Thursday, December 23, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 6 - It's *Just* a Dinosaur!

The Plan said that Magic Kingdom was a definite bad idea for Thanksgiving Day. It also said (really it was quite talkative) that people knew that and were also overcrowding EPCOT, so we decided to go to Animal Kingdom. LaRae and Randy went there on their honeymoon, but the Park had only been open 3 months, so their experience was less than stellar. The kids and I had never been there.

Anticipating this being a Park we’d all hate, we planned to go to Downtown Disney to shop that evening. I was surprised to discover that I LOVE Animal Kingdom. I kinda can't believe I just admitted that because I told my friend Kyle (who's probably laughing at me now for being proved so wrong) numerous times that I realy really didn't want to go to DAK, and I lamented the fact that I was going to *have* to spend time there. The only downfall was that there’s just so much walking, and I was so tired by this point that I didn’t have the energy to spend a full day here.

When we got to the Park, the crowd was very small. I was amazed by how beautiful it was and the differences between it and the other Parks. It's much more spread out and full of lucious greenery and, of course, animals. The entrance is back a ways from the parking lot and has a tucked away feel to it.

The first place we went was Dinoland USA. It’s kitschy and carnival-like and a total surprise theme! We walked on (0 minute wait) to TriceraTop Spin. The kids dug in The Boneyard on their own for a long time. LaRae and I had a 15 minute wait for Primeval Whirl (which was really jerky and not something I’m dying to ride again).
I have to pause here for an anecdote that Randy reminded me hadn't made an appearance here yet. In Toy Story 3, there's a scene at the computer where an IM pops up and Trixie, the dinosaur, hurries to close it and delivers our favorite line: "It's *just* a dinosaur!" LaRae and I say that line all the time. You'd be surprised how many times it's appropriate, especially when you change the word "dinosaur" for something random. Somehow that became our WDW catchphrase: "It's just a tree! It's just a pirate! It's just a princess!" (Gotta say it with Trixie's hilarious delivery though.) Anyways one person would say it, and then it would get repeated and giggled at... a lot. When we were walking into Dinoland USA, Joshua pointed at a big dinosaur skeleton, and before LaRae or I could say anything, Katelyn looked up and said with perfect comidic timing (yeah you guessed it), "It's just a dinosaur!" We about died laughing. I know it's not as funny here, but we said that phrase a TON on our trip, so I had to take time to mention it. :)

We also headed over to ride Dinosaur. I suspend reality a little too easily and too much when I’m on rides (I mean, I was actually *flying* with Peter Pan the other day!), and I’d already had nightmares about this ride. It takes you back in time to go get a dinosaur before the asteroids hit. About a minute and a half before the ride was over I was clutching LaRae’s shoulder crying out, “I don’t like this ride! Can it end now?!” No amount of "it's *just* a dinosaur" was going to comfort me enough to open eyes! Seriously, the photo is below (we’re in lime green in the front). Everyone laughed at me when they saw the picture (and by everyone I mean all the complete strangers standing there)! I doubt I’ll ride it again unless Prince Charming can convince me it’s safe.

Randy had grabbed Expedition Everest Fast Passes for LaRae and I, so we went and rode it next. I really enjoyed it and only wish I’d been in the front car and that I'd known when to expect the Yeti. After the disaster that was Dinosaur, I was a bit nervous about the Yeti, but it wasn't bad. Also, while we went through the Fast Pass line I noticed we were dashing by a lot of neat things on the walls. I don’t think I’d mind waiting for the ride in the regular queue. I’d like to take time to see all that stuff.

After the rollercoaster (the 4th Mountain that we conquered on the trip), the whole family went to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari. I was amazed at how close we were to the animals and took as many photos as I could. It was worth the 30 minute wait. We were in the very back of the vehicle which gave us a great view. The dialogue the driver provides is cheesy but had me laughing the whole time. It’s full of puns, dry humor, and general hilariousness! I think it’s even better than the Jungle Cruise over in Magic Kingdom!

Lunch at the Flame Tree BBQ (another Kyle recommendation) was an excellent Thanksgiving meal. Again, we ate with ducks at our feet which I found to be fun, but Joshua was completely freaked out by it. Afterwards we went back to the resort for a swim before naptime and Downtown Disney.

At Downtown Disney I went CRAZY shopping! I had been looking around the shops the whole trip and had a list of things I’d like to purchase. I split from the group to shop and promised to meet back at Wolfgang Puck Express for dinner. Sadly we had a bit of drama with Katelyn losing her purse (my sister tells the story better than I do), but in the end she found it and all was well. I joined the community of Vinylmation traders, and started buying and trading. What a blast!

Wolfgang Puck Express was the most expensive (but free for us) counter service meal that we experienced at WDW, and it was probably on the list of the better ones we ate. I, however, was starting to feel ill and didn't hardly eat. In fact, I think I ate one full meal after this point before I got home. Enough of the whining though - the food was great!

After dinner, we went to Once Upon a Toy for LaRae and the kids to get special Disney Potato Head parts. CM Kathleen really made our evening magical as she helped LaRae get as many parts as possible in her giant potato head and shared stories with us. (Her stories are the reason I got my Figment Pook-a-Looz.) She was amazing and shared so much pixie dust with us! After that it was time to go back to go to sleep since we were getting up so early for Magic Kingdom Rope Drop the next day.

Tomorrow - we head to Magic Kingdom. Do our "Wishes" come true?


  1. The highlight of the night for me was Katelyn reminding everyone at the dinner table to say what they were thankful for this year. Guess I'm doing something right.

  2. I had forgotten that. It was a really sweet moment.