Park hopping at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom is a fun way to spend the day soaking in loads of Disney Parks magic. We enjoyed our day at Animal Kingdom, and then Magic Kingdom.
It’s been a week, and I’m still decompression from an awesome past few weeks. I went to Atlanta with my friend and her daughters for a few days. Then I got back, had a day to ‘decompress’, and then headed over to Disney for their Social Media Conference on Friday. From there I went directly to St. Pete for a wonderful, much needed, Momcation! We had a blast hanging out together, having 2 kid free nights, and a relaxing day on the beach.
I woke up up crazy early on Sunday, left by 6am, and grabbed the family to head to Disney for a fun day there. We figured we would spend the day Park Hopping because we always try to maximize the fun!
And, a few days later, I attended a Disney Villains After Hours party with a few friends. Lots of late nights and tons of driving around, but it has all worth been it!
A Wild Time at the Animal Kingdom
Besides just begin excited to be able to attend the #disneysmc, I was thrilled to have a full day at Disney Parks with my family. There were four 1-day park hopper tickets in my welcome bag at the conference.
Park Hopping is when you visit more than 1 park in a day. We decided to go to Animal Kingdom and then the Magic Kingdom. We hadn’t been to Animal Kingdom since last September, so we were excited to go back to rides and beautiful animals. The Magic Kingdom is always a fun time so that would be where we spent the afternoon.
We arrived at the Animal Kingdom around 9.30 and were focused on making the most of the morning there. First things first, we headed over to Pandora.
Fight of Passage
Last year, when we were invited to visit Disney to enjoy the newly opened Toy Story Land, Price enjoyed a ride on Flight of Passage. This time, it would be my turn!
He always boasted that he was on the first group of riders of the day when he went. Yeah, yeah, show off!
Besides being excited to go on it myself, I was excited to take Autumn. She loves roller coasters so I was thinking she would love the dipping and diving from the ride. Instead of being in a roller coaster car, she would just be on a banshee instead.
We were very thankful for our awesome Media fast passes as we walked right up to the Fast Pass line for Flight of Passage. It had a 195 minute wait at that point. OUCH! Even then, Autumn still complained waiting in a very brief wait. She is the most impatient child ever!
But, before we knew it, it was our turn to go on.
Once the ride started, she didn’t stop screaming and yelling. “NOOOO!!!! WE ARE FALLINGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!” and “AHHHH THAT SHARK IS TRYING TO EAT ME!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!” and “MY GLASSES ARE FALLING OFFFFFFF!!!! THE BRANCH IS BREAKING!!!!”
Oh man, I was laughing until I was crying. I was holding on to her and trying to hold her glasses. I wish there was a Photo Pass picture from that ride because I would have bought that sucker!
While I was tormenting Autumn on the ride, Price and Hunter were checking out Mo’ara Valley Entertainment. Hunter liked watching the Pandora Rangers. Who wouldn’t love watching a guy in a 10-foot tall mechanical suit stomp around showing off all the fun features in the suit?!
After our Flight of Passage ride, we met the boys over at the Pandora Drummers – Swotu Wayä. Watching the drummers enthusiastically beat on the drums was really fun. They put on a really good show.
After thoroughly scaring Autumn for life, we decided to mellow things out with a relaxing ride on Navi River.
The Na’vi Rive Journey ride was really enjoyable for the whole family because it was so much more mellow, compared to all the action of FOP. And, you can’t pass up a chance to take a break in the air conditioning.
The music is really joyous and captivating. Plus, the jelly fish like illuminated plant/creature things are really beautiful.
Throughout the day, Autumn stopped by The Wilderness Explorer stations.
Autumn hasn’t yet seen the movie UP! so she doesn’t understand the significance of the Wilderness Explorers, but she loves this activity. She studies the guidebook and plans out where to go. to get her badges (stickers). It’s a great way to incorporate some learning while having fun.
The Africa section of Animal Kingdom is our favorite section. There is so much action there with performances from amazing musicians. People get up and move to dance along with them. The energy is infectious.
Besides the entertainment, we like to check out the shops and fun mural walls- perfect for fun photo ops.
My favorite thing to do in Animal Kingdom is the Safari ride.
It can be really hard to get a FastPass+ for the safari ride, but it’s worth the effort to land it. Move things around for it or do whatever you need to because it’s a blast. I always learn so much and it’s just so cool to see the animals.
Besides my own enjoyment, the kids loved getting to see the animals. Hunter was in awe of them and Autumn was busy flipping through her Wilderness Explorer booklet. She was having fun identifying the animals in the book as she saw them. Can’t beat having fun and learning at the same time.
Hunter loved seeing the giraffes. As soon as he saw them, he was yelling at us to look at them.
I couldn’t believe that we saw so many of them. Plus, they appeared so happy and relaxed as they just hung out munching on food and sitting there, taking in the views.
I am so thankful that we were able to enjoy the safari ride and see so many animals out. There are times then they are hidden away, seeking the shade (I mean, who can blame them in this summer heat?!), so it was fun to see so many.
We love Dole Whip!
Disney in July means that you NEED to have a Dole Whip to help cool you off. They are one of my favorite treats at Disney because they are delicious and refreshing. We stopped by the Tamu Tamu stand for these much needed treats.
Besides getting the regular Dole Whip, we enjoyed a Simba Sunset ($5.49). It’s a limited time Lion King treat to celebrate the ‘live action’ movie coming out. They take a Dole Whip and then add a bright red syrup to it to give it a colorful sunset appearance. The watermelon and coconut flavored syrup was a bit too sweet for my preference, but it the kids loved it. (FYI- For an additional $3 you can add a shot of rum!)
One of the rides I was dying to take Autumn on was Expedition Everest.
She loves roller coasters, so I wanted to see if she would enjoy this one, unlike her experience with FOP. Thankfully, she loved it!
By then, it was nap time so we decided to divide and conquer to keep things going. I would take the kids back to the car to give them a chance to nap a bit, and he would head over to Pandora for a ride on Flight of Passage. He just loves it so much!
It worked out perfectly! As I walked the kids back to the car, they both fell asleep in their strollers (Yes, I pushed them both 1 handed!). Then, I was able to transfer them and the snoozed for a bit more in the AC.
Enjoying the Magic of the Magic Kingdom
Park hopping over to the Magic Kingdom was the next thing on the agenda.
We got a good parking spot, then walked over to the ferry and enjoyed the short ride to the gates. During that time, we were creating our game plan for the afternoon. Our number was priority was having some lunch.
Lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
By the time we arrived in the Magic Kingdom, we were all pretty HANGRY! We bee lined it to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe for a late lunch.
We seriously were so hungry at this point that the burgers were at were basically the best things ever. Price and I took a bite and immediately felt like we were renewed for a busy afternoon in the Magic Kingdom.
Time for some Rides!
No matter what we do we have a great time, but this visit’s focus was on enjoying rides, vs seeing shows or meeting princesses.
First, we enjoyed a trip around London on Peter Pan’s Flight. Then took a trip around the world on the It’s a Small World ride. It was so cute to see Hunter watching all of the characters because he was so enthralled with them all.
From there, we went to Splash Mountain so Autumn could go with Price. Autumn and I went on it last year so it was his turn to go with her. We like to take turns when it comes to taking Autumn on rides so we each can enjoy it with her.
Well, this time, Price got to experience a BIG splash. He got soaked, which was okay since it was HOT out. Autumn thought it was hilarious that he got wet and she didn’t.
Jungle Cruise laughs
Iv’e always heard great things about the Jungle Cruise so I picked that as our last ride to enjoy before leaving.
OMG! It was so funny! I loved our tour guide’s dry humor and pun filled jokes she told on the jungle cruise. It was a fun way to take a break from the heat, under the lush canopy overhead, and get in a few laughs. The kids didn’t get most of the jokes, so it was even more funny as Price and I cracked up while the kids looked at us funny.
It doesn’t feel like a family day at Disney without a Dole Whip. Unfortunately, the line for Dole Whip was insanely long, so we headed over to Sunshine Tree Terrace. It was different than what I am used to but it was fun to try something new.
I figured it could be fun for us to share a few things so I ordered a Redd’s Revenge Float ($6.99), a Citrus Swirl ($4.29), and a FOMOsa ($5.99).
I certainly love Dole Whip but I have to say that I really enjoyed all of the things so much. The Red’s Revenge Float is something that I would order again. The Strawberry Soft-serve was so dang good. I really don’t like soda but the strawberry Fanta with the soft serve was great. Just like the cider with the citrus soft serve. Everything was really great.
Hunter clearly was ready for a ice cream treat because he face planted into it as soon as I put it down. Kid, I like your style.
We enjoyed all those frozen treats so quickly that we fought off brain freezes. Well worth the twinge in the middle of your eyes because the afternoon sun was hot and the heat was catching up on us. It was nice to enjoy the treats and feel refreshed after it.
In all, we had a hot, sweaty, awesome, magical, fantastic time at the Disney Parks. Park Hopping our day in the Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom was the best way we could have spent the day together. I love any day at Disney but family ones are the best!