For Day Three of our Honeymoon, we went to two parks that neither of us had yet visited. With our Park Hopper passes (wonderful invention) , we would be hitting both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
Dressed and ready to go, we boarded the convenient bus to Animal Kingdom. The park is divided into three main sections: Africa, Asia, and DinoLand U.S.A. Once there, we headed straight toward the main attraction of Africa, the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition. It features a ride through the savannah of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and a chance to see real African animals! As we load the “rickety” safari vehicle, our guide warns us that there has been poacher activity in the park. So be on the look-out for illegal activity! The fun of this ride is that you never know what you’re going to get to see. The animals roam where ever they want. Somewhat. Disney engineers are geniuses when it comes to making things seem like one thing and be another. On our safari, my husband and I saw various African birds, crocodiles, giraffes, ELEPHANTS, lions, and ostrich. Getting photos while on a moving vehicle can be tricky but be patient. My sister affectionately calls my photography style, the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” Shoot everything and sort it out later. At the end of the ride…well, I’ll leave that for you all to discover when you take your own Safari Expedition.
The next stop in Africa is the Pangani Forest Expedition Trail. Live gorillas relax behind glass in their own forest habitat. There are also education stops along the way. In Swahili, Pangani translates to “Place of Enchantment.” And this place truly is enchanted! Along with the Lowland Gorillas, we were also treated to viewings of Meerkats, Storks, and a type of antelope called a Yellow-back Duiker.
After all this animal-seeing, it’s time for lunch. Now this was a little trickier since I’m vegetarian. But luckily, we made it back to Pizzafari, which featured Quick Service pizzas that both my meat-eating husband and my vegetarian self could enjoy.
With lunch accomplished, we moved on to Asia. Trees bedazzled with bright colored ribbons greeted us as we headed towards the Kali River Rapids.
Now this, I’ve really been looking forward to! I love the water rides where you can get totally soaked. My husband, not so much. But we would be going on Expedition Everest later for him, so it’s all good. In the large round raft, we took our places along with about six other people. This was going to be great! As the ride gets started, I kept hoping that I would get absolutely soaked. It was soon clear that not everyone on the raft felt the way I do. There was one lady across from us who was obviously dreading getting wet. As the ride progressed, guess who got soaked every single time. Not me. Her. But soon, the disappointment of not getting soaked was replaced by a strong sense of Schadenfreude. The ride was fantastic nonetheless. I look forward to riding it again soon.
Next on the list was the big attraction in Asia: Expedition Everest. This was definitely the ride that my husband was waiting for! And…so apparently was everyone else in Animal Kingdom. Introduction to another great Disney invention, the Disney FastPass. Grab a ticket and come back during the appointed time. Easy enough.
Since we had some spare time on our hands now, we headed over to DinoLand U.S.A. for some mini coaster fun. Now, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m not really the roller coaster kind of girl. But sometimes, you have to go outside your comfort zone in order to properly experience life. So, we hopped onto the dinosaur-themed Primeval Whirl coaster. After whirling the contents of my stomach, we leisurely made our way back to Expedition Everest. While we waited, we could see other guests partake in the thrill of the ride. Holy *@&”, what the heck am I doing? I swallowed the giant lump in my throat, clutching the FastPass in my hand like there was no Tomorrowland. I looked up at my husband with tears for fears in eyes, and I don’t mean the awesome 80’s band. My husband, being the great fantabulous guy that he is, realized that this might just be too much for me.
“I don’t think we should go,” said he.
“But you really want to go. And so do I!” I replied.
“No, I don’t think you could handle it.”
My heart lifted up as I hugged my new husband. Thank you! I wish I had the risk-taking kind of personality that it takes to ride a huge coaster like this but the truth is I don’t.
As we left Animal Kingdom, we stopped by the Tree of Life to take in the beautiful carvings that envelope the centerpiece to the park. Then, we realized that inside the tree, there was one more attraction to behold: It’s Tough to be a Bug, in 3d! Time my husband and I reverted to five year olds. The special effects amazed everyone in the theatre! This is a show not to be missed if you’re in Animal Kingdom.
For dinner, I had made reservations at the Rainforest Cafe just outside Animal Kingdom. However, when we arrived, we discovered that they didn’t take our Disney Dining credits. So, we cancelled our reservations, and headed over to our next park, Hollywood Studios.
Night was falling fast by the time we made it to Hollywood Studios. As we entered, we were instantly taken back to the time of classic Hollywood, Disney-style. I loved the giant topiary of beloved Disney characters like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
We wandered across none other than the Brown Derby, famous Los Angeles restaurant. Packed as it was and without reservations, the fantastic Disney Maître d’ found us a table with almost no wait. Once seated, the great service was continued by our wonderful waiter, who recommended a dish that wasn’t exactly on the dinner menu. The pecan crusted tofu was delish!
Unfortunately since we arrived so late, we didn’t get to ride any rides or really see any of the attractions that the park had to offer. Next time!
And so ended our third day at Disneyworld! Another fun day filled with memories that will last our lifetimes.