Let’s see, where were we? Continuing from Part 1 here.
Let me see if I recall. Animal Kingdom on March 29th with an 8:35am arrival. It’s 10:10am here in front of DINOSAUR. So far, we’ve ridden Kilimanjaro Safaris, Primeval Whirl, and have FASTPASSes for Kilimanjaro Safaris (9:40am – 10:40am) and Expedition Everest (11am – 12pm). In lower crowds, we would have been able to ride Expedition Everest a couple of times in the standby line before heading over here to DinoLand USA. We could have hopped in the Single Rider line at Everest and ridden with a short wait. My guess would be ten to fifteen minutes.
Still messing around with the new cam. This was taken when the DINOSAUR preshow area was virtually pitch black.
With the lights on.
There are a lot worse places to be at Animal Kingdom than this initial queue for DINOSAUR. It’s air-conditioned, relatively dark, and not super loud. This is the initial wait, then we’ll head into a brief preshow video, then head to the secondary queue where we’ll wait to board our Time Rovers.
With decent capacities at most attractions that have preshows, I’m not crazy about trying to get as close to the exit into the next area as possible. You’ll invariably see people inching towards this exit door on the right side. But the wait in the next area will only be two or three minutes longer if you’re the last person out of this room instead of the first. But if you’re hellbent on getting through here as fast as possible, move as far over to the right as possible.
Continuing down these stairs to the loading bay.
The loading bay. As you can see on the left, each Time Rover seats four across in three rows.
ISO 102,800. We’re screwed.
Okay, we survived and we’re back out front at 10:28am, for a total wait/ride time of 18 minutes. Not bad, but you can see that we’re already backed up here outside the building. For those worried about “show elements,” it did seem like a lot of the ride was completely dark where there should be effects and dinosaurs.
It’s time to use that Kilimanjaro Safaris FASTPASS, which means lugging all the way back across the entire theme park to the Africa section.
The plan is to arrive a little late at Kilimanjaro to see if we’ll be admitted a few minutes late. Larger size on this one: http://i.minus.com/iwpK0PvfPiwS8.jpg.
Ugly with FASTPASS return already at 1pm – 2pm.
A lot of people around.
Potentially slowing us down assuming we were actually in a hurry to use our FASTPASS in the return window.
And here we are. This is the entrance to the Safari in front of us. The FASTPASS return entrance is up here to the right. The posted wait at 10:43am is 50 minutes with FASTPASS return at 12pm – 1pm.
So it’s exactly five minutes after the FASTPASS window closed and we’re waiting in line to show the cast member the FASTPASS. I got to the front of the line, held out my FASTPASS, and asked a young girl, “Am I out of luck with this?” The girl shook her head and looked up to another cast member, who said, “We can’t accept late arrivals anymore.” I looked at the FASTPASS, then the clock above, and asked with a surprised look on my face, “Five minutes?” “We can’t accept late arrivals” is all I got. So I left.
It’s about 10:47am by the time I finished up my conversation and decided to take a picture of the clock.
The “official Disney policy” is you can return up to 15 minutes after the FASTPASS return window printed on the ticket. This is known as the “GP” or Grace Period that is printed on the lower right hand corner of the FASTPASS. At the end of the day, I went to Guest Services to let them know that I thought it was pretty ridiculous that I was turned away from Kilimanjaro with a FASTPASS that had “expired” just five minutes before. In typical Disney fashion, guest services smiled and took it. The cast member said straight up that there “should be a 15 minute leeway.” She asked if I knew the name of the cast member that had denied the FASTPASS. I said no, but showed her the picture of him on the camera. I apologized for being so creepy. She said she would talk to him and offered to hand write a FASTPASS for Kilimanjaro Safaris that would have been good from then on. I declined since I was headed out anyway, but probably should have let her write one just to see what it looked like.
Defeated, we’re headed back to Expedition Everest to use that 11am FASTPASS.
With the gorgeous Tree of Life to our right.
While we’re back here, we’ll take a look at the two walkways up to the Africa Character Trail Meet and Greet. This is along the path in the back of Animal Kingdom that connects Africa and Asia. As you’re walking from Asia over to Africa, you’ll see Safari Egg Roll on your right. This path takes you up to the character meet.
From Africa, you’ll see this walkway on your left just after you pass Tamu Tamu Refreshments on your left side.
Either walkway will take you up here to this gazebo hut thing where you’ll most likely find a line that is only two or three groups deep.
King Louie and Baloo meet here continuously from 9:30am – 12pm and 12:40pm – 2:30pm.
At 10:55am, we have a 30 minute posted wait and FASTPASS return at 11:45am – 12:45pm at Kali River Rapids.
And back over to Everest.
At 10:58am, the posted wait is 60 minutes and FASTPASS return is 2:10pm to 3:10pm. I used my 11am – 12pm FASTPASS at 11:02am and was back out front at 11:11am for a total wait/ride time of nine minutes.
One of my favorite effects at any Disney attraction.
Is the steam that comes out of the Everest ride vehicles. However, neither waterfall was working!
This temporary kiosk is again set up outside Expedition Everest.
You may recall that we saw it last December, right before the week leading up to Christmas. Disney sets these sorts of kiosks up only when the theme parks are at their busiest.
Back in December, the menu looked like this:
Note the “Trekker Rolls” at the top.
Fast forward to April and the Trekker Rolls are no longer offered. We may never get to try one! In their place are a Fruit and Cheese container and Apples with Caramel.
I’d skip the drinks here. The “Pomegranate Punch” is simply this Smirnoff Pomegranate Martini poured into a glass and the Margarita is this premixed Cuervo garbage. Interestingly, you can buy both of these in the resort gift shops.
The Pomegranate Martini, among other items, over at the Contemporary Resort yesterday. I don’t see any reason to drop $8.00 on a few ounces of either of those premixed cocktails. You may remember the frozen margaritas from a couple of days ago here and The Dawa Bar in Africa serves much better, freshly made cocktails.
Popping into the 11:30am Finding Nemo the Musical. It’s been a while since I’ve sat through this one and it was actually a lot more enjoyable than I remember.
I don’t know if I’m in a good mood lately or what. But I’m a little nervous that I’m not going to be able to keep up the negative outlook that this website is known for if the picture quality improves.
How can anyone say anything bad about a rousing version of “Fish Are Friends, Not Food?”
Or this awesome bird head coming out of nowhere?
Or the sheer size and scope of the production? Just in case it isn’t clear here, I’m being serious. I really enjoyed Nemo.
I arrived about 15 minutes early for the 11:30am show and got perfectly decent seats as you can see from the first image. This is one show where you don’t necessarily mind being further up, just because you’ll be able to take in the full stage better. With crowds this heavy, you would probably need to arrive about 30 minutes early at subsequent shows to get the same quality seats. The first show is usually the least crowded of the day. The second best show to see is the one that runs up to or during the 3:45pm Parade. Today, that would be the 3:15pm show. The last show of the day is your next best choice.
The theater’s only exit is at the top right (as you’re looking at the stage) of the theater. Take that into consideration if you’re in a hurry to get out of here.
Another pass by Expedition Everest at 12:14pm. The posted wait is 50 minutes with FASTPASS at 4:35pm to 5:35pm.
You just have to pull really, really hard.
Do you see it?
Walking by Kali River Rapids on our way to lunch at about 12:20pm. The posted wait is 60 minutes with FASTPASS at 2:25pm – 3:25pm.
Lunch is at the quick service arm of Yak & Yeti, the Anandupar Local Food Cafes. I really enjoy Yak & Yeti. Is there anyone that’s eaten there in the last year or so that really didn’t like it?
This was a pretty miserable wait out in the sun at just about the worst time to be in line for lunch. Actually, it was so miserable that two separate groups in front of me gave up and left. Just too hot and too time consuming.
Sweet and Sour Chicken and a Frozen Lemonade (it was that kind of morning):
This was another winner in my book. Served piping hot, it’s a large portion. We’ve got some seemingly fresh/crunchy onions and peppers mixed in with your prototypical fried chicken nuggets and sauce. I don’t recall much pineapple. Yak & Yeti probably won’t change your life, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s my favorite Animal Kingdom quick service and I really like Flame Tree Barbecue, like most people do. The main problem here is the seating section is outdoors and limited during peak meal times. There was barely an open table in the place, thanks to a lot of saved tables by people without food.
Despite having 56 grams of sugar, the Frozen Lemonade is quite tart. It was a bit of a hassle to eat it because there was so much of it and it was so cold. The Lemonades are available at various carts and kiosks around Disney World, so it isn’t anything particularly special. But it’s probably a better choice for dessert than the pudding or cake, especially when it’s hot.
Liked this shot of Everest. Larger: http://i40.tinypic.com/23rrgd5.jpg.
Over to Everest at 12:59pm, where the line is still out the door.
And the last FASTPASSes of the day are being distributed with a return time of 5:50pm to 6:50pm.
One last pass through DinoLand USA.
Primeval Whirl has a 20 minute posted wait with FASTPASSes just 40 minutes out – 1:45pm to 2:45pm.
With a dreadful capacity and a line this long, that 20 minute wait might be optimistic.
And over to DINOSAUR.
Where the extended queue isn’t necessary, resulting in a wait that should be less than 15 total minutes.
A fine beer choice. Not sure I would rock the shirt at Disney World, but it is on the menu over at Raglan Road ($15 for a 22 ounce bottle if you can believe that), so all’s fair I suppose.
If there’s anything Bob Iger brings to the table, it’s synergy.
It’s synergy here because we have the turkey leg shirts and hats for sale right across from Trilo-Bites, the Jumbo Turkey Leg store at Animal Kingdom.
Russel and Dug from Up have replaced Flik from It’s A Bug’s Life as of last Sunday (March 25th). They meet here to the left of the entrance to It’s Tough To Be A Bug.
It’s a pretty basic Meet and Greet. The usually short line veers off to the left of the characters.
Dug setting up the shot just right.
It’s a great shot. Russel and Dug are a ton of fun.
And I leave you with babirusa butt. Trust me when I say this – you don’t want me to enhance.
So while Animal Kingdom was legitimately “crazy,” we still managed to do the following between 9am and 1:15pm:
- Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Get A Picture with King Louie and Balooo
- Ride Primeval Whirl
- Ride DINOSAUR
- Ride Expedition Everest
- See Finding Nemo the Musical
- Have Lunch
- Get A Picture with Russel and Dug
And we could have done a few more things in there had we wanted.
Next up is the Animal Kingdom Character Prioritization I think.