This past week was rough, with an unexpected and shocking death in the family. I'm trying to get back to normal here by looking at the itinerary and getting as excited as is possible under the circumstances. Here are the final plans, subject to change based on our mood and weather... and the fact that we know we'll be back again, so we can slow down if we want to! :)
Leave WA 8/17 bright and early 6AM flight (Keith and I LOVE 6 AM flights. It always feels more adventurous to wake up at 3AM and get ready to go!). Arrive Orlando 4:25PM, enough time to get to our resort at leisure and, knowing Keith, go swimming, LOL! We plan on using Disney's Magical Express, because it's a free ride with the coolest video. We're staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, with a view of the savanna. Yay!
8/18 is Extra Magic Hours in the morning for the Magic Kingdom. I plan to drag Keith out of bed nice and early, get there early, watch the opening act at 9AM after at least 1 round on Splash Mountain and 1 round on Small World. Meet Jane and Tyler for breakfast at 9:15 in the Crystal Palace. I LOVE their breakfast buffet.
EPCOT is open late that night (evening Extra Magic Hours), I figured we'd go back to the resort sometime mid-day after the Magic Kingdom, swim (Keith's favorite Disney World activity) and go back to EPCOT late afternoon. We have a 7PM dinner at Tuto Italia, the new Italian restaurant. I've heard really good things about it, I can't wait to try it!
8/19 Animal Kingdom is open early and so, shockingly enough, we plan to be there early. The best times to go on Kilimanjaro Safari are in the cooler hours of the early morning or late late afternoon (if the park is open late) -- more animals are out and about instead of seeking shelter from the heat. Breakfast at the Rain Forest Cafe (alas, Donald's Safari Breakfast was fully booked! Henceforth, I believe I should be the only Disney Vacation Club member allowed to use the 90 + 10 days rule for dining requests.)
Some things I look forward to at the Animal Kingdom:
- Flights of Wonder -- a wonderful, amazing live show about birds, involving a confused tour guide and some really smart birds.
- Kali River Rapids -- the wettest non-water-parks ride in all of Disney World (bring a change of underwear!) that is just pure fun. Especially in the scorching August heat of Central Florida.
- Kilimanjaro Safari -- a great adventure with (potentially) lots of great animal sightings.
- 3-D Sound Adventure at the Conservation Station.
- The Affection Connection (petting area) at Conservation Station.
- Interacting with the ultra-knowledgeable Cast Members in the park.
- Maharaja Trail and Panjani Forest -- walking paths with lots of animal exhibits, including the gorgeous tigers and the Bat Room.
At some point I'm sure we'll end up at the resort pool that day, if Keith has anything to say about it!