DAY TWO: Mouse Surplus, Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney
We all met at 8AM at the Au Bon Pain in the lobby of the hotel for breakfast. I fought with my laptop for 45 minutes to get a signal before Connie and Nicole came down and finally got online just as they were joining me. I found the schedule for Star Wars Weekend courtesy of StudiosCentral.com and we reviewed that while we ate our crossiants. I got a ham and cheese, Nicole and Connie both got fruit flavored ones. I wasn’t full so I also got a chocolate one, which was ridiculous but I’m on vacation so whatever.
We headed out to the car and began our journey to Mouse Surplus, which was a place Nicole really wanted to see and Connie was pretty excited, too. I was ambivalent but was more afraid that Nicole might be disappointed when we arrived if it wasn’t up to her expectations. When we pulled up, we all were a bit reluctant to get out of the car. It reminded me of something you might see in a movie where the unsuspecting tourists enter the scary warehouse looking for adventure only to be gutted and hung on the wall as a trophy. However, there were other cars out front and we braved our way in.
It was an interesting place and we were glad we went but I don’t think we’ll need to go back. Nicole bought a sign that says “Baby Change” that we think came from Epcot. At least that’s what we want to believe as Nicole is a big retro-Epcot fan. Connie didn’t buy anything because the Mouse Surplus guy wasn’t willing to negotiate. I saw nothing that really piqued my interest so we headed on out.
Our next stop was the Animal Kingdom and we parked in Giraffe 39. We proceeded through security and decided it was lunch time. Rainforest Café had no wait and we were seated almost immediately. I got the Rainforest burger with swiss and bacon, Connie got a salad and soup, and Nicole got a BBQ chicken wrap. Our server was excellent and everything was good.
After we ate, we headed into the park and decided to check out the line for Kilmanjaro Safari. It said 20 minutes but was much more like 5 or 10. It was very hot outside but there were still lots of animals out. Not a lot of elephants and the lions were asleep but there were a ton of white rhinos. We watched the gorillas for a few minutes before heading to Festival of the Lion King, which Connie and I were so glad Nicole liked. It was packed in the theater and it took forever for us to get out. We raced over to Finding Nemo and walked in and got decent seats near the exit. This was important as we wanted to beat the rest of the packed theater to Expedition Everest. We all loved Nemo and again Connie and I were pleased that Nicole was enjoying herself at AK since it was her first time here.
As we were walking, we encountered this family that had the theming been different in that area of the park I would have sworn that they were Streetsmophere characters. This big black man was screaming about “Ice Mountain” and pointing towards Everest and I started looking for the camera to see if Martin Lawrence was filming a new movie or something. It was really something.
We went through the standby line of Everest, which was very dark as the lights didn’t appear to be working. The sign was 20 minutes, but it was really more like 15. I really like this ride but I always feel so out of sorts when we get done. It takes me about 15 minutes to get my balance back and to stop feeling nauseous. Connie and I wanted Nicole to ride Dinosaur and the posted wait time was 25 minutes. We waited for about 15 and decided that this was true and got out of line knowing we’d be back on Sunday. We all got frozen lemonades, which were good but made us more thirsty, before heading into It’s Tough to Be a Bug. Wait time was 5 minutes and we just missed a show, so we waited for the next one.
Connie and I were so excited to watch Nicole’s reactions to the tactile surprises that we made her sit between us. She responded appropriately. Connie wanted to go buy a glass hippo from a shop in Africa so we headed back that way and did some other shopping on our way out of the park.
We headed back to the hotel so that Nicole could get back to Tampa and work tomorrow. Connie and I then went to Downtown Disney. As we were pulling into the parking lot, we were amazed at the very long line to get into Pleasure Island. Gay Days are very big this year as there was only one female in the line, which made us laugh just thinking about this one chick and how if she didn’t know what was going on, she might be very excited about having her pick of men for the night.
We had dinner at the House of Blues. I enjoyed the atmosphere but the menu didn’t have much that interested me. Since I’d had a burger for lunch, I went with the Prime Rib. It was fine but wasn’t really worth what I paid for it. Connie had the BBQ Pulled Pork and it was good. She had sweet potato fries and wasn’t a big fan We also got dessert; I had the chocolate mousse cheesecake and Connie had Key Lime pie. Our server, Brian, was not that attentive and took awhile to bring our checks.
After we left here, we walked out to the boat dock to the Marketplace. It was nice and relaxing and our captain was Captain Jack, who we had two years ago when we stayed Port Orleans and rode the boat over from there to DD. We did some shopping and saw several things that we thought we should buy, but decided to wait until later in the trip.
We walked through the very packed Pleasure Island back to the car and decided to call it a night as tomorrow is going to be pretty busy and a long day with Star Wars weekend at DHS.
TOMORROW: Star Wars Weekend at DHS!