoland, and back over to Discovery Island before we left for the day.
And Miss “I don’t need to nap anymore” crashed at this point.
We decided it was best to take our exhausted selves back to our Cars Family Suite room at Art of Animation to relax a bit before dinner. We had dinner reservations in Disney Springs with a group of wonderful bloggers also visiting Disney. We wanted to rest, check out the resort, and freshen up before dinner.
Price stayed in with Hunter while Autumn and I headed to the Big Blue Pool. It was so relaxing to float away the miles we walked. We then got ready for dinner and had a delicious dinner at Homecomin’ by Art Smith. Plus, I got some fun earrings at Kate Spade. Win Win!!
It was a wonderful first day at Disney!