My apologies to the Who:
Every day I get in the queue (Too much, Magic Bus)
To get on the bus that takes me to you (Too much, Magic Bus)
I'm so nervous, I just sit and smile (Too much, Magic Bus)
The theme park's only another mile (Too much, Magic Bus)
Today was AK day! The 2 times we had been here before, we know we've missed a TON, so we wanted to take a little time enjoy this park too. Actually, we have never even made it over to Asia in the previous trips. That's definitely going to change, thanks to Everest.
No alarm, still up at 6:50 (5:50 in Central Daylight Time…that's sleeping in thanks to Aaron's 5:20 wake-up calls at home). Initially we had planned to either eat at the Pop food court or the Rainforest Café. Without the boys, Rainforest would be kind of boring, and we felt like looking at other resort counter places, sooooo…let's try Port Orleans, since we haven't seen that one yet.
So how do we get there?
Well, it's kinda close to Epcot, I think.
We get to the bus stops around 7:15 and SNAP
No busses anywhere.
Someone in a car pulls up and asks if anyone needs a ride to Epcot for the Akershus character breakfast because, since there are no EMH anywhere this morning, the busses wouldn't be getting here for a while yet. Nobody joined them, partially because I think they would have had to ride on the hood of the car.
About 4 minutes later, an MK bus trundles in, and we decide to hop over there. It's kind of full, probably because of Crystal Palace and CRT ressies. On the way, we talk about the other resorts. Wilderness Lodge has Roaring Fork, but it's a boat ride there. The Contemp is in a state of chaos as they mess around with the floor space there. No real desire to eat at the Grand Floridian. Let's stick with Port Orleans.
We get to the bus stop for MK and look around for the Port Orleans stop…nobody there. We wait for a few minutes and almost get molested by some ducks in the waiting area. Then a bus pulls in for Wilderness Lodge.
No boat? What the heck, let's eat there! We hopped on, and the CM was in the back of the bus talking on the phone. Apparently, she wasn't supposed to start her run until 8.
At 8:00 and 3 seconds, we're on our way to WL. It's a nice short ride over there…less than 5 minutes. We waved goodbye to the palm trees and said hello to the northwest foliage (This is an awesome detail for this resort). We disembark to some ribbing from the folks waiting to get on ("back already?"). We walk into the atrium…MAN I love the grandeur of this place!!! We walked around a bit trying to figure out where the Roaring Fork was and got to look at some more of the detail in there. We walk around and notice something about this Deluxe resort that failed to notice on our last trip at the Deluxes: families smiling and kids having fun! We both commented that we could see ourselves staying here pretty easily.
We found Roaring Fork finally and used our counter service credits. The check-out lady told us that we could get an additional drink in lieu of a dessert…really nice of her to point that out to us. At one point, I used to read the forums on the DISboards that dealt with dining, but I got so annoyed at the constant bitching/critiquing in there that I quit reading it. I'm sure it's in there somewhere (along with ways to get 7 adult meals out of 2 CS credits if you sweet-talk this one CM and complain that someone else just did it last week and moan about how poorly marked items are and…)
ANYWAYS…we grab extra waters for the park, run the card through, and sit down to eat. The families were all gearing up for the day…excited kids, and parents almost as excited as the kids. Yeah, this will probably be our first deluxe stay (in about 17 years at the rate we're going). I enjoy the breakfast (pancakes!), but we took a little longer getting there than anticipated. No problem. We should still have time to get to see the AK opening (the one we haven't seen yet). We get to the bus stop, and a bus rumbles by in just a few minutes. We hop on and are on our way to Ft. Wilderness (?) to pick some up there. We get there, wait 5 minutes for nobody, and then finally make our way to Animal Kin…nope, stopping at Blizzard Beach first. We end up being about 15 minutes late for the AK opening, but it's no biggie.
I don't think it matters how busy or how quiet the place is…the pathways are narrow enough to always make it feel as though it's kind of busy there. We go through the oasis, past Discovery Island, and (finally) make it to Asia. Expedition Everest is looming in front of us as we head over to the fastpass distribution. As we're walking up, we hear the very distinct sound of a couple of Siamang gibbons doing their calls. I remember hearing them in the Nashville zoo and listened to them for about 20 minutes…that's a sound you don't forget. We grabbed the fastpasses and saw only a 20 minute posted wait. I tried convincing someone to ride it now, but someone wanted to head over to Kilimanjaro Safaris. So we trekked over to Africa towards the Safari. No time was posted, but we were told a half-hour wait. She batted her eyes at me, and we hopped in the queue. It was actually only around 15 minutes to get there. I watched an empty bus go by with a couple of CMs in there…the driver overshot the loading platform by a foot or two, and the other was pointing something out by the platform. "New driver training?" I asked the CM putting us in the lines. "Yup!" We talked for a minute or two during the wait. Sounds like the turnover there is pretty high as the drivers seem to head over to Backlot and then finally to the Great Movie Ride (indoors in the AC) as positions open up.
We hop in, and we're on our way. I figured that it was warming up quickly and that the animals were going to be less active.
The damn animals were allied with wifey.
Lots of pictures of the animals close to the vehicle.
And a couple of pictures of a tree trunk.
And one picture of the back of a woman's head.
I'll mention now that it was Sheri that had the camera.
We head off the Safari, and I head over to the whistle and drum folks while Sheri breaks the seal again. On our way back we find a Photopass dudette and get a couple of pics with the Tree of Life in the background. We keep on going around back to Asia (second time) and find another Photopass dudette to get pics with Everest in the background. Neither of us were fond of those pics (what we were wearing I think). We still had a few minutes before the FP return time, so we thumbed our noses at Disney and went into the requisite gift shop BEFORE the ride.
I see the "scream like a girl" shirt and tell Sheri of the BTMRR reference to Del and how they should be paying Wobin royalties for usage of that phrase. Finally we head into the FP return queue…I've heard tons about the queuing area here, but it's a FP queue so there ain't a whole lot of time looking around. It was a short stroll to the loading area. By our place in line, we should be about two-thirds of the way back on the train. The pins came in handy again…the CM saw them and threw us to the front…second row as there was a couple on their honeymoon in the very front.
The group getting on the train before us is in their final preparations. The lap bar engages, and the girl in the very front row (late high school or early college by my guess, Sheri is correcting me and saying she was about 12 or so) just snapped. Seriously. She was fine, and the next second, her eyes get big, and she starts asking to be let off. There were no CMs near the front, so she starts screaming to be let off. In a matter of seconds, a CM makes her way up to her (probably seemed like an eternity to the girl). The reset the train and let her off. She was so worked up that she almost fell onto the track.
I can sympathize for her…when I worked at the airport, we were in final preparations for an AirTran flight to depart (chocks were already pulled). They were just about to close the main cabin door and drive the jetway away from the plane when I hear loud thumps down the jetway. Mind you, I had earplugs in, and I was the lead in front of the plane (a good 20 feet away from the jetway), and I still heard it. A larger guy (could have played college football) freaked out and ran off the plane at the last second. After we got the plane off the ramp, we headed in to make sure everything was okay. He was almost hyperventilating right at the gate, but several others were helping out.
That train leaves, and ours rolls in. We hop in, and awwaaaaaaay we go! We gab for a brief second with the newlyweds and congratulated them. Then came the hill. Sheri doesn't like this part of coaster rides (which is why she likes RNR here and Mr. Freeze at Six Flags St. Louis). She looked a little sick as we went up, while I was trying to point out what all you could see (the Golf Ball, the Contemp, our house). It was a rather steep incline (I think only the Millennium Force at Cedar Point was steeper of the ones I've been on). We make the crest and wait for the rest of the train and then we're off! I saw the buzzard and was trying to point it out to Sheri when we started backwards. I watched the track switch in the cave with Shadowyeti. The yeti itself lived up to the hype…amazing how that thing moves!!!