Monday, September 03, 2007

Day 2 - Are we having fun yet?

Not sure if you can tell from the picture or not... but I am pretty sure Maddie liked Animal Kingdom.

We took off early this morning to take advantage of the early magic hour in Animal Kingdom where visitors who are staying on property are allowed into the park 1 hour early. The first thing we did is walk over to Expedition Everest where we nabbed a fast pass ticket. We then walked from Everest over to Kiliminjaro Safari's and took Maddie on her first Animal Kingdom ride.

The animals were out in full force, we saw Hippos, Aligators, Elephants, Lions, Ostriches, Zebras, and of course Lions. Maddie was pretty enthralled with all of the animals so it was quite the successful ride.

After that we walked back over to Expedition Everest where I got to ride it for the first time. I thought it was a "good" ride, but I am not sure I could rate it as great. The technology of the track switching and what not so that it allows you to ride part of the ride backwards, part forwards (but not the same parts) is pretty cool, but overall the ride just feels like a supped up Thunder Mountain Railroad.

After Everest we walked over to "Dinoland USA." the first ride we did there was called Tricerotop Twirl. To explain it as simply as I can: it's dumbo only instead of an elephant you ride a dinosaur. Maddie seemed to enjoy the ride pretty well, I think she is still to young to grasp the concept of the joystick making the dinosaur fly higher or lower (dad did an EXCELLENT job of flying our dinosaur if I do say so myself :p). Shalisa chose not to ride, deciding instead to take pictures from the sideline. Maddie never once cried (even when the 6 year old in front of her had a complete meltdown before the ride even started and had to be carted off) and she never seemed to be afraid that mom was missing. She wasn't bored, but she never broke into a huge grin either. We will give Dumbo or Aladdin's Carpets a whirl once we get to Magic Kingdom, but perhaps those rides just aren't for her (I could think of worse lots in life than not having to ride Dumbo).

We then walked over to "The Boneyard" which is a playground themed as a large dinosaur dig site. Maddie practically ran right in and started climbing stairs on her own. Both Shalisa and I were content to hover behind her and sort of let her decide what she wanted to do. A lot of the slides were "tube" slides, which are those completely enclosed slides. I thought for sure Maddie would have little interest in going down them, and that she would be scared to be trapped.... oh how wrong I was. Maddie stuck her head in one, decide she wouldn't die, sat down and away she went down the slide. I ran down to the bottom of the slide and nabbed some pictures of her coming out the end. She really seemed to enjoy it, so much so that while mom was standing at the top of the slide, and dad was standing at the base of the slide, Maddie navigated the ramp back up to the top by herself. She was never out of our sight but it was quite the trek for her to make on her own.

After we got done exploring the dig site, crawling through caves, sliding on slides, splashing in the water fall, we headed over for lunch. We ate at Flametree BBQ (one of our favorite counter services in all of WDW). I had a half rack of BBQ ribs, a cup of baked beans, a side of onion rings a diet coke and a frozen lemonade for dessert. Shalisa had a fruit plate, a side of yogurt, a corn muffin, a slice of key lime pie and some iced tea. We didn't even use a 3rd counter service credit for Maddie since there was MORE than enough between our 2 lunches to share with Maddie. Have I mentioned how much I love the Disney Dining plan yet? After lunch we wandered through some shops, tried on a few hats, and headed out for the buses. Grabbed a bus back and Maddie is now napping. After she wakes up we are debating between going back to Epcot or finally taking the plunge into the Magic Kingdom.

On a side note, you may have noticed we have yet to actually visit the Magic Kingdom. This is intentional for 2 reasons. The main reason is this is labor day weekend and we figured it could be a bit crowded. By hitting all the other parks we hope to avoid the huge lines at MK and have the park to ourselves come tomorrow when all the kids are back in school. The other reason is we know that once we visit with Maddie, as there is SO MUCH geared for her that we won't want to go anywhere else but will end up just going to MK over and over. Not a bad thing, but we figured we should at least get SOME time in the other parks :p


grandma sue said...

you all look like you're having fun. has Maddie had her first Dole whip yet? don't get her addicted, ha ha

Julia said...

OOOH! Animal Kingdom sounds like the best zoo ever!

Ryan and Shalisa said...

Lol, it is the best zoo ever, just don't tell Disney it's a Zoo, they are adamant that it is NOT a Zoo... even if everyone else thinks it is :p