Scares and Animals. Just Not Necessarily in that Order - WDW 2012 Day 3

Wednesday, October 24th

Well, my hope for sleep was dashed pretty quickly. I don't know if it's the room. Or if it's Snorey McGee across the room. Though I could place a bet on one of these reasons. A week of this kind of sleep will make the trip a little difficult.

Today, we were on our way to Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is a park that is not always on the itinerary. It's a fun park, but it's more of a forgotten park. If we have four days at the parks, we just skip this one and go to Universal instead. So Animal Kingdom is one I am not as familiar with. I definitely picked up the map here. Full disclosure, I picked up maps everywhere. Sure, I didn't look at them, but I picked them up.

Animal Kingdom is also the park that is prone to complete family meltdowns. I harken back to 2001. My first trip to Disney World as an adult. And the first Family Trip we had since I was in 7th Grade. We had spent the whole trip in blissful joy at Disney. Then we went to Animal Kingdom. Elias was crying and miserable. We were all hot and annoyed. The adults all yelled at each other. Well...as much as we yell in the family. Which means very little yelling, quite a bit of sarcasm, and feelings shoved down to the place where the soon-to-be ulcer lives. We can all laugh at Animal Kingdom now. Then...it took us all many years to go back to that park. And some of us have still never been back.

As you enter the park, you have two choices. You go left for Kilimanjaro Safaris or you go right for Expedition Everest. These are the two big rides in the park. The decision has to be made swiftly and will alter the course of the day at the park. Or it just means you spend more time in line for the other ride. I like to think we chose wisely. Kilimanjaro Safari.

The Gods were with us today since we basically walked on the jeep AND on the back seat of the jeep. The best part…there should have been four people sitting there. But it was just the two of us!! Score!! We saw plenty of animals during our ride. It was insanely bumpy, so the pictures…not always great. The lion was snoozing hard. But we did get stopped by a herd of zebras. Herd?? Pack?? The answer…a Dazzle of Zebras. I KNOW!! This is the best possible name for multiple zebras. I desperately hope Wikipedia is correct in this answer. A dazzle…

After the zebra joy, we moved on over to Expedition Everest. Sometimes, it's almost sad that we walked through the queue with such a sense of purpose. We only had to wait for five minutes. The queue is great. But we barely saw anything. I know I didn't give Scott a lot of info about the ride. I told him we didn't have to go upside down. I kind of hoped that would be enough. And we didn't go upside down. But we also didn't go on any rides after this for the rest of the day. So…I'm not sure who won here.

Animal Kingdom seems to be a park filled with music-based attractions. We saw the Finding Nemo Musical. And we saw the Lion King Spectacular. Lots of singing and dancing. I dig it. Always. Lord knows I love me a good musical number. And there was plenty of singing and dancing during the parade. Animal Kingdom as a park…I know there's still plenty to do here, but man…once you blow through the two big rides (we didn't go through the Dinosaur ride), there isn't much else. Sure, there's eating and musicals and animals, but it is a park that I can go to once every few years. And considering nothing has changed since Expedition Everest (which has been opened for many years)…it's a park that I don't have to go to again for a while.

Post-Animal Kingdom, we went back to the hotel to get ready to meet up with Justin. Justin is one of my station people. I know he loves horror things. He was going to be the perfect person to join us for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.

Now I do like scary movies, but I don't necessarily like to be scared. So this whole evening was going to be pretty interesting. I said I'd probably be sitting on the curb of City Walk just crying. Happily, that didn't happen. But the night wasn't without a few scares.

I learned early on that I was perfectly happy to be in the middle or the back of the group in the haunted houses. I took an oddly submissive stance while walking through each house (and while walking through the streets). Apparently, I was trying to make myself as small and non-visible as possible. The good news (and Justin said this before I arrived) is that for the most part, I could see where the scares would be in the house. If the dude five people ahead of me gets scared, I know where the Wolfman or Zombie will be. So I could spend the time laughing at others. And that is how I want to spend my time in a haunted house. Laughing at others. But I did get mine midway through the night.

We had just left the first house. Maybe the second. And we were lingering on the street, just watching the scares happen with the vampires and other scary creatures. I saw a vampire chick out of the corner of my eye and I think Justin made fun of me for unconsciously moving out of her way. As I faced Scott to have a conversation, I was unaware of the goings-on behind me. Apparently, the vampire chick made a motion to Nosferatu. He ambled up behind me and waited. When I turned my head to say something to Justin, my first visual is Nosferatu. Freaking me the hell out. Scott and Justin thought it was the funniest thing in the whole world. And…it really was. Dude was creepy. And the whole situation was hilarious.

There was the Walking Dead house (very cool, but oddly not as creepy as I expected. Less zombies, more just scenes from the show). The Penn and Teller house. There was also a hilarious Bill and Ted (yes…from the 80's) live show that was wildly unexpected and very, very funny. The scary people on the street got a few of us at times (mostly Justin) and we really had a good night. Not that I thought it would be un-fun. Scares for me are much better when there's a lot of laughing involved.

It was a long night. We had a great day. And it was only day two. Well…day three. Excellent!!

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