NOVEMBER 2020 ROAD TRIP TO WALT DISNEY WORLD PRE-TRIP REPORT: DAY 7 (ANIMAL KINGDOM!!!!)

What up What up…

Welcome to another post about what we may or may not be doing on a trip that is probably happening but also might not be.

Yup – another pre-trip post for our upcoming November Walt Disney World vacation. So get excited. Or at least, you know, content. Get content!

Before I get into the actual day, I want to give you guys a bit of a math lesson. You ready? It’s a simple equation really:

Upcoming Disney vacation + being stuck at home because of COVID = an inability to stop buying crap

Seriously you guys. We CANNOT STOP buying merch for this trip. I mean, I already got into the whole port-a-port-a-potty situation Nickie has gotten us into in my first post but beyond lavatorial needs, we have gotten A LOT of stuff.

I actually can’t get into some items since a bunch of them are surprises for the kids and their road trip bags. We have some goody bags made up for each of the destinations on the road trip portions of the trip, including when we arrive at Disney and when we head home, so we have a total of 7 bags made up. And these bags are LEGIT. Definitely stay tuned for the actual trip reports to see what all is going on in there.

Also – and this is surprising to say since we only have 4 total park days on this trip – this will be the most matching-t-shirting I have ever done on a Disney trip. We have a matching family shirt to wear one day to commemorate our Disney trip and capture the kind of awful that is 2020:

It’s a pretty sweet shirt, no? We got this from the SilkyTouchbyAndrea shop on Etsy. Shirt is super soft. It puts the “silky touch” in SilkyTouchbyAndrea.

That’s actually the only shirt we are all matching together. But, like I said, I am matching a lot on this trip. Nickie and I have matching shirts for Magic Kingdom day as well (they haven’t officially arrived yet so I have to use the shop photo):

This was bought at the TheMidnightComet on Etsy.

And this shirt really worked out. Since we actually booked our meal at Tony’s Town Square, which as you know is all kinds of Lady and the Tramp. Plus, it matches my Lady and the Tramp magic band. Also, check out our magic bands for this trip!

Annnnnd. I am also matching the boys on our EPCOT day with this bad boy – or girl, I guess? (and again, I had to rely on the web photo since the shirt hasn’t come yet):

We grabbed this one on RedBubble. And for those that don’t know, it’s a nod to Gabriel Gundacker’s EPCOT Ball Vine. Which is funny. Though I don’t know why.

Yeah, so lots o’ t-shirts. But there is one more thing Nickie bought. And I really want you guys to see this. So as mentioned, she did buy our way into curbside poo’ing with her Luggable Loo situation. And while you all have my permission to make fun of her for that one, this purchase is so awesome. Look. At. This.

That there is a pop-up picnic table. When she ordered this, Nickie told me she ordered a picnic table for us to use on the road trip in case we needed to set up outside somewhere. And I was like, “eh, ok.” But she neglected to tell me it was a MINNIE MOUSE pop-up picnic table. I mean, that changes everything. Now, I really wanna eat outside on this thing.

I also wanna eat in my living room on this thing.

And not only is this unlike the Luggable Loo in that it’s not disgusting. But it also sets up and breaks down so easily. The benches fold into the table, which folds over and becomes a carrying case.

The things they do these days.

And for those who are wondering, Nickie bought this from Bed Bath & Beyond.

OK, enough with the merch…on with the day.

Day 7 – Animal Kingdom and a resort switch!

So sad news you guys. Day 7 will be our last morning waking up at Bay Lake Tower.

But not to worry. It’s not like we are leaving Walt Disney World. We have a full park day at Animal Kingdom and a switch to a resort we have never stayed at before.

Now you’re more excited to read the rest of this post, right??

Pfft. Whatever, Ariel.

So yeah, waking up. And hopefully, NOT packing the car up. Hopefully, we packed the car up the night before. Hopefully, we may think ahead on the night of Day 6 to what it might be like to have to wake up and pack the next morning. Hopefully.

Right so. After we pack the car up that morning….

…breakfast is kind of up in the air. I mean, not literally. Hopefully, it will be on a table or at the very least something stationary.

The spreadsheet has us heading to the park for breakfast. But I mean, the park doesn’t open until 9AM that day so I dunno. My condition makes it so I have a hard time waiting so long after waking up to eat.

“Oh, do you have low blood sugar?”

No. High fat cells.

If we do end up eating at the resort, we may just grab some breakfast from Contempo Café in the Contemporary lobby. We can mobile order and then just eat on our balcony as a sort of good-bye to Bay Lake.

I recall them having a lovely…just LOVELY…breakfast sandwich there.

Plus, I NEED the peanut butter pie they serve there.

And yes, a peanut butter pie 100% can work as breakfast. Fascist.

Like I said, the park opens at 9AM so at some point we will have to hop in the car, bid Bay Lake adieu and head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

The plan is, I think, to head straight for Pandora and Avatar Flight of Passage since as things stand right now – pre-riding-Rise-of-the-Resistance – this is my favorite attraction in alllll of Walt Disney World.

Plus…and this is a big plus….if we don’t make it to breakfast at the resort, it’s right near Pongu Pongu, which serves a rull nice breakfast biscuit.

Turns out that no matter where we end up for breakfast, I will end up being able to eschew silverware. So it’s a win either way.

The rest of the morning will be spent hitting whatever attractions we can hit – Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur. Ugh, sorry…

DINOSAUR

Disney for some reason, writes “DINOSAUR” in all caps on its website. Like it’s a conspiracy theorist trying to convince me on Facebook how Obama is implementing tracking chips in ALL THE VACCINES so he can STEAL OUR FREEDOM.

But yeah, should be a fun Animal Kingdom morning. And for lunch? Again, a decision. There are two options on the table:

Option 1

We head back to Pandora to visit one of the best (if not the best) counter service options at Walt Disney World – Satu’li Canteen.

So good, this place. Typically, I go for one of their Bowl which are sort of a make-your-own situation where you choose protein, base, and sauce and they top the whole thing off with vegetable slaw and boba balls.

Last time I went to Satu’li, I got a Combination Bowl (beef and chicken) but liked the beef so much, I said I should just go with full beef next time. So thanks for the recommendation, past Wayne. You’re a genius. Much smarter than present-day Wayne. Shut up. Make me.

Ahem. Sorry you had to see that.

Option 2

Option 2 has us going to the Nomad Lounge, which is the accompanying lounge for Animal Kingdom’s signature restaurant, Tiffins. While we have stopped for drinks at Nomad before dinner at Tiffins, we never have actually eaten there.

The place is beautiful and the drinks are really REALLY good. I’ve gotten the Tempting Tigress (Russell’s Reserve 10yr Bourbon, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Tamarind Syrup, and Lime Juice) before but am also kind of liking the sound of the Annapurna Zing (Bombay Sapphire Gin, Passion Fruit Purée, Mint, Simple Syrup, and Lime Juice topped with Ginger Beer and a glowing Lotus Flower) as well.

The menu looks pretty minimal, as lounge menus often do but the offerings definitely sound nice. With the Togarashi-spiced Tuna Nomad Bowl doing a good job of catching my eye.

But I have to say Satu’li probably looks like the better option for lunch. However, my suggestion? Either stop by Nomad before Satu’li for a drink and maybe some bread service…

…or have lunch first and a post-lunch drink and CHURROS at Nomad Lounge.

Look, no matter where we net out here, it’s a win. And just like that, lunch on Day 7 became the best moment of 2020.

After lunch, we will most likely leave the park for the day and head to check into our new home for the next couple days  – our 1-bedroom at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian!

So insanely excited to spend a couple nights at the Grand Floridian. Nickie and I have been trying our best to stay at as many Disney resorts as we can and the Grand has always eluded us. It’s just been hard to justify the cost-value when compared against other Deluxe resorts. But, every time we visit we do love it there. And who knows? Maybe this stay will convince us its worth it…we still have a week to book for our 2-week trip next summer.

So yeah, we will check in and then most likely head right to the pool for a couple cocktails hours. Hours. Yes, that’s what I meant to say.

After getting our swim on, its back up to the room to get ready for the night. And before heading out, I am hoping we get a chance to check out the Enchanted Rose.

Yup, another lounge. But one we have never been to before. AND one that’s themed after Beauty and the Beast.

I mean, don’t get too excited. Technically, it’s themed after the live-action Beauty and the Beast. And the bad live-action Beauty and the Beast. Not the Linda Hamilton sewer-based TV series…

…Nor the loosely-adapted-and-insane Vanessa Hudgens/Mary-Kate Olsen vehicle, Beastly.

Both of which were more enjoyable than the Emma Watson version.

But I digress. The lounge still seems really nice. And it has drinks. So that’s always a plus. It looks like they do a seasonal Old-Fashioned here, which may be the best bet. But the drink menu is pretty extensive, so I am not gonna commit myself just yet.

Well, that’s not completely true. One thing I can commit to is having A drink of some sort.

I promise.

After we finish up at Enchanted Rose, it’s back in the car to head to Disney Springs for dinner at Morimoto Asia – another first-time restaurant for us!

As you can see in that photo above, Morimoto is another place with what looks to be a good amount of outdoor seating. And as you can see by the menu in the link above, Morimoto is another place with what looks to be a good amount of outdoor…. eating.

See what I did there?

The sushi sounds yum, but honestly if I had my druthers (whatever druthers are), I would love to get the spareribs for the table…

…and order up some Duck Ramen as an entrée.

But we’ll see. It looks like they often have specials on their menu. And I love specials. They just seem so…

…special.

To drink, I really do feel like I have to try their Japanese Old-Fashioned as it uses Suntory whiskey. But two Old-Fashioneds in a day?

Yes, the answer is yes.

For dessert, I think the hope is to head over to Amorette’s Patisserie and see what they have going on in their case.

Oh sweet mystery of life.

After dessert, if the crowds aren’t too bad, we will probably spend some time taking in the sights around Disney Springs. Due to COVID, the Christmas Trees from the Christmas Tree Trail will be scattered around Disney Springs, so it might be a nice night to walk around and check those out.

But if the crowds are awful (and since, spoiler alert, we will back at Disney Springs tomorrow) we may just head back to the Grand Floridian to hang out in the hot tub or catch whatever movie they are playing outside.

No matter where we end up to end the night, sounds like a pretty sweet Day 7 if you ask me.

Even if you don’t ask me, honestly.

Last Post (November 2020 pre-trip Day 6 – Magic Kingdom)
Next Post (November 2020 pre-trip Day 8 – Hollywood Studios)

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