Day #04 - Call of the Wild!

The thing with Disney is it takes a day or two to get into the rhythm of the resort, to learn the systems and the better way of doing things. So today, after learning a few more lessons, we tried a new morning routine and as I type this waiting for our bus to Animal Kingdom, it seems to be a great way to start the day!

We had a gentle evening last night with some cocktails and enjoyed the sunset before retiring to bed and enjoyed a little of Chris Hemsworth (on the TV sadly) before getting a good night's sleep. That meant we could rise early and have a productive start to the day.
So after grabbing our respective coffee and tea from the unlimited drinks station, we power walked around the lake together enjoying the sunrise -very romantic. And this is after James had already run the 3km route earlier.!This was followed by a quick plunge in the pool.
Next, fully refreshed it's off to Animal Kingdom - a park James had never done and one that I did shortly after it opened. So needless to say, there was lots that was new to us. 

First up, Flight of the Avatar, a soaring ride set in Pandora, the visually amazing world from the Avatar films. This ride is so immersive you really are flying through the stunning landscapes on the back of a banshee. Incredible to remember that all that you see is digitally created - nothing you see is real.
Some images of the wonderful Pandora area of Animal Kingdom
Next a more gentle ride as we took to the waters on Na'vi River Journey. This mystical ride is the home of one of Disney's most advanced animatronic puppets. Amazing to see how far this technology has come when compared to yesterday's Carousel of Progress. It was a very magical and relaxing experience!

The theming in the Pandora part of the park is stunning and so much attention to detail! The imaginary plants are so well integrated with the real ones it's hard to tell which is which!

Next, a dash over the park to the Asia area to get wet with a beautifully themed river rapid ride - just like the ones found all over the world, but this one has a cheeky drop that we weren't expecting! Afterwards, we wandered around some cleverly constructed animal enclosures - fruit bats, wildebeests, various birds and lizards and a magnificent tiger although he (or she) was not interested in us, just hiding in a shady corner!
Animal Kingdom is such a great park to just meander around. Everything feels so relaxed - it must be all that vegetation! 
The relaxation didn't continue however for our next experience - Expedition Everest! This fantastic rollercoaster races around an impressive mini-Mount Everest in search of the Yeti. And when we encountered him, things don't look good as the track was torn up and we rapidly retraced our steps! An incredible ride! No onboard photos for this one, but here's a cheesy shot of us in front of the mountain. No comments please about my patchy tan!
We continued the search for amazing creatures with a visit to the Dinosaur themed section, where we were whisked back in time to when the asteroid hit the Earth with devastating consequences - then and now! Definitely a ride where being strapped in was a must. Good fun though!
One thing Disney parks do very well are their shows. It's like having a mini-Broadway! We watched "Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond!" which was basically the whole of the Finding Nemo Film condensed into 20 mins. Beautifully performed with puppets and an impressive cast and staging. I am always in awe with these shows how they can consistently entertain to such a high standard with six shows or more a day, seven days a week. Amazing. 
Our last experience of the visit, before heading back to the hotel for an afternoon siesta (the day was really hotting up!) was the charming "It's a Bug's Life" show - a 4D presentation (3D film plus air & water jets, smells and the occasional prod in the back as the "evil" bugs sting you! Still effective 25 years after opening. As we left, a chance for another professional photo.
To end our wild day, we dared to dine at Beast's Castle for Disney's Be Our Guest experience - and what an experience!
As we returned to Magic Kingdom, the heavens opened and the rain came down! As many reading this will know, the rain in Florida is different to that in the UK - it's still wet, but it's warm! So although we did get soaked heading to our restaurant, we didn't get cold and soon dried off. In fact we took the opportunity to seek shelter and watch The Country Bear's Jamboree, another Disneyworld all time classic. I couldn't understand most of what the bears were singing about, but enjoyed their spirited performance nonetheless! 
As we arrived at Beast's Castle, we were treated to some thunder and lightning which really set the mood. Sadly, I failed to capture the forked lightning that really made the castle magical, but did get a little rumble and flash.

Once we entered the castle, the scene was a little like the scene in the movie where Maurice enters the castle to shelter from the rain as well, expect multiply it by 30! The entrance hall and gallery were filled with slightly damp guests either sat on the floor or propped up against the wall. It did look a little like we were all refugees - it was a slightly disorganised and not the usual slick Disney way of doing things. 

The restaurant was a faithful reproduction of the film's setting. It is always amazing to find yourself within a setting that was in just a picture once upon a time. Now you could experience that ballroom and it's amazing chandeliers and ceiling. 

When we were called to our table and headed to the West Wing for an amazing meal. The food was splendid (just as Cogsworth promised) and Mrs Potts did an excellent job of cooking beautiful French Onion Soup, a melt in the mouth minion steak, and a trio of desserts that did include the famous "Grey Stuff" which was of course delicious - no need to ask the plates!
Our host, Beast did make and appearance, albeit a little fleetingly, but was great to see him anyway.
After that, time to head home, not before grabbing a few more shameless pictures from the army of Disney snappers!


  1. Wow! Packing a lot into the trip. Don't wear yourselves out!

    1. Oh you know me!!!! Stamina like an ox -too.much info?🤣


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