Well as per usual wide awake at silly o-clock. Apologies in advance for spelling errors/odd words - neither spellcheck or auto correct are friends of mine :)
Did all the little jobs I was too tired for last night. Put a swim bag together which we'll leave in the car so if we get too hot or tired during a park visit we can just leave and go straight to a water park without having to go back to the hotel.
Got to Animal Kingdom (without gettimg lost) for our 8am Safari Breakfast res - it's brill driving through those Disney gates - you can't help but get that shudder of excitement.
It was a lovely morning, a little on the cool side but shorts and a t were fine. Kids dead excited and skipped all the way to turnstile.
We were told that there'd be a slight delay because Good Morning America were filming in Tusker House and there were some other celebrations on to promote the launch of the new Disney film 'Chimpanzee' so it was expected to be very busy.
Needn't have worried, we were seated by 8 at the table where the characters stop first. We were greeted by Donald (for a photo) on the way in and then Mickey, Daisy and Goofy came round. They were pretty brief visits with little interaction (I can't remember how they were 4 years ago but thought they spent a little longer with you? Maybe it's cos my kids are a bit older so were just quicker at getting ready for the pic?). Anyway they all enjoyed it - the breakfast was great and it was a wonderful way to begin our holiday.
We spent the day at the park,started with Kilimanjaro Safari, rode everything including Everest 3 times and saw every major show. We used fastpass for the majority of rides and had no waits whatsoever and we never got to a show more than 10 minutes before the start.
We didn't bother with lunch after such a great breakfast but did have a couple of cheeky ice-creams wandering around :)
Went on Khali River Rapids early afternoon and I was the butt of every ones jokes for wearing a poncho (oh how they laughed). And oh how quickly they stopped laughing when they got drenched at the very first turn, when we got off they were soaked to the skin, they couldn't have been wetter if they'd have gone swimming. And I couldn't have been more smug :) I had taken them a light change of clothes so all was not lost but I'd forgotten underwear which apparently is the most heinous crime a mother can commit - so they went commando and complained about it so much that I ended up taking their wet pants to the hand dryers just to stop the whining :)
By 3pm it was roasting so we all slowed down and relaxed for a bit whilst we waited for the parade.
Mickeys Jamming Jungle parade has always been my fave daytime parade - it so upbeat and and makes you want to dance from start to finish!
such a busy day was beginning to take it's toll on my dd too so we left the park and drove the short distance to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our 5.40 dinner res at Boma.
Boma... It was ok, pretty good. I would liken it to a 4 star decent all inclusive hotel buffet - which (as my dh pointed out) is exactly what it is! But my expectations were very high and it didn't quite live up to them - dh wasn't impressed and had his 'told you so' face on (so I reminded him about the severe lack of his navigational skills). We went to Kenya a couple of years ago and throughout the lodges and in the hotel restaurants the atmosphere was fab with all the staff generally singing/dancing, banging pans and just having fun - the kids loved it but unfortunately I'd oversold this to them a bit too and there was no 'special atmosphere' just a nicely themed hotel buffet. The food was nice but I wouldn't go out of my way to dine there again. And I'd left the cardis in the car - but the aircon was like a fridge so we were all shivering, we even ate quicker so we could go outside and warm up a bit.
I'm a bit nervous about Biergarten and O'hana now as DH has said all along that they're going to be disappointing (he's such a bundle of happiness :D) but I've just ignored him. Might just need to curb some expectations...
Additional info - pre purchased the photo cd before we left ( at the lower price) but wanted to upgrade so we could get the breakfast and ride photo's on. It's not as easy as you may think - they had to credit me back for the pre-purchased one and bill me $199 dollars for the 'plus package'. So not as clever as I thought I was being :))
Other bits - loved the Flights of Wonder show (first time I've seen it) - so nice to see birds not riding bikes but demonstrating natural behaviour. Finding Nemo was wonderful but strangely my dd's least fave show. First time riding Expedition Everest - worried that it would be too big for dd's (8) but they loved it and the only bit that frightened them was the Yeti (I was hanging on for dear life and all the way round all I could hear was - 'is the yeti coming now?'. They found Dinosaur scarier but still liked it. I still enjoyed Bugs Life - love watching the kids faces for the shock effects.
We have had an amazing first day (even though it might not sound like it from some of the above) but it has been wonderful. My youngest dd (had a fab day) but has asked about going swimming at least a gazillion times so I've promised her we'll have a swim tomorrow when we check-in at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Everyone fell into bed exhausted and was asleep by the time their heads hit the pillow.
We check-in at Hard Rock tomorrow so we get early entry to Harry Potter. Have been trying to find out what time guest services open so we can swap this voucher for our tickets - would hate to miss early entry. Still haven't found out but so glad I tried as the opening hours have changed from 9am to 8am so id have completely missed my hour early entry.
Fingers crossed that all goes as smoothly :))