Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Animal Kingdom, Part 1

Wednesday was an early morning as we were both excited for the day ahead so we were up and out of the room before 7am!  We were on our way to Animal Kingdom  and going to check out Pandora – The World of Avatar, a new land that had opened since our last visit!  Pandora has been open for less than a year and one of it’s rides is the current hot item ticket at Walt Disney World!
We caught an early bus and arrived at the park around 7:15 for a 9:00 opening. 
We were able to go through bag check and security and were in line at the tap stiles before 7:30am.  By that point every tap stile as lined up about 30 people deep and the line continued to grow behind us.
I believe it was shortly before 8:00 that the tap stiles were opened and we quietly sauntered lightly jogged towards Pandora.  We had made friends with a family in the line and Hannah kept up with them as this mama isn’t used to moving at much more than that gentle saunter mentioned above.  We met back up on the bridge on our way to Pandora and the next wait began.
This was the group in front of us….
And the line extended further than the eye could see behind us….still about an hour before park opening!  And yes….95% of these people were all headed to the same ride!!!
The ride of choice, Avatar Flight of Passage
I will say I was surprised that the line did not start moving into Pandora until 9:00 as it’s common for Cast Members to begin the controlled walk towards the ride early.  I will say that Disney has mastered the controlled walk when you think of the thousands of people that were now in line and how they moved it forward slowly and from 25 people wide to single file without pushing, shoving and just moving forward.  It really is quite neat and while it would give my friend M Winking smile heart palpitations to be in a crowd like that, it’s part of the excitement for Hannah and I. 
As we entered Pandora and made our way towards the ride I snapped a few pics of this amazing new land.  They really did a phenomenal job of theming it!!!
I don’t want to spoil the surprise but if you’re going to WDW, try not to miss Flight of Passage (FoP)!  It is breathtaking and unlike any other ride I’ve ever been on!  We were thankful to have FP reservations for later in the day so we knew we’d get to ride again.  Woot!
We exited the ride about 9:20 and by that time the standby wait was over 2 1/2 hours long!  Oh yes, arriving early was the key for sure!!
After FoP we made our way towards Africa to Tusker House for our character breakfast reservation.  The food at Tusker House is delicious and the character interaction great. 
Mickey told us Minnie was busy fixing her makeup so we didn’t see her but we did visit with him and some of his best friends.
Hannah had never been to Rafiki’s Planet Watch so we boarded an oh-so-crowded train and took the 5 hour minute ride to the Planet Watch area.  Yes, we had this entire car to ourselves.IMG_0888
Rafiki was there to greet her.  She was a little hesitant about greeting him at first but after a few minutes she warmed up to him and decided he was an okay dude to go see.
My niece Rebecca was the same when she was Hannah’s age and she exclaimed that she was not going to get anywhere close to ‘For-freekie!’ Winking smile
We took time to visit the small petting zoo before taking the train back to Africa.
A great day was under way and it was still only early afternoon. 
Tomorrow, part 2 of our day at Animal Kingdom.

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