Disney Trip Report: Day 2

Our second day of our trip fell on St. Patrick’s Day. It was also an evening Extra Magic Hours day for Animal Kingdom so we decided to test our luck and visit all the animals. Note: All the photos in this post are personal photos but feel free to reuse with credit.

Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life

We woke up very early on this day and headed for Animal Kingdom just after its opening. We’re not big fans of crowds so we like to avoid the biggest rushes and just go with the flow. When we arrived at Animal Kingdom, one of the first things we did was stop and pose for photos in front of the Tree of Life. If you’ve never been to Animal Kingdom before, the Tree of Life is a fake tree that is a true work of art. Animals are carved into it and it is a true masterpiece representative of Disney. We walked up the paths and generally explored the area in front of us. Our first stop once we had finished looking around was to head to Kilimanjaro Safaris. The line here was already backing up so we opted to grab a Fast Pass. Our return time was around 35 minutes later and we knew the line for Expedition Everest was fairly short so we headed back that way to catch a quick ride.

Expedition Everest v3

Expedition Everest is quite the ride. Your tram resembles a railway car and you journey through the Forbidden Mountain in search of the elusive Yeti. Near the top of the ride, you discover your tracks have been ripped apart and you have no choice but to journey backwards. You soar backwards into the darkness but now the Yeti is searching for you. With one more stop, you fly forward through the course and attempt to escape the Yeti’s clutches. This is the top roller coaster in Animal Kingdom and one of the best in Walt Disney World. My tip: Once you’ve ridden on it with your buddies once or twice, opt to take the single rider line. You’ll be separated from your party but you’ll likely be within one or two cars of each other. The single rider line works because there are often odd-numbered parties of 3 or 5 and Disney doesn’t like to leave empty seats because it slows down the lines. Single riders skip the main line and fill in empty seats. You won’t want to do this before riding the ride as a group because the line queue for Expedition Everest is worth seeing.

Safari v1

After riding Expedition Everest, we headed back to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Our Fast Pass moved us ahead of the increasing line and quickly bumped us ahead so we only had to wait for one expedition to go before us. They space out the groups so the animals you view aren’t disturbed or harassed. The ride has a story to follow to fit with the Disney magic but the real magic here is the animals you’ll see. On our ride we saw antelope, the black rhino, a cheetah, several crocodile sunning it up, lionesses, elephants, a flock of flamingos, ostrich, wildebeest, gazelle, giraffe, hippos, and zebras. We could circle the animals and still not disturb them. It was a beautiful ride and one of the best non-thrill attractions.

After our safari, we opted to just explore the park. We viewed several gift shops and walked the trails admiring animals. We saw the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, the Oasis Exhibits, and the Maharajah Jungle Trek. While you’re walking through this area, be on the lookout for DeVine. She’s quite sneaky and blends in but she puts on quite a show. You’ll know her when you see her.

DeVine

We also grabbed another Fast Pass for DINOSAUR and it didn’t have an open time till after 5 so we decided it was time for lunch. We stopped at Flame Tree Barbeque for lunch and used our counter service credits (you have to read the review next week on this amazing place) and then we sat at the covered patio area where we ate for at least half an hour while we digested and just enjoyed the view before us:

Expedition Everest

Seriously, that’s what we saw. This park is so beautiful you won’t want to leave. After digesting, we did what we did after lunch the day before: went to a 4D theater. We watched It’s Tough to Be a Bug based on the characters from A Bug’s Life and had a great time. While you’re in the line queue for this ride, you are underneath most of the Tree of Life. This leads to some great photo opportunities so don’t forget your camera.

Tree of Life

Around this time, we realized we still had over 3 hours before our Fast Pass time and the park was getting busier and busier. Line waits were nearing the hour mark for every ride. So we decided to hop back to our hotel and swim in the pool. It was the best decision and let us cool down and get ready to embark on the evening with its extra 3 hours thanks to the Extra Magic Hours.

We returned pretty rejuvenated around 4:30. As we entered the park, we noticed two girls giving away their DINOSAUR fast passes for that same time. They were heading home for the day and wanted to pass them on. So we took our later fast passes, passed them on to someone else and hopped in the line. This is another piece of the magic around Disney: people are generally unselfish and looking to pass the magic on to those around them.

Dinosaur

The story of DINOSAUR involves time travel, dino-napping elephants, and oh yeah, a meteor is about to hit earth. It’s a fast paced, jerky moving ride that’s a lot of fun. It’s right in the region of the park named Dinoland U.S.A. and it’s the weakest part of the park. It doesn’t fit well with the theming and most of the rides are reminiscent of carnival rides but it’s still a lot of fun. We rode one ride, Primeval Whirl, about a half dozen times so don’t think I’m insulting this place, it’s just a weaker element.

Just before Extra Magic Hours hit, we grabbed some dinner at the Yak & Yeti’s counter service. I’ll mention it again next week but I will just say that this was the weakest meal of our entire trip. Stick with one of the other dining options here.

Once Extra Magic Hours arrived, the park was ours. As the hours went on, the emptier the park got. The park closed to non-resort guests at 6 PM so with our Extra Magic Hours we had the park till 9 PM. We started off by visiting Kali River Rapids. We rode it again. And again. Eventually, getting off the ride to go through an empty and quite long queue was getting exhausting so our boat asked if we could just stay on. And we did. 3 more times. I think we rode it at least 9 times that evening but it may have even been a dozen. As it cooled down at night, we cheated a bit by throwing on our ponchos to avoid getting drenched. We did still get wet though so back to Expedition Everest we went. And we rode that a dozen more times. By the end of the night, we could walk straight on each tram. We left around 8:30 PM to head back to our hotel and get ready for the next day.

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Author:julie

I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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