Finding the New in Every Day and Kona Cafe

Nothing is more exciting than waking up in the morning and saying “Let’s go to Disney World!” So that is what we did this past Saturday, planning our day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some aren’t fond of this Park, while it has taken some time to grow on me, I really love it now. Why? Well, it’s always changing, it’s always something new. You never know what animal you will see and what it will be doing, plus with the different crowd levels, it can really make a difference in your day. We were out the door for rope drop, and arrived at Animal Kingdom on a beautiful Florida morning.

Being in the Parks as much as we are, you get used to seeing certain things, and the minute something is “new” or “out of place” you take notice. Yes, I have become one of “those” people! The first thing I caught was the Lion King advertisement poster for the movie coming out September 16th in theaters,  and then the very cool looking Rafiki, Simba, Pumbaa, Zazu and Timon topiaries.  Next to them was Timon doing autographs and pictures, so we took the opportunity to get a pic as well.

I love walking into AK and hearing the Lion King soundtrack, I mean HOW do you have a bad day when humming along to “Hakuna Matata?” I don’t feel it’s possible! We headed towards Kilimanjaro Safari, where we literally walked on- no wait.  We were excited to ride since, again, you always experience something new.

We saw the giraffes from afar, which I’m always hoping they will be closer, but it’s what came after them that was a bit shocking. We didn’t see the Rhinos anywhere, and as we come around a turn, there is one, right next to our vehicle. I could have put my hand out and touched him- but I was more in shock he was so close.

After we come around the next corner, it was like the animals were having some sort of meeting. Rhinos on one side, ostriches on the other, sprinkled with other animals in there as well.  It was THE coolest thing to see, and that is why I love AK so much. After we headed to the Pangani Forest Trail and it was one of my favorite spots on WDW Property. We said hello to our swimming hippo and then took in all the sights of the Gorilla family. We love watching Lilly- she is the baby and is adorable to catch a glimpse of.

On our way to eat lunch, we saw that “It’s Tough to be a Bug” was just starting, so we decided to try it again. We have never had the best luck with this show because the kids are not fond of bugs- especially spiders.  Too bad I had forgotten that spiders fall from the ceiling, so Emily pretty much kept her head dug into Craig’s shoulder the whole show. This is a 3-D show, and is VERY much like Mickey’s Philharmagic.  I am not fond of the Champagne corks popping in that one, so when the spider is using his slingshot in this show, I knew to close my eyes.  It’s a cute show, but I think for little ones, and anyone who is creeped out easy, should try it with caution. Also when you exit this attraction, make sure to look UP. The view from under the Tree of Life is simply breathtaking, and you have a bit more time to enjoy it, whereas the entrance area is always congested with people going into the attraction.

Lunch would be at Flame Tree BBQ, which is a favorite spot of ours. Eating on the water yummy chicken and fresh fruit is so relaxing, and we seem to really enjoy our family time spent there.

Next would be a ride on Dinosaur, which Emily just recently started riding. My brave girl has conquered her fear of it, so we were pumped to ride together as a family.  To make Emily feel more comfortable, I always wave to each Dinosaur as we pass it so she feels it is more of a sill ride, and not such a scary one. I even waved to the big guy at the very end, which in all honesty, still freaks ME out and I have rode this 100 times now.

We called it a day since it was getting very hot out, and we have learned you just don’t mess around with the heat at AK. We headed home for a swim and nap.

Our Saturday night would take us all different ways. Craig took the kids to Epcot for some play time, and I took a person up on a dinner invitation to the Kona Café at the Polynesian Resort.  I love walking into the Poly, and smelling all the great food.  Watching our budget these days so we are able to do everything we want to, Kona was affordable for me, so I was happy to try dinner there.

We decided we would order appetizers, and I ordered for myself the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. She ordered the potstickers and the crab cakes- and they were TO DIE FOR!! We also got fresh and FREE bread at our table first, so it was nice to fill up on that first. They serve it with sweet butter, so it is simply to delicious! We ate, chatted, and enjoyed our peaceful evening. We topped it off with a view of “Wishes” from the Poly beach, which was fun to relax on a beach chair and watch.  A great day, and I went to bed feeling truly blessed that I get to enjoy WDW in every way possible.

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