Enough of this meandering out of the house at any time we like. I had put my foot down. Today, we needed to be out and out early. I had spoken. We *had* to be out by 8.30, no excuses, no delays, if necessary, no sleep.
We left at 9.20.
Usually I would have been mad, but this was mainly caused by Freddie having a lie in. He is forgiven by default. This meant that time was tight, as our first FastPass slot ended at 10.05. Luckily, via Sherberth Road we were a longish stone’s throw from Animal Kingdom, which was our destination this morning.
We were at the gates by 9.30 and via a broken speed limit or two once in the car park, we were in Dino 39 and on to a tram a few moments later.
The theme park Gods were smiling, as the security line was short and we were actually stood on the correct side of the entrance at 9.50. I started the walk to Everest at a brisk pace but shortly afterwards we were halted. Emily had arranged to meet up with Ceara, who is currently on the CRP in the UK pavilion as it was her day off.
Out of the kindness of her heart Ceara had agreed to come along and use her cast member magic to get us a “return time” for Flights of Passage. To facilitate this we had to visit some secret cast members tucked away on a secluded path. Much tapping of tablet devices and scanning of bands happened. I had no idea what was going on, but we were eventually sorted and once again on our way to Everest.
We chatted to Ceara on the way, and still managed to arrive at the ride entrance at 10.03. Impressive if not a little stressful.
We saw the relevant cast member to sort out the baby swap stuff. Her name was Beth and she was lovely. She allowed five of us to ride initially and then a further four to ride the second time with the baby swappers. The ride was pretty quiet so nobody suffered any extra waiting due to us.
Once everyone had ridden, we all met up outside the gift shop. Ceara revealed her real motive for joining us today. She wanted a photo with Ryan!
It seemed like a fair exchange for all the help she would end up giving us today.
In all the rush and kerfuffle of getting everyone where we needed to be on time, I had not yet consulted the app to check our plans for the rest of the day. So, my natural instincts kicked in and we set off for the safari. It would turn out that I had at this point totally forgotten that we had a FastPass for the safari later, but that’s not important right now.
There was a five-minute wait and we were soon all aboard.
Regular readers will know that at this point you are about to get bombarded with a large selection of blurred photos of animals. Enjoy!
It was a good trip and enjoyed by all.
Now it was time to head to Pandora. I had managed to secure a FastPass for Navi River Ride and that was next on the list. We tried our best to take in the theming as we wandered into another first this trip.
It’s been a while since this came up in a trip report, but that might benefit from a drop of Vagisil.
Ceara watched Freddie so that we could all ride together, which was lovely of her.
It’s a gentle ride, but excellently themed and one you’d need to ride a lot to take it all in.
We returned to Ceara to rescue her from the incredible heat. We were now headed for Flights of Passage. Ceara had used her CM special pass to get a return time (before she met us earlier) and as all our bands were linked to hers as her guests, we could ride with her. Having tried and failed to get a FastPass this was a lovely thing for her to do and very much appreciated.
Tom and Rebecca sat out first to feed and change Freddie and the rest of us entered.
I know there will be a good few of you that haven’t ridden this yet so I won’t describe it, but….
This is just incredible and from a technology point of view this is THE best ride in WDW.
We exited all agog and watched Freddie so Tom and Rebecca could ride. Whilst they did we want to Santuli Canteen to get us all some food. There was no queue. In this instance this was a bad thing, as there as no time to study the menu before ordering so it turned into a panic driven random selection, just making sure that we had enough meals for everyone.
Don’t even ask me what this stuff was…
They were all just variations of the “protein” option. Whatever they were, they were very tasty indeed. With those demolished I mobile ordered a few desserts…
These were also excellent.
Being a gloriously flexible planner and all round good guy, whilst eating I used the app to swap the Safari FastPass I forgot we had booked for a Lion King one and as that show was imminent we wandered there next.
We were Warthogs.
I have run out of superlatives over the years with which I can heap praise on this show. It’s good.
Mikey was loving it so much he volunteered for the bit at the end where the kids walk round shaking stuff. We “forgot” to tell him it was really just kids who did this, but, to his credit, he didn’t seem to care and loved every second.
A glance at the app showed that every ride time (Pandora aside) was ten minutes at most which pleased me. To celebrate we paused for Ceara to take a group photo.
Freddie had nodded off.
We headed for the rapids next, looking for a little moisture to combat the incredible heat. Louise sat out with Freddie and the ride was a welcome walk on.
I am happy to report that Ceara got the worst of it and was absolutely drenched but to be fair we all got a decent soaking.
To further aid the cooling down we stopped at the cocktail bar near Everest for some refreshment. I didn’t make a note of what everyone had but there were no complaints other than it seemed to cost me $50 for a mocktail.
With Freddie in mind we headed over to…
We’ve only done this once before and our memory of it was that we didn’t need to do it again. However, now with Freddie needing to see it, we were prepared to fall on our swords.
It was *much* better than our memories had remembered. Freddie didn’t manage to sit all the way through it. He’d been woken from his nap to go into the show and he was tired and hot so Tom took him out about half way through.
Dinoland next and on to Primeval Whirl for some rib rearranging.
Rebecca and Tom took the chance to get Freddie back to sleep by walking him around whilst the rest of us rode. Mikey and I rode together, proving that two gentlemen of our girths should find smaller partners to inflict injury on.
We sat in the sun whilst Rebecca and Tom rode and had a much needed cold drink. Then we headed over to…
Emily *hates* this ride due to the childhood trauma of the first time she rode it and she volunteered to sit out with Freddie. It turned out that Ceara wasn’t a huge fan either and screamed all the way round.
We collected Emily and Freddie and made our way back to Dinoland so that a now wakened Freddie could be taken on Triceratops Spin.
With that done, we started the walk over to Yak & Yeti for our ADR(s).
When we arrived I spoke nicely to the lady at the podium and merged our two seperate ADRs (I hadn’t been able to book for our full party on the app back home) and added Ceara.
As we stood outside waiting to be seated a young girl had just thrown up and we got to marvel at the custodial staff dealing with it using some magical powder which made it vanish.
Many cocktails were ordered…
I went crazy and had another mocktail….well, it was more an “ade” of some sort…
We ordered some Egg Rolls and Pot Stickers as appetisers and the chef came out to talk to Ceara who needed to see what she could eat with her allergies.
We had –
Ceara – Lo Mein with no veg
Me – Lo Mein Combo
Rebecca and Emily – Honey Crispy Chicken
Louise and Mikey – Sweet and Sour Chicken
Tom – Korean Beef
We all had various desserts too….
Desserts were Freddie’s favourite part of the meal….if you look closely at the photo above, you can see Freddie’s hand reaching out to get his Dad’s attention. Tom had made the mistake of sharing his cheesecake and now Freddie was on a mission.
He was a HUGE fan of cheesecake and they may have created a monster by introducing him to it.
Freddie had corn dog bites for his main meal and enjoyed those too.
It was going dark now and it was almost time or Rivers of Light. Animal Kingdom was looking very handsome.
As Everest was a walk on we rode that, Emily and Ceara did it twice. We had a FastPass for Rivers of Light so were able to wait until quite late before actually entering.
Freddie was knackered and there was little chance he would sit through this show so Rebecca and Tom wandered slowly out to the exit through the shops and we said we’d meet them at the car.
We took our seats and waited about ten minutes for it to start. It has changed quite a lot since we saw it last, starting with some of the cast wandering through the audience.
I’ve seen quite a few young girls on Instagram with less make up, but his contouring is “on point”. Am I doing this right?
The show is much improved, in my opinion and my camera excelled itself…
The water projections and lasers are far more “firework like” and it is all much more effective and interesting.
We made our way out of the show and wandered slowly to the exit, browsing a couple of shops. These delightful warm, dark Florida nights are just a treat to witness.
We dropped Ceara off at her apartment at Vista Way and then made our weary way home by around 10.30. Another tiring but very enjoyable day.
Thank you to Ceara for making the day much easier and enjoyable via the use of her special cast member magic and of course for getting us on to Flights Of Passage which everyone agreed was just mind-blowing!
Till the next time…..