Day 2- Animal Kingdom

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Yesterday was the best day yet.

We spent the day at Animal Kingdom which is Gracie’s and my favorite park. We love the smaller crowds, the slower pace, and the stunning attention to detail. The rest of the family spent the day continually waiting for us to catch up as we walked with a camera to our eye. It is simply a stunning park.

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When we arrived there was a slight hold up at the front gate. We weren’t sure what was going on until we made it up to the front and then discovered that the magic band scanners were down. The employees were having to use iPads to scan the bands. It was very cool to see a Disney “plan B” in action!

The first thing we saw after entering was “Devine” slowly making her way from the greenery along the path. She was beautiful to watch. She  slowly and gracefully moved toward Tyler, wanting to interact. Tyler found her creepy and quickly walked away while the girls and I stopped to watch.

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The crowds were low so we were able to take our time as we walked through the park. Most rides were only a 5-10 minute wait.

These were everyone’s favorite stops of the day:

Rusty’s favorite ride was our first stop of the day…Primeval Whirl.

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While in Dinoland USA the kids also rode TriceraTop Spin.

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 Next we headed over to Tyler’s favorite ride of the day…Expedition Everest. This was a favorite ride of everyone except Rusty and Ozzie. They haven’t braved this rollercoaster yet but may give it a try when we come back in a few days. They waited in the gift shop and looked around while we rode it a few times. It was so much fun!! I think this is probably my all time favorite ride of all the Disney parks.

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After picking up the boys from the gift shop we walked over to the “Flights of Wonder” show. This was a comical, yet informative, show about birds from around the world. The cast members that were in the show were funny, but the real stars of the show were the interpreters. We sat behind a little girl in need of a sign language interpreter. The two interpreters that were playing the two characters in the show were so funny and expressive that I found myself watching them rather than the actors on stage. It was a joy watching them work.

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Our next stop was Toby’s favorite of the day…Kilimanjaro Safari. We loaded onto a Safari truck and headed to the savannah of Africa for some up close interactions with beautiful beasts.

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We then took a break from rides and headed for lunch. Everyone was hungry and ready to sit in the shade. We decided to have lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. This was a no-brainer. It is our hands-down favorite quick service restaurant at Disney World and my pick for favorite stop of the day.

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The food was amazing. A few of us ordered ribs with baked beans, coleslaw and key lime pie for dessert.

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Rusty ordered the turkey leg…WOW!

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Everyone had a taste…

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After lunch it was time to cool off. The temperature was in the mid nineties and everyone was melting a bit, so we strolled over to Kali River Rapids where you are guaranteed to get wet.

Kali River Rapids was Ozzie’s pick for best ride of the day.

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This was our “before” picture:

Dry and Hot

Dry and Hot

This was our “after” picture:

Wet and Wonderfully Cool!!

Wet and Wonderfully Cool!!

Our final stop for the day was Gracie’s pick for favorite experience…”Finding Nemo- The Musical.” It was “Finding Nemo” brought to life with the help of artistic puppets, amazing songs, talented actors and breathtaking scenery. It gave me goosebumps. It was a perfect way to end our day at Animal Kingdom.

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Animal Kingdom closes at 5:00 pm so we made dinner reservations at The Tusker House, at Animal Kingdom. for the same time. Three years ago we took the older kids to Tusker House for dinner and they loved the African cuisine so we decided to take the little boys. When we arrived we were surprised to find out that dinner at the Tusker House was now a character dinner. We were able to meet Safari Mickey and his gang while we “grazed” at an amazing buffet. 😉

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There were so few people at the restaurant because of the park closing that we enjoyed a lot more time interacting with the characters than we did at Chef Mickey’s. It was so relaxed and laid back. I loved it!

Goofy was especially smitten with Miss Molly…

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After goofy kissed her hand Molly turned to Grace and said, “You may have a handsome knight but I have Goofy!”

The kids even got to dance around the restaurant with Daisy Duck.

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It was during dinner that we had Molly’s pick for best moment of the day and that was the amazing dessert buffet…in particular, the baklava!

Grace enjoying the Baklava.

Grace enjoying the Baklava.

We left the restaurant around 6:00. The park was empty as we slowly strolled toward the front gate. It was fun being the only people there and it gave up the opportunity to take pictures without anyone in the background. It was really kind of magical.

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We were home by 6:30. We took the kids to the hotel pool and enjoyed a nice relaxing evening. The kids were all in bed by 8:30 and asleep by 9:00. The early night was just what we all needed to recharge before our next big day…Magic Kingdom!

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