The lion family are always a highlight of the safari trip, but usually the view one gets of the male lion with his beautiful mane is of his backside curled up on the top of a tall rock formation where he likes to nap and sun himself. It's quite rare to see him anywhere else, but we lucked out on this safari trip!
We then went to see the Festival of the Lion King. Last time we were there, we definitely enjoyed it, but I thought the vocal performances could have been improved. This time? Wow, it was phenomenal....the epitome of what this performance can be. The guy who did the musical act for Scar's "Be Prepared" was especially impressive, with a growling bass voice.
Our next fast pass was for Expedition Everest, which is our favorite roller coaster on Disney property, and my second favorite ride. We waited a little bit longer to be able to ride in the front seat, which is especially important on this ride, since (if you've never been on it) there's a part where the roller coaster track seems to end at a cliff's edge, and after a moment's pause, you start falling back down backward instead of going forward. It was so totally worth waiting for front seats.
As you can see from this picture, by now the overcast skies had turned into a drizzling rain. We got out these ponchos several times throughout the day, and then put them back away...out, and away...out and away.
Next we went to the Wilderness Explorers camp to meet Dug and Russell. They were both very excited to see it was our anniversary, and Russell wanted to pose with 7 fingers displayed (it's hard to see his thumb as finger 7)
Next we met Pocahontas, the only Animal Kingdom stop for my hat signatures. Here I have to vent a little bit. Last time we were at Animal Kingdom, we also met Pocahontas, and I was surprised by how very very thin she was. Now, I have no problem with a variety of body types, and loving and accepting all of them, but to me...Pocahontas should, of all the princesses, be *strong* and display an athletic body type. I was curious to meet her again during this trip to see if we got a more athletic-built Pocahontas, and again I was surprised by how thin she was, even by Disney princess standards.
She's lovely, but I will be happy someday to meet a buff Pocahontas.
I believe there's only one place in all the Disney parks to meet Mickey and Minnie together, and that's at Animal Kingdom. We got our picture with them, and then explained that they were an inspiration to our relationship. They must have liked that, because they set up the second pose.
We went to the Finding Nemo stage show, which is our favorite in the Animal Kingdom, and promptly got the songs stuck in our head all day.
We went on the nature trail and saw the flying fox bat enclosure, where I stayed and stared gleefully for much longer than most of the other tourists, as flying fox bats are among my favorite animals. I thought I took a marvelous video of one crawling hook over hook down a rope, but apparently I didn't hit "start" until I thought I was hitting "stop," and I got a video of the pants leg of the person next to me instead. Wah wah.
That was the last thing we really wanted to do in the Animal Kingdom, so next we took a bus over to Magic Kingdom.
We really wanted to be Galactic Heroes and get 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride. Sadly that didn't happen, even with knowing what targets to hit. Maybe next time. I love the look of intense concentration on our faces on the ride.
As we exited the ride, we noticed that Buzz himself was waiting for photos, so we got a shot with him.
We then rode/watched the Carousel of Progress, since we were right there and hadn't been on it before. It was amusingly outdated in its misogyny, but yet somehow charming and endearing. I'd ride it again.
That night was a Halloween party night, which meant all other parkgoers had to exit by 7pm. On our way out of the park, we had the Main Street photographers take a few pictures.
Including this one, which I think is my favorite non-costumed castle picture of us from this trip:
We waved one more goodbye to the glowing Mickey pumpkin wreaths and went to Disney Springs for a little bit longer, sampling the holiday sandwich again at Earl of Sandwich. Then day two of our trip was over, and another day to look forward to in the morning.