|Day 4 Monday, October 21, 2002.
This was a day we spent the morning at the Animal Kingdom, and the late afternoon and evening pool hopping to the Boardwalk. We were back at OKW for a late dinner.
We got a pretty late start this morning. This was an early entry day at the Animal Kingdom, and we could have been there at 8, but did not arrive until
9:30. We spent a fairly short day there, leaving at about 2:30.
As soon as we arrived at the AK, we headed back to the Festival of the Lion King.
After not having seen this for a while, I have to say what a great show it is! There are so many memorable details to this outstanding performance.
||The tumble monkeys, the fire dancer,
the stilt dancers, the costuming and the floats were all terrific.
The girl who is dressed like a bird and does the fantastic arial act really
stands out. She's flying, she's dancing, it is something to see.
The music, of course, is very special. I love Scar's song, I always thought this song in the film was one of Disney's great villain moments. And the finale of this show is something special.
Video and flash photography are allowed during this performance. It is distracting trying to watch the show and record video at the same time. But, it will be worthwhile when we have our finished DVD for this trip. I've also had pretty good luck pulling (even more) still photographs from the video tape.
|When we passed back through Camp Minnie
Mickey, there were a large number of characters, but Nick had all of them
already in his book, and he was trying not to duplicate any characters.
So, we just sort of passed by.
Nick did pick up Lilo and Stitch, though, in front of the Island Mercantile.
In one of those unexpected Disney touches, we noticed the very cute character statues on the river banks, out of the way of guests, but a nice bit of atmosphere. Goofy and his friends were fishing, and Daisy was leading Huey, Duey, and Louie on a Cub Scout hike.
It was so hot (actually humid) that we ducked into the Island Mercantile just for the sake of the air conditioning. I am sorry to report that they had neither belts nor suspenders.
||We went over to Kilimanjaro Safaris,
and pulled a fast pass. It seemed like the perfect time for an early
lunch at the Tusker House. The chicken and the carrot cake were both
excellent. We desperately needed some liquid replenishment by this
time in the day.
I really don't want to complain about the weather, though. It wasn't terribly hot, but it was very, very humid. But, the important thing is that it wasn't raining. I personally considered the weather on this trip to be exceptionally good--hot, but not horribly so, humid, but dry, and not cold like our last trip.
So, the humidity inspired us to consume lots of bottled water and coke from the stands, and the occasional ice cream treat. Nick was doing 100 years of magic bars this trip.
|Anyway, after lunch we were on the
safari. Since it was hotter and later in the day, the animals weren't
as plentiful as when we do it early in the morning. I didn't get as
many photos as I normally do. Bu,t it was a really nice little ride,
and we did see rhinos, hippos, cranes, ocampi, ostridges, elephants, lions,
chetahs, antelopes, gators, giraffes, and zebras. But, seriously,
not as many animals as we have seen at other times ;^).
We pulled a fast pass for Kali River Rapids, and went on the Maharaja Jungle Trek to kill time while we were waiting.
I really enjoyed the jungle trek. There were lots of tigers and deer, and we got some very neat views of the giant bats. Nick wasn't as thrilled as I was at seeing the bats, which surprised me a little bit. I also
||found the details of the ruins along
this trail to be fascinating, but the birds in the aviary were just so so.
Debbie said that she liked the Pangini trail better overall, and I may agree
with her. We certainly had a great time on that trail on our last trip.
This was our first time ever on Kali River Rapids. The thing about Kali is that the crowds and the weather both have to kind of cooperate, and this was the first time that it wasn't raining, wasn't too cold, and wasn't too crowded.
We were a little early for our fast pass, and we actually had to wait, while people were going into the standby line. But, we passed them in the end, so I think we won.
|When we were allowed to go in, we practically
ran through the queue, but could see the marvelous attention to detail that
makes a Disney ride a Disney ride.
We had a wonderful ride, and did not get very wet. But, this seems to be a very random thing, as the couple we were riding with (who, interestingly enough, were from India) got drenched.
The rain forest burning down thing is a little on the preachy side, but not as bad as I thought it might be. Overall, this is a fun ride, and not just another water ride. It is very creative, with extreme attention to detail, and more than a little tension. Because, after all, you may get a little wet, or you may get soaked. I'll definitely do this again, if the weather cooperates.
||We caught a showing of It's Tough To
Be A Bug. Even after seeing it over and over again, this remains a
fun, fun show. It's a blast to see the squeamish people. This
show was a walk on, and we sat in the middle of the room. This is the
optimal place for this show, because of effects like the fog and the audioanimatronics
near the front of the theater. What a great time we had here.
Then, Debbie and Nick wanted to leave. Leave the theme park in the middle of the day? I thought it strange, but I went along with them.
We left the park at 2:30, and were back in the room at OKW by 3. Did I mention our busses to and from OKW were close to perfect this trip?
|We had a little nap, a little snack,
and were out again by 3:30.
And we now demonstrated that even the most obsessed among us can screw up a plan. We did not execute getting to the Boardwalk very well.
I sure thought you could pick up a bus from Epcot to the Boardwalk. In hindsight, since you can come into Epcot from the Boardwalk area via the International Gateway, they deem a bus to the front of Epcot unnecessary.
We could have taken a bus to some other location which would have had bus service to Boardwalk. But, we didn't.
||So, we took the bus to the front of
Epcot, and then learned there was no bus from there to the Boardwalk.
So, swimming suits under clothes, and carrying a tote bag, we trekked through
Future World and halfway across World Showcase to the International Gateway,
where we picked up a boat for the short remaining trip to the Boardwalk.
On the bright side, I got to walk across Epcot. On the not so bright side, Debbie wasn't happy with me.
On the way across, I noticed that World Showcase wasn't nearly so crowded this afternoon as it had been on Saturday. We actually stopped for a tiny sample from the Food And Wine Festival--a very good Australian meat pie and shrimp on the barbie. It's a bit pricey, but the quality was quite good.
|This was our
first time through the International Gateway. We had a very pleasant
boat ride over to the Boarwalk.
It threatened rain all afternoon, but never did it, and we got in a very nice bit of swimming.
I'm not sure if being in the water hurt or helped my leg. I splashed around and swam, and wrestled with Nick a bit. He did the slide, but neither Debbie nor I did. The slide looked fun, and Nick reported that it was (this is the slide which looks like a roller coaster, and ends in a giant clown's face). We had some good hot dogs, and even a little beer at the pool side.
I made the observation that at WDW, cheap food is expensive, but expensive food isn't. That is, hot dogs and burgers are outrageous, but prime rib, steak, or fish are the same as at any nice restaurant back home.
||I had to break it to Nick that we weren't
going to get to do DisneyQuest this trip. Nick was having a lot of
trouble with this concept that we only were here for a limited time, and when
we chose to do one thing, we weren't going to do something else. Well,
we will be back to DQ in the future.
I thought it was worthwhile and relaxing getting in a couple of hours of free swimming.
Since I was nursing a bad leg, we thought that we would add to our first time list by renting a surrey bicycle. Smart, huh?
The thing turned out to be really easy to peddle, though, if not particularly easy to steer. We paid $20 for a half hour, made it around the Boardwalk in about 15 minutes, and then turned it in.
|It *WAS* fun, albeit a little challenging.
People seem to have no sense about getting out of the way, even if you are
clearly out of control and give them ample warning.
We then had a nice root beer float, while we waited for the boat at the dock in front of the Boardwalk Hotel. After getting off at the International Gateway,
we walked back up to the front of Future World.
This was a nice introduction to the Boardwalk area. I have been interested in staying here, and I could see this being quite a bit of fun, with the special parties, shops, dance clubs, and restaurants. But, a one bedroom at Old Key West is Da Bomb.
Debbie ditched Nick and I at the front of Epcot, but Nick really wanted to ride the monorail, which may be his only chance this trip. So, he and I rode the
||monorail to the TT&C, then back
to Epcot, and took the bus back to OKW. We actually caught a little
bit of Illuminations from the monorail, which is a great and special perspective.
We only got a few seconds, as the train kept moving, but it was something
We had absolutely perfect luck with the bus.
We met Debbie for a late dinner at Olivia's. It was not perfect, but it was very good. We had the crab cakes, which were very good (Nick, surprisingly, had
pasta), but the accompanying salad was kind of weak. Nick and Debbie had smoothies, and Debbie had another beer.
|My leg was killing me, but I really
welcomed that jacuzzi in the room.
Overall, it was a good day, and a good night. We fiddled with the plan a bit, and may have missed doing quite as much because of it, but we had a nice, relaxing time.
It was pretty late by the time I got to bed (had notes to work on and pictures to download).
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