Curly Crafty Mom: Disney Recap - Animal Kingdom & Pandora

Friday, August 4, 2017

Disney Recap - Animal Kingdom & Pandora

We've made it to Friday! I've been a little sad each time we wrap up a week lately, because I know my little ones will be going back to school soon. In a week and 2 days! Gulp. Looking back at our Disney trip makes me realize how fast this summer flew by! Today I'm sharing a recap on our time at the Animal Kingdom park and also my thoughts on the new Pandora area! 

Check out all of my Disney posts HERE.

Every day Mickey would bring the kids 'Mickey Mail' and they would find it when they woke up in the morning. On the day that we went to Animal Kingdom, he brought them each a pin lanyard and some 'trading' pins plus a treat to eat.

Caring for Giants Tour
I signed us up for the 'Caring for the Giants' tour over the phone. When I called to book Bibbidi Bobbed Boutique and Pirate's League they sold me on the tour. It was REALLY neat. We took a bus to the BACK of Animal Kingdom and got to see where they raise, feed and care for all the animals. We got to see the elephants up close. It was really educational, especially for the kids. They have several other 'tours' that you can do and we may sign up for another one next time we are at Animal Kingdom. It took about an hour of our day and we did the tour at 10 a.m. after we road the safari ride.

We got to see several elephants, but the most exciting ones were Stella the BABY and her momma, Donna.

We even got to learn about elephant POOP. Eek! We learned about how much fiber there is in elephant poop and then the lady told us to turn over our name badges and you'll see that it says 'This handcrafted paper is made from 85% elephant poop fibers.' AWESOME. We learned that elephants are scared of bees. This behind the scenes tour does cost additional money, if I remember correctly we paid around $100 for it.

After doing the Caring for the Giants tour, we walked over to see Pandora. WOW. I really can't explain how amazing it was in photos or words alone. I took some photos and I actually decided not to post them, because it really does not show the grandness and scale of this area of the park.

You really have to see it in person. I loved all of the landscaping, so pretty and SO much detail. There were a lot of 'faux' elements added to the plants to give them an out of this world appearance.

We decided to go with the Memory Maker this time around, so that I wouldn't need to lug around my big camera. We just loved it! They have photographers posted all over the parks and you can find out where they are on the Disney app. You can easily get photos of your entire family and they turn out so nice since they use expensive camera equipment. The photos show up on your Disney app right after they take them, so you can view them and share them with family and friends.

Of course, we went into Wind Traders to look for banshees. Warning, this store is jam packed full of people.

I have heard they've run out of banshee's from time to time, but Nathan and Autumn were lucky enough to bring one home.

Here is a photo of both kids with their banshees. This is one of my favorite photos of our trip!

We rode on BOTH of the Pandora rides. The Avatar Flight of Passage ride was just amazing and my new favorite all time ride at Disney. I wish we could have road on it again. It really reminded me of Soarin' in Epcot, but WAY cooler. Soarin' is just not as exciting now! You are on this 'banshee' during the ride and you're strapped in good and while you're wearing 3D glasses it moves, you feel air and smell scents. You look at a screen in front of you and you really feel like your taking these dramatic falls and accelerating. It is really cool! My daughter was a little freaked out at first and almost started crying, but then she realized that we were really just looking at a screen and she then was able to enjoy the rest of the ride.

The photo above is from the other Pandora ride, the Na'vi River Journey. This is just a lazy boat ride with some GORGEOUS scenery from the movie. Just beautiful. Disney would only let us FastPass one of the Pandora rides for the entire day, SO we had to wait in line for an hour and a half to ride on it. SO worth it.

I'm really disappointed that we didn't eat at the Satu'li Canteen, but the kids were crabby and it was OVERLY crowded... so, we went to Safari Pizza, which is always a good choice. A lot of people had these drinks with little boba balls in them from Pongo Pongu and I wish I had tried one of those. I guess we'll try these our next trip and hopefully it'll be less crowded!

For lunch we ate at Safari Pizza, which we've eaten at before and it is so good! I got a Margarita Flat Bread with a tomato/cucumber salad. Yum!

And, you can't go to Animal Kingdom without a Dole Whip with Coconut Rum at Tamu Tamu!

For dinner, we went to Rainforest Cafe. I have been to the one in Kansas City, but it has been AGES. The kids love the restaurant T-Rex so much, I thought they'd love Rainforest Cafe! It is near the exit, so perfect to eat at if you plan to leave afterwards. It was so good!

For dinner, Brian and I both got the same thing... The Taste of the Island. It had Caribbean coconut shrimp, dynamite scallops and shrimp, blackened tilapia topped with mango salsa and I picked fries for my side choice. This was one of my favorite meals of our trip!

We also got the volcano dessert and they yell 'VOLCANO' when they bring it out from the kitchen.

Pin Trading
On our way out, one of the workers had this ENTIRE stroller filled with trading pins! The kids were so excited! The workers have to trade whatever pin you want for the one you give them, so it is quick and easy for the kids.

So long Animal Kingdom!
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