Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day Eight

We returned to the parks on Monday, starting with Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom in the morning.  We rode the safari first, and it turned out to be the best safari of our whole trip.  It was really foggy, and the savannah and animals were especially lovely in the fog.  Plus, a giraffe tried to eat our truck!  The driver stopped to let him cross, but instead of crossing, he nibbled on the hood of the truck, then on the canopy that covered the truck.  We also saw another giraffe that was pestering a wildebeest (no idea if it was actually a wildebeest or not, but it could have been).  The driver told us that specific giraffe had been doing that a lot recently, that for some reason he decided he wanted to be best friends with this much smaller wildebeest.

After the safari we did the Pangani Exploration trail, then booked it to Camp Minnie-Mickey to meet Pocahontas.  They open later than the rest of the park and we made it just in time for their rope drop.  When we got to the meet and greet area, Chip and Dale had signs for different characters and were pointing people in different directions, holding their signs upside down, and just generally were being funny.  Pocahontas was pleasant but a little bland, but we had to make sure we got all the princesses' autographs.  We were just in time for a showing of Festival of the Lion King, so we decided to head in.  The show was amazing, and definitely something I'd see again.

After Festival of the Lion King, we went to meet Russell and Dug.  That was probably the best meet and greet of the whole trip.  They loved the autograph book, they loved the stuffed dog Colwyn had brought (and loved that his name was Chocolate Milk).  Doug joked with Dug about having the same name, and Niall gave Dug huge cuddles.  When we finally got around to taking a group picture, Doug suggested we say, "Grape Soda!" instead of "Cheese!" and Russell and Dug loved that.

Niall zonked out in the stroller soon after that, so Doug took Colwyn and Lachlann on Primeval Whirl while I took the littles into Restaurantosaurus to have lunch.  I was very excited to find Pomegranate Lemonade there, and couldn't find it at any other restaurant we went to.

We headed back to our resort for a short break, then went to Epcot for the afternoon.  We did the Kidcot stops in Canada and the UK and as we headed towards France, we spotted a booth for Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, so we stopped to sign up.  Doug had to go to the Boardwalk to use their business center, so he took Niall via the International Gateway while I did the Agent P mission in France.  I definitely got the better deal there, as Doug had a very unpleasant time on his errand.  Poor guy.

After meeting back up with Doug, we took the boat back to Canada and ate at Garden Grill.  That was a wonderful character meal.  I got bonus points with Chip for knowing which chipmunk he was.  Pluto and Niall had a fun conversation about our dog, Maddy.  Lachlann was very excited to show Mickey his Duffy, and Fiona insisted on making sure Mickey knew she had a Duffy, too, but that he stayed in our room.  We got a fun picture of Colwyn and Dale, with Colwyn making chipmunk cheeks.  The food was good, too, but it was definitely the characters that made it a great meal.

We decided to head out fairly early, just fitting in one more ride on Spaceship Earth before heading back to our resort and our beds.  We did stop to take a picture in the Seas pavilion, as it had been too sunnier when we were there before.  There was a custodian who was happily taking pictures for people so everyone could be in the shot.  We waited for the people in front of Marlin and Dory to clear out, and he offered to take our picture so Doug and I could be in it, too.  We didn't actually want to be in the picture, so we turned him down.. but then it occurred to us to ask him to get in the photo.  I guess we were just impressed with his willingness to add a little magic to other people's vacations, even when it was something not remotely in his job description.  Here's Gerhard from the Netherlands.

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