Hi everybody. Just got the internet set up in the room, wireless router configured, so I'm good to go. Thought I'd share some thoughts as the trip goes on. Not a full-fledged report, which is why I call them TripThoughts (tm).
The trip is me, DW (MissusSmith) and DD8, with a one-night limited engagement cameo by Gramma.
- Getting up at 3:15am to catch a 6:40am flight was kind of rough. I still think it's worth it though, since it was the only non-stop direct flight.
- Using Magical Express, it took almost exactly 90 minutes from wheels down to arrival at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The bus was probably 75% full when we got on, and we waited another 5 minutes or so. It stopped at Pop Century and Caribbean Beach before AKL-Jambo and finally AKV-Kidani.
- Room wasn't ready at check-in (about 11:00am) but we got the Savanna View request. Staying on points, there are a few "Value Studios," which are only 69 points this week. An unbelievable bargain. Consider that you can typically value points at $10/point, which puts the "cost" of this week at less than $100/day. It's a "value" room because it's literally 3 feet shorter than a standard studio. No big woop. But there are no guarantees on the view - there are 40% savanna view, 40% pool view and 20% parking lot view. So we lucked out.
- Room was ready about 4:15. Magical Express delivered the bags about 15 minutes later.
- It rained steadily all day long. Not a single break in the rain. A couple of times it lightened up, but that was countered by occasional wind-driven downpours. We spent about 3 hours at Animal Kingdom. Touringplans.com had today as a 9 out of 10, and AK in specific as a 7 out of 10.
- Arriving around noon, we stopped for lunch at Pizzafari first - no wait to order. Then walked onto Safari - they were sending vehicles out empty. Then caught the 1:30 Festival of the Lion King (about 50% of capacity I would guess), where DD was chosen to lead the Elephant section and managed to work her unique personality into a pretty cut-and-dry routine. Video to come in the next few days. DeAnn (drischar) recognized her from the trip reports and came up afterwards to introduce herself. She was afraid she was being stalkerish, but I love to meet peeps! In fact, since there are so many of us here now, we should have a prize for whomever finds the most peeps.
- After FotLK we hit Its Tough To Be A Bug (maybe 10% capacity?) and headed back to AKL around 3:00.
- Bus service was great. The AK bus was waiting when we got to the pickup zone, and on the way back we had to wait about 6 minutes.
- Borrowed Gramma's car (she's staying with us for the first night of our trip, and joining us at DHS tomorrow) to hit the nearby Super Target. Bought a week's worth of groceries for this almost exclusively cooking-our-own-meals budget trip. But with the nonstop rain, we decided to invest the $10 to tip a bellhop to cart the groceries up to the room.
- We have a great savanna view. It's a dedicated studio (no connecting door to a 1-BR) and we only have a neighbor on one side, so our balcony has a sort of corner view. I would have pictures to show you but the rain was blowing straight into our sliding glass door, so maybe another time.
- We brought an electric skillet to accompany the microwave, coffee maker and toaster that are already here. We made some chicken, rice and veggies. I cooked the chicken on low with the lid on in case of any smoke, but there was literally no smoke. The room smelled awesome, and it was an easy meal.
- The fridge is strange. It has a separate Freezer. Like a regular fridge. Just way smaller. Unfortunately it takes away from some of the space in the fridge part. Still, it's surprising that I was able to get a week's worth of food for a family of 3 in there. Only 1 gallon of milk (two half-gallons actually) though. We may need to buy more.
- DD was out cold in about 10 minutes (by 7:10) and by 8:00 Gramma and DW were asleep.
- Tomorrow is rope drop at DHS. Although I'd rather not have the rain, I love the way it keeps crowds low. Between TSM, Muppetvision, Star Tours, Indy and Beauty and the Beast, we should be spending a lot of time indoors. We want to do the Animation Academy too. We did that a couple of years ago, but now that DD is 8 I think she'll do a little better and enjoy it more. Also, if it's not cancelled LMA. We're planning a 9-4 kind of day, packing sandwiches for lunch, with dinner back in the room.
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