Friday, April 06, 2012

WDW Trip Report - Day 3 Dining - You're Like a Bratz Doll, But You're a Sexy Platypus...

DAK Christmas Tree
When I first started going to Walt Disney World as an adult, I had no desire to go to Animal Kingdom.  I didn't care to see animals that I can see in a zoo; I didn't feel like the attractions were ones I couldn't live without; and I didn't want to lose a day at the parks I already knew I loved.  When I first visited the park in November 2010, I was all set to hate it. Imagine my shock and delight when I discovered it's a wonderful park! Sadly we were so tired that day that we didn't stay in the park long. Then when I went back in June 2011, I was really sick that day, so I didn't get to look around much. Finally on this trip, I was going to have a day where I wasn't too tired, too sore, or too sick to enjoy the park!

Safari worker studying the birds
Kyle and I started our day at Animal Kingdom the way all of the experts recommend: the Kilimanjaro Safari. On the way to the Safari we were surprised at the complete lack of crowds in the park. We literally walked right on to the ride! The animals were definitely out in full force despite the rain that was starting, and we got to see some great views including a super chose giraffe encounter!
We had to stop for this giraffe to cross the road!
Heading right down my side of our vehicle!
Just passing by... (I could have
touched him! He was so close!)

Bye, Safari people! 
 Honestly, I haven't been to a zoo yet that has quite the experience that the safari offers here.  There are a multitude of animals in their natural environments all super close to your vehicle. The guides always have the perfect mix of knowledge and humor that all come across in an easy, conversational delivery.

After the Safari, I decided I was a bit hungry, and we were right next to the Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery where the famous White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake is sold! You have to know I couldn't pass up my dream cupcake, so I tentatively approached the counter for a breakfast cupcake. It was actually so early in the morning that breakfast was still being served, and cupcakes weren't for sale yet. The amazing cast member working the register (I so wish I had gotten her name) winked at me, grinned, and said "let me see what I can do" when I mentioned wanting the cupcake.  The "cooks" kindly pulled a cupcake for me and let me purchase it early.
White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake
Get one! You won't be disappointed!
Just off to the side from the coffee shop, there was a couple of tables that you could stand at as well as some benches inside a tiny building-like covering. We were able to get out of the rain while I ate. Let me tell you, Kyle couldn't have known what he was missing or he would have been running to grab a cupcake too! It's chocolate cake (very moist) with white icing with toasted coconut stuck to the icing. In the middle of the icing is a glob of stuff that no one online seems to have identified yet. I'm here to tell you that it's exactly what I hoped it would be: german chocolate icing! Yum! The cupcake and icing were so rich that I only ate about half before I was full, so we ducked next door to get me a poncho. (The rain was really starting to come down, and I wanted something a bit more protective than the $0.99 poncho that's about the equivalent of a trash bag!)

Yay breakfast cupcake!

Rain gear on, I worked up the courage to ride Dinosaur.  Remember how much Kyle loves Dinosaur and how scared I am of it? Well this trip I decided I would not be scared. In fact, walking up to the ride, I declared that I would film the entire ride, so people could see how scary it really is! Kyle shook his head in disbelief when I shared my plan, and I laughed at him and told him it was going to be epic!

I bravely walked onto the ride and joked that we should tell the cast members that the scientist guy reprogrammed our time rovers, and we really were going to the wrong time. I latched on to my camera and got it ready to go. I got about one minute of filming (bad bad bad filming) complete before I turned off the camera, so I could hide my head and scream like a maniac. You think I'm kidding, but Kyle might have hearing loss in one ear! Here's the video (plus commentary):

Afterwards I came to the conclusion that that was just a practice run, and I could do it for real if I rode again, BUT I was just going to take a photo of the scary dinosaur at the end and give up on filming. I mean, the ride is super bumpy, so the video wouldn't be good anyways. It had nothing to do with the fact that I was scared to death, even worse so than I was in June!
That's us in the middle row. I'm the black ball of fear.
Second try, I think I made it 20 seconds before I was hiding my head, scrunching my eyes closed, and screaming again. I don't know what it was about the ride this time, but I suspended reality WAY too well, and I was SURE that I was going to be eaten by a dinosaur. Maybe some day I'll see the entire ride, but this trip was not the one for that.

Middle row again. That's Kyle openly laughing at me!

In June I had the pleasure of seeing the Finding Nemo Musical, and I was eager to see it again. This time we sat on the left side of the theater just past the break, and it was an even better experience! I highly recommend this area. May I also recommend bringing tissues? I'm always trying to hide my tears from Kyle during this musical, but I don't think I hide them well! The whole thing is very well done and so touching.

If your pre-show view looks like this, you have
some great seats!

Love EE theme!
OK, so we all know I'm scared of Dinosaur, and Kyle hates Tower of Terror, but did you know pretty much all roller coasters freak him out? Yeah... I didn't either until I saw our picture from Everest:
Back row - Kyle shrank about 5 inches on this ride! :D

To help calm our nerves after those attractions (and after I tweeted the pic above so the Interwebs could laugh WITH us), we stopped for frozen drinks where the cast member gave me the most magical Frozen Coca-Cola ever! How cool is this?

Favoritist Hidden Mickey EVER!

Still feeling great, we stopped in to see the Festival of the Lion King. It was more of a music show instead of a musical story like Nemo, so it was different than I expected. The music was amazing, and the performers were phenomenal though. If you're on the fence about Animal Kingdom, I definitely recommend going to see the shows!

Festival of the Lion King

As we walked towards Yak & Yeti for our lunch reservation, we noticed the Kilimanjaro Safari had a posted 20 minute wait.  It took less than 10 for us to get on the safari, and we actually got to see the lion(!!!), but it did make us have to rush to our lunch. While that doesn't bug me, I think it stressed Kyle out a bit. I can respect that though, so I tried to rush, but my feet were really hurting by this point.  Something about rain mixing with my Crocs and blisters from that first night was not working for me!
See! The lion(ess) does exist! We also
saw the male lion! See all those cameras?
That's because this is a slightly rare sight. :)

Yak & Yeti was my least favorite table service of this trip... actually, it was my least favorite of all my table service meals on all my trips. It just wasn't anything spectacular. Part of this could be because it's one of the few restaurants at Disney that isn't Disney-owned.  The drinks were yummy though! Kyle had a Shanghai Express, and I had a Yak Attack.  I remember being a little surprised at how strong the drinks were which will come into play towards the end of this post...

Mmmmm fluids!

Shanghai Express on left
Yak Attack on right

My Bourbon Chicken - sadly, I like the mall
food court version better than this! The breading
on the chicken was too thick for my liking.

Kyle's Honey Chicken (I think that's
what he ended up getting.)

The dessert here was one I've heard people rave about, the Fried Wontons, and I was excited to try it. It's basically fried wontons with cream cheese filling, on skewers with warm pineapple, with a cream sauce. On the side they had fresh strawberries and a small dish of vanilla ice cream. It turns out that the filling was just cream cheese which was too tart for my liking. The fruit was fresh, and the ice cream was light and tasty, so it ended up being a nice dessert, just not what I had expected or hoped for.  Kyle had a trio of sorbets which looked super pretty when they came out. He said they were good.

Fried Wontons

Kyle's Sorbet Trio

Part of the plan for Yak & Yeti for lunch was to get to sit upstairs to view the Jingle Jungle Parade from a unique bird's eye view. Sadly, because the crowds were so light, the upstairs wasn't open. They did seat us by a window on the first floor when I told them I had never seen the parade. However, the service was so darn efficient that even trying to drag the meal out to parade time, we couldn't! Our poor waitress seemed very confused most of the meal by us taking so much time. Hee hee!

We walked out of the restaurant and found a spot to stand nearby to watch the parade. At this point I was starting to feel my drink's effects, and I was getting a bit belligerent. By the time the parade began to pass I was proclaiming that I was "not impressed" by it and was completely "underwhelmed". I'm rolling my eyes at myself a bit while I write this, but this parade really wasn't as great as the parades at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It didn't have the energy those parades have. Kyle seemed both perplexed and amused by my disappointment in the parade which made me laugh instead of whine.

Santa Goofy pointing at me. Really it's rude to
point, so that made me like the parade
even less. Silly Goofy. ;-)
 On the way out of the park, I went full on silly, which I'm told is seriously a GREAT time for those around me and began giggling and calling Kyle a "sexy platypus" again. I think I said that we should make action figures or dolls of him and market them and it would be HUGE or something of the sort. If I recall right, I had some sort of business model and everything. All I know is I ended the entire thing with "Kyle! You're like a Bratz doll, but you're a sexy platypus! Do you see the difference?" He didn't... but it was perfectly logical at the time. I swear!

Somehow he got me on a bus (I mean seriously, what in was in my drink?!), and we headed toward Hollywood Studios.  Join us again in a couple days to find out how our third day ended. After all of this we went to TWO more parks!

1 comment:

  1. I love a good DAK report! Those Yak & Yeti meals look delicious and I so wish I was going there for lunch today... instead of eating the salad I brought to work.

    I'm glad that even though the weather wasn't cooperating, you still made the most of your day! That's true dedication!