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December 30th 2011
Published: December 31st 2011
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Day of Disney firsts today 😊
First park, first character picture, first autograph, etc. And I loved every minute of it - totally re-lived my childhood all day.

We had a nice breakfast (yay, free) at the hotel and then shuttled off to Epcot, to catch the Disney transfer to Animal Kingdom. And the magic begins!

We went straight to Fastpass Everest (so not waiting in line when no need) and then went to the safari expedition. The line was long enough, but I didn't even mind lines today because Disney even does that right!! There are videos/movies, displays, everything is themed perfectly etc.

The safari was nice - the vehicles themselves were really cool, and they let us do all sorts of crazy "off-road" experiences including nearly falling off a bridge and chasing after poachers 😉 You can tell the animals are so used to the vehicles - they were coming right up to the path.

From there we wandered around some more animal trails (got the cutest photo of two hippos sleeping underwater!) and then walked all around the Tree of Life in the middle of the park - it's absolutely incredible! There are all these great animals carved into the tree - half the fun is hunting for the animals and all the hidden goodies.

We came across our first characters - Russel and Dug from Up!! Aw yeh. Of course we waited in line to get our photos and autographs. After that we found Winnie, Eeyore and Tigger too 😊 They were dressed up in their Christmas gear which was cool. It was fun to watch all the little kids in line (so like, 90% of the line haha) and how they'd react to the characters - some were beyond excited, others shy, others terrified haha. All so cute. Tracy and I were just excited - totally like kids in a candy store. We got hugs, we got high-fives, we got kisses, the whole jazz.

(Also, Tigger has an awesome dance and Eeyore does the best sulk in town)

We went to the Finding Nemo Musical (so cute - I love that movie) and the end was great with the seagulls all saying: bye! bye! bye! The idea of a musical works so well for all their movies because the crowd knows the jokes and/or songs, so we just went along with everything. Such as just keep swimming 😊

Going back to Everest - thanks to FastPass it was a 5min wait, if that. Great ride - one of the better coasters I've been on just because of creativity in the design. Absolutely loved going backwards too - we got some good speed on that portion.

We took Rafiki's Train to the Discovery Centre, wandered around there a bit, then went to find a spot to watch the Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade - 'twas lovely!! Got to see Balou (he led it off with King Louie!) and then a lot of the parade were these great animal puppets, like what you'd see at the Lion King show on broadway - but they were decorated for Christmas. And of course, the characters were in the parade too: Chip n Dale, Simon and Terk danced up a storm, Santa Goofy with his naughty/nice list, Donald was singing carols, Minnie was blowing kisses and Mickey wrapped it up.

We were smart to stand near the "It's a Bug's Life" show/ride, and ran in there after the parade - ha, no line! It was 3D with a few creepy-crawler add-ins for good measure, such as being farted on by a dung beetle, being stung in the back by wasps, and having a bunch of bugs crawl under our bums. Great effects.

Next was Dinoland USA - where even the bones of the brontasaur were dressed up for Christmas with a santa hat!

Santa Goofy and Pluto were chilling by the dinos, so we waited to meet them too - I had a great side convo with Goofy as Pluto signed my book. Seriously, playing charades with the characters (since they're not allowed to talk) is the best.

We took some pics of the dino's (including one that creeped another dino - best photo ever), got another Fast Pass for Dinosaur, then headed to Camp Minnie where we met good old Donald Duck. Just to make things clear for us, he signed: Donald Duck #1 because he is the best 😉

Lion King Festival was great - it's all the songs from the movie (+animal puppets, people dressed as animals doing stunts, the Lion King characters, etc) so of course we sang along to each and every song. With feeling! It was super interactive anyway, so on top of singing we sat in the lion section (RAWR) and had to sing "a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee a we-bomb-bomb-away" ... well... however you spell that part from "The Liong Sleeps Tonight" haha.

Finished the night with a quick visit with Mickie and Minnie (in their matching green Christmas sweaters) and then rode Dinosaur, which is a ride back in time to save the iguanadon ... all while being attacked by a trex of course 😉

So, that was my day. I know this is a long entry but I wanted to catalogue everything for myself so I could remember afterwards haha.


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