Disney World – Day 4 – Animal Kingdom

WDW – Day 4 – Animal Kingdom/Epcot!

So we started our 4th day at Disney World by getting up and making it to the Animal Kingdom for breakfast at Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House!  This is one of our favorite breakfasts at Disney World.  I love getting reservations for it before the park opens so we can get family photos in front of the Tree of Life!

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Breakfast at Tusker House is served as a buffet.  Donald greets all of his guests outside before they go in to their table.

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The Photo Pass Photographers at the meals are always so great at taking photos for you with your own camera, as well as with their cameras.  I love that they do this so that if you don’t want to purchase their photo, you have a copy as well.  Disney always knows how to treat people and makes everyone feel like their family or traveling party is important to them.

After our photos with Donald, we went inside to our table.  It wasn’t long before Mickey, Daisy and Goofy were at our table to meet us, sign autographs and take photos.

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At some point during the meal, these three characters divide up and each take a dining area to be the leader of a parade.  The kids get to chose an African instrument from a basket and follow the characters around the dining room in a parade line.  Taylor loves doing this!  Of course, my favorite part of the meal is the Jungle Juice!  I could drink a whole pitcher of it myself!! It consists of orange juice, passion fruit juice and guava juice…it is so yummy!!!
After we finished breakfast, we made our way around the Pangani Forest Trail Exploration area to look at the animals.  Last year when we were there, we had a few special encounters with the hippo and one of the gorillas.  The kids were really hoping the gorilla would remember them again and come bang on the glass like he did the last time.  No such luck…which is a good thing since when he did it last year, he about scared me to death!
Normally at this time, we would ride the Kilimanjaro Safari.  The kids were disappointed that we didn’t ride it this time since they love it so much, but we will go back and ride it again.
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This is just a really cool photo spot!

Next, we headed over to Expedition Everest!  Taylor finally decided that she would give it a try!!  She is not a thrill rider at all.  We used our Fast Passes and were all set!  I really think she enjoyed the first part of the ride, but once it went in the dark, she was done with it.  Zachary loved it.  When the ride was over, he was asking if he could ride it again!!
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Here they are right before we got on the ride.  Taylor was a little nervous.

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They survived!!!  Everest is in the background!
So, the one ride the kids really wanted to ride was Kali River Rapids.  We had made a deal with them that if they rode Expedition Everest with us, we would ride the rapids!  It was a lot of fun…but we did get really wet.  Of course, we took the wimpy way with the ride and wore our ponchos.  I’m so glad we did.  There was one man in our boat who didn’t have a poncho and he was dripping wet!
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My mom took this photo of us by standing on the bridge that overlooked it towards the end of the ride.
After the rapids, we walked through another animal exhibit.  We saw giant bats and lots of lions. Look at this cute little (big) guy!
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Next, we walked to the Tree of Life and watched Flik in It’s Tough to Be a Bug.  It’s a fun 3D show and is in a nice, cool area!
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This is one of the many carvings at the Tree of Life on the walk into the theater for It’s Tough to Be a Bug.
Before we left the park, we had to make one final stop at the Festival of the Lion King show.  This is my favorite show in all of Disney World.  There are two shows at Animal Kingdom…the Lion King show and the Finding Nemo show.  Both are fantastic, but the Lion King is my favorite!  I think it’s the acrobatic monkeys…or maybe it’s the singing.  It’s all good!
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We never made it over to the Dinoland area of Animal Kingdom, but it is also a favorite area for the kids.  Another area that will be on our list for next time!
We made our way back to Bay Lake and the kids wanted to go swimming.  We had a lot of fun sliding down the slide…I have pictures of the kids on the slide, but I took those on another day.  Mom and I hung out in the hot tub for a while.  It had rained quite a bit while we had been there and the pool water was a little chilly, but the hot tub felt great on our backs and feet!
After a little relaxation at the pool, we decided to head over to Epcot for a while.  The kids wanted to show Grandma and Darrell a ride in Innoventions called, “Sum of All Thrills.”  You get to design your own roller coaster and then they put you in a simulator and you get to ride your coaster!
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This is the kids inside the monorail while it was stationed at The Contemporary Resort.  It’s so nice that you don’t even have to go outside to get on the Monorail from The Contemporary!

Once we made it to Epcot and Innoventions, everyone paired up to create a roller coaster!
Michael and Zachary paired up and Darrell and Taylor paired up.
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By this time it was dinner time and we made our way back to the World Showcase and had dinner at our favorite little counter service, The Boulangerie Patisserie in the French Pavilion.  It was raining, so after we ate, we stayed inside one of the french shops and hung out.

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My little French artists!

We walked around the World Showcase…looked in a few shops and then went to Norway and rode Maelstrom.  After that ride, we rode the Grand Fiesta in Mexico before we went and found a spot to watch Illumination…Epcot’s fireworks show.

Even though it was raining, it didn’t stop us.  We had our ponchos and enjoyed the show!

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Even in the rain, it was still a very MAGICAL day!!