Okay kids, we are all checked into our lovely Beach Resort hotel, compliments of Mickey (see Trip Part 1).
Now mind you by this time I am kinda tuckered out already after a morning of last minute packing, phone calls, getting a 3-year-old out of an over-excited and finally falls asleep close to 11 p.m. slumber, car problems, finally finding the value resorts only to have to get back in the car (lugging luggage and the 3yo) who as soon as I get her in the car seat announces that she has to go to the bathroom, finding the Beach Resort, taking her to restroom, checking in, going out to car for luggage, and stashing it in the room; but hey, it is my B-Day weekend, it is Disney, and I am ready to board the bus and get on our way........first stop....Animal Kingdom!!
Here is my granddaughter as we depart the bus, notice her expression, she is already getting fed up with my picture taking.....ah, my sweet...it has only just begun!!! LOL.
Did you know that Animal Kingdom covers more than 500 acres and has over 1000 animals!
Here is the centerpiece of the park, the Tree of Life which stands 145 feet tall and whose branches span over 160 feet. The trunk is comprised of carvings of 325 animals.
First thing we do in the park is go see the Festival of the Lion King...love, love, loved it! Great show, love when the floats come out, the stilt walkers, and the vocalist are great as well. I had not seen this show in many years and it is one of my favorites.
Then off for pictures with Chip and Dale....
Do you know which one is chip? The one with the brown nose like a chocolate chip...Dale's nose is red..(I know, I am a Disney nerd....what's that, nope, I am just a nerd!!!, Well, I never!!).
Alright, we are pretty hungry by now and I had made the only reservation I was actually able to book, calling 30+ days in advance (my advice to anyone planning a Disney trip who wants to go to a character dining meal or a special restaurant, call 90 days in advance).
We had lunch reservations for the Tusker House (the lunch reservation comes along with Finding Nemo advanced preferred seating, which I did not like the seating arrangement, it was off to the left and close to the stage, to close to be able to enjoy the full visual effects of the show IMHO. I like to sit more center and back.
Now back to Tusker House, great food, many selections, many choices for my granddaughter and she loved everything she selected (notice the state of her plate in the photo and the "I am not going to let you take a picture of me" pose she has, all in fun though, see her mischievous smile. She even went back for dessert, selected 4 items and ate them all!!
Here is a menu from Allears for those interested; now you will leave my blog so be certain to come back and read more of my exciting post!!! (Hmm, you say it is putting you to sleep!!! Come on, I am just getting warmed up!)
Next up Safari!! There were so many animals to see. I really enjoy this particular ride as it is different every time. Here are a few photos I shot which speak for themselves. Okay, not the greatest wildlife photos, but folks, I am on a jostling jeep with a jostling 3yo and an old camera so cut me some slack here...sniff,,,deep breath in....deep breath out...calm.......Okay!!! On we go!! Oh, by the way...bottom picture has a rhino there on the right hand side...See if you can spot him amongst the other lumpy brown things in my photo!! LOL.. gotta remember to zoom next time.
We are pooped by this time, so it is back to the cool lobby in the hotel for a soda. The lobby area was just gorgeous and always seemed to have people there relaxing and enjoying the ambiance.
My Granddaughter had to go and spritz her flowers and plants regularly, she practically took over the garden outside of our terrace at the beach resort, spraying and tending to "her" plants every day. This was great for me because I could relax in one of the chairs on the terrace with a cool drink while she enjoyed herself and we could talk about our upcoming day.
We had a quick change of clothes and then to the dock to wait for the boat to ferry us over to our next stop...Epcot for Illuminations at night! Here is nice photo of the boat dock.
Epcot Fun Facts
Spaceship Earth, Epcot's Centerpiece weighs 16,000 pounds and is 165 feet in diameter. The world showcase consists of the countries of Mexico, China, America, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Morocco, and Norway. You can sample foods from all of these areas, which I love, and visit shops which have products for sale from these countries.
We did not get to spend a great deal of time here, only got to walk in and grab food from Morocco, a great lamb wrap for me and chicken tenders for my granddaughter. I grabbed a glass of champagne from a cart in "France" and we were off with our food to find a spot to settle in to wait for Illuminations to begin. Here is my granddaughter either with an expression of anticipation of the fireworks show, or imitating me after my delicious flute of champagne, I am not sure which one!
The Epcot fireworks was the perfect ending of a perfect day!
Hope you enjoyed part 2! Come back again to read part 3 with more mayhem and foolishness in the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios!