Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 5: Animal Kingdom + Mickey's "Not So Scary"...

Day 5 (October 29) was spent in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

But more importantly, it was MATCHING T-SHIRT DAY!

Seriously, how cute are these shirts? We all said we now wished we would have had different colors for every day. I would probably never do this for just the 4 of us, but 9 of us in matching shirts was so worth it and so fun.

We started the day with an AWESOME breakfast-ate-so-much-it-became-lunch-too at The Tusker House. It was an amazing breakfast buffet that had all your "normal" breakfast foods but also some very tasty authentic African delicacies.

We also celebrated Misty and Jake's birthdays again with a cupcake and candle...

They took turns blowing it out. :-)

After breakfast, we saw The Lion King stage show and then did our African Safari.

It's one of my favorites because you see so many animals SO close up.

Like hippos bathing...

And giraffe's eating...

And elephants playing...

And lions laying...

While the other adults went to ride "Dinosaur" (a ride that scared the pants off me in 2013 and which I had no desire to revisit), I took the kids to the "fair."

Poor Brooklyn had her first Disney disappointment that afternoon when the ride that SHE had been waiting for the entire week (Primeval Whirl) was closed for construction. Hence why I dropped a quick $30 in 7 minutes on games at the fair to try and make up for it. Seriously, Disney does so many things well...could they not just give you a heads up when a ride is closed for the day/week/month?

Must do's at Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, TriceraTop Spin, The Lion King show, the Finding Nemo show, Primeval Whirl (should you catch it open), and Dinosaur (should you like that scary sort of thing).

Around mid-afternoon, we headed back to eat an early dinner and get cleaned up for the "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party" held at the Magic Kingdom.

I call these costumes "Buzz Lightyear, a Hot Dog, and 2 Tired Parents..."

And then there's Todd...

It was really cool seeing the park lit up in fall/Halloween festivity with "spooky music" playing.

To let you know a little about the Party, it's an extra expense/ticket that you can purchase that allows you to trick-or-treat around the park and ride rides with little to no wait time, as well as a special parade, unique shows, and a Halloween fireworks display. They hold the parties 3-4 days a week through the whole fall "season."

I want to preface everything I am about to say by saying this. I love Disney. I love Disney so much. I just spent my 11th vacation in Disney, and I am already excited about planning the 12th. However, we had an incredibly infortunate experience at this Party that caused us to leave after about an hour. We had received about two handfuls of candy and rode Splash Mountain twice (with no wait time, mind you) when we decided to take a quick break and catch the parade. While waiting for the parade to start, a Disney Cast Member dressed as the Wicked Queen in disguise from Snow White decided to scare the complete crap out of my children "for fun." I am talking sneaking up behind, getting in their face, and causing a blood curdling scream to exit my daughter's mouth.

You want to talk about mad? Mad is leaving an event that you just spent $320 on for two rides and essentially a bag of mini candy bars. Mad is leaving a Disney park with two sobbing children saying "I just want to go home...I hate Disney...they said it was "not so scary"...Why did they do that to me...Please can we just go home?"

Not ever having had to make a "complaint" against Disney, I didn't know what to do. I did talk to our hotel concierge and he did what he could to "make things right." And though I did not receive a refund for the party, they did do what they could to accomodate us for a future visit. But that wasn't the point and my intention at all. I felt helpless as a parent having had to watch my children experience this. I fumed all night long, barely got any sleep, and woke up that Friday morning with the hopes that we could put all that behind us. I did not want that night to define the entire vacation for my kids.

Long story short, we ended up having a great last day (minus missing one last opportunity to ride Splash Mountain). The kids and I had great conversations about "Disney staff who make poor choices." And I do have to say that for the other thousands of people who attended the Party, I am sure they had an amazing time (the 5 others in our travel party did for sure). Was it worth the money for us? Not that particular night. BUT, in a few years when the kids are older and can stay out longer (and I bring a taser gun for any other idiot cast members), I think it would be fun to try again.

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