Our room. Kid #2 refuses day 5 of ear drops. In his opinion,
“day 1” should have been the day when the medication was prescribed, which
was skipped because I didn’t buy the stuff until the next day. He doesn’t
see the need to add a “day 6” to make up for that.
As an American parent, I can *insist* that my minor child take prescribed medications that I paid lots of money for. But Canadians over 16 years old have bodily autonomy and cannot be forced by their parents to accept medical treatments, so I throw the bottle of ear drops in the garbage bin. It did whatever it did for him; we’ll never know what would have happened if he hadn’t taken it; obviously it has been doing nothing for his viral cold.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This has always been my
least-favorite park. It is so fake! There’s plenty of trees, but the
biggest one (and emblem of the park) is actually a giant piece of concrete
that’s been *decorated* to look like a tree. The park is full of
carefully-arranged moats covered by carefully-arranged plantings, to make it
look like the “wild” animals have much more “freedom” of movement than they
actually get. It is accredited by
the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,
but it isn’t really a “zoo” so much as it is a “curated zoo-like
experience”. You need large numbers of “scare quotes” when talking about
Attractions visited today: Dinosaur, Dino Institute Shop (souvenir, 12:48pm), Restaurantosaurus (no purchase), TriceraTop Spin (kids only), Yak & Yeti Cafe (lunch, 1:43pm), Mombasa Marketplace (take-home, 3:19pm; souvenir, 3:20pm), Expedition Everest (Kid #1 and I), Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Tamu Tamu (snack, 4:33pm). We had hoped to do It’s Tough to Be a Bug and Flights of Wonder which had been postponed from day 5, but there’s just not enough time, as this park closes at 5pm.
In the past, I have always avoided the Dinosaur ride, so this is my first time. The opening video has this “doctor” who tells us that she will ”literally” send us back to the time of the dinosaurs. IMNSHO, the actress they chose has no idea how to portray a doctorate-holder and their script-writer has no idea how PhD’s actually talk; my family thinks I am being too hard on them. Anyway, the back-story goes swiftly downhill from there: why should the wayward male “doctor” send the audience back to the extremely dangerous moment of the meteor impact, when he can just as easily redeem himself in the eyes of the female “doctor” by “accidentally” sending the time machine back without any passengers? You see what I mean about the extensive need for “scare quotes” at this park. The ride is track-based and has too many swishy-swashy movements for my taste. The animatronic dinos that you ride past seem okay.
At the Dino Institute Shop, Kid #2 buys a chunk of amethyst for his rock collection. $5.28.
In Wifey’s original plan, today’s lunch was supposed to be at Restaurantosaurus (which is a themed McDonald’s) because it is near Dinosaur. But that plan had us eating at Yak & Yeti on day 5, which didn’t happen, so the revised plan says we should eat there today. Yet still we end up sitting down at Restaurantosaurus because it is near Dinosaur and we have to make family decisions while studying the park map.
This is the first visit in 20 years that does not include any entry into The Boneyard. But our kids are just too old for a giant sandbox.
The TriceraTop Spin ride is in an enclosed kiddie area. You have to go right to enter the area, not left towards the ride’s own entrance which is not directly accessible. I try to tell the kids that, but they just keep walking left. So I let them go. Eventually they turn back and enter on the right, only to discover that there actually is a left entrance that is usable. Wifey and I sit on a bench like oldsters.
The last time we were here, the “hidden” seating area behind Yak & Yeti was deserted. This time it is literally packed; we cannot find a seat anywhere. They have stopped carrying American-style sauceless sweet-and-sour chicken, which Kid #1 had been looking forward to for months. The nearby Indian dance music is extremely loud and we have to just stand there and listen to it because we cannot find a place to sit; this all puts Kid #1 into a pre-meltdown mood. Eventually a cast member takes pity on us and finds us a free table (or just points out that a table has suddenly become free). The food is disappointing when we are finally able to eat it.
At Mombasa Marketplace, Wifey gets two boxes of animal crackers to use up snack credits. Kid #2 pays $5.28 for a slice of agate to add to his collection.
Wifey was supposed to do Finding Nemo — the Musical when the rest of us did Expedition Everest. But this is prevented by the need to rejigger our FastPass™ times (which we have had to do EVERY SINGLE DAY because SOMETHING always comes up). Also, Kid #2 sees the big drop that the Expedition Everest roller coaster makes and decides not to go on it, so he and Wifey just sit while Kid #1 and I ride.
Expedition Everest is *excellent*! The ride is very smooth with no bone-rattling. The broken-off tracks are probably very scary to people who didn’t read the warning that this coaster sometimes goes backwards. The various loops have an “extreme” feeling to them without actually being very extreme. A perfect example of why Disney makes the best roller coasters in the world.
On Kilimanjaro Safaris, Wifey takes many animal photos with her digital camera, while Kid #1 takes some using her smartphone. As we are exiting from the ride, it begins to rain. We put on our rain ponchos (mine comes from a dollar store and is decorated with a maple-leaf motif). Our feet get soaked, but it is a warm rain.
At Tamu Tamu, Wifey finally(!) gets her Dole Whip® (although it is called “pineapple softserve” at this park). Kid #1 shares it with her, while Kid #2 and I get thoroughly soaked because there is no place to escape from the (thankfully-warm) rain. Then we all get soaked on the long walk back to the park entrance.
Golden Corral (Celebration FL, 7:46pm). Kid #1 was not looking forward to eating here, after our lunch experience in New York with this chain. But the food here is just as good as I remember. Only $63.28 for a lovely family dinner. Now *that’s* what I’m talking about! This buffet requires payment on entry, so it seems the tip needs to be in cash. I give the waitress $6 and conveniently get some US money out of my wallet.
Landscape of Flavors (10:35pm). Convert six dinner-credits into 18 snack credits and buy Nutter-Butters, Nilla Wafers, 10 rolls of Oreos, and 4 chocolate-coated Rice Krispy treats with Disney characters on their packages. Also get a bottle of Coke (for me to drink during our last morning in the room) and a package of peanut M&M’s (for me to eat on the homeward plane flight). Kid #2 carries the bag of loot.
Ink and Paint (10:54pm). Convert 18 dinner-credits
into 2 bags of pretzels, 3 bags of nuts, 10 apple pies, 25 Snickers bars,
and 14 Kit Kats. Kid #2 helps with the math. I get confused and think I
have converted too many credits, but a cast member gets the bright idea of
printing out the current status of our dining plan, showing that we have
plenty of remaining credits of both kinds (because this store doesn’t have
the Reese’s cups that we were also planning to buy, so we bought less than
The store manager thanks me repeatedly for my business and asks me to sign a copy of the receipt showing that I bought over $100 worth of candy from him; no previous use of the dining plan has required a signature. It occurs to me that I have traded snack credits that are “worth” up to $5 for candy bars that are selling for $2 — but the bars are much easier to carry home with us than the $5 snacks that are freshly-made and perishable. Perhaps one unit of DisneyCorp pays another unit of DisneyCorp $5 per snack credit, no matter how little the snack cost? This would explain the manager’s glee.
Our room. Wifey and I try various combinations of packing the UPS box and the various backpacks and suitcases, trying to decide how in the world we are going to get all this candy home without having it turn into a chocolatey mess. The kids wisely stay in the other room of our suite.