Day Three: Animal Kingdom & Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

I woke up about 9:00 and decided to go to Animal Kingdom; so did everyone else apparently. I’ve never gotten to a park around this time (usually we go for the opening) and so I’m not sure if this was normal but the parking toll booths were all lined up at least 20 deep and they were all open! It took me 20 minutes to get into the park once I lined up at the turnstiles and I wondered if I should have gone to a different park instead.

I grabbed a times guide and walked briskly to Festival of the Lion King. The next show was at 10:30 and it was almost time. I easily found a seat and waited for the show to begin. It was fantastic as always and all show elements seemed to be in working order. I thought about trying to head to the Safari but also thought I should avoid the lunch crowd so I grabbed a cheese pizza at Pizzafari. I’d never eaten here and it was fine but I doubt I’ll eat here again. I prefer Tusker House and am quite sad they converted it into a buffet. Flame Tree BBQ is great, too, but I refuse to eat with all those filthy ducks trying to grab food off your plate. I’m birdphobic so this is a real problem for me.

I walked back to the Safari and Africa was so crowded you could barely walk. There was a 50 minute wait time posted and I sized up the queue and decided 50 minutes was probably accurate so I skipped it for now. I walked into Asia and Flights of Wonder was just starting. Due to my fear of birds, I had never seen this show but I thought I might as well check it out since I was right there.

I loved it! I did move from my seat once when I knew that the bird trainer had come right behind me to sit and wait for his next spot in the show. A hawk flew up to us on the bleachers and I was quite glad I had moved as I would have been in the line of flight. I was getting very annoyed with people who found it necessary to leave in the middle of the show and gave no consideration to the fact that there were live animals involved and that they might be disrupting things. I also recognized that this is my 3rd day; traditionally the 3rd day is my worst each trip and I am most grouchy and tired on this day.

I headed towards the front of the park so that I could go back to the hotel soon. I walked by Everest and got in the single rider line. I waited maybe 10 minutes; it was longer because the morons in front of me were demanding to be on the same train. The courteous CMs were patiently explaining that they were welcome to wait in the standby line and sit with each other but the belligerent guest wouldn’t stop. I made a few comments loudly “under my breath” as I walked by and gave the CM a sympathetic look. I was able to sit next to a Guest Relations CM who was giving a private tour. He was very nice and we chatted briefly about my friend Dave who used to do that sort of thing at Disneyland.

The ride was fun and I did not come off of it as nauseous and dizzy as I sometimes do. Perhaps it was that I didn’t go on an empty stomach or maybe I held my head differently during the backwards portion or maybe I sat in a different seat on the train; regardless it was fun.

I walked by Dinosaur but it had a 60 minute wait posted and even if that was an exaggeration, 20 minutes is too long to wait for this ride. By this point in the day I was having visions of throwing empty strollers so I thought it would be a good plan to leave. So I walked into “Tough to be a Bug” and enjoyed that before heading to the parking lot. I drove back to the room and took a brief nap.

At 3:30, I drove to the TTC and boarded the monorail for the Magic Kingdom. As we pulled up to the monorail station, the lines were outrageous for people waiting to get into the MVMCP at 4:00 PM. I’m not foolish; I used by Annual Pass to bypass those crowds and entered the park. I tried to walk over and get my wrist band, however the CM wouldn’t let me without scanning my ticket. I told her I’d do it later and that I was not going to wait in that ridiculous line. She agreed with that and told me to go to the Rose Garden and get my wristband.

I moseyed into the park and called Connie to see where she was. She was out front waiting for her brother’s family to make it through the turnstiles. I watched a marching band on Main Street for a few minutes and took a few pictures. I stayed on Main Street and Connie and family finally entered. They wanted to go ride Buzz Lightyear and I walked over there with them. There was a 20 minute posted wait time and I declined, riding the TTA instead. I finished my ride and waited outside of Buzz for them. I read while I waited and they finally appeared. They wanted to ride TTA so I went on again.

Connie and I decided to head to Pirates and the family followed. One of the little ones freaked out so Connie and I rode with the other little guy and it was fun except for the moron in the boat ahead taking flash pictures of his friends in the row behind him, thereby flashing directly in our eyes. After the 6th one, I yelled, “Put the camera away or it goes in the water!” They didn’t flash anymore.

They browsed the gift shop for far too long before we headed over to Main Street to browse for pins. After we shopped for a bit, we walked over to the castle in anticipation of the castle lighting show. It was beautiful and I’m glad I got to see it in person. We all ate at Pecos Bill’s just ahead of the rush, I think. The new self-service ordering process is great! Is Pecos Bill’s the only counter service left with the melted cheese pump? Maybe Casey’s?

Then we went pin shopping again at the Frontierland Mercantile and go the exclusive pin for the party. Connie, her brother, and I rode Haunted Mansion and then grabbed some hot chocolate and cookies. We met up with the family for It’s a Small World and then Connie and I watched Philharmagic.

We headed back towards the castle hub to watch the fireworks, but I bailed and went shopping at the Emporium. They were offering a nice fleece blanket that had a picture of the castle with the Christmas lights for $15 with a $40 purchase. I bought a new collared shirt and a few other small items to make $40 so I could get one of the fleece blankets.

After the fireworks, we headed to get our spot for the parade over by Frontierland. We stopped by the Crystal Palace to get some holiday treats and then found our usual place for the parade. The parade is quite long this year! I actually took a couple of pictures this time. After the parade, Connie wanted to go buy some stuff at the Emporium herself so I waited and read while she did that. Then we rode Pirates one more time before I called it a night. I walked out, waited for the monorail (got on the 3rd one that came) and then waited for the parking tram (waited for 4 of these!) before heading back to the room at 1AM.

It was an exhausting day but a lot of fun!



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