Our first morning at Disney started bright and early when we headed to Animal Kingdom for rope drop. We rushed straight to Expedition Everest and rode it multiple times before there was any line! After we got our Everest fill, we headed over to Dinosaur and went on a prehistoric adventure back in tiiiiiiime. Eventually we made our way over to the Africa section of the park and enjoyed Kilimanjaro Safari.
My goal this trip was to get a suitable picture for our 2013 Christmas card, so I couldn’t pass up a picture with Mickey and Minnie in holiday attire! (Side note: Please excuse my bizarre hair waves, untied shoelace, and the weird haze from a fingerprint on my camera lens. Needless to say, this was not our Christmas card photo.)
We were getting hungry for lunch, so we headed to our FAVORITE quick service location in all of Walt Disney World: Flame Tree BBQ. Yum. I could eat their shredded BBQ pork sandwich everyday. The view’s not too bad either. 🙂
If you remember from my last post, each park has its own themed 65-foot tree. Animal Kingdom’s had (SHOCKER) animal ornaments all over it. I snapped the shot below on our way out of the park for the day.
We hit up Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollercoaster right away because those are two of our favorite (and some of the only) thill rides at Disney World! Also, we had used our Magic Bands to book some Fastpass+ passes for some attractions, so we were excited to use those.
We made sure to ride one of my favorite classics, The Great Movie Ride. I know it’s a little outdated, but I still love “being in the movies!” The Animation Academy is nearby, so we walked over there to get a picture with Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz. Right before we took this picture, Ralph stepped on my foot, and was trying to apologize (which is difficult given the fact that he can’t talk or move his fingers). I told him it was okay since it’s his job to wreck everything, and he seemed to not feel as guilty.
Eventually we made our way over to The Backlot Tour. We wanted to make sure to ride it because there are rumors it will be torn down soon to make way for a Cars Land expansion similar to the one in Disney’s California Adventure. This ride is always a fun one, and one of the best parts is the exhibit at the end where they have movie props from over the years. I was SO excited this time because they had the traveling clothes and marionettes used by JULIE ANDREWS from THE SOUND OF MUSIC on display! I’m such a huge fan of Julie Andrews, so to see the actual props was very exciting for me! I’m sure Louis thought I was being ridiculous 😉 I mean…I only stared at them for 15-20 minutes…it could have been a lot worse. When we left the Backlot Tour we ran into the one and only Goofy! He decided to dress up like Santa for Christmas, and we couldn’t resist taking a picture with him. Well…I’m sure Louis could have resisted, but I couldn’t 🙂
We were able to use our Fastpass+ passes to bypass the 2-3 hour wait for Toy Story and get on Louis’s favorite ride. My score wasn’t too great, but Louis’s was super high as always! Once it finally got dark, we worked our way over to The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! No, not THAT Osbourne family. The father of THIS Osbourne family
doesn’t need subtitles when he talks set up a Christmas light display for his daughter several years ago at their home, and it just kept growing. Eventually it go so large that families were trying to sue them for the congestion on their street and the (obviously) bright lights. Finally, Disney stepped in and the entire display was moved to Hollywood Studios and has grown even more over the years! There are millions of lights that are synced up to Christmas songs, and it miraculously “snows” in Florida! It’s definitely a beautiful sight to see! We had a great time enjoying the lights, but it was PACKED, so we didn’t linger over there too long. The rest of our time at Hollywood Studios included more of our favorite rides before we closed down the park. The bus lines were crazy again, so we hopped on another Art of Animation bus. While there we grabbed a snack in their amazing food court to enjoy on our way back to the hotel. I got a chocolate chip cookie and 1 liter of bottled water (even in December the Florida sun can drain you!), and Louis got a beautiful vanilla cupcake!
It was another successful, exhausting day in the parks. I know the clock in the picture above only says 8:30, but when you wake up at 6:00 AM (5:00 AM Texas-time), and spend all day power-walking 10-20 miles to get to all your favorite attractions in the Florida sun you get drained fast! And this was only our first full day! We still had lots of fun to come 🙂