Thursday, June 11, 2015

Part 4 - Disney's Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios!

Part 4 - Journey to Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios (two separate theme parks for those unfamiliar with Disney World.)

So, we began our second full day in Orlando a little earlier than the first and hit the road around 9:00 AM.  The agenda for the day was Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios.  We had dinner reservations at Hollywood Studios for the Sci Fi Drive In Theater that night, so we parked in the Hollywood Studios lot and took a bus to Animal Kingdom first.  I was mistaken and thought all the parks were on the monorail line, but quickly learned that was not the case.

We waited in a short and humid rain storm for the bus and eventually arrived at Animal Kingdom around 10:00 AM.  The morning rain and humidity made the heat all the more unbearable for that day.
Riding the bus from the Hollywood Studios
parking to Animal Kingdom

Family photo spot at Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom was beautiful, but crowded.  The heat did not make it much better.  Our first ride was the Kilimanjaro Safari.  We were amazed at how close we came to many animals, including a Rhino that appeared to be charging our vehicle, but really just wanted us to move on so he could cross the road.  We saw elephants, giraffe, alligators, rhinos, lions and many other animals not see in your average zoo.  It was amazing.
This Rhino came within inches of our truck

Can you spot the Giraffe?
After the Safari, we walked to the Festival of the Lion King theater and found that we didn't have long to wait for the next show.  This is another time that the "Genie Pass" really helped us out.  We were directed into a sheltered waiting area before the show, where we sat through another down pour of rain.  This was exciting because everyone says it rains every day in Florida, and of course, as Californians, we don't see much rain!  Once the theater opened, we were directed to reserved front row seats for the show.  It was awesome and really involved much of the audience.  

Jenelle and Daddy waiting for the rain to stop
before the Festival of the Lion King Show
After the Lion King show, we made our way back to the bus and onto Hollywood Studios.  Although we maybe spent about 4 hours at Animal Kingdom, the wet walkways and humidity were just too much for us.  Jenelle doesn't really see a lot on rides like the safari, so we thought we'd move on.

Next stop, Disney's Hollywood Studios, where the resort was celebrating Star Wars Weekend!  Hollywood Studios had lots of similarities to Disney's California Adventure park with many fast moving rides!  We enjoyed the Toy Story Midway Mania ride, that was similar to the one at home, Star Tours which was somewhat different, and we ventured through new rides like the The Great Movie Ride and the Aerosmith Rock N Roller Coaster. JD and I had so much fun on the Rock N Roller Coaster, we rode it twice!  To my surprise, we were told this coaster was like California Screaming, but there was one HUGE difference - the Rock N Roller Coaster was indoors!  It was a blast as you can see in the photos below.

Back when JD was 6 years old, and just above the height limit, I forced him to ride Tower of Terror with our visiting friend Dr. Danielle.  He was so scared I thought we were going to have to stop the ride!  JD has never wanted to venture on that ride since... until Brett talked him into it in Florida.  So Brett and JD had the pleasure of riding Tower of Terror, which JD thought was tamer than the version in California (or maybe the imagination and fear of a 6 year old was not that bad?)

Family at Hollywood Studios

JD playing around with 3D glasses at the Toy Story Ride.

Mom and JD on the Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coaster

Being funny for the camera on our second ride
Trying to kill time before our dinner reservations, we ventured over to the Muppet's 3D show (which was closed) and found the real carriage used in the recent re-make of Cinderella.  The carriage was beautiful and really stood out with lights shining around - Jenelle was quite impressed.  We got some amazing photos with the glass slipper (which thankfully I didn't drop!)

Jenelle was amazed by the
carriage used in the Cinderella Movie
Jenelle wants to eat the glass slipper!

Dinner was an amazing experience at the "indoor" drive in where we ate in a replica car while watching a reel of science fiction movie trailers.  California really needs a restaurant like this (at Disneyland or someplace nearby!)  It was fun, reasonably priced and the food was great!  My only complaint - it was COLD!  The AC was on full blast, and after a wet, rainy day, we were shivering!

Dinner at the Sci Fi Drive In Theater

Family dinner selfie
The timing of our dinner was perfect in that we were able to walk to grab reserved seat for the showing of Fantasmic!  Brett and I had not seen Fantasmic since one of our first dates together, and of course, JD had never seen the show. It did not disappoint!  

Hollywood Studios closed after the showing of Fantasmic, so we were able to return to Give Kids the World at a reasonable hour.  JD enjoyed the Teen Only Party at Amberville Station and where they had music, video games and miniature golf!  Having missed dinner at the Village, we ordered Pizza again that night and got to bed early.  Our plans for the next day... Universal Studios!

So this is where I'll end Part 4.  Thank you again to Make a Wish for an amazing trip! Check soon for Part 5 - Universal Studios!

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