I have decided to follow up yesterday’s “boringest post ever” with a trip out to Animal Kingdom. In this much more exciting post, you’ll see comments like, “Is this pin station new?” and “He is very furry.” The excitement is palpable. Try not to have a stroke.
Animal Kingdom is “highly recommended” today. Not a lot of people arriving just before 2pm.
Hopefully the construction of “Avatarland” will bring a nighttime spectacular of some variety and give more people a reason to hop over in the evening. With the 6pm close and nothing specific to stick around and see, a lot of people leave right after the 3:45pm Parade.
As you cross the bridge over to Discovery Island, you’ll see the Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet off to the right. We’ll take a closer look at the entrance momentarily.
Disney is giving Annual Passholders a free calendar here at Disney Outfitters. As you cross the bridge over to Discovery Island, you’ll see this entrance right before the wait times board on your right.
I guess when people say this website “lacks professionalism,” they are making fun of my drawings? We can’t all have artistic talent. Haters gonna hate! Anyway, you’ll go in through the entrance above and march straight through to the back. There is a cast member here that will look at your Annual Pass and your picture identification and hand you your calendar (assuming you aren’t trying anything dodgy). They started passing them out at the beginning of the month and have a ton left.
This is it. It doesn’t flip like a “traditional calendar.” Instead, the top and the bottom portion have pieces of paper with the appropriate artwork or days of the month. At the end of January, you would pull out the appropriate pieces of paper and either discard them or put them in the back of the stack. Because I’m stupid, I picked up the calendar on the way into the Park. You’ll want to pick up yours on the way out because it’s pretty cumbersome and fragile. If you don’t have an opportunity to pick one up, you’re not missing out on much I don’t think.
Flik was out meeting guests to the left of It’s Tough To Be A Bug. In the past, I’ve seen him along the path that connects Africa and Asia in the back of Animal Kingdom. Lines are usually pretty short.
Today was the first day that Russell and Dug from the movie “Up” were meeting guests again. This is their backdrop.
I don’t foresee the arrows getting any better. This is the Meet and Greet in relation to the rest of the world. It’s right across from Flame Tree Barbecue.
As you walk toward DinoLand USA from Discovery Island, you’ll see the Meet and Greet on your right. Up in front of us here is the entrance to the Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet.
The Discovery Island Character Landing.
This sign indicates who’s available. They usually return at 2:40pm. Most of the time, you’ll see Winnie the Pooh with Tigger and Eeyore. I had erroneously said Piglet meets here too in a previous post – he doesn’t because Flame Tree Barbecue is right across the street. If you were a pig, you probably wouldn’t take your chances either.
Here they are. The line is just off to the side.
He is very furry. Dug, I mean. Both him and Russell should meet continuously from 9:30am – 1:30pm and 2:10pm – 4:40pm at least through the end of the month. Hopefully they’ll get Carl back out here too.
Russell will probably have you flash some gang signs. Note that Russell has a backpack on the ground and Dug has a wagon next to him. A cute touch. Lines shouldn’t be too bad, especially because they meet continuously. If you want to minimize waits as much as possible, head over about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear. There wasn’t anyone waiting at 2pm for their 2:10pm arrival.
Over here in DinoLand, across from TriceraTop Spin and near Restaurantosaurus and the walkway up to DINOSAUR is the Pluto/Goofy Meet and Greet. Right now we just have Pluto.
Primeval Whirl looks less condemned now with its other half open.
During its lengthy “refurbishment,” Disney didn’t actually paint or refurbish much of anything. It looks “as good as ever,” which isn’t necessarily a compliment.
It still has a lousy capacity, but wait times should be about half of what they were in October or November.
It offers FASTPASS again. The machines are directly to the left of the standby entrance.
Primeval Whirl is your third “FASTPASS priority,” behind Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris. DINOSAUR FASTPASS return times are virtually always 40 minutes out and Primeval Whirl is usually 40-60. When crowds are particularly heavy, Primeval Whirl’s return times are more likely to take off because of a lower capacity and limited availability. Neither are an issue this afternoon.
Three people in line for TriceraTop Spin – a much different scene than Magic Kingdom was yesterday.
Someone on the forum had inquired about Mickey nutcrackers. Somehow I missed them, so here they are.
Buy 21 of them (in one transaction) and receive free ground shipping!
Beastly Bazaar is still offering Picnic in the Park. You’ll see it on your way into Asia.
Not necessarily a bad value. Instead of “Picnic in the Park Grab ‘n Go,” I call it, “We sell sandwiches but don’t really have anywhere for you to sit and eat them.”
You don’t need to preorder – just head over at your leisure.
The sandwiches looked like the ones served at Starring Rolls and Sunshine Seasons. Anything you see can be purchased separately as well. Those are “Portobello Mushroom Wraps – $5.99” on the far right almost out of frame. They also have Ham and Salami Grinders and whatever that other one is. I think there are better choices throughout Animal Kingdom, but it’s an option.
This picture sums up why I love Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The “Write your name in…” stand has moved out here…probably temporarily.
From over here. Probably not very important, but I can’t promise it won’t be on the test.
Is this pin station new?
This is “Tam Tam Congo” according to this week’s Times Guide. They’re really going to have people moving on our way back through here later.
You’ll see these souvenir cups for sale in various locations around the Disney World theme parks. This is at Kusafiri Bakery in Africa.
10 minute wait at Kilimanjaro Safaris around 2:25pm.
With FASTPASSes just 40 minutes out. A welcome sight after yesterday’s “Oh-man-length” lines at Magic Kingdom. As mentioned earlier, Animal Kingdom was highly recommended and would have been the “most recommended” Park had it not been for the complications in scheduling Magic Kingdom.
Because I like you, I made the journey out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to check on Rafiki’s status and the lack of Jiminy Cricket.
You’ll wait here at the train station for zero to ten minutes depending on how you time it. I didn’t time it well.
If it seems like it’s getting warm, look up for a fan and stand underneath it.
The ride is about as exciting as getting in your car and driving down the freeway. Less exciting should you live in Los Angeles.
Actually, I lied. The rhinos are out taking a break from their hectic schedule of you know…sitting in the grass.
They are very interesting creatures. It’s five or so minutes over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We’re not in any hurry.
Otherwise, you’ll see a variety of cars that cast members drive. And some other backstage elements. We’ve got the African Elephant building behind us there. If you’ve got an hour to kill in the middle of the day, Rafiki’s Planet Watch is better than hitting your head against the concrete in Camp Minnie-Mickey.
Here we are at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. If I was going to critique Animal Kingdom, I would say only this – it needs more lemurs.
Sausage tree. If you want to know more, you’re going to have to head over here.
Rafiki continues to meet guests at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, but Jiminy Cricket is indeed gone. There’s virtually never a line for Rafiki, who meets in the center of the Conservation Station.
Go ahead. Hang one.
The cottontop tamarins are still along the walkway to/from the Wildlife Express. They weigh less than a pound each, making the portion size just right for a sandwich. I’m just saying.
I like that it has flags out in front of it. The cast member costumes are also vastly underrated. Choo choo!!
The ride back is similar to Liberty Square Riverboat over at Magic Kingdom in that you’ll ride by nicely detailed set pieces.
Don’t forget your luggage. I’ve packed all of the website’s secrets in here.
Still a 10 minute wait at Kilimanjaro Safaris at 3:20pm.
But this suit has shut down the FASTPASS line.
The Tam Tams have these people dancing. My guess is that most of them have just left the Dawa Bar around the corner.
Tusker House pricing:
As of last Sunday, Tusker House is now a character meal for lunch too. They no longer offer the guaranteed seating for a Finding Nemo show.
Over to the Dawa Bar, which is located next to Tusker House in Africa. There are a ton of tables and it’s a great place to relax, with or without a beverage. This bro has it figured out. I have pictures of the Hippo Pool to take.
These are all completely legit Ethiopian beers (under African Beer, not so much on the Michelob). Very cool. May I recommend the Bedele Pilsner.
Tastes like wine. A fun and unique choice should you be looking. And after a couple hours here with the kids…you’ll be looking.
Beginning today, the Animal Kingdom Parade is going to start and end here, to the left of Creature Comforts. Previously, it began and ended in Africa. This is an attempt to ease congestion in Africa and allow people to more easily get to Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, and the Wildlife Express. That means you won’t be able to see the Parade in Africa around Harambe Market and Kilimanjaro Safaris.
You can see the Parade is ready to go behind these doors.
Some unfortunate timing on all accounts, although I guess I could say “nice butt” here too. I had mentioned on the Polynesian post that the credit card charge was the funniest picture I had ever taken. But this is better.
Donald wasn’t particularly festive today. Maybe they don’t make a sweater in size squat. He does have a wreath around his hat. As long as he isn’t groping anyone I think Disney is happy.
Santa Goofy is still my favorite character. And that birdhouse with the Mickey silhouette is very in focus.
Just a heads up Walt Disney Company, but I will be stealing this tree topper before the end of the season. Because I’m not greedy, I won’t do it until it’s a little closer to Christmas. That way more people can enjoy it.
Nobody knows who this is. Sort of like Marie over at Epcot is “The Cat,” this is, “The Bunny.”
That’s where you’ll find Pocahontas now that she no longer meets at Rafiki’s Planet Watch too. While I don’t normally toot my own horn, I think lines would be longer to meet me. I’m kind of a big deal. As you arrive in Camp Minnie-Mickey from Discovery Island, look to your left.
Looks like rain, which means it’s time to be on our way.