We pick things up for one final walk around Animal Kingdom at 12:50pm with Kilimanjaro Safaris posting a 35 minute wait, which isn’t bad at all. It’s still 20 minutes longer than I’m willing to wait, but it bodes well for some of the other experiences that we may be interested in doing. If the waits at the rides are relatively short, then people are more likely to get in line, reducing interest in things like Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek.
As promised, Rafiki’s Planet Watch will reopen on July 11th, just eight days before the live action version of The Lion King hits theaters on July 19th.
We continue from Part…Five of our day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where we started at Flight of Passage bright and early. This is what I’ve accomplished so far:
- Flight of Passage: 7:35am – 8:05am
- Na’vi River Journey: 8:06am – 8:19am
- Na’vi River Journey: 8:20am – 8:35am
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: 8:46am – 9:16am
- DINOSAUR: 9:30am – 9:42am
- Primeval Whirl: 9:45am – 10:05am
- TriceraTop Spin: 10:06am – 10:18am
- Expedition Everest with FastPass+: 10:23am – 10:36am
- Kali River Rapids with FastPass+: 10:42am – 11:13am
In just over three hours of Park time, I’ve experienced eight different attractions, including Na’vi River Journey twice, just because I love it that much. My longest wait so far was at Primeval Whirl, where I stood in line for about 15 minutes before boarding. It’s 11:13am and at this point, I’ve used two of my FastPass+, which means I have one still in the bank. Of course, my third reservation is for Na’vi River Journey. At this point in the day, it makes some sense to start considering lunch. If I eat now, four-and-a-half hours after I arrived at the Park, I’ll beat the rush. That means a shorter wait to order, a less crowded dining room, and a less hectic overall experience. Disney World is always better with less people.
It does make some sense to use my third FastPass+ before lunch. That way, I can ignore my family during the meal and at a minimum, at least pretend to refresh FP+ availability on my phone. Checking for availability before lunch means I can also schedule my 4th FastPass+ with more lead time. If I ride Na’vi after lunch, at 12:30pm, and then start checking FP+ availability, it’s likely that whatever experience I’m looking for will have a return time at some point further into the future. Immediate return times are the most desirable, and therefore, the least likely to be available. If I check availability at 12:30pm, there might be an Everest for 2:15pm or a Safaris for 3:30pm. If I continue to refresh availability, I can probably find a sooner return time, but it will likely still be 30+ minutes out. If that time is spent eating lunch, then after the meal, I can simply head to the attraction and use my FP+. If I’m not, then I’ll need to find something else to occupy my time after riding Na’vi and before my next FP+ return window opens. At a Park as beautiful as Animal Kingdom, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. But I’ll probably have to attend to my family during that time when I could be ignoring them at lunch. It’s entirely up to you.
It’s that time of year again when we come together to see how excited we can get about soft serve ice cream, presented to us in a slightly different way, for just a dollar more than what’s been on the menu for years. First up, it looks like we have chocolate ice cream served in a green cone instead of a brown cone. I can’t wait.
As a little bit of background, the live-action version of The Lion King comes out July 19th, only in theaters. To commemorate such a momentous occasion, Disney has added several snacks to the ranks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Park that probably needs more tasty treats the least. But if you’re going to add a chocolate lion tail to an ice cream sandwich, it probably makes more sense in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom than say, the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. Not that that sort of thing has stopped Disney before. We’ll begin by taking a look at the snacks that comprise the Lion King offerings, which Disney is promising will be available “through the end of summer.” Whenever that is. One thing is for sure though – they will still be available when The Lion King comes out in theaters on July 19th.
Changes are apparently coming to the FastPass+ Tiers at Hollywood Studios beginning August 29th, which is not coincidentally the same day that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. While 99.9% of us are unable to book FastPass+ for dates that far in the future, certain Club Level guests have the opportunity to pay for 90-day FastPass+ booking. Those guests are seeing the above, which moves Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror into Tier 1. That means most guests will only be able to book FastPass+ for one of these rides in advance of their visit. Up to two additional selections may be booked in advance from Tier 2, which includes the shows and Star Tours.
It’s about 10:20am and I still have all three of my pre-booked FastPass+ experiences in my pocket. Or around my wrist. Or on my phone. Or in the cloud. Or whatever. We’re continuing from Part 4, where I bounced around DinoLand and experienced all three of the rides there without much trouble.
Here’s a look at wait times across all attractions that post one on this particular day. I’ve highlighted 10:30am since that’s about where we are:
At this point in the morning, wait times are already prohibitive or are about to become prohibitive at most attractions and I have two basic options that don’t include heading straight for Nomad Lounge: I can either begin using my FastPass+ experiences that I’ve already booked or I could move on to shows and other high-capacity attractions, saving my FastPass+ for later. There isn’t necessarily a clear advantage to either strategy.