Saturday, December 31, 2016

Florida Vacation Day 6 - Epcot and Animal Kingdom

Thought I'd snap a picture of Troy's special pancake to start the day. Mike made quite the creation for him! Are there any pancakes under there!? Haha. Another up at 6:15, breakfast at 7, shuttle at 8 kind of day.

The mission of the morning was to be at Epcot as soon as it opened so Cass and I could make a mad dash for Norway, AKA all things Frozen to get as much in (no FastPasses) before the lines got long. I *knew* we needed to see them up close so we chose the character experience first. The wait was already near a half hour by the time we got there.

OH SO WORTH IT THOUGH! Anna and Elsa are Cassidy's favorites :)

Again, the princesses impressed me with the conversations they carried on "in character". Elsa looked at Cassidy and said, "Have YOU been sneaking into my sister's closet!? You look just like my sister in that dress!"

Alas, by the time we got out, the line for Frozen Ever After was over an hour, so we went off to meet up with our boys for Soarin', after snapping a quick pic together in Norway that is!

While we were in "Norway", the boys rode "Test Track". Which seemed to get a big thumbs up from both of them!

Can't see Troy but I heard the racecar got up to 65 mph. Zoom!

No pics from Soarin', but WOW! Was it incredible. I loved hearing the kids gasp and cheer and Mike and I were impressed too. Incredible! I'll share a video from the internets here to give you an idea :) Doesn't come close to doing it justice, though! 

We decided to do the Nemo ride before leaving Epcot for the day to "hop" to our next park. The aquarium you can walk around after the ride would have been enough to keep us busy for hours on its own!

We had our first "hop" over to Animal Kingdom. Some people will take cabs from one to the other, or I guess now you can pay for a behind the scenes shuttle that will take you from park to park and allow you to skip security in the second park. But, really, Disney makes the regular ol' free resort transportation so easy and accessible that it was a nice 20 minute break for us and we were in the second park shortly. 

When I asked Troy months ago a few questions about what he liked the most or wanted to see the most, animals made it to the top of the list. You would *think* we would have seen a lot at Animal Kingdom. Sort of, yes. But not really. Don't go expecting a zoo, friends. But DO go for the billion other things they have!

We headed into the African village area for lunch andddddd in the midst of all the noise and craziness this happened. She almost missed all of lunch.

We got to go see the Lion King together as a fam thanks to a quick lunch and later FastPasses for the boys. I was SO glad the boys were with us as I hadn't originally planned on them coming to this. But, clearly, Troy loved it.

I have no idea what Lion King is like on Broadway, but it must be just like this. Truly amazing. And Troy and I had great seats! While Mike and Cass were a bit further back.

Then we headed over to DinoLand. The boys rode "Dinosaur", as I decided to pull Cass and I from the FastPass kind of last minute. I'm really glad I did because I saw not one but two terrified children exit the ride bawling while we waited for them to come out. My boys loved it though!

Immediately after exiting Dinosaur, Troy saw another ride he wanted to ride that we weren't planning on doing. I hadn't made any FastPass arrangements for the 48 inch and up rides because I really wasn't sure if Troy would be making it by the time we got there or not. All 48.5 inches of him DID make the cut though, so he was able to hop on pretty much any ride in any of the parks. And, of course, he did.

So we went and found a princess, LOL.

And some ice cream! 

Across the park, the boys had the same idea as this pic showed up while we were enjoying ours :) 

Animal Kingdom was FULL of loud and crazy street "parties" at every turn. Like this DJ "bus" with Donald and Pluto pumping it up to keep the kids energy high. And seriously, these "parties" were EVERYWHERE at Animal Kingdom. Mike says they're there to distract you from realizing there are no animals, anywhere LOL. 

Mike and Troy were planned to go on Expedition Everest but I asked last minute if I could ride with Troy. I was curious to see how he was on some of these bigger rides! 

Video from someone else on the internet below. Insert comment from Beema saying "I can't believe he rode such big rides!!!"

To close out our day, we had our chance to "see" the animals up close on the Kiliminjaro Safari. I'm quite certain this is much cooler when its daytime and you can see them all. We did see a lot of them, but they definitely didn't photograph well. Some of them came QUITE close to the vehicle. And the driver said we weren't going to spend long in the gator area as they were lingering just below our vehicle. Below, a very dark giraffe in the distance. When we went through the lion area, they were perched on the top of their mountain watching the fireworks from another Disney park. The driver said he had never seen that before!

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