April 26, 2009
Let me preface this post with this statement: While WDW is the happiest place on Earth, at times you will run into rude, ignorant people who think the "World" revolves around them. I was unlucky enough to run into someone like that on Sunday morning at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
OK, on to the AK. First and foremost, the AK is NOT, I repeat, NOT a zoo. It is a theme park that just happens to have live animals in residence. It is also a huge, hot, steamy park. Everytime I go to the AK, it seems hotter than at any other park. I have yet to figure this out - except for the fact that it is a jungle setting. Like the MK, the AK is comprised of 'lands', including Africa, Asia, Dinoland U.S.A., and Camp Minnie Mickey.
Having never done a character meal at the AK, I made us reservations for Donald's Safari Breakfast at The Tusker House. This is a buffet breakfast. And this is where the scrambled egg 'incident' occurred.
The buffet here is one of those 'free flowing' buffets - the staff even tells you that you don't have to stand in one line, you can just jump in wherever you want and get your food. Clearly on this morning, some people did not hear these directions! I 'jumped' in line to get some scrambled eggs for my daughters and was immediately bombarded with shouts and dirty looks from other guests. Choosing to ignore them, I moved on. And then, it happened - this man totally lost his mind and started yelling at me (in the middle of the buffet area!!!!) "It's not like we weren't waiting for scrambled eggs too!!!!!!!!!" Really? You're going to yell at me about EGGS?
In hindsight I should have piled a plate full of eggs and taken them to his table (but in reality, it just upset me and I cried. At WDW. That is not supposed to happen).
After the egg incident we waited a mere 10 minutes for the Kilamanjaro Safari -- this is a MUST DO ride at the AK! As always, it did not disappoint. We wandered through Asia (my brother-in-law rode Expedition Everest) and we ended up seeing Finding Nemo: The Musical. It was a cute show - certainly see it if you can.
Then, it was off to Dinoland USA where we spent a little time. We didn't make it to Camp Minnie Mickey on this day ... but that is where you want to head if you're looking to meet some characters and see The Festival of the Lion King (which we missed this time around!).
Later in the day....
After an afternoon break at the resort (naps, pool time, etc), we headed back to the MK for dinner at The Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends. This is - in my opinion - maybe the best buffet (food wise) at WDW. Add to that the fun atmosphere and the characters (Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet) and you've got a winner for all ages! If you can get advanced reservations, you MUST eat at The Crystal Palace. You will not be disappointed.
A word about character meals: this was the first time I had done TWO character meals in one day. I'm not sure I'd do that again. Character meals are somewhat time consuming (you have to wait for the characters to 'make the rounds' and once they arrive at your table it's time for autographs and photos and suddenly you realize that you've forgotten to eat). That being said, I do highly recommend character meals if you have younger kids (or if you have older kids -- I'll be doing them forever -- even after my kids think it's "not cool"). So, you should factor in at least an hour (or 90 minutes) per character meal -- therefore, doing 2 in 1 day might have been a bit much.
After dinner we were able to essentially walk on Haunted Mansion (which quickly became Olivia's favorite ride) and It's a Small World. The Spectromagic Parade was on the schedule this night...and let me just say this: you really MUST get a spot to view the parade at least 45 minutes before it starts. Otherwise, it's just total chaos.
- Scrambled eggs are so not worth losing your temper over
- think about how much time you want to spend on character meals in 1 day - scheduling two on the same day might be too much