Disney Day Six: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood, and a Loooong Trip

Perhaps my loyal readers were wondering what happened yesterday at Disney World. I’m sure you were all waiting with bated breath. (Insert sarcastic snort.) The fact is, we decided to make our trip in the middle of the night!

We had been thinking of this for a few days, but we didn’t decide for sure until Thursday night. My parents had decided to stay back at the house that day because they were tired. And Jason said he would be okay to drive if he came home and had a little rest.I was all for driving through the night and having the whole day to recover and unpack. So we decided.

In the morning Friday, Jason, the kids, and I headed to Animal Kingdom. I must confess that, although I thought the animals were interesting, I think this was my least favorite park. Part of that had to do with the fact that I was mentally done in. And Kathryne- the child who has my personality- was very much done with amusement parks in general.

I did think the park was beautiful. In my opinion, it was a huge zoo. The kids and Jason liked Everest, but I didn’t ride. I did ride on the Safari with them, and that was great. We had several animals come right up near the car. The wait for the Safari was about 40 minutes, and that was the longest wait we had for anything all week (and we only used two Fastpasses).

The little girls had been all about the Affection Section area on Rafiki’s Planet Watch, a petting zoo. So, even though we were all flagging and pretty hungry, we waited for the train, rode to the island, and walked to the very back to the petting zoo. There were literally goats and pigs a two donkeys. Really. They were kind of cute, but it wasn’ exactly what we expected. We did pet a snake- all except my brave husband who is very freaky about reptiles.

Jason and the younger crew then headed to ride Dinosaur before we left. Kathryne and I sat down to rest. She fell asleep on the bench and became something of a park attraction. I saw several people- especially children- look very closely to see if she was real. I thought one little girls was actually going to poke her. I just watched from the other bench with amusement.

After this, we headed back to the house. Jason and I crashed for an hour while the kids swam one last time.

After our rest, we headed out refreshed back to Hollywood Studios one final time. Kathryne really wanted to see the American Idol Experience which we had missed on our first trip to Hollywood, and Jason and the younger crew really wanted a second ride on Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster. I must say, I enjoyed American Idol even though my choice didn’t win. The stage looked just like the real television show, and we as the audience voted among three choices. I thought they were all pretty great!

We ate supper in the park – more gluten free greatness at Disney!- and enjoyed the beauty of the park after dark. We had thought of seeing Fantasmic, but it was standing room only by the time we got there, and we voted unanimously to skip it.

When we got home, Jason took about an hour nap, and I started packing. My mom and dad had already done a good bit. We loaded up and were headed out of Orlando by 11:30pm. We made incredibly good time with only one big stop for all to get out and one short stop for a single person. We dropped off my parents and made it home before 8am. It was so nice to know we could rest and have the whole day ahead! I unpacked everything and washed almost everything and had time for a grocery run. I have felt a little disoriented today. I am heading to bed early tonight and hoping I can be rested by tomorrow.

It has been a fantastic week. It was incredible to share it with the kids and my parents. We had a great time making memories and building relationships. And we all experienced the “Disney Magic” that you hear about but just don’t fully “get”until you’ve been there.

I hope my readers have enjoyed sharing our trip this week. I’m planning on writing a post next week with things we found helpful as we enjoyed our trip.

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