I haven’t seen Avatar. I have no desire to see Avatar. Yet, I am so excited for the new Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. I think Animal Kingdom is AWESOME. It has one of my favorite rides (Everest), but for us, it’s really a half day park, and that includes dining. I so want it to be more! It’s probably the most relaxing Disney theme park, as there’s not a ton to do here, and a lot of it is walking trails. I step into Magic Kingdom or Epcot, and there’s just so much I want to do, I never know where to start. Here, there’s none of that omg how are we going to get it all done mentality, because getting it all done is easy. Here’s a look at our day!
8:00 – Park Opens (with extra magic hours).
We were still sleeping.
9:10 – We rolled into the park.
We had time before our 9:30 breakfast reservation, so we checked out the Oasis Exhibits and took a picture in front of the Tree Of Life.
9:30 – Breakfast At Tusker House
I have to admit this place surprised me, yet was also exactly what I thought it would be. It was loud, crowded, and wild, and the character interactions were brief. Yet, at the same time, we were seated at a great table for two in the back, where it wasn’t overwhelmingly loud and busy, our waitress was great, and the food, while it wasn’t amazing, was far better than I was anticipating. I wouldn’t make a point to return every trip, but I would definitely return. We ended up not being seated until 10, and were out at around 11. During the meal, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Mickey all stopped by.
11:00 – Our first fast pass, Kilimanjaro Safari (11:35-12:35). We had time, so we headed to the nearby Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
While Animal Kingdom is primarily an outdoor park, I always thought it to be pretty shady. Gosh, it was SO HOT and STICKY, and I was already feeling the heat despite the fact that we hadn’t even done much yet!
11:20 – Still have time before our Safari Fast Pass, so we headed over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
To get towards the exhibits, you walk through Habitat Habit, which is basically another small trail. Chip and Dale were meeting outside the main building, but I was SO HOT I just wanted to head inside (Conservation Station) for some AC! Of course, as soon as we stepped inside someone had a snake around their neck. I freaked!!!! But, over on the other side, far, far away from that horrible creature, Rafiki was meeting, so we went to say hello.
After that, we headed to the petting zoo (Affection Section), but didn’t stay long because OMG THE HEAT. We then took the train back for our safari Fast Pass.
11:45 – Kilimanjaro Safari
I have to say this was probably the best ride we’ve had. The animals were OUT and CLOSE (we actually were majorly delayed because of zebra’s blocking the road).
I was hoping this ride would be a nice, breezy cool off, but who am I kidding? It was HOT and STICKY.
We got ice cream as soon as we got off.
Still in need of a cool off, we decided to head to DinoLand U.S.A., since Dinosaur is an indoor ride (AC!!). Of course, there was basically NO WAIT. The one time I wouldn’t have cared to wait in a line. It was then I discovered how GROSS and SWEATY I really was. Ugh!
We really love primeval whirl, but unfortunately, it was closed for refurbishment. This area of Animal Kingdom also has one of my FAVORITE meet and greets (because two characters pose together), but I just could not bring myself to stand outside any longer than we had to. It’s so funny, because in 2014 we experienced FREEZING temps here (they were handing out hot chocolate instead of ice cream), and now it’s the EXACT opposite. We just can’t win!
12:30 – Kali River Rapids Fast Pass. Our Fast Pass here is for 12:35-1:35, so we made our way from DinoLand to Asia. We paused for a picture with Everest in the background, and while we passed it, we noticed it was only a 10 minute wait, so we went on, because 10 minutes!!!
1:00: After that, we headed to Kali River Rapids. It was definitely not the cool off I had hoped for! I was SO uncomfortable in the heat (I think it was mainly because of the collar on my dress), that I couldn’t take it anymore! I went and purchased a shirt and shorts to change into.
1:30: Flights Of Wonder. After I found clothes, changed, we grabbed a snack and decided to check out the 1:45 Flights Of Wonder show.
After that, this happened…
Gosh, I just love Disney!
2:15: Our Everest Fast Pass is for now until 3:15, so we headed back over there. The wait was 15 minutes, so we decided to go on it without fast pass, and then hop right back on with our fast pass. It was a great move, as when we went back, the regular line was up to 25 minutes!
3:00: We used up all three of our fast passes, so we were able to get a 4th. We got Everest (obviously), starting at 3:30. To kill time, and since we were already in Asia, we decided to walk the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
3:30: Everest (for the 4th time today), I’d say that’s a hit!
We still had an hour and a half before the park closes at 5. We did not do It’s Tough to be a Bug, which is that 3-D show inside the Tree Of Life, nor did we walk the Discovery Island Trails. We did not see the stage shows, Finding Nemo – The Music or Festival of the Lion King, nor did we do the “children’s” rides over in DinoLand U.S.A., and as much as I wanted to do the Greeting Trails over at Camp Minnie-Mickey, the heat was really getting the best of us! We debated hitting It’s Tough to be a Bug on our way out, but ultimately wanted to get to our room to shower ASAP, so we headed for the exit instead. Overall, we felt like we hit everything we wanted. There were a few character things I would’ve liked to do if I wasn’t being such a baby about the heat, but other than that, I don’t feel like we missed out on anything, and if we wanted to see the stage shows, we certainly had time.
This is actually the night we dined at Disney’s California Grill. Animal Kingdom is one of those parks that’s not open late, and it’s not a terribly exhausting day. It’s the perfect opportunity to utilize your evening dining at one of Disney’s amazing non-park restaurants (not to mention one that offers a great fireworks view)! Plan accordingly.