The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 11/11

Disney's Animal Kingdom Character Boat

It’s trip report time again! Read all posts in this trip report here.

Ah, yes, the existential crisis that is the last full day. It did not start out smoothly. 😅

Okay, so, first things first: of course I got up at 7am. Goals: a Flight of Passage Individual Lightning Lane, plus regular Lightning Lane reservation through Genie+. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? WELL.

The My Disney Experience app thought this would be a GREAT time to question my identity. It started by asking for my thumbprint. Then it cheerfully informed me it had emailed me a passcode. I retrieved and entered this passcode. It again asked for a thumbprint, which I again gave, and was again told to check my email for a passcode. I entered the passcode and –

Look, I’ll save us all some time here: this cycle repeated like eight times. Not that it stopped there; rather, I grabbed my laptop and decided to see if I could make MDE work for me on desktop. Could I? Unknown, because I got an error. Something about the server not having access to the WDW website WHILE ON WDW PROPERTY.

At this point I metaphorically chucked the whole works, stole Pat’s phone, and did it through the Android version of the app. Thankfully that worked. (Not to suggest that it’s definitely an iPhone problem; this is merely a theory.) I got my ILL for Flight of Passage and a Genie+ selection besides, but geez, Disney doesn’t always make it easy, huh?

I attempted to go back to sleep for another half hour or so, but after my morning’s tech ordeal I was too wound up. I enjoyed an extra long shower instead. Once I was ready I pried Pat out of bed and dragged him onto the bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Which, so’s you know, is the BEST park. No, I will not be taking notes.

WDW trip report - Lion King sign

Our first act in the best park was to… stop for coffee. The line at the Starbucks was bonkers, so Pat went in alone while I waited outside. I was doing my alone thing – y’know, twirling my skirt, singing a song in my head, etc. – when an old custodian dude came up and said, “Are you waiting for someone?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Darn,” he replied, and then, “you can tell him I said that.”

And that’s my hit-on-by-an-octogenarian (allegedly)-Cast-Member story. 😂

Our first Lightning Lane selection for the day was for Kilimanjaro Safaris, so we headed over to Harambe Village first. We had a little time to kill; I poked around in the gift shop while Pat worked on his coffee. Then we got lucky and one of the African percussionist groups hopped up on stage! I really miss Burudika but everybody they get is good. The performers here bring great energy to the area and that’s why Harambe is my favorite.

Harambe Village

After catching some of the drumming set, we got in our special LL line for the safari. Sadly we were on the right side of the car, which is historically the less exciting side, but we did see some excellent views of the hippos out of the water for once.

Kilimanjaro Safaris hippos

Dinosaur was our next Lightning Lane slot, and we trekked over to Dinoland to ride it. Here another Disney tech annoyance reared its ugly head. Pat was interested in getting drinks at Nomad Lounge, the online waitlist for which opened at 11am. We entered the Dinosaur Lightning Lane around 10:45am, but I figured, hey, so long as I’m not on the ride in the next 15 minutes – unlikely given the preshow and all that – I’m golden.

And I would’ve been, if not for the fact that the inside of Dinosaur is apparently outside of the reach of the outside world. No phone service, and – this is the kicker – no Disney wifi. No Disney wifi inside a Disney attraction. 🙁 So I wasn’t able to access the app, and by the time we got out of the ride building at 11:09am the waitlist was full. Alas, no Nomad Lounge for us this trip. But I still like Dinosaur.

It was getting on toward Eat Something O’Clock. I suggested Santuli Canteen for lunch, as I still have yet to try anything there. We mobile ordered from Dinoland and then walked over to Pandora to eat. More on that in my food roundup post, but it was pretty good!

By the time lunch was over our Individual Lightning Lane for Flight of Passage had opened up, so we slid into the queue. I was only down to throw money at this one because Pat had never done it, and I knew he wouldn’t want to wait long. To be honest, I wouldn’t wait more than an hour for this one either. It’s fun and all, and I do love the swift and speedy movement, but if I wouldn’t wait two hours for Rise of the Resistance I’m certainly not going to for a motion simulator based on a movie I hate.

We backtracked briefly to take pictures in front of the Tree of Life, then kept crossing the park for a spin on Expedition Everest. Pat decided to stop at Thirsty River Bar right after, and as a Kite Tails show was just about to start, I snuck into the amphitheater to see if it really was as wacky as everyone says.

Tree of Life photo

Your enjoyment of Kite Tails is, I think, entirely dependent on two factors: your expectations and your sense of humor. Is it high art? Heavens no. Does it feature Cast Members on the ground doing their absolute best to wave random themed sticks of stuff to distract you from crashing kites, from which the handlers ultimately jet ski away from in defeat, and does that make you laugh? It does, and I did. Wouldn’t, like, sit and wait for it unless I needed a rest, though.

After this magnificent performance, we decided to grab the bus to the Magic Kingdom. This one took awhile to show up, but we made it on with seats and everything.

Unfortunately, around this same time it started raining pretty heavily. Pat checked his radar app and said there would be a break shortly, so we hung out under the covered bus area for a bit while I changed our Splash Mountain Lightning Lane reservation to a later time. Doubly unfortunately, doing so also reset our two-hour next-Lightning-Lane-reservation clock. Hopefully Disney rolls out a modification option soon, like they had in the old FastPass+ system.

The rain let up for a bit, at which point we entered the park and went directly to Space Mountain, sneaking into the inside queue just about as the rain started up again. Timing is everything! We wound up on the right side, which in my opinion is slightly inferior, but it was still super fun.

Oh, on the way I attempted to get a castle shot in that random spot on the other way to Tomorrowland, but with the weather it didn’t turn on that great. What can ya do.

Castle from Tomorrowland

It was determined to be snack time next; Pat was convinced there was a chance Golden Oak Outpost had restocked their waffle fries, so we set off for Frontierland like a couple of Don Quixotes. Sure enough, no waffle fries. We wound up getting nachos at Pecos Bill’s again. Worth it for the queso blanco, I’m telling you.

Happily it was NOT raining when our new Splash Mountain Lightning Lane rolled around. This time we ended up in the back row, and it wasn’t nearly as sploshy as the first time. I’ve had Cast Members tease me for avoiding the front in the past, but I firmly maintain that there is a distinct difference between splashed and sloshed.

Pirates of the Caribbean was posting a 30 minute wait, so we went there next; turned out to be maybe 15 minutes? We wound up at the further loading station, where I noticed this little queue detail for the first time: a mini pirate ship!

Pirates of the Caribbean queue detail

Then it was back to Tomorrowland, where we cashed in our Lightning Lane time at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I’m a fair hand at Toy Story Midway Mania over in the Studios, but I suck at Buzz. I can barely tell where I’m aiming. Pat thoroughly trounced me.

Space Mountain was showing a half hour wait, so we scootched on through the line and took a spin on the left side this time. For our final act, I coerced Pat into a round of Peoplemover action. It really never gets old, and neither does the view.

Peoplemover view

I say final because it was now time for us to head over to the Contemporary for our California Grill 50th Anniversary dinner reservation! And since this installment of the trip report has already run long, I’m going to save the rest of the day for that review. Tune in next time – it’s a good one, I promise!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

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