For anyone still with me at this late stage, it is now Saturday the 15th of January. I salute your endurance and you may as well go all the way now just to say you persevered till the end. Not that I have any experience of marathons other than being old enough to remember them being the larger predecessor of a Snickers, but I assume this is the wall and we just have to push through now to the end.
Today started at 7. With a few days to go my body finally seemed to be adapting to this time zone. This would be very helpful for the return home. I called Louise to see how things were and she was stressed. I felt ready to go home at this point, but probably not as ready as Louise was for me to do so. This was to be our last night in the villa, with our final couple of days booked at Coronado Springs, so I did most of my packing whilst everyone was getting up, ready, dressed and fed.
With it being our last day in the villa it was only right that the waste disposal stopped working. It was probably my fault but I called the management company about it, and left them a message. Despite me using my best Hugh Grant English they would call back later having been unable to decipher a word of it.
“Aye, ecky thump, th’waste disposal’s buggered and it needs fettling” does not translate well apparently. I was feeling a bit “coldy” this morning and having rubbed shoulders with literally thousands of folks for almost two weeks it had been a minor miracle that I nor anyone else, had contracted the dreaded virus. I did a test and it was negative. What I would have done had it been otherwise I do not know. The thought of not being able to get home as planned to Louise was not worth thinking about at this stage.
I onboarded some cereal and a bagel for breakfast, and with everyone else now almost fully packed too we left the villa around 11am. We were headed for Animal Kingdom.
Peacock 14 housed the car for the day and we walked all the way in, wondering if the trams still existed.
Rebecca hired an ECV again and as we walked away from the entrance area, DeVine was a welcome site.
It was interesting to watch Freddie process what he was seeing and work out what was happening.
Our first target was the 12.15 kite show so we made our way in that direction.
Of course, you’ll know by now that by this time of day we needed food so we stopped at the quick service at Yak & Yeti. We congregated around and ate off of the parked up ECV, and tardily did not capture the food in picture form.
I had Egg Rolls, but not the Chicken Fried Rice which despite me ordering, did not appear on our tray, with Chicken dishes for everyone else, with Emily settling for fries. The queue was too long to bother going back for the missing dish and we were already going to be a few minutes late for the kite show.
We found seats despite our late arrival and settled in to watch what was a fun, yet brief show.
It feels like Disney are still searching for the right thing to do with this area and haven’t quite nailed it yet. I thought the Rivers Of Light was as good as they could do without being able to deploy their usual fireworks. Why that ended I don’t know, but the park does need that end of the day spectacular I feel. This day time effort was original and entertaining but doesn’t feel like it is the permanent solution. Like most Dads, I suspect, I spent the whole show wondering who was going to untangle all the wires afterwards.
As we left, I saw a 1pm Festival of The Lion King show was imminent so we headed for that arriving at 12.45. Getting to the park at 11am just was not conducive to getting on any actual rides, so we were concentrating on shows for now. Just as we were about to park up and join the queue a CM appeared announcing the show to be full already so that plan was scuppered.
Freddie took our frustrations out on some drums as we made our way back to the Rapids, yes, right back from where we had just come from.
Historically this was always a water ride that could not compete with the Universal ones, on which you got so wet, it was as if you had sat in a bath. This had always been much less moist. Someone at Disney had apparently noticed and we left it drenched, and in the January chill, bloody cold. It was good fun though.
Trying to find patches of warm sun, we did the Jungle Trek next.
I honestly have no idea what I was trying to take a picture of here.
However, I upped my photographic game considerably to capture a Tiger’s arse.
Next, a better photo, but of what, I do not know. Clearly, the main strength of these trip reports is my attention to detail.
But now, some quality at last.
Having failed to dry out at all, upon leaving the trek we looked in dismay at the app, seeing wait times for everything over an hour. With that in mind, we took Freddie over to the Bone Dig play area thing.
Emily and I went in search of a Starbucks whilst he played. There was a hint of being fed up at this point I’ll admit. The wait times and general crowd levels were getting a bit tiresome now, almost as much as my moaning about them is to you no doubt. With Everest down for maintenance and no Nemo show, and Primeval Whirl gone, right there were three really good reasons why wait times were high. Those things would soak up lotsa people on their own. Understanding why something is happening doesn’t always help though.
We got a drink and sat outside, people watching for a bit. We also did a bit of app watching too, but with no improvements in the wait times or our mood. We passed the time by devising what Disney’s strategy should be around Genie+, being the corporate supremoes that we are, and most of it involved setting it on fire.
Rebecca, Tom and Freddie joined us at around 3.15 and we chatted to Louise whilst they got a drink and snack. We arrived extra early for the 4pm Lion King show and did manage to get into this one. We took our seats excited to see the show upon its return from the pandemic induced break.
It was a very modified and reduced version of the show, but very welcome and enjoyable nonetheless. There were three, not four, singers, no tumbling monkeys or flying “parrot” but we still left with a feel good glow.
Next, Emily, Freddie and I did the safari. There was a 35 minute wait posted but it was a walk on. That was welcome but what is happening with these wait times?
I’ll spare you the same blurry shots of animal arse’s but we had a very good, very exuberant driver called Selina. She was fab.
Freddie was desperate to ride Flights Of Passage. Any paid for option passed by at around 7.10 am for those staying on site, and the standby was 120 minutes and rising so it was just not possible. Instead, we invested in some ponchos and decided to ride the Rapids a few times. The cooler weather meant nobody else was stupid enough to want to get wet.
I think we rode two or three times and with nothing else available without ridiculous queues, we called it a day and walked to the exit, chatting again to Louise as we did. A bit of a disappointing day to be honest, not helped of course by our late arrival in the park, but we did manage to rescue it a bit at the end with the ever enjoyable Lion King show, which always lifts the sprits and then some good fun and laughs on the rapids.
On the plus side we were now headed for….
for what would turn out to be one of the best meals of the trip.
First we stopped at the nearby Aldi (yes, really) as Rebecca needed some “bits” and after a five minute wait at the restaurant, our pre-made reservation saw us bypass a healthy wait. In fact, the reception area was carnage. Book ahead folks.
We started with Nachos. Not just Nachos, but the best Nachos I have ever had.
If you think they look good, you need to taste them!
Emily followed that with Fettucine Alfredo.
I had a Chicken and Avocado Sandwich
Tom had an enormous Burrito, but we weren’t going to Centracare tonight.
and two milk shakes, but we won’t mention those.
Freddie had Sliders
and Rebecca, Steak Tacos
It was all fabulous and the service was probably the best we had all trip too.
We were unimaginably full, but you don’t go to the Cheesecake Factory and leave without some Cheesecake inside of you. I didn’t note what types we all had, as I was struggling to breathe, but here you go….
I think this was Freddie’s ice cream
I cannot convey with words how full I was. No matter. I loved it here. My arteries, not so much, but you aren’t on holiday every day are you?
I didn’t note down or care what the bill was and I somehow pointed the car at the villa, listening to the groans of everyone else, too full to even sit still in any comfort, and we were in bed by 10.45, until the sugar based dream fevers kicked in.
Till the next time…….