Orlando, Florida Trip, Day 6 & 7
Friday arrived and it was another early start for us to take advantage of extra magic
hours again. I know I said it in my Magic Kingdom post, but I cannot recommend using extra magic hours enough - we got so much done in the first hour when the parks were much quieter. Even so, we ended up spending fourteen hours in Animal Kingdom that day, which was our longest day yet!
We began our morning in Animal Kingdom by heading over to Dinoland USA and going on Dinosaur. This is an incredibly bumpy ride through a scary, dark jungle full of dinosaurs. It's quite intense, but seriously good fun, especially as we were the first people to ride it that day!
We were then going to head over to look at some of the animals, but, top tip, none of the animal-centric attractions open until later in the day. So we headed over to Expedition Everest, which is a rollercoaster based within Mount Everest in which a yeti is chasing you. I have no idea why I went on this ride so confidently - I hate rollercoasters and it's definitely intense, with twists and turns and drops and falls backwards! I was TERRIFIED but really enjoyed it. It is an incredible ride, and anyone who enjoys rollercoasters seems to love it, so if it's your cup of tea then I think you'll love it.
We then brought our adrenaline down by sitting at a deserted bench with an amazing
view of Expedition Everest. This spot got really busy throughout the day, but first thing in the morning it was the perfect place to sit and watch people scream on the rollercoaster! By this point, the animal sections had opened, so we headed over to Kilimanjaro Safaris. It's exactly what you would imagine, we boarded a truck driven by our tour guide who led us through an actual safari with real animals. It was amazing; we saw everything you could imagine; giraffes, lions, flamingos, alligators, etc! We even had a rhino bash into our truck which was pretty intense! It was an unforgettable experience.
From there we walked through Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. This is a section of the park that operates like a normal zoo. It features animals you can find in Africa, culminating in...you guessed it...gorillas! It was a pretty nice way to spend some time, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're in a rush to do all the big rides, as it does take a fair chunk out of your day.
We then got the train over to Rafiki's Planet Watch, a part of the park that's a bit further away from everything else. It has a petting zoo and a space for drawing classes. We didn't do the Animation Experience, and to be honest, if you're not doing the class, it's not worth the visit over there. The petting zoo is nice but not worth the time it takes to get there and back! On that note, we also watched the Up: A Great Bird Adventure show in Asia at some point in the day. If you have small children then I think they would enjoy it, but personally we did not find it worth the time, and actually left the show early to spend our time elsewhere. It's fine, it's just definitely geared towards children.
Once we had returned from Rafiki's Planet Watch we went over to the Asia section of Animal Kingdom and went to Maharajah Jungle Trek. This works the same way as the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, but this time focusing on Asian animals, culminating in tigers at the end! At this point we were pretty hungry, but we had time for one more ride before heading out for lunch, so we headed over to the It's Tough To Be a Bug show. Again, it's more for children, but this 4D show was super fun, and a great way to kill a bit of time.
And now it was the time we had all been waiting for...lunch! And we were actually headed out the park for this one, over to the nearby Animal Kingdom Lodge. To do so, we simply got one of the Disney buses over to the hotel, which only took about 15 minutes in total, including time spent waiting for the bus. Animal Kingdom Lodge is an incredible hotel. it's theming and design is fantastic, and it has giraffes and zebras roaming about outside, so you can catch a glimpse when you walk past a window. You can actually get off the bus at two different stops at this hotel, so make sure you get off at the right one! We began by departing at the main lobby, where we explored the shop and looked at the animals. We then took the short walk over to the other area of the hotel for our lunch at San'aa. The food here was incredible. Seriously, so good! The bread service is beyond anything else! The service was pretty slow, and the view of the animals was blocked due to construction, but it was worth it for the food!
We then got the bus straight back over to the park and went on Dinosaur again as we loved it so much that morning - it was just as fun the second time. We then moved on to the Festival of the Lion King, a show inspired by the Lion King. It was fantastic; half circus show, half Broadway show. A definite must do at Animal Kingdom!
At this point it was time to head over to Pandora, a section of the park inspired by the film Avatar. This area's theming is mind blowing. Seriously, it's unlike anything else I've ever seen! It's like a luminescent forest with floating mountains. It would be easy to spend a good chunk of the day just exploring this one area. We were fortunate enough to get FastPasses for Flight of Passage, one of the most in-demand rides at Disney World. Let me tell you, this ride lives up to the hype. You sit on a motorbike-style vehicle in front of a massive screen. The screen then shows you flying through Pandora while your vehicle moves; you completely forget that you're not actually flying. Apart from Soarin', this was my favourite ride of the entire trip!
From there we headed back into the main area of the park and picked up some frozen
lemonade (delicious) and some popcorn (also delicious) and took our seats for the night time show; Rivers of Light. Despite the rain, this show was so beautiful. It features light beams, floats, and foliage on the river to create a beautiful story about the earth. The music and lighting together made it an incredibly relaxing experience and a wonderful way to end the trip...
...But we decided to actually end our day by getting in line for Na'vi River Journey, the other ride in Pandora that we didn't have time to do earlier. It's a relaxing boat ride through the jungles of Pandora. From what I have seen, a lot of people don't tend to like this ride as it's "boring", but personally I thought it was beyond beautiful and incredibly relaxing. And that was the end of day 6!
Saturday was our last day, and while we loved our trip and where excited to be back home, it was tinged with sadness at leaving this wonderful place. We treated ourselves to breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, where I had a Mickey Waffle with strawberries which was beyond amazing. We then took the Monorail for a quick exploration of the Polynesian, which was a beautiful hotel. And before we knew it, it was time to leave.
This holiday was an absolutely dream, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It's something I will always remember, and I hope to one day return. If you're considering a Disney holiday, I cannot recommend it enough. They're not cheap, but if you're committed, they're worth every penny! If you have any questions about planning a Disney holiday please don't hesitate to get in touch (this isn't sponsored I promise).