This was a great morning. Maybe it was the best part of our quick trip. I don't know. It's hard for me to pick one moment of a Disney trip that is better than another... any time at Disney is a win. But this particular morning seemed to go exceptionally well for us.
We woke up early. Well, I woke up early. Then I dragged the rest of the family out of bed. We packed up our stuff and the car. For breakfast, we ate at the hotel cafeteria. It was meh.
After we fueled our bodies, we hopped in the car and drove over to the Animal Kingdom. The plan was to be there when it opened, run over to the new Pandora section, and get on one of the new Avatar rides.
We entered through the Passholder line, (no issue since we used our cards) and then made our way to Pandora.
Because we zipped through the pass holder line, we were able to get to the Na'vi River Journey ride before the Park opened. We opted for this ride because the kids and I have FastPasses for the Avatar Flight of Passage for our November trip.
Tip: If you can't FastPass the Avatar rides, get to the Park for opening, head right over and hop on one. We waited only 20 minutes for the Na'vi River Journey. By the time we got off, the Flight of Passage wait time was 120 minutes!
The Na'vi River Journey was fun. But it is short. I would not wait long for it ever again. Just an FYI.
We skipped the Flight of Passage. I'll let you know how it goes when we ride it in November. There was at least an hour before our FastPasses for Everest, so we went to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. I LOVE this one! It's always different.
Most people were in Pandora, so we nearly walked on to the safari.
Tip: Choose to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari in the morning or evening... The animals will be less active in the hot afternoon Florida sun.
On this trip, the hippos were quite playful.
And I cannot believe how lucky we were to see the lions up and moving around. The last time (I think) we saw one of the lionesses moving around - it looked like she was eyeing one of the keepers. That was cool. I am (almost) embarrassed to say I squealed when we turned the corner and saw the male lion walking around.
Basically I was the only one who was thrilled to do the safari. Both kids were dying to get on Everest.
I believe Riley's excitement and readiness helped push Reagan to rideExpedition Everest. She used to freak out at the thought of it... Here's a fun backstory:
The first time Reagan ever rode Everest...
She was 6. We went to Disney with my mom, my sister and her (at the time) fiancé for a bit of wedding planning. (Yes, my youngest sister got hitched at Disney.) Reagan had been talking constantly about riding Everest. Since she had ridden Tower of Terror, she knew she was tall enough for Everest. We had FastPasses to ride it with Steph and Zach. Everything was going great, right up to the moment we got in line. Reagan melted in epic fashion.
I decided to be that parent. I was going to force her to ride it. She had been talking about it nonstop. She would be happy after the fact.
So, there we were. In line. Reagan crying hysterically. Zach and Steph probably wishing they could pretend not to know us.
She SCREAMED the entire ride. But she survived.
Since he is the younger brother, Riley likes to do EVERYTHING Reagan does. He proudly rode Everest last year with his Aunts Jackie and Meghan. Riley's first time was unplanned... We happen to notice the line wasn't terrible and Riley was excited to find out he reached the height requirement.
Riley is definitely our dare-devil. He loves to act big and bad.
I think you can see their differing comfort levels in these two pictures:
I wish I could share our ride photo with you, but the computers were not working properly. Bummer.
Next up, we had FP+ for Dinosaur. But again, we had time to kill, so we rode Primeval Whirl. Reagan and I rode it for the first time on our special Mom-Reagan day trip. It is a fun, silly ride. But it is short, so I wouldn't wait long for it.
And just like that, our trip was over. We left the Park after Dinosaur. Stu wanted to eat a quick lunch outside of Disney, then get on the road.
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Our Disney Sides
We are fortunate enough to live a short drive away from the Happiest Place on Earth! And we take full advantage of it!