Animal Kingdom - A Disney Christmas Day 1.0

December 4th, 2014

And so it begins.  I had popped a few of the NyQuil Zzzquil pills the night before so I was doing better than I had expected and was ready to go.  Why??  I've gone on record that Scott should visit a Sleep Clinic to cure his snoring situation.  And I am. not. kidding.  Seriously.  But I digress.  Our first day at Disney began at Animal Kingdom.  And the story...well...that's going to be told via photos...

We started our day at the Kilimanjaro Safari.  Because when you don't have FastPasses, you get to the park early and book it to the Safari.  The goal was to beat certain people (strollers, wheelchairs, etc) to the queue.  Because we are the worst.

I love this picture for whatever reason.  I think I could have angled just a bit more to the right, but I still love this picture.
Our vehicle had to go a bit slow for a while cause the giraffes were just hanging out.
We walked through Asia to take in a few of the sights.  Scott was 100% not interested in going on Expedition Everest (Boo!!), so we moved past this section quickly.

Where Scott did not want to visit.

Then, off to DinoLand USA, where we did go on the Dinosaur ride, but where we also started seeing some of the holiday decorations.  If you call Goofy dressed as Santa a "decoration."  Which...I totally do.

I'm a little sad that Pluto had no costume.
We were at Disney World the week they began filming the Christmas parade that would ultimately air on ABC.  Every so often, we'd spy a film crew.  And while it makes for a stupid picture, I couldn't help myself.

Because you can't ever have enough of the "iconic" pictures of the parks...

We made a pit stop for a bit at the Royal Anandapur Tea Company.  I had read about the Frozen Chai on the Disney Food Blog and I adore chai.  So, it was a perfect place to rest for a bit.  If you read the food blog, you'll notice there was a Mickey-shaped whipped cream decoration on their tea.  I did not have that on mine.  But it was still good.

This was also the place where we met up with Kim and her family.  Some background...Kim and Scott work together.  I worked with Kim and Scott many (many) years ago...we're talking the previous century ago.  Kim was down with her family for the Pop Warner Cheerleading...stuff.  I'd love to know what all goes on with Pop Warner, but the reality...stay away during this time if you can.  If you don't like youths in packs, you don't want to be at Disney during the time you're around.

We knew we'd be running into Kim and her family while we were in Orlando.  Scott had been texting her as we sat with the tea.  But I was the one that spotted them in the crowd (Yay, me!!).  We planned a time to meet up for lunch and they made their way to Expedition Everest.  Scott and I wandered for a bit.

The only Selfie we took of the two of us.
I think we ended up back in Africa, where we saw more animals.

Seriously, I love these guys.  I have so many pictures of the Meerkats that it is almost embarrassing.
The sign going into the Festival of the Lion King.  My favorite sign ever.
I know everyone mentions the attention to detail at the parks, but it is so good.
The two groups met up at the Yak and Yeti Quick Service counter for some curry and honey chicken. Scott and Kim kind of coordinated their schedules to hit the Kali River Rapids at the same time.  Here's my deal...I LOVE water rides.  But not when I'm fully clothed.  So they all went on the ride together, while I took pictures.  I regret nothing.

As we walked in this morning, we were too focused on getting our tickets that there wasn't the best chance to stop and take pictures of the tree at the entrance of the park.  So I righted that wrong as we made our way back to the hotel...

And one of the ornaments.
Animal Kingdom was always the afterthought park.  Or it was the park where a family meltdown would most definitely happen ( still is, really.  There were many a meltdown when we visited).  But Animal Kingdom was the park that we knew we'd be visiting this trip.  We knew we'd only have a chance to visit three parks this time.  Hollywood Studios got the boot quickly (sorry, Hollywood Studios).  And in reality, Animal Kingdom is much bigger than you think.  And after a number of visits, there are still areas I've never seen.  So until next time, Animal Kingdom.  Maybe I'll be able to go on Expedition Everest again... 


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