My dad, sister, and I have the personal philosophy that we can get all the main things done in Animal Kingdom in a few hours with the help of Extra Magic Hours in the morning for the major attractions. It is always a little tough getting up extra early, but it is completely worth it. So on Day 5 of our trip we woke up early and managed to make it to Animal Kingdom before the park even opened for Extra Magic Hours. We stood on line for about 10 minutes until they started letting resort guests into the park. One amazing benefit of the Magic Bands is that they can tell right away when you try to get into the park if you are a hotel guest or not. The juggling of park ticket and room key during entry for Extra Magic Hours is no longer an issue. I used to be worried I would lose one or the other before I even entered the park. We headed straight to Everest since that is the most crowded ride usually in Animal Kingdom.
We still had a few minutes until the official extra hour started so we waited on line outside of the regular Everest line until the cast members started letting us in the line. This is one line where we always walk through really fast since we ride the coaster in the morning, but I sometimes wish I had more time to look at all of the neat things Imagineers collected for the Everest atmosphere. My dad and sister rode the roller coaster another time right after. I passed on it the second time because the backwards part twice in a row does not make me feel great. After Everest, we stopped by my favorite bathrooms in Animal Kingdom (yes that’s a thing…the bathroom is huge with 36 stalls and because they are in Dinoland as part of a restaurant there is no line early in the morning!)
After the pit stop, we continued on and went on Dinosaur…my least favorite ride. I like the ride and always go on it but I really do not like Animatronic dinosaurs. If anyone ever wants to really scare me, they just have to have an Animatronic dinosaur wake me up in the morning…maybe I shouldn’t have said that. I screamed and closed my eyes for part of the ride. Two young girls were also in the ride with us and one got off crying. I can completely understand. I am so glad I was never forced on this ride when I was younger unlike my Maelstrom experience. Our photos from this ride are always funny. My sister looks really terrified in this year’s photo, but since we have not bought any photos yet, I sadly cannot post it on here.
After this, my dad and sister went to ride Primeval Whirl in Dinoland. That ride spins way too much for me so I decided to people watch and then look for a pin at the pin stand with the Sorcerer Mickey hat on. I figured those would probably be discontinued soon so once my dad and sister got off, we bought two of the four parks pins with all of the key landmarks. We went to our favorite coffee stand next to get our traditional Extra Magic Hours unhealthy snack of iced coffee and muffins. They did not have the double chocolate muffin I usually get though so I settled for an apple turnover which was surprisingly very good. This quick bite station is located before you get to the swinging monkeys on the way to Everest. My aunt had taken a bus from Old Key West so we met her and headed to the Safari which I had reserved Fastpass+ for.
We saw some animals but the highlight of the animal experiences was seeing one of the gorillas pose for guests. He literally turned one way, then the other to show off his muscles and it was hilarious. I had never seen that happen before!
My dad left at this point to pick up my grandma and my mom who were back at Old Key West. My aunt, sister, and I went to see The Festival of the Lion King because I had made Fastpass+ reservations for that as well. I love this show and we all enjoyed watching it. The cast members have so much energy, the show is well designed, and the music and dances are AMAZING. My sister said she would not mind being a dancer in this show in the future years. I am always surprised by how well the cast members on stilts and the monkeys are able to move around. As a side note, Disney is also one of the few places where you will be able to get hundreds of people to act like lions and giraffes during a pre-show. After watching the show, we had to walk back to the front of the park in order to catch a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge. We had a lunch with an Animal Specialist planned at Sanaa…which I will discuss in the next post!
Also thanks to my sister for the pictures since I did not have my phone with me at all during this time as I was instructed to not bring a bag to the parks to save time during bag check. The snapchat filters in Animal Kingdom were very cool as you can see below and in the selfie above with my very strange face.