Posted in Florida 2016

20th December 2016 (Day 3)-Animal Kingdom

Off to Animal Kingdom today.  We’d planned out our trip in advance and this was going to be our only day at the park, so we had a list of things we wanted to try and fit in and had our FastPasses all sorted out for the big ticket rides.

On arrival we go the tram to the entrance and had to collect our tickets which had been pre-ordered.  We had already connected our tickets to our MagicBands online, so didn’t need to do anything other than pick up the tickets themselves, just in case anything went wrong with the MagicBands (they are 18 months old so didn’t know how long the batteries would last).

The Christmas Tree was all set up at the entrance.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

We went straight in (and our MagicBands worked fine) and started making our way through Discovery Island.  On the way we met the Tree Lady.

Tree Lady

Rosemary was a bit nervous of her I think but posed for a photo and waved goodbye.

Our first FastPass was to meet Favourite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost.  That’s Mickey and Minnie, which we thought would be a great way to kick off our visits to the Disney Parks.  And they were even dressed in Christmas themed clothes.

Meeting Mickey and Minnie

We had some family photos taken as we had a PhotoPass and MagicMaker included as part of our tickets (it was a freebie at the time we bought them), so wanted to make the most of having it.

As we came out we spotted Tarzan and Terk with a small queue for him.  Never met him before so Rosemary queued up and got autographs and photos with them. One piece of advise we read somewhere was never to walk past a character you’ve not seen before (assuming you want character photos and autographs) as some don’t come out very often.  No idea what the deal is with Tarzan but we’d never seen him out before when visiting Animal Kingdom.


We were going to try and make best use of the PhotoPass system and got some family pictures done (so hard to get all 3 of us in them when someone has to take the photo).

Tree of Life

We wanted a snack at this point so picked up a couple of iconic Disney snacks.  We first went to the Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery and got a Mickey Cinnamon Roll.  Not as good in my opinion as the ones at Gaston’s Tavern at Magic Kingdom, but still pretty good and more than enough for us to share.

Mickey Cinnamon Roll

And Rosemary got a Dole Whip from Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Dole Whip

We next had FastPasses for Dinosaur so started heading that way by heading towards Asia with a plan to cut down through Discovery Island and found Baloo and King Louie doing a meet and greet at a great spot with a view back towards the Tree of Life.  There was a slightly alarming sign there though.


I hope the alligators and snakes can read and stay away.  But after a short wait and no attacks from alligators or snakes (so they must be able to read) we met them both and got an autograph from Baloo.  As their minder told us “King Louie doesn’t do paperwork”.

Baloo and King Louie

From there we headed down to Dinosaur in Dinoland USA and used our next FastPass to get on there.


Straight through the long line to the front of the queue. Managed to get a picture of the pipes around there which are labelled up. Apparently they are the formulas for ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.

Chemical Formula

The ride was great fun, although very rough.  Noticed a few tweaks to the ride with new animations on the sides of small dinosaurs running along. Rosemary never looks too sure in the ride photos but always says it was great afterwards.


When we came out Donald was doing his meet and we joined the (quite short) queue to see him. He’s one of Rosemary’s favourite characters so she always looks forward to a meeting with him.  Shame he never seems to do it with Daisy at the same time.  That would be great.

Donald Duck

We always seem to find unique things in Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures, so went to have a look round.  Nothing this time but the dino at the entrance was decorated for Christmas.


We stopped for more snacks at Dino Bite Snacks and got a couple of Mickey pretzels with melted cheese dip.  They were bigger than Rosemary’s head!

Never eat anything bigger than your head

We then headed back into Africa to catch a performance of the Festival of the Lion King show.  Last time we got so lucky and Rosemary was picked to go onto the floor and we got front row seats.  So check that Blog out for better pictures and video.  This time we joined the queue as normal and got seats about 2/3rds of the way back in the giraffe section (same as last time).

Festival of the Lion King

After the show I wanted to take a look over the hoardings to see how the Pandora area was coming along. You can see the floating mountains and some of the lights which will illuminate the paths.  Will have to visit again once it opens.


We had FastPasses for the Kilimanjaro Safari from 4:20 so wanted to kill a little time before that.  Some performers were just coming out so we stopped to watch and Rosemary joined in a little bit with them.

Street Dancing

And then we saw It’s A Bugs Life.  It was nice and cool inside the Tree of Life and it was good to have a sit down from a little while.  Packed show though, seemed busier than normal as it’s usually relatively quiet.

Bug Vision

Our FastPasses for Kilimanjaro Safari were active by this time so we jumped through the FastPass entrance and past everyone else who had been queuing up.  Wait time was 90 minutes, so did feel slightly guilty, but not much. Seemed to be a good time to go on it as there were a lot of animals out and about, presumably getting ready to sleep as it would be dark relatively soon.

Kilimanjaro Safari
Kilimanjaro Safari
Kilimanjaro Safari

This was the last thing we wanted to do in the day, although we did want to stay and see the lighting on the Tree of Life as this was new since our last visit.  We headed to Pizzafari for dinner.  It was very quiet, with no queues to speak of, and we got food and a table straight away.  Food was pretty decent for quick service, although I’ve never really had an issue with the quick service in the parks.


So after eating we walked the short way back to the Discovery Island area to get a good view of the Tree of Life.  The projection shows were excellent and we stayed for a good 3 or 4 different ones.

Tree of Life
Tree of Life

We just stopped on the way out for a picture of the Christmas Tree at night and the entrance (which I’d forgotten to take on the way in, but it’s prettier at night in any case).

Animal Kingdom Christmas Tree
Animal Kingdom

And here is the video from the day:

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