The book said that we should see Disney World in this order: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and save Magic Kingdom for last. Well, we had a total of four days in Disney World and I was determined to see Harry Potter-ville while we were there (self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd-- been reading them books since I was in 8th grade?), so I had to make a DECISION. I needed to cut something out-- but what?! After much agonizing deliberation, we decided to forgo seeing Hollywood Studios and devote 1/2 a day to Animal Kingdom and 1.5 days to Magic Kingdom.
We started off with breakfast at Boma, which is located in the Animal Kingdom lodge. (GORGEOUS! I had major hotel envy when we stepped onto property)
Then we headed to the Animal Kingdom and literally RAN to Kilimanjaro's Safari Ride. This paid off, as the wait was only about 20 minutes.
It is unreal to be this.close to giraffes & other wild animals. Brooke was thrilled. My dad was so close to a rhino, had he reached out, he probably could have touched it. He was so close that he couldn't get a good picture of it!
Then Brooke took a much-needed nap, so Vance and I were able to jump on Kali River Rapids, where we got soaked and two 8-year old boys walked away unscathed & dry. It felt good to get wet at the time, but walking around with wet underwear... well, is no fun for anyone. Then we jumped on some Yeti rollercoaster which was very similar to Matahorn at Disneyland. By the end of this ride, Brooke was up so we ate at Rainforest Cafe for lunch.
Family pics at the Tree of Life, which is insanely gorgeous.
Headed back to our hotel to shower, change and get refreshed, and headed right back out to the MAGIC KINGDOM! I felt like a little kid entering the Magic Kingdom and seeing all of the balloons and decorations (Brooke of course, is yelling, "booon! boon!" and waving to the Mickey and Minnie dolls we pass in the store)
Dinner was at Liberty Tree Tavern. It was family-style, all you can eat. And to Vance's great delight & surprise, it was thanksgiving food! What can I say ...the boy loves his thanksgiving food.
Obligatory family pictures in front of Cinderella's castle
Well, we ended up waiting for the Electric Parade to start & I'm glad we did. Brooke just loved it. Loved looking at the lights, loved the characters, loved the music ... it was seriously the cutest thing. She waved (shyly) at ALL of the characters and would squeal with delight when they came close to us!
She was a real trooper. After the electric parade ended, everyone gathered by Cinderella's castle to watch the fireworks show. Well, everyone but us. We raced to get onto rides, hoping there would be minimal lines and thank GOD we did this. We (Brooke included) were able to ride It's A Small World, The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean within an hour. It was amaaaazing. And my little girl was an absolute trooper on every ride. She quietly sat through It's A Small World & we played peek-a-boo with the ghosts on the Haunted Mansion and she loved seeing all of the pirates on Pirates of the Caribbean. Since it was nearing 11pm and she was still awake (!), we even caught the beginning of the second electric light parade. I'll never forget taking my little girl to the Magic Kingdom for the first time.
Next post: HARRY POTTER-VILLE!
(Sorry there was such a long lag between posts. My computer was attacked by viruses and temporarily committed suicide, but is alive and well [I hope] for now)