Big Kid Club – Animal Kingdom Day

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Our second park day we planned to do sorta the same routine as the day prior…hit up Animal Kingdom and then go back and nap and come back to Animal Kingdom that evening to finish things up. Rain was predicted in the forecast for the afternoon so we decided to switch it up and just do everything we wanted at Animal Kingdom and then come back to the room rather than deal with the rain that evening.

I loved getting sweet updates of Spear! He did SO great and had that awesome bonding time with G-Mama and Big Papa!

Bubble Wands yall. They are the JAM for park entertainment!

I tend not to be in a big hurry to experience new items at the parks. Whenever something new opens, the lines are INSANE and since we do go often it just doesn’t seem worth it to battle the long lines. We visited Animal Kingdom in the fall and didn’t even attempt Flight of Passage and regretted it. When we passed by it that morning it had NO WAIT so we talked about riding it next trip. 

Right now Flight of Passage is THE ride. It averages 3 hour wait times DAILY. Often times that 3 hour wait time is right when the park opens. The best stratagy for riding Flight of Passage with NO wait? Getting to the park SUPER early. We got there a solid hour or so before opening. (Here’s the girls dancing while we waited!) We were let into the park 45 min before the park opened and were ushered to a wait area outside of Pandora. 

This was the crowd behind us. 

Again, this was 30-45 minutes before the park even opened for the day. 

We were allowed into the actual Pandora area well before park opening as well! When we got to Flight of Passage? We walked right on. 

Well…Zach and the kids did. Tess is too short to ride so she and I walked up with them to the ride and were issued a rider swap ticket.

Many people have confusion about rider swap. You must have the child present with you who is too short to ride. They will then issue you a rider swap pass which shows when it’s valid (FOP rider swap are valid for same day only). Then you can come back at any time and use that ride swap pass and enter through the fastpass line with it. Any kids in your party who are tall enough to ride can join you with that pass!

Views of Pandora

Zach, Kye and Britt were PUMPED!

We didn’t mind waiting!

If you’re the parent waiting be warned that even with NO wait…it’s still a longer attraction and you’ll need to kill a solid 30 minutes.

I hope at some point Disney makes a pandora playground area. It was tough since the park wasn’t even open yet…there isn’t much around the ride to DO. 

Snacks to the rescue!

Once the gift shop opened we had fun looking around 

And I found Flight of Passage pins for the two biggest kids for their trip souvenirs 

I can rarely think of a time where I’ve seen Kye and Britt SO PUMPED at Disney. THEY LOVED IT. Zach said it was super awesome but it left him feeling “off” so it’s not his new favorite but both Kye and Britt say it’s their #1 favorite ride at any Disney theme park. 

Even though we had the rider swap pass I opted to wait until later in the day to use it. I didn’t feel it was fair to Tess to make her sit around waiting. It was still only 15 min or so after the park officially opened so we headed to the Safari and had only a few minutes to wait to hop on!

Here’s Kye’s review of FOP while we waited for Safari!

The weather could not have been more PERFECT. It was a beautiful safari ride! I love riding first thing because you really do see so many of the animals awake and active!

Rare sight to see hippos out of water!

See the cute baby?

After the safari we headed to The Lion King Show. We had AWESOME seats and always love it!

Britt loves all the gymnastics elements in the show:

monkeys

can you feel the love 1

can you feel the love 2

can you feel the love 3

During the show Kye slipped from his seat and really scrapped up his back decently bad. He was upset about it and it was bad enough where Zach and I both thought a little TLC was needed. 

A few years ago Kye had stomach issues at Animal Kingdom so Zach knew right where the first aid spot is and we went straight there after the show. 

It was a good reminder to Zach and I just how tough our kids are because oh my goodness the dramatic kids that were at first aid! This kid was SCREAMING HIS HEAD OFF like freaking out and so I thought he had broken an arm or something…turns out he just had a splinter haha! 

They bandaged Kye up and we were back on our way!


I took the girls on a potty break while Kye was getting fixed up!

Up next…It’s Tough to be a Bug!

I avoided this experience for years because I’d always heard it was very scary (and I remember it being scary myself when I went to the park as a kid). Our kids really enjoy it now though and Tess is mega brave and does great with it! It’s not one I would recommend to all families though, you def have to know your child and what they can handle! 

Monkey kisses! 

Britt decided on this trip that she now likes adventure and thrill rides. Gone are the days of Britt and Mommy time! It’s really cute because she just wants to be with Kye and be like him and have him think she’s “cool.” I don’t think she truly likes the thrill rides, but she likes riding them to be with him which is precious. It was a tad tricky for her to decide this while on our trip because we already had fast passes and such planned out but we were able to make it work!

First time riding Dinosaur!

While the daring 3 went to Dinosaur, Tess and I had a fastpass to meet Mickey and Minnie and it was ADORABLE. Probably one of my favorite meet and greet experiences. I loved seeing Tess SO thrilled and excited and getting to meet the characters by herself was special! 

Here’s a video!

She was so excited to show them her Minnie Mouse friend!

They were so excited about it!

Love seeing my sweet girl SMILE!!!

You know Mommy had to jump in some pics too πŸ˜‰

The dinosaur crew!

We got done WAY before the older kids did so we took our time heading over to Dinoland! I love any excuse for photo pass photos πŸ™‚ 

My sweater is from Amazon! 

And we had time to play a bit on the Dinosaur playground

Tess was HILARIOUS. She’s SUPER brave. Not overly scared of anything. But this door? She was freaking out over it. I think it’s because so many other children kept coming to open it and running away screaming?

I tried to help her conquer her fears!

Even later she continued to talk about “the man in the door”

Britt LOVED Dinosaur!

I love holding Kye’s hand through the park!

Since we didn’t have a fastpass for Britt to ride Everest, Zach and Kye rode it first and obtained a rider swap pass (which allowed Zach and Kye to ride it again with Britt)

Video of Kye on Everest

We took pics while we waited πŸ˜‰ 

Tess wanted pictures by herself and it was funny b/c this is the face and pose she wanted!

My girls!

We fierce. 

Dinner time!

I took the girls to get a table and we waited for the guys to be done with Everest to meet us and it happened to start sprinkling as I was trying to navigate the double stroller through the crowds of people who were all looking for a table. I found a PERFECT table and was standing right by it with the stroller waiting for the family to finish cleaning up their stuff when this dude sweeps in and puts his stuff down on the table. Normally I’m like “whatever” but not this time. I said “Nope. Sorry I have been standing here waiting and this is my table.” #BOOM. I wished Zach could have seen me, he would have been proud haha!

In the past we’ve LOVED the food at Yak and Yeti but this time it was just not good which was disappointing!

Britt was cracking us up with her Doritos though…

The orange stuff was EVERYWHERE

And equally funny was Tess being super serious about her french fries πŸ™‚

Kye’s favorite ride!

Classic Tessie family pic πŸ˜‰

Tess was pretty sleepy at that point and was content to just sit in the stroller (she insists on buckling herself) and playing with her bubble wand while we waited to see Kye, Britt, and Daddy on Everest!

She was pumped!

or….terrified? Hard to tell haha

Daddy got a video of her right after the ride!

I love how she was basically saying she didn’t like it…yet by the time they met back up with Tess and I Britt said it’s her favorite ride ever haha!

Can you spot ’em?

I have officially lost my “Disney BFF” But yall…seriously. When it comes to Disney I’m just SO happy to BE THERE. I want my kids to LOVE it and if that means they love the thrill rides I’m 100% content to stand on the sidelines! I made sure to let Britt know how excited I was for her and that I’m so glad she’s found new things she loves at the parks! I love that she’s excited and love seeing that excitement πŸ™‚ She is just so thrilled to be with her brother which couldn’t make this mama’s heart any happier!

Dancing in the rain πŸ™‚

We finished up our day at the park with using that Flight of Passage rider swap! Kye and Britt were SO excited to experience it with me. It did make me regret not riding it first thing that morning with them so I could have seen their excitement for the first time. 

We got to walk right on the ride! The fastpass line wasn’t bad AT ALL and it was pretty awesome to skip ahead of all the people in the 3 hour long standby line πŸ˜‰

Not gonna lie…I was pretty nervous about it. 

You sit on a motorcycle type thing and it’s like you’re “riding a banshee.” It was very cool BUT I am a person who gets pretty affected by HYPE. And this ride? Has been HYPED SO MUCH that it made it less cool for me. Like it had a LOT to live up to and I didn’t think it was that awesome. Personally, and I know I’m in a minority here, but I prefer the Na’vi River Journey. I like that it has REAL details rather than a screen simulator. 

I get motion sickness pretty easily and def felt it during this experience. It wasn’t awful and I could handle doing it again, but I don’t think I’d choose to do it again!

While we rode FOP, Zach and Tessie used the fast passes we had for Na’vi River Journey! 

The rain started coming down pretty good as soon as we finished with FOP so we headed for home! Perfect timing and NO regrets about not staying any longer!

Back at the house we had some chill time and the girls loved playing in the large master bathroom tub (they kept “hiding from mommy”)

I also dried it out and let Tess play with toys in it! 

Since our original plan was to be in the park for dinner we just made due with random stuff we had at the house!

Got the Moana Room started with some beds!

It was Super Bowl Sunday and I was like many women that night and only tuned into the halftime show to see Justin!

Then I went to bed and got an AWESOME night of sleep!!!

We had a wonderful day at AK and still had another park day to go!

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journeyofphood

Hey Guys, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happy place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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1 Comment

  1. Jen
    April 4, 2018 / 5:35 pm

    Did they change the rider swap rules?? When we were there last August, the rider swap pass was only good for 3 people total. That would be awesome if all kids who are tall enough could ride again. Since I have 3 that are tall enough for everything and 1 that isn't, it was tricky only being allowed to take 2 of them for the 2nd ride and remembering whose turn it was to sit out.

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