Welp, hey everyone!
Welcome to yet another installment chronicling our most recent, yet also months ago trip to Walt Disney World. This one is a bittersweet one as we say goodbye to some friends but hello to others. Yeah. It’s a roller coaster of emotions.
And I know, these posts have been trickling in. But do you want to wait some more and get an explanation or have you waited long enough and do you just wanna get into it?
Welp, whatever…I don’t have one.
So let’s get on with it.
Day 5 – A morning at Animal Kingdom, a Night at Typhoon Lagoon
So Day 5. It was….guess what?
Not that early.
Yeah, today we were like, just all feeling a little bit of a sleep-in.
I should also remind you guys our room was 2 adults (Nickie and I), 5 teenagers (Myles, Owen, Hannah, Liam, and Ayla).
So sleeping in was a welcome situation.
But also – I should mention this was Disney sleeping in. We were still up before 7:30.
Actually, I was up at around 7AM before everyone. Because while we weren’t doing Genie+ today, I was still tasked with buying Individual Lightning Lanes for Avatar: Flight of Passage. And I, being me, totally messed things up and got passes for people that didn’t need them, like Nickie who doesn’t ride it and Kayce and Bella, who weren’t joining us today.
I am the best.
And by “the best,” I mean the worst.
Also, heads up – we were meeting some guests today that weren’t staying on property and much to my surprise, I could not book Individual Lightning Lanes for them since they weren’t. But eh, Disney is pretty easy going. I’m sure they’ll let us swap the extra ones I paid for. I mean, they were each 14 bucks so that would be a lot of money we were just leaving on the table.
I’m sure Disney, being so concerned with the guest experience, will just let us swap. Easy-peasy.
But yeah, today was our Animal Kingdom day. And I mean, we weren’t in that much of a rush. Since we had our own little Animal Kingdom right outside our balcony.
Yeah dude. Three giraffes. Just straight up chillin’.
And I mean, we could have spent all morning hanging out with these dudes but we did eventually have to get moving. We did have a whole day o’ fun to take care of.
It’s like they always say – so many giraffes, so little time.
First order of business was breakfast. And breakfast today was at The Mara, the counter service location at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Which is a pretty stellar counter service location.
I didn’t end up taking pictures of much here beyond a couple plates but trust me, it’s magical.
One of the plates I took a picture of was my Savannah Platter – Scrambled Cage-free Eggs, Mickey Waffle, Potatoes, Bacon, and Sausage.
And yeah, of course it was good. It had ALL the breakfast.
Also pictured on that plate is a piece of Nickie’s French Toast Bread Pudding, of which I have a full picture here:
I am pretty sure that last sentence was grammatically correct, but who is knowing whether or not it be.
But yeah – the French Toast Bread Pudding you guys. Brioche Bread Pudding served with Madagascar Vanilla Bean Sauce. I am literally deeply in love with all those words I just wrote.
That’s kind of all I have from breakfast. Those are all the pictures I took.
I took no mara.
After we all finished up, we found our way down to the bus stop and hopped the next bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We made it through the gates by 9:20. And we walked by this by like 9:30.
I know. It was in the album. I mean, it’s pretty and everything but I’m sure you guys are all like, “water you taking pictures like that for?”
But hey, check these ones out instead. There’s people in them.
Yeah, this blog has everything. Pictures. People. Everything.
Oh and look, you guys. More statues!!
Pumbaa, Timon, and Simba! Three characters in one. That means we have chronicled 33 characters!! We are getting there.
We were meeting some surprise guests this morning so we all kind of hung out for a bit in the middle of the park to wait for them. And while we were there?
Yeah, Kevin. I’m excited too, Mrs. McCallister.
And we also knew a little girl back at home who loved Kevin – Baby Scarlett!
So we called her up on the FaceTime. And yeah, she was almost as excited as Mrs. McCallister.
Scarlett is a legit Kevin stan.
Also while we were waiting, I took advantage of my membership in the “I bought a popcorn bucket look at me look how cool I am look LOOK AT ME” club and grabbed myself a $2.00 refill.
Popcorn always tastes good. But it tastes way better when I’m paying less for it than everyone else. It tastes of victory.
This dude knows what I’m talking about.
Also, Kevin wasn’t the only one we ran into while we were waiting for our special guests to arrive.
We also saw Pooh.
Oh, sorry. Poo.
Yerp. A bird totally duke’d right on Myles. Which they say is good luck. But I think that was started by a bird that just wanted an excuse to turd wherever he wanted.
And to that bird I say, “nicely played, my friend. Nicely played.”
Thankfully, we did have some water. So we were able to turn that little bit of poo into a huge sloppy pooey mess.
At around 10Amish…
Sorry, at around 10AM-ish. Not 10 Amish. Which, I mean, would definitely be the start of a pretty epic story.
But yeah, 10AM. Our special guests arrived and we made our way immediately over to It’s Tough to Be a Bug.
And those special guests??
My brother Jeff and my niece Shannon!
I know. It IS exciting.
Look, see. Here they are with us at Tough to Be a Bug if you don’t believe me.
There. Are you satisfied?
So great. Though it does look like Jeff was either super excited about the attraction and couldn’t stop shaking OR he had watched that cursed VHS tape and only had seven days to live.
And yeah, I know. I already made this joke on the blog here but look, there are only so many blurry face jokes in the universe.
We were let into the theater within ten minutes and, guys, look. It’s Flik, played charmingly by Dave Foley.
And Hopper, played problematically by Kevin Spacey.
Tough to be a Bug is a pretty solid attraction. It has great 3D effects, a fun story and some legit lol inducing poop AND fart jokes, and those little freak-out moments still hold up.
You guys know what I’m talking about.
And, checking out the blog it seems we haven’t visited this attraction since 2016. Which was my 40th birthday trip. The first one I ever wrote about on here.
So I haven’t experienced Tough to be a Bug in like 6 years.
What the hell is the matter with me?
After Tough to be a Bug, we made the decision to head over to Asia and get in line for Expedition: Everest while Nickie, who thinks roller coasters are a tool of the devil, spent some time exploring the park.
The full time from line to boarding was about 30 minutes, which isn’t too bad. Plus, I do love this queue. It’s still one of the better ones in all of Walt Disney World.
At least I think so. And so does Myles. He finds this queue super stimul…
Come on man.
Checking in on my other son, it seems the high altitude gives Owen nosebleeds.
And as if Myles didn’t get enough poo earlier, him and Liam kept making the “yummy” face in the scat room.
I ended up riding with Shan and Jeff ended up riding with someone who is obviously very camera-shy.
By the time we got off Everest, it was time to hit up our Individual Lightning Lane at Avatar: Flight of Passage.
Now, I know. I sounded pretty optimistic about being able to swap our Individual Lightning Lanes since I had purchased some for people that weren’t at the park with us today (Kayce and Bella) or simply don’t ride that attraction (Nickie).
But guess what?
We talked to one cast member who said it wasn’t possible. Another who told us to go to guest services. And yet another who said if I had the passes of the people who were not using their Lightning Lanes on my phone, we could probably figure it out.
We didn’t. We didn’t figure it out.
I should also note all three of these cast members were working within mere feet of one another at the entrance of Flight of Passage.
Nickie ended up coming over and just gave Shannon her MagicBand while Jeff opted not to ride. So on the rest of us went.
And we took this super awkward picture.
And here we are erm…decontaminating.
Which, to be completely fair, was long overdue.
After we got off the always-awesome Flight of Passage, it was lunchtime. Since neither of them rode Flight of Passage, Jeff and Nickie had already found their way to Nomad Lounge so Shannon and I were planning on meeting them. The kids, meanwhile, wanted to try and hop on a couple more attractions before lunch so we split up.
To Nomad Lounge!
Nomad Lounge has A LOT of really good drinks on their menu but my favorite has to be the Tempting Tigress (Russell’s Reserve 10yr Bourbon, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Tamarind Syrup, and Lime Juice).
So yeah, we obvs had a few of those.
We also ordered up some food for the table. Because, I mean, we can’t just have alcohol for lunch.
I mean, wait. Can we?
No, we can’t.
We got the Tiffins Bread Service for the table (Thai Milk Bread, Coconut-Makrut Lime Sauce, Indian Pappadam, Ginger-Pear Chutney, Brazilian Pão de Queijo, Guava Jam).
And Jeff and I went splitsies – splitting a plate of the Smoked Pork Ribs.
And the Impossible Sliders with Chipotle Aïoli and Yucca Fries.
Oh, and we also got the Gobi Manchurian, which was a lot like Buffalo Cauliflower, but with a little more, I dunno, zing? Is it zing that there’s more of?
Everything was delicious but I think the Gobi Manchurian was my favorite thing I ate here. Thing kicks on both flavor and texture. The waitress highly recommended we get that one and she is now my hero.
A close second were the ribs, though.
I mean, if you come here?
Just get everything.
Nomad Lounge is just a vibe, you guys. You’re out on the porch. You’re drinking your cocktails. You’re eating your cauliflower. Every once in a while, Chip and Dale or Pocahantas cruises by in a boat.
It’s a pretty awesome place.
I mean, look at Jeff and Shan. They’re obviously enjoying it.
And as if this lunch couldn’t get any better, we had even more super-cool people join us. And they were super cool family member people. Kelly and Connor and Lily and Kelly’s mom and nephew were in the park as well and they came to meet us!
And this called for another Tempting Tigress. Obviously.
So what was initially going to be a short snacky lunch ended up being a pretty long endeavor. And like, I was there for it. We spent a lot of time getting to know Lily, especially since it was the first time Nickie and I met her.
It was awesome hanging with all of them. We caught up, had some laughs, AND the waiter had to remind us multiple times to stop crowding the walkway. So you know we were having a good time.
Lily was partied out by the time it was all over.
So we got the bill and got in touch with the kids to make a plan to meet out front of the park. On our way out? Another statue!!
Ugh. Yeah, I am so not proud of that sentence.
Bambi and Thumper. Ugh too kewt. And that’s two more characters. Brings us to 35.
The plan for the next part of the day was to get our suits on and head to the pool.
Our bathing suits. This wasn’t a 3-piece situation.
And we had a full house situation happening again. We had the five of us (Me, Nickie, Owen, Myles, Hannah), Liam and Ayla, and Jeff and Shannon.
Thank GOD we weren’t all putting 3-piece suits on.
Now, most people, when they head back to hit the pool, they get to their room, put their suits on, and just head down.
But not us, man.
Yeah. Being that this was July (and yes, I realize it is now going to be Fall next week. Don’t judge) we wanted to make sure we did a little bit of celebrating for Owen’s birthday. So when we ordered groceries for the room, we made sure to order a small cake to let him know we think he’s cool and stuff.
I mean, look at this now-15-year-old.
He really is cool and stuff. Love that kid.
Also, while we were getting ready, we got to see the giraffes being fed right outside our balcony.
I mean, we weren’t watching them while getting ready. We weren’t full-on stripping on the balcony or anything.
We made it down to the pool by around 4:30. Myles and Liam were obviously afraid of those late afternoon UVs.
Liam was especially concerned with maintaining the youthfulness of his face skin. As evidenced by him obviously using an entire bottle on just his cheeks and nose.
And it’s a good thing they loaded up on the sunscreen because about 15 minutes later…
Yup. It rained.
But eh, that wasn’t gonna stop their splish-splashing.
And that wasn’t gonna stop our drink-drunking.
Yup, another Mount Kilamarita (Patrón Silver Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, and Sweet-and-Sour with a splash of Cranberry Juice) from the Uzima Springs Pool Bar and I can attest – it tastes just as good in the rain as it does in the sunlight.
Now, this rain was problematic beyond rain being its normal problematic self. Tonight we were planning to go to H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon, one of the two water parks at Walt Disney World.
And we were super excited for this whole situation because this was a ticketed after-hours event at a water park that not only promised lower crowds but also cool glow night experiences like dance parties and fun floats in the lazy river and what not. Plus, all-you-can-eat popcorn and ice cream treats, like Mickey bars.
It was kind of a big deal.
So you know. Screw you, rain.
We tried asking the front desk, calling around, checking however we could to see if the event was cancelled or not. And time was growing short. While the event started officially at park close, we were able to enter at 6PM and that hour was quickly approaching.
We all decided we might as well give it a go in the rain. The forecast was kind of 50/50 for later so the hope was things would clear up.
Onto the bus we went!
And we were all excited. I mean, a night at Typhoon Lagoon AND all-you-can-eat Mickey bars and popcorn? We were in.
But I don’t know. I think something nefarious happened on the bus. I think someone maybe drugged Liam. Like, one minute, he was all smiles, hanging out with Ayla.
And literally, 7 minutes later? He was…
Yeah, out cold. Someone definitely slipped him a mickey.
Or, wait. In Disney maybe the ‘M’ is capitalized. Someone slipped him a Mickey.
Speaking of cold, this bus was that. And being that we were all in semi-wet bathing suits, this was not something we were totally psyched about.
We got to Typhoon Lagoon by 7PM.
We checked in and they gave us two bracelets.
Yeah, man. TWO bracelets. We were living LARGE.
One bracelet was there to prove we were part of H2O Glow Nights, but the other was there just to light up and look pretty.
That’s how extra we were tonight.
With those on my wrist plus my MagicBand and my Drey-C friendship bracelet, my arm was loaded like a preteen girl on her way to her 8th grade spring dance, 1988.
We grabbed a quick fun pic with Lagoona Gator.
And made our way into the heart of the park. On our way, they had these super cool smoke bubbles filling the air.
Before we started getting our slide on, we all figured it would make sense to grab something to eat first. So we stopped off at Leaning Palms to check out some of the H2O Glow Night specific offerings.
I grabbed a Bud Light and the ManGLOW (Mango) Barbeque Chicken and Waffles (Mango barbecue chicken wings and rainbow mickey waffles with purple cabbage slaw, mango chutney, and Sriracha honey butter.)
Which were definitely good. But weirdly, they didn’t have any syrup available. I mean, whatever I suppose but they were a tad dry. That Sriracha honey butter was all kinds of bomb and what not but it still needed a little more.
After dinner, we grabbed some chairs outside of the wave pool.
Partly because of that view, but also because they were just a little ways across the way from where the dance party was gonna be taking place.
Which worked out. On account of…
Yeah dude. I can’t help it. All that rhythm can’t just live inside me. It needs an outlet.
And, like I wasn’t the only one. Our whole crew made their way over to get their dance on. And, well. We also weren’t the only ones. This cast member joined us and she was pretty much the exact opposite of Liam on the bus.
Girl was fired up.
Prepare yourself. This is a video and a half.
All that standing around watching someone else do all the dancing worked up quite a sweat so we all decided to make our way over to the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool.
And you guys, this wave pool. I know I have been in here before, but these waves are Leh. Git. Like when that wave is working up its strength and starts coming towards you, it for a second feels like maybe this could be the end.
This feeling was exacerbated by the copious amounts of alcohol people were drinking that night and the impending darkness.
Night was both all kinds of joy and terror.
Oh and that last picture? Maybe avoid jumping on the backs of your fellow wave-poolers. The lifeguard was NOT happy with me. Which wasn’t a place where I wanted to be. On account of I was kind of afraid of dying in that wave pool that night.
After the wave pool, we had a little photo shoot with the kids.
So, like, as you are looking through these next few pictures, it would be best to have the song “We Are Young” by Supergrass in your head. This one…
Because then it will feel like you’re in the 90s hit film Clueless. You know, minus the semi-incestuous ending.
Once our vanity was satiated, we hit up the slides.
Well all of us except Nickie who is not all that big a waterslide fan. She hung back to check out this awesomeness that was happening on the beach.
So cool, right? Yeah, not gonna lie. Kinda jelly.
Also, while we were slidin like mofos, she managed to grab one of these at High N’ Dry.
That right there is a Moonlight Mudslide (A blend of Kahlua, Svedka Vodka, and Bailey’s Irish Crème mixed with chocolate cream base garnished with a cookie rim and topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a glow cube). An H2O Glow Night exclusive.
Again, I know. Super helpful given H2O Glow Night isn’t running at the moment.
I am current.
Ha, get it? Current? Like water?
At this point, puns are all that’s keeping me alive.
But yeah, the rest of us hit up the slides. Of which no pictures exist. On account of taking pictures on water slides is not great. For the whole “keeping your phone dry” thing.
Yeah, sorry about that.
So I will have to rely on my talents as a writer to paint a vivid picture of what we did on this…
No no that’s no good.
Nailed it. With the adjectives.
First off, we rode Gangplank Falls.
Then we went on Keelhaul Falls.
Then we had some ice cream and popcorn.
After that? Crush N’ Gusher.
Mayday Falls was next.
Humunga Kowabunga was also a slide we rode.
So those were the slides. Really felt like you were there, didn’t it? Yeah, I’m pretty good at the whole world-building thing.
OK, fine. I will give a little more detail. One thing to note is we ended up waiting in our longest line of the night – 45 minutes – for Gangplank Falls. We all saw the long line and figured it must be one incredible slide.
It wasn’t. Don’t do it. Don’t believe the hype.
Also, like I said, we had some ice cream. When we got off Gangplank Falls, there was a table with free ice cream treats and popcorn near the exit. I picked up a Mickey bar, opened it, and took a bite. But….
…well, I forgot how bad I had to pee during that 45 minutes we waited to ride the worst slide in the park. So, I had to bring my unwrapped Mickey bar to the urinal with me. And yeah, I ate it. While I peed.
It wasn’t my finest moment.
But hey, it wasn’t my worst either.
After we slid our slides, Jeff, Shannon, and I left the kids to head back towards the Surf Pool. Jeff and Shannon wanted to hit Castaway Creek (the lazy river) and I wanted to try and find Nickie. I got to my phone and she said she was back at High N’ Dry having a Bud Light.
And I mean, I like both Nickie AND beer so heading that way seemed the best move.
And check this beer out, you guys.
That is an Elysian Space Dust IPA swirled with “space dust.” Which is, I think, just edible glitter. Which, like, is 85% of the ingredients in Disney World food these days. Oh, and of course – there was a glow cube up in this.
We enjoyed our drinks and each other’s company and then decided to head back to take another dip in the Surf Pool. On our way, look who we saw in Castaway Creek as we crossed the bridge.
Jeff and Shannon. It’s Jeff and Shannon. Here, Shannon took a closer shot for you guys.
So right, the Surf Pool. I wanted to try and swim all the way out and see how far I could ride one of those giganto waves back. Which was a scary endeavor. I mean this pool was packed you guys. At this point, it felt like the pool was like 75% people, 25% water.
Again, no pictures or video, but it looked a lot like this.
We also spent some time at the dance party together, dancing just us two. Which was hella-romantic obviously.
And we took a spin in Castaway Creek as well, hoping to catch up to Jeff and Shannon.
To no avail, but we still enjoyed the ride. In fact, while we were going around, the kids came in and joined us for a stretch.
And after we made the full loop, we all walked back to the dance party to meet back up with Jeff and Shannon and dance until the party closed at 11PM. Oh and Owen grabbed one more snack before closing time – the H2O Glow Cone (Birthday cake-flavored soft-serve with unicorn sprinkles).
But the party did have to end at some point. So at 11PM, we gathered all of our stuff and, unfortunately, had to say goodbye to the Sigginses at this point. Womp. But yeah, Arty was picking Liam up and the remainder of their trip was to be non-Disney.
A bummer for sure, but we had a great time with them. It’s always a good time with the Sigginses. Thanks guys. For being an awesome time.
On our way out, they were still giving away free boxes of popcorn. So of course, we grabbed some.
Some we ate, some we threw at Liam. Out of love, obvs squad.
But don’t go thinking it was just the five of us in the room tonight. Because while Liam and Ayla had taken their leave at this point, Jeff and Shannon were going to be spending the night tonight!
We hopped on the bus and were back in our room by midnight. Jeff blew up their air mattress….
…and we all went to bed. On account of, surprise surprise, Day 6 was going to be an early morning.
See you guys then!