We had left this morning as our flex spot, and it was decided that we should use this time to visit Animal Kingdom and relive Will’s terror of four years ago, when I had to spend nearly 15 minutes convincing him on the loading platform that he should ride Expedition Everest. I eventually won out over his tears back then, and he ended up loving the ride, along with the Webkinz that he earned for his emotional scarring. I think I expended as much effort convincing the cast members that, yes, we were just fine, and they could continue loading around us while Will bit his lip, wrung his hands, hemmed, hawed, fidgeted, stepped forward, then stepped back. He was excited to relive “Mount Everest” (I had to keep correcting him) with his “Coaster Bro” (that would be the author) as we arrived at the Animal Kingdom on a pleasant morning.
Maggie, on the other hand, was in Will’s position of four years ago, but was funneled along a bit faster by the group. I’ll let the photos from her second ride (yay, Rider Swap!) speak to how she actually felt during the ride:
Grandma Jan took Leah on Triceratops Spin and then we met them at The Boneyard, where Will once again showed his “I’m so excited face”:
We had a great time at Festival of the Lion King, while I didn’t take any pictures, I can guarantee that all four kids’ faces (and at least five of the adults’ faces) showed true excitement and enjoyment of the show.
On the way out of the park, most of us hit the Kilimanjaro Safari ride and got to see tons of animals:
Including Disney’s rare two-faced, three-tailed cheetah:
In which Doug discovers his special porpoise and Aly says not in my pool you don’t
Now, normally, I trim many images from a shoot before posting only a select few here with my words o’ crazy, but in this case, I think you’ll benefit from the full sequence of frames:
Note Maggie doubled over with laughter in the background of the last picture. I was physically in pain from the laughter during the extended silliness of this pool session. Evidence:
And for Doug’s next trick…
He did finally figure out how to use his special porpoise
Wait, maybe I spoke to soon. Perhaps the water-logged Nerf football bouncing off his head had something to do with that. No idea where that could have come from.
For dinner we headed to Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary resort and were promptly seated at a table with a great view of Bay Lake and the new Four Seasons resort being built at the north end of the property.
On to the Magic Kingdom
We hopped on the monorail for the trip around the lake to Magic Kingdom.
Will’s excitement at entering the MK
Smile boy, would ya?
It was a beautiful evening at the Magic Kingdom and a wonderful temperature.
We rode Buzz Lightyear and then most of the group took a spin on the Astro Orbiter while I tended to Leah. Thankfully, a dance party started right at this time on the Tomorrowland stage, so Leah and I went over and joined the party, dancing first with Goofy and then with Chip. Yes, I danced.
In exciting news
The first child in our group to reach the solo driver height requirement at the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway was Will, who drove his own car! The rest of us paired up for smash-up fun driving.
Did I mention it was a beautiful evening?
The group rode the carousel and then we took in the show at Philharmagic.
From there, we headed to Aloha Isle and got some Dole Whips. The general level of crankiness was high (surprisingly, not really the kids) at this point, so I made the decision that it was time for us to head back. As we made it onto Main Street, the show projected on Cinderella Castle started, so we turned around and we gaped for about fifteen minutes.