First note: this TR chapter won’t have pictures, because I’ve already posted the ones I had at AKL, and there is not much else to show here…
Before I start Day 4, which was October 3 (a Thursday), let me just jump back a few hours. We drove back from Epcot to Animal Kingdom Lodge; I’d say the toughest part about staying there was getting there. This was definitely the longest drive we had between park and resort hotel during our trip. D fell asleep in the car almost immediately, which didn’t surprise me; we parked right next to the elevator and got inside our room by 10pm. I pulled out the sofa bed and D got inside and was asleep again almost immediately. To know how big a thing this is you have to understand that she’s a girl who perpetually doesn’t sleep well. Since she was a baby, she’d sleep a short period and then wake up and be unable to get back to sleep if interrupted. For her to be asleep again so quickly, with the lights on… big deal.
I set the alarm and got into bed, enjoying the air conditioning, the huge bed all to myself, and the entire experience. I had intended to take a shower before going to bed, but by this time I was so beat I just couldn’t.
The next morning I got up with the alarm and took the shower. The night before when we were at Epcot, D’s legs had started to chafe – she was wearing a short skirt and after all that walking in the heat she got a little rash. So I figured she’d do well to have a quick soak in the tub before we checked out. Unfortunately though, when I got out of the shower at 6:45, she was still asleep! this is REALLY unusual, for me to beat her getting up. Since D only sleeps in when she’s really tired, I felt awful waking her, but we had a lot to do for the early morning: it was our Magic Kingdom day, AND it was an Early Entry morning, AND we had 8:25 ADRs at Crystal Palace.
So I had to drag her out of bed (she even begged me to let her sleep in!) and get her into the tub while I packed up our things, put out the tip for Mousekeeping, and watched the sun come up from our balcony view. When she was done she said her legs felt a little better, so we headed down to the lobby so that I could check out.
I wanted D to get a chance to sit out on the back porch and look at the animals. The problem was, I wanted her to get 10-15 minutes but we could only really spare 5. :( I sent her outside, and thought checkout would take a little longer but it was actually about 2 minutes because they were so efficient… so I was ready to go get her just a few moments later.
Kidani’s back porch not only has rocking chairs to sit and animal-watch, it’s got viewscopes and even little picture charts of animals you “might” see. We took a little while trying to find all we could, but it was past 7:30, and it was dawning on me that we had to get to the car, get onto the road, get to the TTC, get to the monorail, get to the MK and get to Crystal Palace in 50 minutes.
Spoiler warning: this didn’t happen.
I kind of knew when I was planning this day that the scheduling wasn’t ideal. I knew I would want to linger a little bit at Animal Kingdom Lodge, after all the time I’d dreamt of staying there; and I knew an early Crystal Palace ADR was pushing my luck. But I couldn’t find one any later, and plus, I wasn’t sure I wanted one much later – it could eat into our day. But anyway, I was thinking we could still get there in good enough time and get in. Initially I had hoped we’d get there by 8am to do early rope-drop (it was an Extra Magic Hours day) and possibly even ride Pirates of the Caribbean first-thing. By this point I knew that wouldn’t happen.
So remember what I said about getting to and from Animal Kingdom Lodge re: the parks… I had taken a few wrong turns the day before and this time I second-guessed myself and missed the turn to get to the Magic Kingdom. Instead, I ended up back on I-4. I miraculously kept myself in a good mood and just repeated “Oh well! Things happen!” and I told D to be ready to beg to get into Crystal Palace when we got there late. I was able to handle the idea that we might not get into the restaurant but I was really worried we’d be charged $10 each for our missed reservations.
We FINALLY got into the MK parking lot, parked, and quickly made our way to the monorail entrance. Which, of course, was closed off because it was 8:15 and the park doesn’t officially open until 9 am. But then I realized they had a little spot to the side for Disney resort guests so they could get in for Extra Magic Hours. We showed our Magic Bands and were let in! Yay!!
So, signs were up ALL over the place for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. People had also asked D directly “are you doing the Halloween party?” I had my tickets in my bag and I had so far managed to keep it completely secret from D that we were going. She had asked me several times and I’d said “we’ll see”, and also told her several times that there would be things we just wouldn’t get to do, but we’d be happy for what we did get to do. At this point when she asked me again, as we were waiting for the monorail, I said “Well honey, looks like you have to have tickets, and I’m not going to buy tickets today.”
“Oh,” she said, profoundly disappointed; I waited to see if she’d beg but she didn’t. She probably would have, but I went ahead and caved in. “I’m not going to buy any tickets today because I ALREADY HAVE SOME!” I said, pulling the tickets out, and at that moment I was the COOLEST MOTHER EVER.
So, a side note: other than this particular day, we pretty much avoided most on-site transportation. I have nothing against on-site Disney transportation and I will use it and I think it’s pretty good, as these things go, but I tend to dislike waiting in lines or missing out on getting a seat, so I prefer to use my car at least in the evenings. In this particular trip’s case, since we were checking in and out of resorts left and right, I just drove everywhere for the most part.
Which is actually part of why I was glad we got to park at the TTC and take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, instead of taking a bus there from Animal Kingdom Lodge or something. I LOVE THE MONORAIL. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find something that is not actually a ride within the parks that I love as much as I love the monorail. I’m also one of those people whose entire Spanish knowledge consists of “si”, “gracias”, and “por favor mantegase alejado de las puertas”.
In that spirit, have a ton of pointless monorail pictures, just because I love them!
OK, side note over. :) So, I think, is this particular chapter of the trip report. Til next time!