*Out of respect to the kiddo and her friends, there will be no pictures of them included. I know, you're so sad*
A group of friends from the Kiddo's Anime Club at school were attending MegaCon today, although most of them had been there since last night. The Kiddo and one of her friends could only go on Saturday, so I volunteered to chauffeur them down to Orlando for the day. I was somewhat leery of leaving them at the Convention Center alone, but she's 18 and no one wants to be shadowed by their mommy at a convention all day. So, once we got through what was truly the WORST traffic jam I'd ever been in in my life (seriously, it took an hour to drop them off once we turned into the Convention Center area...), I took off for the day. I had a hot date with IKEA and Animal Kingdom!
First stop, IKEA. I got there right about 10am, and though it wasn't planned, I "rope-dropped" IKEA! (I decided that this event just HAD to be shared on Twitter, so it got tweeted. And then I kept up the tweeting during the day; does this make me a Disney Blogger for real?!) After parking, I'd gone upstairs (planning to power through the showroom area to get back to the downstairs part), and was greeted by one of those retractable fencing things. A lady actually came out after a minute or so and retracted it so we could enter the show room (why the rope? Well, the restaurant is open early, so they don't want the showroom to be open that early, so they rope it off). Once I could enter the show room, I refused to follow the 'path' but instead just cut through rooms and areas left and right. Once I got to the end of the path, I felt a bit stupid - there is a shortcut! (ETA, apparently, there are lots of shortcuts, according to that link!). You can go behind the elevator and right back down the escalator to the "get it yourself" section... That is a time-saver!!
|Dude, if I wanted a HEMNES, this rope wouldn't stop me!|
Once done there, it was time for Disney! Neither Hubby nor the Kiddo enjoy going to Animal Kingdom. The kiddo thinks animals are boring; Hubby doesn't like any of the rides there (roller coasters kick up his fear of heights and he doesn't like getting wet on Kali River Rapids). So, this was the perfect opportunity for me to have a peaceful ME DAY at Animal Kingdom without anyone complaining. I'd made FastPasses for Everest, Dinosaur and Kali River Rapids.
|Avatar Floating Mountains - coming soon|
|Welcome to Animal Kingdom|
My first stop was to photograph my way through the Discovery Island Trails and then around the Tree of Life. (ETA, no I'm not going to bombard you with lots and lots of photos. Just lots of photos.)
Once that was done, I headed to my second ride, Dinosaur. We rode this once, back in 2010, on our first trip to Disney. I had a headache that day (when didn't I have a headache, back then?), so that skewed a lot of things. I remember that it was loud and jouncy (jarring + bouncy), but that I liked the idea of it. So I decided to give it another shot, alone and headache-free.
|Hey, what's that over there?|
|It looks like the big dino is trying to eat the tiny dino|
|"I will eat your soul!!! Bwhahahahaha!!"|
|Mrs. Huxtable says "You will do no such thing!"|
|That face you make when you get in trouble with your mom in front of your crew|
So, the ride was the same. The first 80% was fine. Then it got loud. Then it got really loud. Then it got jouncy AND loud. And finally, I just wanted to get the fuck out of the Time Rover. Really, Disney, why does it need to be SO loud and jouncy? Like, it's painful. But, I can say that no, I still don't like this ride, so I'm not missing anything by not riding it ever again (except for super-awesome Phylicia Rashad).
After Dinosaur I returned back to Kali River Rapids for my Fast Pass time, and I was able to use the cool new lockers they have available for use. They were free and you could use them for up to two hours. I stashed all my stuff in there (especially my tech and good DSLR camera!), put a Ziploc bag around my small Samsung camera and got in line (I can't find those photos, but if I do, later, I'll add them). The ride was fun, but I like raft rides. I didn't get SOAKED-soaked, but I got pretty wet. Though, it's the weekend before Memorial Day, so as you can imagine, it was HOT outside. I think I dried off in about 10 minutes.
My original Fast Pass plan included Everest as my first ride. I missed that, of course, but I decided to see what the wait time was, and when I got over there, I discovered (or remembered) that Everest had a Single Rider Line! Score!!
I was still not sure about Everest (more unsure than Dinosaur). When we came in 2010, I had a headache (as mentioned above). I didn't really stop to think what riding a ROLLER COASTER would do to a headache... Well, apparently, it made me nauseated. I wasn't expecting the backwards part to roil my stomach so much, and by the time we got back to the station, I was practically jumping over the Kiddo, trying to get out - I was going to puke. I stood there for a moment, and then I was okay. I went outside and stood near a trashcan, near DEFCON 5, ready to go. But then I was okay. We decided to go on another expedition - Expedition Bathroom. I still wasn't sure if pukage was going to happen, but I would rather puke in a toilet than a trashcan or a bush. I never did vomit, but it was literally like when you pour soda, and you're praying that it doesn't overflow, but it's thisclose to going over the edge that you can see the dome of soda? Yeah. After dunking cold water on my head, I was able to leave the bathroom (and get a Sprite). I hated Everest for years because of that.
But, like Dinosaur, I was willing to give it another shot. I had Dramamine this time, too!
|I love how this altar/shrine thing lines up perfectly with the mountain|
|It's a beautiful ride|
|Arriving at the Mountain|
|Why even bother with the switchbacks?|
|You get a great view of Avatar construction from the top of the lift|
|Obligatory "Chewed-Up Tracks" Photo|
By now, it was past 1pm, and I was ready for some lunch. Since it was nearby (and I'd heard lots of good things about it from various Disney Blogs) I decided to pop into Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes for some Honey Chicken and a glass of ice water ($11.50).
|Birds (and children) love this fountain|
|Honey Chicken (with nice veggies) and Rice|
The next on my park To-Do List was to go to Rafiki's Planet Watch. Family doesn't care about animals, so there was never a chance to do this (without having to listen to them bitch about it, anyway).
|I didn't bring any luggage today, thanks|
|I, of course, sat in the last car, so I could shoot out the back window|
|(Yes, this statue has a blue butt)|
|Do freshly shorn sheep confuse little children? They aren't "sheep-y"|
|He's so cute!|
|If only we could put all Drama Llamas in a corral, it would make my job easier|
|Munch, munch, munch|
|There's a head in there, surely, but I couldn't find it|
|♫ "Everything comes down to poo!" ♫|
|Let me in! I want to see the Tumble Monkeys!|
|Tumble Monkeys and Timon|
|Yes! Dude with FIRE!|
|That's how my feet feel after a day at Disney, too|
|Pumbaa "float" (what do we call these?)|
|Hey, how you doin'? Me? I'm hungry...|
|Sign carved into the Tree of Life|
Sadly, my day was coming to an end here at Animal Kingdom, but I thought that leaving at 5pm would be to early, so I decided to grab a snack at Pizzafari. I got an order of Garlic Knots with marinara, added a cup of butter sauce, as well as a cup of ice water ($8.50).
I got a nice table in the corner (each room has a 'theme' but I have no idea what room I was in).
|Garlic Butter Sauce, Marinara and Garlic Knots (a.k.a. Best Bread Evah!)|
Once I rolled myself out of Pizzafari, I had to leave Animal Kingdom. It was time (past time) to go back to MegaCon and pick up the girls.
|Ah, Ah, Eeee, Eeee, Tookie, Tookie (bonus points if you get that reference)|
After sitting in this for about 45 minutes, the kiddo texted me wanting to know where I was. I told her to sit tight and I'd be there a.s.a.p!
I think it took me about 90 minutes to get to them, and unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to get to WaWa for road trip snackage ($20). That took another 20 minutes!
Finally though, around 8pm, we were finally clear of traffic, back on I-4 and on our way home!! It was a great day, both with the girls in the car, and alone by myself. I wish I could score "Me Days" more often!