WDW: Nov 12

November 12th

For a reason still unbeknownst to us, the crowds from the previous evening weren’t a fluke.  They’d continue for a few days despite the fact that none of the experts predicted crowded days.  We’ll just have to go back since we weren’t able to do everything planned! 😉

Our first attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We had the same driver we had on a previous trip, and she was just as entertaining – as were the animals, and Elise and Avery’s love for them.

After the safari (which would turn out to be one of the girls’ favorite attractions the whole trip), we started to walk through Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, but the crowds were too thick to really enjoy it in a reasonable amount of time.  Our priority at the time was getting to the Flights of Wonder show since the girls adore birds, so we hustled through and over to the FoW amphitheater.  On the way, we met a few characters, including Baloo and King Louie (about whom the girls really weren’t crazy!) and DeVine!

Maybe we should have hung out with them a little longer, because Flights of Wonder – while just as awesome a show as ever – had a few unexpected, unwanted surprises for us.  Elise was terrified of the birds that flew overhead (quite funny, actually), and Avery fell off the bench and hit her head on the concrete, giving herself a concussion.  Literally.  As in, me crying in the middle of Animal Kingdom as she was so, so sleepy it was scary, and Kyle being kind of afraid too.  Thankfully she got better in the (our) allotted time, so we didn’t have to visit Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital for the second “rule out intracranial bleed” visit of 2010!

After the show (and the side drama), we grabbed lunch at the Yak and Yeti counter service restaurant.  It was ok, but I think we’ll stick with Lotus Blossom for our quick service WDW chinese food. 🙂  I do love the extra seating options, though!

We hit Triceratop Spin next, which was just as fun (exactly as fun, if you’re an adult ;)) as Dumbo and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  We had planned on letting the girls play in the Boneyard play area, but once again the crowds were a bit much.  Instead, we just decided to head on over to Epcot for our naptime stroll.

Avery and Elise fell asleep as soon as we reclined their strollers.  Kyle headed into Captain EO and I sat in the shade, watching my girls sleep sweetly (and watching other people in one of the best people-watching destinations I know).  I have to admit, I was watching their every move to be sure we didn’t have an abrupt ending to naptime as we had the previous day!  When Kyle returned, it was my turn to watch Captain EO – in all it’s crazy, spoof-like (but it wasn’t!), horribly wonderful glory.  Seriously, that is one weird attraction.

When the girls woke up (after a 1.5 hour nap! Hooray!), our next stop was Journey into Imagination w/Figment.  For girls who love said character, they weren’t too sure about his ride this time – especially Avery.  Of course, this is the same girl who insisted for weeks before that she wouldn’t ride the Winnie the Pooh ride (we did, and she loved it), and the same girl who has cried at the mention of snow for months but loved it all the same once it finally arrived.  Hopefully next trip the Figment ride will be back in her good graces 😉

After the ride, the girls and Kyle very sweetly watched the jumping fountains.  He was absolutely right in taking them there, they were just delighted by them – especially when one jumped right over their heads!

Out next stop was Living the with Land, otherwise known (very affectionately) as “the Vegetable Boat Ride”.  If you’ve ridden, you know exactly why.  If not, let me just say (while realizing this would need a lot more explanation to make much sense, especially with its appeal to everyone, including 2-year-olds), the end of the ride includes a greenhouse where vegetables are grown.  It’s really spectacular, and that’s not sarcasm 🙂

From there we visited with a few friends at the Chase Meet & Greet, rode the Three Caballeros ride in Mexico (still a favorite!), and said hello to Donald.  Then we made our way through World Showcase, including the kidcot station in Germany (where the girls colored adorable Duffy bears) and a visit to the new Werther’s Karmelle Kuche (and a VERY mediocre Caramel-covered cupcake).

Dinner was at Restaurant Marrakesh.  This one had always made our list of “must try” restaurants, but somehow this was our first visit there.  It was absolutely outstanding – delicious Moroccan food, a great atmosphere, live music, and excellent service.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been realizing our DVC membership cards would have gotten us a whopping 20% off of our (by far) most expensive meal all trip.  Alas, I didn’t realize this until days later.  I’m still trying to forget I ever found out!

On our way out of the park we caught a very short line to say hello to Belle, where Elise absolutely melted my heart by singing “Something There” to her.  Oh my gosh, priceless.  Kyle took the girls to play by the sparkling sidewalks (which they loved) while I got our free picture from the Meet & Greet, and we called it a day.  A wonderful, wonderful day.

On our way out, Elise and Avery told Kyle they really wanted to push Spaceship Earth.  (Ahh, sweet memories of “Throw it!”, their second trip :)).  When he said it was too big, their ever-so-logical-but-slightly-misinformed answer was, “Daddy, do you need a big ladder?”

Oh yeah.  And that mediocre cupcake?  It probably was worse than that.  It was actually kind of gross.  But oohhhhhh, the milk chocolate caramel square we ate on the way out.  We’d have 2-3 more this trip, and my mouth is watering waiting for our next visit.  I’m sure the caramel corn is good, too…. (salivate.)

And has anyone ever ended a blog post with just the world “salivate”?  Yeah, I thought not.  I couldn’t, either.

Photos added.