Our Animal Kingdom day was Wednesday (not that you're keeping up with the days haha). Just like we've never spent a full day at Epcot, we've also never done a full day at Animal Kingdom. Many people consider it to be a "half-day park" but a LOT of changes are coming (including later hours it's open and a new night show!) which will make it more of a "full day" experience.
We were excited to give Mrs Charlotte her new bookbag! She's a true Disney junkie now!
I wanted to get Tess a Cinderella plush but had ZERO luck finding one. She was very drawn to Donald (so funny how both of my girls LOVE him) and they had a really cute cuddly one so we got that for her!
The day of rest did her good...check out that SMILE!!! It's a miracle ;)
Heading into the park!
At park opening we raced right to the Safari. It was SO AWESOME to get to ride it and NOT be pregnant. The only two times I've ridden it I was pregnant. While pregnant with Britt I got super bad cramping after and was so scared. While pregnant with Tess I was smarter about it (less far along and we sat near the front so less bumps) and had a way better experience.
This was my first trip taking a child for their first visit and not being pregnant. IF you are pregnant and going to Disney I HIGHLY recommend going in the 2nd trimester (I was 17 weeks with Tess and it was PERFECT) and planning for NAPS every day! However I will say going to the park and not being pregnant was def super mega awesome. :)
Out of all the parks we visited this trip, I was most excited for Animal Kingdom bc I knew Tess would LOVE all the animals! And I was right. She was so adorable on the safari pointing to everything and just being so excited :)
I also really like that they did away with the (loose) storyline for this ride. It's not needed and instead the focus was just on the animals. It was great!
Big kids get excited too!
An ostrich ran along beside us!
Something we've never done at Animal Kingdom is actually walk around and look at animals. Zach isn't a zoo fan so I've never pushed him to look around much and we've always been in a mad dash since we have always treated it like a half day park. However, Tess DOES love animals so I at least wanted to do a bit of exploring. I read up about the options and opted for the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.
As we started down the trail Kye needed a bathroom break. Of course Tess was feeling better and in a good mood and poor Kye got hit with a tummy bug of some sort. When I woke up that morning (nice and early btw as I always get up mega early on Disney trips) Kye had already been up and in the bathroom. His tummy was miserable and he felt awful after the safari. It was good timing as far as it was just looking at some animals so he and G-Mama found a bathroom while Zach and I took the girls to look.
I know bird poop is good luck...so I must have some SUPER good luck coming my way b/c I got pooped on. TWICE.
They have this super cool kids experience called Wilderness Explorers, after the UP movie character, Russell. They have booklets the kids can get stamps in and I could just picture Kye, Colt and Payton LOVING it. I got the kids each a book to look through and hope we're able to do it with the cousins someday as it'd be so fun!
We met back up with Kye and G-Mama and poor Kye needed to ride in the stroller. He was pitiful. We ended up deciding to see about getting some help. Disney is AWESOME. I had no doubt they'd be able to help us out so we found a cast member who directed us to a first aid station. They gave Zach pepto (which is NOT good for kids I guess? so we just gave him a VERY small amount) and powered and crackers AND had a lounge area with movies and said if Kye needed to rest he could come there where they would keep an eye on him while we enjoyed the park. We wouldn't have probably felt comfortable leaving him but still, super nice offer!
While Daddy went to first aid, we checked out Africa!
Big shocker...Britt got to be part of the show!
The timing of Kye's issues did work out okay because we had planned to go watch Flights of Wonder which gave him time to sit and relax and let the meds work. He ate some crackers and drank the whole Poweraid and was feeling TONS better. While I didn't feel very comfortable giving him the Pepto (a quick google search in looking for how much to give him made me scared!) we gave him just enough to help him feel better and never had to give him anything else. While we had been eating a fair share of junk, I do think we all just had a touch of a bug. We all kinda kept a lingering sickness for awhile (and the weekend we got home Britt, Tess, Zach and I had all stomach issues) so I think his just hit him at Disney!
I have faint memories of watching Flights of Wonder as a kid. My dad took us to Animal Kingdom soon after it opened so I have very few memories of the park but I do remember thinking the show was neat. Tess really loves birds so it was on my must-do list for sure!
This bird was AWESOME and sang Old McDonald Had a Farm!
So. I know I've talked a lot about Britt being chosen...I guess it was MY turn! They had me come sit up on stage and take pics of this owl as it flew directly at me and landed just over my head.
Yes, I was sitting on that green stool thing!
I ended up needing to take Tess out prior to the show ending...which brings me to a sidenote but yall if your kid is pitching a fit or being upset: TAKE THEM OUT. So many people sit there with a screaming kid and it's just so rude! Zach and I are both super quick to get up and take our child out as to not disturb others! I didn't mind leaving with her (we waited out by the exit and got to see a couple characters from Jungle Book walk by!) and Zach snapped a couple pics of the ending of the show!
The boys had a fastpass for Expedition Everest (Kye's first time riding) and Kye said he felt good enough to ride so they headed from the show to there while us girls went ahead to Lion King to get in line for seating
Since Kye is 7 and is now old enough to ride solo they can take advantage of single rider lines...they were able to ride it twice :)
Kye's arms look so long don't they? So funny how everyone is freaking out and he's so serious haha
There wasn't a whole lot to do around the Lion King area and we were nervous to miss the show. I asked a cast member and they acted like we need to wait around to get in as soon as the other show let out but now I wish I'd had just walked around some, let Tess play, etc. Rather than sit around waiting. As most of you with toddlers know, 2 year olds don't do so fabulous with just SITTING!
Ice cream treats help the waiting go faster ;)
It was funny because we all wore our Nemo outfits that morning and saw the Lion King show then we all wore Lion King stuff that evening and saw the Nemo show haha! When we made the itinerary I didn't think about the clothes we'd be wearing for each one ;) (all of our Nemo stuff was from Tess's Nemo Birthday Party!)
People often debate which they prefer: Lion King or Nemo. I love BOTH, of course, but will say Nemo is my favorite because it has more of a storyline and I like that the story is a tad different (a little deeper!) than the movie.
Tess LOVED Lion King. I didn't realize how much she loved it until several weeks later. It's the #1 thing she talks about from our trip. She talks about seeing the animals (hilarious that we take the kid to DISNEY and she talks up the ANIMALS haha) and about Lion King Show. She talks about how we roared (we were the lion section so we had to roar a lot) and how we saw Simba. I love that she loved it! Something I love about taking my kids for the first time to Disney is that I have NO CLUE what they will choose as their favorite experience and this was def Tess's! We don't get to visit AK often but it makes me really want to take her to a zoo asap!
SO into it!
After Lion King we headed out for naps! This girl was so silly :)
On our way out I REALLY wanted to find Miss Divine. I'd heard about her on some FB groups and hadn't ever seen her myself. We asked several cast members to find her semi-location and then we started hunting. I know it's crazy b/c you'd think a super tall woman covered in leaves would be easy to spot...but nope. We literally walked right by her multiple times and didn't see her until she decided to show herself. It was a REALLY fun activity for us all (I was just as into it as the kids) and the payoff of finding her was AMAZING. She's truly incredible (and yes, I took like a billion pics of her!)
Isn't she AWESOME?
I took this super cool video of her walking towards Britt but it didn't save on my phone. Wahhhh.
Waving bye to us!
A BIG thing that has changed for me in transitioning to three kids instead of two is packing food. I used to pack lunches and dinners etc all the time for the kids but something about having to do it for three kids makes it such a bigger pain than it's worth. I now try to work things out where we just push naps or bedtime in order to make it home for meals when we're out and about (which is also easy to do with the kids being older/more flexible). For this trip we did a lot of eating in the car. It made the stroller WAY lighter than having to bring a huge cooler. Plus since Kye had to walk it would be impossible for the kids to eat on the go (usually we'd have 'em eat in the stroller). We packed food for them and had it ready in the car and then they ate on our way back and would finish up once we arrived if they weren't done already. The adults then ate lunches and dinners in the room while the kids napped/slept. It worked out really great! We did our big spending on food at the start of the trip (with all the character meals) so our park days were very cheap cheap as far as out of pocket expenses. I actually over budgeted for the trip (I didn't know about the larger Annual Passholder discount!) and ended up having just at $300 left over in gift cards for our next visit! Whoop whoop!
The car eating made life pretty easy and allowed the kids to keep a pretty healthy diet. I packed a lot of fruit and veggie smoothie things (yes those baby food pouches...even the big kids down 'em).
Kye and G-Mama sat in the third row of the van and Kye took a liking to using her phone to text me. I love all the sweet messages he sent to me!