A day on the wild side

Our day at Animal Kingdom was not quite the Disney postcard that our first few days had been.  It started out just fine and spirits were high despite the insane number of people that seemed to be squeezed in everywhere.

ready to roll in their safari themed clothing
But then Expedition Everest went down.  Twice.  And Ian, Caleb and I didn't get to ride.  At all.

And then there was only four of us taking the safari.  I sat that one out with Daniel.  But at least I wasn't the parent that got puked on.  (Thankfully it seemed to be a fluke ~ he was a bit puny for the rest of the afternoon, but perked up after a granola bar and water and was back to full speed today).

We did lots of double tracking just trying to get away from the crowds.

Initially I was pretty cross about having our perfectly laid out day ruined.  But instead of getting bent out shape, I ended up being able to slow down and enjoy the beauty all around us.

We took time to do all the nature walks.  We rode the train over to Rafiki's conservation station.  We let the kids play in the dino boneyard playground.  We took time to find all six junior conservation stations so our kids could collect the stamps and do a little learning in the process.  We caught a show and the parade.

In reflection, the whole "so what you had a great outline but your day isn't going to happen that way" experience was really good for me because I was reminded that even "off schedule," there is enjoyment.

At the end of the day two of our kids said it was their favorite park so far.

Their highlights:

Daniel ~ Loved his playtime at the boneyard, especially the excavation site.  That's where he and I hung out after he started feeling better while we were waiting for the rest of the M6 to finish the safari.  But he also LOVED the TriceraTop Spin and was all smiles before we took flight.
who cares that triceratops weren't known for their flying abilities; maybe they took lessons from dumbo?
Darcy Q ~ Said that while she liked the whole day, that getting all of her junior conservationist stamps was her favorite part.  Hands down.

earning her dino stamp.  she was all business at each of the stations.
Caleb ~ He didn't hesitate at all before answering that his "best part" was the Nemo show.  He kept talking about it all day.  (And I have to agree, it has been one of my favorites here too).  Of course there was no photography in the theatre, so I'll have to show him at his body's favorite part of the day...

he did actually ask at one point if he could lay down in the stroller ~ we got in a nature walk and the girls rode triceratop spin twice while they were sleeping
Kylie ~ We had gone in reverse age order in asking about highlights of the day.  After Caleb finished his answer, we didn't even have to ask her.  Her eyes got huge and she confidently said, "My best thing was the Sa-Far-E!"

ian kindly took lots o' pictures for me on the safari ride ~ ky's excitement in this one is hard to miss
All in all, it wasn't a "Disney perfect" day.  But it was a really good one, one that created memories for us as a family spending time exploring each side path we found.

And it was topped off with hash browns at IHOP.  Cause you know, fried, shredded potatoes can make anything better, even missing a really cool roller coaster.


Laine said...

I have loved reading about your Disney days, Kristi!!!!! You will be so thankful you documented it! You know I made a scrapbook of our trip back in 2002 when we had 4 littles under the age of 6...2 boys, 2 girls. naps in strollers. Oh how your trip is taking me down memory lane!
And don't fret about Mt. Everest...I will NEVER go on that bad boy again. Remind me to tell you our puke story..only it involves ME. so sad.
Animal Kingdom has never been one of my faves, but my kiddos always like it. The Safari is my fave of that park, so tell Ky! No matter how many times you ride it, you just can't shake the feeling that you really are about to catch the POACHERS!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Times!!!!!
Have a magical day! Do they say that anymore? Seems like last time we went they had changed it to "Celebrate!"
Regardless, can't wait to see where yall go tomorrow!

Mary Beth said...

I'm sorry you missed Everest, but it sounds like you had a wonderful day anyway! Nemo is one of my very favorite things in WDW. My mom bought me the CD while we were there a couple of years ago because I absolutely love the songs!

I love how you are telling each child's favorite thing. It is such a great idea!

Laurie said...

Ah, being flexible at Disney. Not so easy sometimes. I remember doing the stamps AND the great Nemo show! I also remember our plans being changed due to a HUGE TORRENTIAL downpour the day we were at that park. We spent an hour standing under a little tarp, trying not to get soaked. YUCK!

Grandma Shultz said...

Another great day. So happy to hear about it. Sorry Daniel did't feel well and couldn't go on the Safari (which of course meant that you missed it also). Glad Daniel felt better afterwards and keep going through the day. Maybe you can catch a ride on Everest another day. Love hearing all about what you are doing and feeling like I'm there with you.

Our Journey to China said...

What a day! The kids will always remember this magical trip and family memories! Who cares about the 'plan' ... fun is the excitement in their eyes as they experience it ALL everyday! You guys are having a great time! Thank you for sharing it with us as you make a family memory record. It is awesome!! ;)