|Day 9 Saturday, October 26,
We started off this day at the Animal Kingdom, then did a pool hop to the Polynesian, and spent the evening at the Magic Kingdom.
The weather today was perfect. It was warm, and there wasn’t a bit of rain.
Well, we got a late start today, arriving at Animal Kingdom about 10:30. I don’t like to get to AK this late. But, our plan was to just do Dinoland, which we had neglected in our AK stop earlier in the week. So, since there were no live animals involved, the late start wasn’t so bad.
|We headed straight to
Dinoland (do I have to say again that bus service to and from OKW is great?)
Then, we did Primeval Whirl, with Nick and I riding on it twice.
The ride is intentionally loud, both in terms of sound and in terms of sight. Like most of Dinoland now, it has a goofy, carnival type theming. Overall, I have to say that it is really kind of fun. It is an interesting idea to have a spinner and a coaster on the same ride. The car rotates (freely?) at certain points on the coaster track, but seems to be locked at other times (on the more major hills). They do a little fun bullwhip thing around some of the corners. It is a pretty mild coaster, but it gets a little intense when combined with the spin. There was actually one hill that we took sideways on our second ride, and I got a bit of a bump on my hip (nothing serious)j. Overall,
|it is kind of a thrilling ride.
I found there to be quite a bit of motion there (although a lot of fun).
So, if you don’t do well with motion, you might want to think twice.
The Triceratops Spin was one of only two rides (on the whole property) that Nick skipped this trip (the other being the Tower of Terror). The spin looks fun, appearing to be more like Aladdin than Dumbo (it seems like the riders have more control, and there is more room than in Dumbo). But, there was quite a line (there wasn’t much of a line at the Whirl), it was hot, and we had other things we wanted to do today.
The whole Chester and Hester’s area has kind of a roadside attraction theme to it, with the carnival
|games and the two carnival-like
rides. I could see it being kind of fun, but there are so many other
things to do around the world that we felt like we didn’t want to spend
a lot of time there. Variety is the spice of life, but there just
seem to be higher grades of fun to be had at WDW.
We headed over to Dinosaur (CTX was a less confusing name). There was not much of a line, I’d say we waited about 15 minutes. This ride is a bit rough, but is very enjoyable. I found the Dinosaur animatronics here to be better than those over at Universal’s Jurassic park. But, those in Epcot’s Energy pavilion are the most lifelike. I do like the preshow, ride, and postshow (the Iguanadon showing up on the video monitors) a lot here, the way they are
|all comically tied together.
The queue is nice also, but we walked through it so fast that I didn’t notice
if Bill Nye is still talking.
On way out of Dinosaur ride, we ran into the Carnatour character. On our last trip, there was a hilarious Carnatour running around. This fellow was not as funny, but he was still very amusing. He seemed to like to bite people’s heads when they posed for pictures with him. I also saw him devouring some plush toes. I guess they’re really not all bad.
No autograph, but we did get a good picture with Nick. Good enough to use on our Christmas cards. Well, you’ve got to have a sense of humor.
|The crowds at AK seemed
pretty light to me overall. Again, this seems like a good time
of year for pretty light crowds.
We said all we were going to do in AK was Dinoland, to make up for the time we missed. So, we headed out now, for our planned pool hop. Debbie had rented a locker at the front of AK to stash our swim bag. It turns out subsequent rentals at other parks on the same day are free. That seems like a good thing to know (which I didn’t).
We just grabbed the bus to the Poly, which went very smoothly. When we had gone on our cruise trip, we stayed at the Poly. It was down to the wire whether the volcano pool would be finished on time.
|Well, it was, but cool weather and
a some traveler’s colds kept us out of the water. We were going to
make up for it this time (pool hopping being a benie for DVC members).
Before going to the pool, though we had lunch at the Kona Cafe. I was so glad that we did. I had the Island Chicken Sandwich (I believe Debbie did also). It was very, very good. The chicken was spicy, and there was a really tasty pineapple sauce along with it. But, the creme bruelle stole the show. It was an enormous dish of creme brulle (OK, the truth is, normally creme brulle is served in a tiny serving, but this was not). Between the crisp top and the custard was a layer of fresh bananas. It is amazing how much this added. It was definitely the desert of the trip, and each spoonful was heavenly.
I’m floored by how good the restaurants inside the resorts are. Kona
Cafe is just a little coffee shop, great for a quick bite, but the food
I did have a strawberry banana smoothie, which was a little disappointing. The key lime smoothie over at Olivia’s is definitely better. But, this was still an exceptional meal (and we had Disney class service).
The Volcano pool was not disappointing. We all enjoyed it very much, though Nick was the only one to go down the slide. But, it was nice to swim in the shadow of the “smoking” volcano, and that waterfall was a nice surprise. The pool edge on one side also slopes gently up to the sandy beach of Seven Seas Lagoon. If you have really good eyes, I think you
|could see Cinderella’s Castle from
the pool (I couldn’t without my glasses). Overall, it’s a well thought
out pool, and we had loads of fun.
Shhh. Noone really checked our resort IDs, so I imagine you could pool hop even if you weren’t staying at a DVC resort. But, it’s nice that it’s “legal” for us. It’s a shame they took away privileges at Storm Along Bay, though.
This was a really refreshing experience. I was secretly feeling pretty worn out from the heat and the constant physical activity. There is something about a nice dip that is rejuvenating. The only bad thing, is it does cost you park time.
|But, we were shortly
off to the Magic Kingdom. There really wasn’t enough time for any rides
before our PS at the Liberty Tree. We kind of stood in line at the
Jungle Cruise, but decided we were going to be pretty late for our PS if
we did that. And the Fastpass return would have been right in the middle
of dinner. Then, after all of that, we gave up, walked over to the
Liberty Tree, and jumped into the Hall of Presidents at the last minute (and
were a tiny bit late for our PS). The problem was, since HOP has it’s
last show at about 5:30, we kept missing the chance to go in, so we couldn’t
This is s very good, inspiring show. It’s very tempting to compare it to the American Adventure show over in Epcot. Overall, the American
|Adventure is better. I just
like the story and presentation of AA better, it leaves you feeling better
about America. But, the animatronics here are quite impressive, especially
when you consider the incidental details, how some of the presidents
are fidgeting, or nodding in agreement. There is that Disney detail
that makes their rides and shows special. The film, though
talks more about exclusion than accomplishment. I’m not saying that
this is an unimportant message. but it seems like an odd choice for
the main theme for HOP. America has really accomplished more than we
are given credit for here. AA, I find, is is more balanced,
looking at the good and the bad more evenhandedly.
|But, I still do consider
HOP to be a worthwhile, inspiring show, and the animatronics are top drawer.
I feel that a show like this reminds you that Disney kicks butt compared to Universal.
Usually, I give the Liberty Tree rave reviews, but I was a tiny bit disappointed this time. We were in the Paul Revere room, which is really more like a bend at the foot of the stairs. The lighting was kind of mediocre, and the characters seem like they are “just passing through”--they don’t spend the time with you that they seemed to in the Benjamin Franklin or George and Martha Washington rooms. Usually, we get a couple of passes with each character before the meal is over, and the interaction is better. I just don’t think this little hallway is that comfortable a place.
|You can’t complain about the food,
though. Once again, a great family style meal, with a terrific salad,
then a great selection of meats (honey ham, turkey, and roast beef), great
mashed potatoes, mac and cheese (which Nick never lets us taste), and a
nice selection of deserts. I was the only one that tried a desert.
I think this is where I had the pumpkin cheesecake that was good, but not
as good as the one at the Garden Grill over in Epcot.
The apple butter, BTW is completely gone from the table at the Liberty Tree, but Debbie simply inquired about it, and our waitress got us some from the back. We were just asking, really. This waitress also was nothing to complain about. We didn’t have bad service at any sit down meal this entire trip. It’s just something that Disney does so very well.
|We walked over to Pooh,
and tried a shot at a Fast Pass, but they were out for the day (it was
after dinner, after all). We went ahead and took a turn on It’s A
Small World. I still think this ride is a Disney classic, and I like
to do it at least one time on each trip. There was a baby (not quite
a toddler) on the lap of the woman in front of us who was just fascinated
by all of these toys come to life. I often think that WDW doesn’t
have that much to offer to a child that young, but she really ate up IASW.
She was fun to watch.
We then went ahead and stood in line for Pooh. It was really only about 15 minutes. We had very few long lines this trip. I do still like the ride (as much as we all miss Toad). I noticed the picture of Mr. Toad handing the deed to Owl, and had to chuckle.
| Debbie once again pronounced the
Pooh ride to be “cute” on our way out.
We rode the carousal, which is not something we often do. It is a very pretty and fun ride, but Debbie had just a tiny bit of trouble dismounting.
Nick and I got in line for the Teacups, but the Fantasy in The Sky Fireworks started. I hopped out of line to get a good view, but Nick went ahead and rode. He was a little upset with me, but this would be the only Fireworks show we’d see in the MK (we had missed the special show during MNSSHP). This is a neat vantage point to see the show, the bursts are almost overhead (though they seemed even closer when we had seen them near the river boat dock on another trip). I really do like the MK
Nick and I rode together on the teacups.
We hiked up to Tomorrowland, as Debbie said she had not yet rode TTA this trip. She and Nick went twice around without me.
We then went together on Buzz, Nick and I together, and Debbie in the car behind us. I was a planetary pilot. Is that good? Nick’s got to stop spinning that darned car.
This pretty much took us up to closing . So, we walked out slowly, soaking it all in. I watched the colors changing on the castle, and tried a couple of shots with the Sony (I know that the Kodak will not shoot well at this particular light level). Some came
|out very nice, some were blurry.
But, I don’t care, because it’s all digital, and the card gets offloaded
Then we had our really only bad bus experience on the whole trip. Someone who had a rented ECV was trying to back it into the handicapped loader on the bus, and somehow broke the whole thing. They had to call for a second bus. We were actually standing in line still, but they offloaded people who were already on the first bus before they let us board. I did hear a lot of guests grumbling that there may be a better way to accommodate everybody.
|Back at OKW, it was
jacuzzis and soda pop. I dumped my pictures to the Power Book, but
didn’t do any work on my trip report.
Overall, it was a great Disney day. I may have had a couple of complaints, but it sure beats the heck out of real life.
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