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Keane's September/October 2012 "This Is Too Good To Pass Up" Trip Report - Part 9


The text of this trip report was posted to the Usenet group rec.arts.disney.parks on October 21, 2012. This is an expanded version with pictures. If you are reading this someplace else than rec.arts.disney.parks, or on my site keanespics.com, it was copied without my permission.

AK Entrance
Animal Kingdom Entrance
Who: Me, Keane. Disney Junkie and obviously a glutton for punishment...
     Mom, aka "Miss Marie". Mobility impaired. Memory impaired, too.
     Jenny. Fellow Disney Junkie, and du...kind enough to help.
     Karen. My GPS. (A Garmin nuvi 1390)
What: An opportunistic trip to Walt Disney World.
Where: Walt Disney World, Art of Animation Resort, Little Mermaid Room.
Why: D23's Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration, D23's 2012 Sip & Scream, and a dinner in Great Movie Ride.
When: September 29 thru October 6, 2012

All Disclaimers from Part 1 still apply.
Thank you.

Day 7, Thursday, Oct. 4
Animal Kingdom

We have to leave by 8am to get Jenny to the airport, and I need coffee if I'm going to do that. So I'm up a bit earlier, and check all the backups, reformat the G1X memory card, etc. Check mail, send a note to Lisa about lunch/dinner tomorrow.

Today will be an interesting day. I want to go into Animal Kingdom, and will take Mom into the park without help. Well, I have a lot of experience now with this sort of thing, right? Just so long as there's no bathroom emergency...

Mom wants to go to the airport with us, so we load her and her walker into the car. Jenny's bags will fit in the trunk with the walker. I have a California Water Squeegee in the car, and take all the dew off the windows. The car and interior is cold, and below the dew point, and it's impossible to keep the windows clear until I can get the defroster to heat up the windshield. The early, low-angle sun is reflecting off the moisture, making visibility difficult. I hate days like this. The machine gun in the back seat is limp and bent. I'm sure there's an analogy here. But I'm not going to go there.

Karen knows exactly where departures is, and takes me there. Jenny's flight home is without incident, other than she feels like crap.

Me? My day is just starting.

I tell Karen to go back to AoA, and we decide to go to breakfast, rather than go into the park at opening. Get a premo-handicap parking space, right next to the crosswalk to Animation Hall. I'm not leading anymore, so I have to remember to stay closer to Mom. I find her a table, find out what she wants (the Belgian waffle), so once again I have to stand in two separate lines. The omelet line is 4 times and the regular breakfast 3 times the international breakfast line, so that's where I go. Besides, the Portuguese sausage is pretty good.

I then get the waffle, and once again must wait a couple of rounds. They need more waffle irons. Just a couple more could move the line faster. On top of everything else, I have no TiW card. sigh.

On the way out, I secure a gift card for Lisa and Andy in the gift shop. They can have a couple of drinks on us when they're down here next month while they're waiting 5 years for their gift. Drive back to the room, and get the scooter out. By the time we get to the bus stop, the brutal sun and heat and humidity has me sweating. Mom remarks on it, but since she's riding a scooter, the heat doesn't bother her. That's nice. Get out and walk and let me ride a while... Heh.

Walt Disney World
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The bus stop to AK is pretty much empty, and loading her on the bus is relatively painless. It's scary that I can drive the darn thing so well. We get to Animal Kingdom, and the unload is as painless as the load. So far, so good. It's the first time Mom has to go through bag check. Seems to be something unfair about that. But it goes without incident.

Animal Kingdom
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Festival of the Lion King / Flights of Wonder

I get a times guide, and we're 25 minutes from a Lion King performance, so we make our way to Camp Minnie-Mickey, and get put into the Lion section.

There doesn't seem to be as many in the cast during the last half of the show, but how could I tell? (There is video of this performance, see the Video Index.)

The show concludes, and they don't back the floats offstage, and Pumba mostly blocks the exit. Mechanical problems?

It's crowded (as always) leaving the theater, but the stroller jam we experienced last time doesn't seem to materialize. Still, it is faster for me to drive her through the crowds, and it's less stressful on both of us. We make our way through to Africa and turn right to Flights of Wonder.

They seem to have changed the script a little, it seems to be less annoying than it used to be. I still have to boost the EV by two stops because of the bright background, but the G1X still compensates well. On the fly exposure changes seem to work okay. Capturing birds in flight seems to work well.

Festival of the Lion King
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Flights of Wonder
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Kilimanjaro Safaris / Lunch in Yak & Yeti

We going to go back to Africa and to the Safari. DeVine is out playing, and seems to be a little less shy than she used to be. At least she posed for a picture.

We make it through the crowd, turn right into Africa, and they have a stage set up in the middle of the walkway between the bathrooms and Tusker House. Now, I know they always had a band around the bar, but this is an amplified band playing non-traditional tuneage. I'm sure all African villages have bands with electrified instruments in the middle of town playing tunes like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Traffic has always been pretty bad in this area. This isn't going to be an improvement. sigh.

KJS is pretty much a walk on. Not a lot of animal activity during the hot day, but if given the choice, I probably wouldn't be that active either. Now that the dumb of this attraction is pretty much gone, they've segregated the animals a little bit more, and the savanna doesn't look as overgrazed as it used to. But with the animals segregated, it looks more like a zoo exhibit than a real African savanna. I'll wait until they're completely done before passing judgment. There are a lot more backstage areas, like guests tied to a fence with a nylon strap, and looking over the edge of a drop-off at the crocodiles. Sounds like a Darwin Award in the making to me.

We come to the end of our two-week safari, which I'm not sure is advertised as a two week safari anymore, and head back toward Asia. We're going to try Yak and Yeti for lunch. It's 2:30pm, and we have a 5 minute wait for a table.

I had the Sweet and Sour Pork, and Mom had the Tempura shrimp with the stick up its butt. I thought the S&S Pork was okay, but Mom's shrimp was a little lacking. Well, these are Disneyized versions of Americanized versions of Asian food. What do you expect?

After lunch we take the long way around the park through Dinoland, before we exit. There is a DJ in a booth making noise by the junction where Kali/Jungle Trek is. I'm sure all Asian villages have a DJ in the middle of the village. I wonder why Disney thinks these additions were necessary.

Kilimanjaro Safaris
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Lunch in Yak & Yeti
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We are out of the park by 4pm before the parade, and after a short wait for the bus, are back at AoA by 4:30. We meet the Mario Brothers on the way to the room, and tell them to have a good time at the Halloween party tonight. Seeing all these people in costume for the Halloween Party these days almost brings a disparaging remark to mind, until I remember I was one of doze guyz a couple of nights ago.

I get back to the room and take the already-packed big suitcases out to the car. We will live out of overnight bags until we get home. Other smaller bags and items, like souvenirs and other non-essentials are taken out, but I can take the shorter route by stairway, instead of the elevator.

I told Apple I'd have the scooter back by 6pm, so about 5:30 I make sure the charger is in the back pocket of the scooter chair and take off for Bell Services to return the scooter. When I get downstairs, I realize I don't have my camera, and return to the room to get it. When I'm downstairs, I realize I don't have the battery in the camera, and return to the room to get it. sigh. At least I'm not walkin'.

I turn the speed knob up to 11, and race around the resort like Lightning McQueen following the path around Hourglass Lake. and taking some pictures of Pop Century across the way, as well as the trivia signs that dot the resort along the lake. Something for the joggers/runners to look at. Since the themeing is concentrated between the buildings at AoA, the lakefront view is rather limited. There is nothing past the Cars section of AoA, and think about going around the lake to take some pictures of Pop Century, but thunder and lightning rear their ugly head in the distance, and I drive through Cars to get to Bell services.

I park the scooter up against the wall, flip the key to the Bell Captain, and the long walk back to the Little Mermaid 9 for the last time. It begins to drizzle on me. Figures.

A sense of sadness comes over me during the walk, and as much I disparaged the distance this week, the themeing of the building, the smiling face of care-free Lion King trio, Scar, Zazu, Ariel... This is Disney World. And I'm leaving it again early tomorrow morning.

Back in the room, I backup all the pictures and do some final packing. The phone message light is blinking. I know what it is. I refuse to listen to the message.

End of the Trip...
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End Sept 2012 Trip Report - Part 9.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

  • 11/08/2012 - Page Added
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2