AVATAR, ASIA, AFRICA, ANIMALS AND DINOSAURS
We woke up on a warm Florida morning, walked down from our incredible room at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and headed towards the bus stop. We then loaded a bus and traveled to Animal Kingdom and arrived for extra magic hours.
Our first stop on our journey was to Dinoland. When we entered the park, we headed to the right on the path to the Dinosaur ride. We had never ridden Dinosaur before so we wanted to give it a shot first thing (and we had fast passes for the bigger rides). Three out of four of us enjoyed it. Zeffie, our 4 year old, was shaking the whole time! She was terrified, and that doesn’t happen easily. Tower of Terror is her favorite ride, but Dinosaur was just too much.
**Do you need a fastpass for Dinosaur? I have seen wait times get long for Dinosaur, but I would not recommend wasting a fast pass on it. If it’s important to you, come to it first but don’t fast pass it.
After we got off the ride, we checked wait times and noticed Expedition Everest had only a 5 minute wait. Zeffie wasn’t tall enough, so Zach stayed with her in Dinoland while Lulu, our 6 year old, and I headed to Asia.
Expedition Everest was incredible!! We loved it so much we rode it again! Twice in a row! It had everything. It went forward and backward and had a Yeti and we screamed and smiled and had the best time riding it.
**Do you need a fast pass for Expedition Everest? Honestly, no. The line can get backed up at certain points of the day, but with Flight of Passage and Na’vi as your main competition, you’re pretty safe. Plus, it’s tucked so deeply into the park, it takes people a while to get back there. Go there early and if you can’t make it early, then you will probably want to fast pass it.
Meanwhile, back in Dinoland, Zach and Zeffie rode the Tricertop Spin over and over and over again. Finally, we all met up at the ‘It’s Tough to be a Bug’ show.
It’s Tough to be a Bug was a cute show, but warning! The seats interact with the show! So you’ll ‘feel’ bugs running all over your back! Our youngest child is TERRIFIED of bugs, so she was sobbing in my lap pretty early on. The rest of us thought the show was funny! After the traumatizing experience at the show, we decided it was time for a break, so we got a little snack and ended up running into Kevin, the unoffical Animal Kingdom mascot, from the movie 'Up!'.
At this point, we were at a stand still. Lunch reservations hadn't come up yet and our other fast passes were in the afternoon. So, we headed towards Africa where our next adventure would eventually take us and ended up jumping on Rafiki's Wildlife Express Train. Little did we know, we were headed towards a behind the scenes view of Animal Kingdom! The kids got little passports when we got off the train and went on an adventure looking for bugs, learning about Disney's conservation efforts, and eventually petting animals. It was a fun little adventure and we are glad we did it!
Afterwards, we made our way to Tusker House, where our dining reservation was. Tusker House is known as Donald's Safari and we chose to have lunch. The food was traditional African, plus the kids' favorites of chicken fingers, mac and cheese and other familiar items. It was buffet style and all the food was delicious. Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Pluto and Goofy came around. Minnie did NOT come around, so the girls were sad to miss her! Overall, I would say it was a great meal and experience and a good one in Animal Kingdom.
After lunch, we went over to Zeffie's favorite, The Lion King Show. Time for me to give an upopular opinion - I am not a fan of the Lion King show. This was our second time to see it and I actually dozed off this time. Yes, it has a lot going on and the acrobats are amazing. I'm just a traditional Disney show type of person and I would rather have the show reenacted, similar to the Beauty and the Beast show in Hollywood Studios. I know I know, everyone's a critic, but that's just where I stand on that.
When the show ended, we headed over to Kali River Rapids. This ride is SO fun. You WILL get wet. And possibly soaked! You are in a large tube that holds 10 people and you go through an African River adventure and of course, there are a lot of rapids along the way! It's fun for the whole family and a definite YES from all 4 of us!
**Fast pass for Kali River Rapids? Absolutely. The wait can get very long, especially in hotter months. It's also one of those fast pass lines were you walk adjacent to the regular line so you can see how many people you are actually passing. Definitely worth the fast pass.
After the Kali River Rapids, our next stop was the Kilamanjaro Safari. This ride is less of a ride and more of a, well, safari. You board a large jeep where you have a driver actually driving (no track) on real dirt and real roads to go and see real animals. You can see lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, etc. There are so many animals along the way and every time you ride it will be different.
**Fast pass for Kilamanjaro Safari? 100%. The line can get very long. I've heard the night time safari is the best time, but we haven't had that opportunity yet! Anytime is good though and it's totally worth it.
Okay, 2 fast passes down, one to go. Now, we leave Africa and head west to Pandora, the land of Avatar. There are 2 rides in Pandora, Na'vi River Journey and Flight of Passage. Na'vi is very slow and tranquil and has amazing effects. However, I can honestly say, once you've done it, you've done it and don't use the fast pass on it again. Flight of Passage, on the other hand, is one of the absolute BEST rides in all of Disney World. It's a motion ride, where you board a motorcycle like contraption. You have on 3D glasses and you are transported into Pandora. The screen is huge and you can not only feel the wind in your face, but you can smell everything around you too. It is absolutely amazing as you are completely transported into another world. I will say though, if you have a fear of heights, this is not the ride for you! Even though it's all on a screen, it's very realistic! Zeffie is not tall enough to ride so we planned on doing rider swap. However, because the ride takes so long, Lulu and I were in the ride about 30 minutes, so Zach decided he didn't have to ride it this time.
**Fast pass for Flight of Passage? 1000% The most important Fast Pass. Get it first no matter which day you're going becasue it will go the fastest. Lines are a minimum of 90 minutes long and you absolutely need the fast pass. You will most likely wait about 15-20 minutes with a fast pass because the ride itself is so long.
Now we're done and we are headed out. We are going to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party tonight, so we all need to rest to stay up that late! Animal Kingdom was a lot of fun. We explored new places and did new things we hadn't done before. We ate at a new restaurant and explored behind the scenes. It's not our favorite park and not worth more than a half day for us, but we still love coming. There are several great rides here that you can't miss!
Thanks for reading! Catch ya later!