Day 6 – Friday, October 14 – Animal Kingdom (Crowd Level 8)
We took the bus to AK and made it there just shortly before RD. For whatever reason, DBiL decided that AK was going to be his favorite park, so he was in a really good mood this day. Yay! This was the one park where it took a bit longer to get through security. Once inside, we strolled through the Oasis area and then stopped for a group picture in front of the Tree of Life.
We then headed to the Adventurers Outpost to say goodbye to Mickey & Minnie. DSis & family did not want to join us, so I instructed them to go see ITTBAB since it was not on my TP. The line was not that long for Mickey & Minnie, but it seemed to move very slowly. Once inside, it made more sense as they spent a good amount of time with DD4. Especially Minnie, we held DD4’s hands and twirled and danced with her. Super cute!
By the time we exited, we had to meet up with DSis & family to use our first FP+ at FotLK. This show was amazing! My favorite show of the week, and it gave me goosebumps for the second time all week. DD4 LOVED this show and stood the majority of the time to clap and dance along. Next up, we headed off to use our FP+ at the Safari.
The FP+ line for the Safari was backed up all the way to the Gorilla Falls trail. The line moved steadily, but it took us a while before we boarded our vehicle. Our Safari was awesome! I felt like we saw a lot of animals, and everyone in the group really enjoyed this ride. After exiting, I decided that we did not have enough time to explore the Gorilla Falls trail before our lunch reservation, so we made the walk over to Yak & Yeti.
We had two separate ADRs at 11:45 at Y&Y. We didn’t even ask to combine our tables this time. Y&Y was really crowded already, so we had to wait a bit to be seated. We were seated upstairs, and I really enjoyed my meal here. I had the house salad and Korean beef, which was really good.
My DF had to pay cash here and almost lost his temper. On our arrival day, my DF and I went to see a concierge at the Poly to set-up a separate credit card for my parents’ charges. Unfortunately, sometimes it worked, and other times they would try to charge something only to be told that there was no credit limit. I had to use my band for their charges probably 3-4 times throughout the week. My DF went back to talk to the concierge 2-3 more times throughout the week as this issue kept occurring. So by Friday, he was really annoyed. I had to talk him down from taking it out on our nice server. My parents loved the trip but said this was the one real negative thing that happened.
After lunch, we headed back to take the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We stopped to watch the monkeys and then made our way to the Conservation Station. The lines to meet both Chip & Dale and Rafiki were long, so I didn’t attempt them with DD4. We explored the Conservation Station for a while and then headed into the Affection Section. DD4 absolutely LOVES animals. She says that she’s going to be a pet vet when she grows up. So she loved it here! She brushed animals and tried to get her hands on every animal that she could touch. She would have stayed here forever, but eventually, I made her leave.
We then took the train back to Africa and headed off to explore the Gorilla Falls trail. This was a real highlight for everyone, especially the girls. The hippo and the gorillas (mom, dad & 2 babies) were all really active. And there were some very memorable “poop incidents” from both the hippo and gorillas that got a huge reaction from the crowd. The girls talked about this for a long time.
From here, we walked across to do the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The animals weren’t as active on this trail, so we made our way through here much quicker. Still worthwhile to do though. Next, we decided to walk over to Dinoland. Dinoland was fairly crowded, and the girls didn’t want to wait in line for the Tricera Top Spin. So instead, they got their faces painted. This made them immensely happy! My DBiL and I then decided to go hit up the single rider line at EE.
I sent the rest of the group to The Boneyard, and the single rider line ended up being a practical walk-on. I LOVED this ride! Definitely my favorite ride of the week, and I only wish that I could have done it multiple times. As soon as we exited, I had to meet up with my DM and DD4 for our FP+ at Finding Nemo. DBiL had switched their FP+ to KRR on Thursday, so the rest of the group did that while we were in the show.
I enjoyed Finding Nemo, but it is a bit long, and this was the one show where DD4 lost interest part way through. It was also late afternoon at this point. After the show, we met up with everyone back at The Boneyard as I had promised DD4 more time here. We let the girls play for a while and then decided it was time to head back to the Poly. I asked DD4 if she wanted to ride Tricera Top Spin or try to meet Pocahontas before we left, but she insisted no.
I also promised DD4 one last souvenir before we left AK, so we stopped at Island Mercantile on our way out. DD4 chose yet another stuffed animal, this time one of the characters from The Lion Guard. We took the bus back to the Poly, changed into our swimsuits and enjoyed the pool for a while. The girls also roasted marshmallows on the beach.
We changed for dinner and headed back down to Captain Cook’s. Actually, my parents ate at Captain Cook’s while DSis, DBiL and I got food for the girls and then got a table at the Tiki Terrace. We enjoyed a few drinks and ended up ordering several of the appetizers to split amongst the 3 of us. My parents joined us at some point, and when our food finally arrived, they took the girls away to go play so that we could eat in peace. Very nice and we really enjoyed it here!
While we ate, DSis & DBiL also profusely thanked me for all of the planning that I did and said that they couldn’t have accomplished half of what we did without my planning. They also apologized if they were in a bad mood at times as they said their mood was very affected by DN6’s behavior at times.
We finished up just in time to meet them down at the beach for the water pageant. We watched the water pageant and then let the girls play in the sand until it was time for Hallowishes. We watched Hallowishes from the beach (great view!) and then headed up to bed. It was a really great final day!
Day 7 – Saturday, October 15
We enjoyed a leisurely morning in our room as we ate breakfast, packed, etc. Shortly before the 11 am check-out, we took all of our luggage down to the airline check-in. I also left my stroller and backpack with bell services. While we were dealing with the luggage, the girls did crafts in the lobby. Then it was time to enjoy the pool one last time before our DME bus arrived to pick us up.
We enjoyed the pool for a long time (probably the girls’ favorite activity of the whole week) and ate lunch. Finally, I had to change and head up to Moana Mercantile to use our last few snack credits. And then I had to drag DD4 out of the pool to get dressed. The DME bus picked us up at 2:20, and we were off to MCO and back to Indiana. So sad!
Overall, I really enjoyed the trip! We really lucked out with the weather after the hurricane. It wasn’t too hot, and I never even pulled out our ponchos! I have no complaints when it comes to the Poly. I absolutely LOVED it there and feel like it was the perfect choice for our family! It will be hard to stay somewhere else in the future, but I doubt that I will splurge for it unless I’m able to split the cost again. I also feel like my TPs were very successful for the most part. So thank you SO MUCH to everyone in the TP community for making this trip such a success! I really look forward to going back again in a few years when DD4 is a bit older. A trip with just she and I (and possibly my DM who LOVED it) sounds like heaven!