After our full day at Magic Kingdom, we decided to take it easy the next day. We hadn’t really penciled in a “day off,” per se, because hello, Disney is too expensive to have a lot of scheduled downtime.
But, we also knew we’d pretty much reached our limit, and putting in another full day at the parks would not have been a good idea. So after our late bedtime the night before, we just let everyone sleep as long as they wanted in the morning, and I really think that saved the day!
Because we’d accomplished so much in the first few days, we decided to go ahead and go to Animal Kingdom, which we’d originally not planned to do. We really took it easy, and honestly didn’t see all that much of the park, but it was enough for all of us. While we definitely enjoyed it, most of it wasn’t a highlight for us.
The two older boys and Matt HAD to ride Expedition Everest, the huge roller coaster that goes backwards during part of the ride. This isn’t their car coming down the mountain, but it at least gives you an idea of what the ride looks like!
We had our only FastPass-gathering error at this park, when Matt went to get them for the Kali River Rapids rideand only had 3 of the tickets with him :(. The boys and I were inside a theater watching Finding Nemo: The Musical (LOVED IT!) and therefore I didn’t hear his text. So this delayed our stay at Animal Kingdom, since we really wanted to ride this ride together as a family.
We all got to ride DINOSAUR together, too, and it was a wild ride! It surprised me that Luke, the roller-coaster-adrenaline-junkie, didn’t really like this ride. I thought it was cool, as did Matt and Bennett. I think Jack Henry was ok with it, except at the end of the ride when we were getting off, he couldn’t get his seatbelt unbuckled. I’d already stepped out of our vehicle (so I’m literally like 10 feet away from him), and he started crying, thinking he’d be left behind. He’s told people since that his mom left him on a ride at Disney World. Awesome.
We did finally get to our FastPass time at Kali River Rapids, and it was the longest wait with a FP that we had in all of Disney (the ride starts waaay back from where you enter). And then, while the splashing on the ride was refreshing because it was a scorching hot day, the ride was super short and just not that good. In my mind the standard for a good tube ride is Thunder River at Six Flags St. Louis, which I haven’t even ridden since probably 1992, so Disney, I think you can stand to improve upon this one.
I would have loved to have gone on the Safari and seen the It’s Tough to be a Bug and the Lion King shows, but we were so hot and tired that we were all ready to go by mid-afternoon. Plus, we’d promised a swim in the hotel pool that afternoon, and since the weather appeared that it was going to hold out for the first time and not rain midday, we headed back to our hotel just as people were lining up for the parade.
We got back to the hotel late afternoon, swam, and then everyone showered and got ready to go out for dinner at the ESPN Zone on the Boardwalk, which was a meal we all loved. We planned to walk over to Hollywood Studios and catch the light show, since it was the only one we hadn’t seen yet.
And I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but guess what, IT RAINED. Hard. And lightninged. So we instead played a bit in the hotel’s game room, and then stopped at the little general store for a couple of drinks and a little dessert for the kids and sat under an awning and watched it pour. Which was actually a pretty good ending to the night.