Our fourth day began by meeting up with the rents at Animal Kingdom. The first thing we noticed upon our arrival was that the Tree of Life was closed. This meant that the 3D movie inside it, It’s Tough To Be A Bug, was closed too.
We decided it would be best to get the star attraction, Expedition Everest out of the way. So, we did the usual split, me, Kyra and Dad went to the coaster and Mom went to Kilimanjaro Safari. Surprisingly, the wait time for Everest was only 30 minutes and again, it’s one of those lines you don’t mind waiting in because there is a lot to look at. In any case, we eventually got to the end, and after getting off the ride, simultaneously agreed to ride again, this time in the single rider line. This couldn’t have worked out better. From the entrance of the line, you can see the loading station. It probably only took us 10 minutes to get on the ride.
After that we made our way towards “Africa” to meet up with Mom. We stopped to look at some monkeys along the way, then, stopped again to watch a street show that was starting. Dad left to look in a gift shop and soon Kyra did too. However, shortly after she left, the dancer in the show began picking members from the crowd to join him, and one of the people he picked was me. Unlike most of the people who were against getting pulled up, I was all for it. I stayed for the rest of the show and once it was done, found the table Kyra and Dad were sitting at and joined the.
Shortly after, Mom was finally done with her ride and from there we all went to Countdown to Extinction. Countdown, or Dinosaur as it is now called after that smash hit film Disney made (he said speaking ironically), is a ride that takes you back in time to the minutes right before dinosaurs were wiped off the planet. Your mission is to drive this jeep/time machine through the prehistoric jungle in search of a dinosaur to take back to the present time. It’s a fun small thrill ride that even Mom can handle.
We then made our way towards the entrance and along the way everyone but me bought snacks. They sat on a bench to eat them while I went to the bathroom and when I got out, it was raining. I found them seeking shelter in a gift shop and once they were finished with their food, we made a plan. Kyra and Mom went off to the Magic Kingdom and Dad and I headed to Downtown Disney (after making a pit stop at his room to drop something off).
I had three main goals while at downtown. 1) to buy mom an art piece that I’d seen a couple nights before, 2) to walk around during the day when it would be less crowded, I could see where I was going and thus be able to navigate my surroundings better, and 3) because I wanted to go all the way to the far end just to say I saw everything. The first thing we did was to go to the art store where I quickly made my purchase and had it shipped back to Mass.
Next, Dad and I went across the way to The Earl of Sandwich for lunch. Amazingly, the prices were super reasonable, no “Disney tax” inflation. I got a Hawaiian BBQ sandwich that was amazing. We then took the long walk down towards Disney Quest and La Nuba. As expected it was much less crowded and I was easily able to figure out where to go. Unfortunately, Downtown Disney is undergoing renovations in some areas, so we had to zig-zag our way around construction. Eventually we made it to the side I really remember for years gone by.
We stopped into the D-Street store which was new to me and had some cool merch. Then, we made our way into the Pop Gallery. This was a blast from the past with a twist. I remembered the store very well, but, the last time I was there it was a music shop. They sold rare and expensive electric guitars. They even had one that originally belonged to Jimi Handrix. Now however, it’s an art gallery. The store sold various pop-art works such as paintings and sculptures and, to my pleasant surprise, not everything was Disney themed. In fact, very little of it was. There were some cool car sculptures, Star Wars paintings, and even wall-mounts of animals from Dr. Seuss books; it was really cool.
Next we checked out a few of the other restaurants and stores in the area (Splitsville and Bongos) -just walked through- before walking back to the end we started at. We then had to take any bus to any hotel (we took one to Pop Century) in order to grab a bus from there to one of the parks; in this case we wanted to go to Epcot. After doing all that and arriving at Epcot, the first thing we did was Captain EO as Dad had gotten screwed out of it the last time we were there. Next we crossed the way to Test Track, and then finally, we ended up at Soarin’.
This was the longest wait out of the three of them at 55 minutes. It felt like it took forever, but, as was the case with a some of the other rides (as we found out), this queue now had mini games to entertain you. These games were more all inclusive, making everyone in the line work together. The games were project on large screens on the wall and used motion sensor technology to control the action on the screen. It was pretty cool and fairly entertaining. Regardless, the line still felt pretty long, but, it was better than I remembered it being. After riding Soarin’ the park was closing up, so we walked to the busses where we parted ways.
Back at the hotel, Kyra and I went in “The Big Blue” –Finding Nemo themed- pool. After doing that for a bit, I got some food (including an Orange Blossom Pilsner which I’d wanted to try since I saw it in Florida in 2010), brought it back to the room, ate it, and went to bed.