Going Wild for Animal Kingdom

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August 9th 2019
Published: August 13th 2019
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My parents arrived at Disney World last night. They weren't sure if they'd make the trip, as my mom broke her foot a couple months ago. On Tuesday, she had a good appointment with the doctor, and he moved her from a regular cast to a walking cast. Unfortunately for my mom, the walk through the airport was too much for her in her new boot. At best, she injured her foot. At worst, she rebroke it. Either way, she can't walk at all, and now she's at Disney World! The good news is that the people at her resort helped her contact a company to rent a kick scooter like the one she used in Des Moines before she got the walking cast.

Today, they decided to try to come to Animal Kingdom with us. We started our day in "Asia" at Animal Kingdom. It's designed to look like Nepal, I believe, and it's really beautiful. My parents and I rode Expedition Everest while Andrew took the kids to see Finding Nemo the musical. The cast members were excellent about helping my mom and moving her scooter for her to get when she exited the ride. Afterwards, we used a FastPass for Kali River Rapids. This was the best FastPass to have in the afternoon. It was our hottest day at the parks yet, and it felt muggier than previous days, too. While Expedition Everest had been about a 30 minute wait, Kali River Rapids was over an hour. Our FastPass saved us time in the heat! Since my mom couldn't walk at all, they took us to a special loading area. We felt very grateful for them for doing this for us, but it also took a long time. I want to say it took about 20 minutes for them to get a raft to this area, bring us over, and then send it off into the ride. By the time we got out of the ride, we couldn't make our next FastPass.

We decided to take the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. Oliver wanted to see the animal hospital there. I thought the hospital and air conditioned building were close to the train. My memory failed me, as it was actually white a long hike from the train, and it was in the heat and over bumpy ground. I realized almost right away that it was a mistake. I apologized profusely to my mom for dragging her out there. We left fairly quickly, took the train back to "Africa," and had a nice meal at Tusker House. Tusker House was the perfect selection for our family because they had some amazing vegetarian options in addition to meat options that my parents and kids could enjoy. The character interaction was fun, too!

After Tusker House, my parents decided to head back to their resort. Andrew and I took the kids to Pandora to use our FastPass for Flight of Passage. Flight of Passage is Disney's newest ride, and it's a virtual reality ride. I've heard amazing things about it, including how some people claim it's life changing for them. You fly on the back of a banshee (which is like a dragon) as you zoom down cliffs, through trees, and over water. I had high hopes for the ride, but I ended up thinking it was pretty stupid. To me, it felt like watching TV, but the 3D effect also hurt my eyes a bit... so it was like watching painful TV. It made Andrew feel queasy, so he stopped watching the screen. Joanna was pretty scared of the ride. But Oliver... Oliver loved it. He was giggling with delight and reaching his hand out to grab different 3D creatures. Perhaps it has something to do with your vision. I'm not sure how else to explain how Oliver could have been so delighted while I felt like I was just watching TV that hurt my eyes. At any rate, I would never waste time in line for such a bad ride, and I'm glad I got a FastPass. Actually, I guess that's not true. I'd wait in line for it for Oliver to ride again, but I'd never choose to ride it myself. This is coming from someone who likes every ride and laughed and squealed with glee on Slinky Dog Dash and Expedition Everest.

We left Animal Kingdom after Flight of Passage. It was just so hot out, and we were all eager to be back at our resort in air conditioning. In all, we were at Animal Kingdom from about 11am to about 4pm. In that time, we rode Expedition Everest (my mom, dad, and me), Finding Nemo (Andrew and the kids), Kali River Rapids (all of us except my dad), the Wildlife Express Train (all of us), and Flight of Passage (Andrew, the kids, and me). I felt like I didn't get to enjoy Animal Kingdom as much as I did last time. It's such a beautiful park, but it was too hot to walk through and enjoy. We were just miserable trying to get from air conditioned place to air conditioned place. If I did it all over again, we would skip the Wildlife Express Train (too hot), and instead watch an air conditioned show like the Lion King!

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