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Disney World Trip Report 2012 Part 10

When we left off, Mindy and my mom had departed for a shopping excursion at Downtown Disney.  I took the girls back to the Art of Animation Resort for a pool break at the Flippin’ Fins Pool.  The plan was to meet up at Animal Kingdom after Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade.

I didn’t want to run any risk of being late for the parade, so I took the girls to the bus stop early.  In my haste, I forgot my camera.  Fortunately, my Windows phone takes pretty decent pictures.  So the evening would not go completely undocumented.

We had spent the morning primarily in Dinoland in Animal Kingdom.  While we were there, Kara decided she wanted to get her face painted.  I can only assume she saw some other kids with painted faces.  She was also very determined to see a parade.  So, those were our priorities.

Josie’s priority was to visit a gift shop.  But that was always Josie’s priority.

When I picked up the rental stroller, I asked where was the nearest place for face painting.  I was directed back to Dinoland.  This wasn’t surprising since that is most likely where the idea got planted in Kara’s head in the first place.

We started heading back to Dinoland.  I figured we had just enough time for face painting before the parade started.  But then, I noticed the taped off parade route and the crowd starting to gather around it.  We were near a shaded structure and some cast members had brought out some hula hoops.

Our previous parade experience this trip was the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Parade at the Magic Kingdom.  Our view had been obstructed and Kara had deemed the experience unsatisfactory.  So I was determined to get a better viewing spot this time.

I told the girls we would do face painting after the parade.  Josie wasn’t especially happy with the idea, but she liked the hula hoops and got involved with that.  I parked the stroller right on the edge of the taped-off parade route and we waited.

Kara could not do the hula hoop.  But it was not for lack of trying.

A pretty decent crowd started to build up for the parade.  I pulled the kids over and sat them in their comfy curbside stroller.  They had prime seats for the show.

There was a family nearby with English accents.  Their kids were standing behind me and probably couldn’t see the parade very well.  I told them they could step in front of me to see the parade better.  After a few floats, the little boy turned around and told his dad, “This is good, it is.”

My kids seemed to agree.  Kara in particular was waving enthusiastically as the characters passed by.  When we watch parade videos at home, she loves it when the characters wave directly at her (the camera).

Part of the appeal of the parade is naming the characters (and animals in this case) as soon a possible.  It’s kind of like Name That Tune except with Disney characters.  Kara and Josie raced to shout out the names of each character as soon as they became visible.

We didn’t get any personal visits from any of the characters.  But some of the other parade walkers paid special attention to the girls.  A stilt walker said, “Hi, princesses” directly to them.  I could practically hear Kara swell with pride.

I’ve always felt like Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade was slightly under-rated.  It’s lively, visually interesting, filled with characters and the music is catchy.  It’s good, it is.

As it turns out, my mom and Mindy had returned from their shopping expedition just in time to catch the parade.  They were just a short walk from where we were.  So we all met up and headed off for face painting.

Kara was wearing her Aurora dress.  This made her decision of which design to choose very simple.  They had a sleeping beauty princess design which matched her dress perfectly.

Josie was wearing a blue Merida nightgown.  They didn’t have anything Merida-related.  So she chose a blue Ariel-inspired design.

Here are the finished products:

kara face paint

 

josie face paint

girls face paint

kara face paint closeup

Mom and Mindy had eaten lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s at Downtown Disney.  But the girls and I had skipped lunch.  We were full from a large breakfast.  But as the afternoon was rolling in, we were starting to get hungry.  Dinner was still a ways off and I knew we would need something to tide us over.

While the girls were getting their faces painted, I scanned the area for snacks.  I saw a snack cart that offered cinnamon-glazed nuts.  I had never tried these before, but I had heard good things.  Since we had an abundance of snack credits, I got an order.  They were warm and tasty.

When the girls were done, I let them sample my snack.  Kara basically claimed it as her own which was fine by me.  Josie didn’t really like them.  So I needed to get her something to tide her over till dinner.

We passed an ice cream cart.  The answer was clear.  A Mickey Bar was as iconic a treat as the Mickey Waffle Josie had missed for breakfast.  She leapt at the opportunity.

joey with mickey bar

I asked Kara if she wanted one too, but she was stuffing her face with pecans and said “no”.  Until she saw it.  As soon as she saw Josie’s Mickey Bar, she changed her mind.  I ordered another.

From there, we headed to the other side of the park for Kilimanjaro Safari.  I had intended this to be our first ride of the day, but somehow it kept getting delayed.  By the time we got there, Kara was a chocolate and vanilla mess.  Mindy and my mom double teamed her to get her cleaned up.

As we approached Kilimanjaro Safari, I saw cast members standing at the entrance.  I was worried.  Something was wrong.

The ride was closing early due to daylight savings time.  The cast members explained that the last safari would be leaving soon and if we wanted to ride we should queue up immediately.  We did.

On the upside, the ride was a walk-on.  However, since it was late, a lot of the animals were already back in their pens.  The ones we saw came very close.  We got a great look at some black rhinos and zebras.  But the lions were a no-show.  So, not a great safari.  But at least we squeezed it in.

After the safari, we had barely enough time to catch the last showing of The Festival of the Lion King.  I rounded the girls up in the stroller and hightailed it to Camp Minnie Mickey.  We made it just in time.

I hadn’t seen Festival of the Lion King since 2003 and I have to admit it was better than I remembered.  The only other time I saw it, my expectations were set too high and I was mildly disappointed.  But this time, everyone enjoyed it.

After the show, we headed to the Yak and Yeti where we had dinner reservations.  This was one of the few dining experiences I had scheduled on this trip that we had never done before.  I was looking forward to trying something new.

Most of the reviews I read for Yak and Yeti had been positive.  So, I was hoping to discover an under-rated gem.  And I’m happy to report, I believe that is the case here.  Foodwise, Yak and Yeti was my favorite meal of the trip.

The atmosphere isn’t quite as little-kid friendly as Chef Mickey’s or the castle.  But it’s still pretty cool.  It’s a big double-decker restaurant and every room is filled with exotic (or exotic-looking) trinkets.  I felt like I was at some far-off location in Asia.

yak and yeti

When it came time to order, I asked the waitress for her suggestion.  She recommended the steak and shrimp.  I was kind of leaning in this direction anyway, so I tried it.  And I was not disappointed.  It was very good.

steak and shrip

Mindy got the sweet and sour chicken.  I think the kids got burgers which they didn’t really eat.  They mostly loaded up on rice.  Mom ordered the salmon which was also recommended by our waitress.  Mom said it was really good, but she would come to regret that selection later.

As we were finishing our entrées, Kara looked up and said, “I don’t feel good”.  When Kara says this, you have to take it seriously.  She has an easily triggered gag reflex.  And she tends to over-heat in the sun.  I had been careful to keep her hydrated and in the shade most of the trip.  But I think our day in the pool may have been too much for her.

I picked her up and ran for the bathroom.  Fortunately, I knew exactly where it was because she had asked to go potty earlier in the meal.  Come to think of it, I learned the location of all the restrooms this trip.  I don’t think I made it through a single meal without taking Kara potty.

Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it.  Kara sprung a leak on the way to the restroom.  My apologies to the staff and guests at the Yak and Yeti that night.

When we got back to the table, our waitress suggested dessert to go.  We all agreed this was an excellent idea.  Unfortunately, the kids’ desserts wouldn’t travel.  So they would have to go without.  But we had lots of snacks back at the room if they wanted something sweet before bed.

I ordered the fried won tons which I had heard so much about.  They were in fact delicious.  But I am sure they would have been better still if they had been eaten hot with less melty ice cream.  Mindy ordered the cheesecake which she liked but could not finish.  I sampled it.  It was good.

My mom ordered the chocolate pudding cake.  She put it in the refrigerator for later.  But she never got around to eating it.  I eventually made the supreme sacrifice of eating it for her and it was great.  If you’re a chocolate lover or the won tons just don’t appeal to you, this is a can’t miss chocolate cake.

We turned in a little early that night thanks to Daylight Savings.  I got the kids to bed just in time to watch The Walking Dead.  Which was a little crazy given the surroundings.

Next, more princesses in the Magic Kingdom.

More Disney World

More Animal Kingdom

More Trip Report

Le Blog

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Posted on November 19, 2012, in Animal Kingdom, theme parks, Trip Report, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. When my boys get a little older, I want to take them. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.

      A lot of folks are in a big hurry to take their kids before they are “too old”. But older kids really get more out of WDW than really young kids. I think it’s best to wait until your kids are old enough to get the most out of it.

      Whenever you go, have a great trip. If you need any tips, be sure to come back. I’m always happy to answer questions.

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  2. I’ve gotten 4 different entree recommendations for Yak & Yeti, which appears to me to mean that you pretty much can’t go wrong. I imagine my Dad will probably go for the steak you had.

    Did the cast members specifically say that all of the animals had been out and about early in the day?

    I keep reading and hearing people saying that AK & DHS are “1/2 day parks,” but when I look at them that seems like a weird assertion. Maybe those people only like a few things in each park after having been to each one several times. Reading your reports here about your experience at AK makes it clear that there is MORE than a day’s worth of things to do there IF you want to do them all. For example, I doubt our group will have painted faces or stop for a parade unless we’re just trapped. With senior citizens in our crowd, we’re more likely to see all of the shows and animal exhibits.

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    • It really seems to me that you can’t go wrong at Yak and Yeti. The kids didn’t love their meals. But all the adults did.

      I was actually embarassed for our safari tour guide. She kept announcing animals which were no longer there. She did say that they had gone to sleep for the night.

      The 1/2 Day Park thing is a matter of perspective. I see both sides of the argument. If you are a frequent visitor, some of the attractions (especially shows) lose their repeatability. Eventually, you reach the point where you are struggling to find something you actually want to do.

      However, both parks have more than enough activities to keep you busy all day. In fact, if you actually want to see everything it would be really difficult to do it. Probably impossible when you throw in things like face painting, hula hooping, meet and greets, etc.

      As an Animal Kingdom newbie, you should have no problem finding exciting ways to fill your day. Just walking around and taking it all in will be fun. Having been away from the park since 2007, a lot of that freshness came back this trip.

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