Ultimate Animal Kingdom Touring Plan – The Main Event

So I know I started writing about this in November, but life gets in the way sometimes.  I didn’t want to leave it out there though, especially now that Touring Plans has an official Ultimate Animal Kingdom Touring Plan.

I did the Ultimate plan with my friend Tim.  We arrived at Animal Kingdom (AK) about 30 minutes before the gates opened and were the first in line to get into the park.  We took advantage of the times guide to do a little bit of extra planning. I had the email I had received from Henry with the plan that he had followed during the first attempt.

A few minutes before the park was scheduled to open, we were let in.  We waited impatiently for the opening ceremony and talked to the cast member about our plans.  After the opening show we made our way at a brisk pace back to Kilamangaro Safari.  Can those cast members walk fast!  There was a point in time where I needed to jog a little bit to keep up with them.  We were the first people on the safari and after a quick two week tour (does everyone else have problems with the tour being cut short), we made our way out and quickly went over to Expedition Everest to get our fast passes before heading to Dinosaur. 

After Dinosaur we hit up all the rides in Dinoland… something I have never done before (and probably not again unless I was trying for another Ultimate plan).  And we each played a Dinoland game (a basketball game that was just one shot) before heading over to Finding Nemo the Musical.  That was a nice break for us since it was cool and air conditioned in there.

Following Nemo we listened to the calypso band, and stopped by the bone yard and dig site before heading to It’s Tough to Be a Bug.  We got lucky and caught the last few minutes of the Village Beatniks before heading to Camp Minnie Mickey to snap this picture and run into Festival of the Lion King.

Tim and I have both done half marathons before and with all this running around, we thought it would be awesome if there were tables set up for us to just grab cups of water and snacks while we were running through the parks.  I say this now because after Lion King, we had to make our way all the way back to Everest to use our fastpasses.  Phew!  We grabbed fastpasses for Kali River Rapids then caught the next showing of Flights of Wonder and rushed our way through the Maharaja Jungle Trek before seeing Tam Tam Congo, the Village Beatnicks again and the Dinoland Jesters.

Are you out of breath yet?  I am just from typing this.

We got soaked on Kali before taking the train out to the Conservations Station.  That can be a relaxing place to visit, but not when you are trying to beat the clock!  After returning to Africa we visited the Pangani Forest Trail and then made one final stop at the Tree of Life Garden before we had to wait for the Jammin’ Jungle Parade. 

It was then that I realized that we had missed Devine.  I knew where I needed to be looking for her, but I didn’t know that her schedule was actually posted.  Apparently during my one bathroom break of the day, she was out in her usual place.  Oh well!

We did stay to watch the whole parade before making our way out with the last stop being the Oasis for one last picture.

I was thoroughly exhausted from the day but proud of what I accomplished.  You won’t find me on the Touring Plans site for this though.  The plan wasn’t officially released until last fall and there were some modifications to it after my attempt.  My attempt combined with the attempt that my friends made contributed to the final plan that is now published on the site.  I will definitely try to complete this again the the future though!

This will be my first in a Touring Thursdays series.  I can’t wait to share with you my next installment!

A new tradition!

I woke up early on Monday morning and got my bags and my Owner’s Locker.  I planned on checking into my flight and checking my bags with Magical Express nice and early.  There was rope drop to make it to!

Yup, I planned on making it to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop that morning.  I hadn’t really spent a lot of time there during my trip and Monday was looking to be a lot warmer than the rest of the weekend.

I didn’t have any trouble getting my luggage taken care of and I was quickly on my way to the park.  I made it there as the show was going on and I was caught behind a bunch of people.

It looks like I actually got through bag check and maybe even got to scan my ticket but then I hit a wall of people.  It was neat to see the show, but I wish I had seen it from the beginning.  That’s something to shoot for on another day!

I do wish I was part of the family that got to be in the show!

I got to Town Square and decided to take a ride on a Main Street Vehicle.  That was a nice treat for the day.

Once I got to the hub I realized that I was there nice and early.  Early enough to go on a ride that I hadn’t ever been on.  Ever.

Dumbo!!!

It wasn’t too long a wait.  I think it went for maybe 3 rounds before it was my turn.

And it was what I expected.  I guess.  It did take me 33 years for my first ride on it.  I probably won’t go out of my way to go on it again unless I am trying an Ultimate Touring Plan or I am with children.

After Dumbo, I made my way to It’s a Small World.  I wanted to test out my camera on the ride (without a flash of course).  Here’s one thing I would ask of all parents when boarding a boat ride.  Please look at the groups around you.  If every family is having their child board first, then every adult will be on the same side of the boat.  The boat will then be leaning to one side (significantly sometimes) during the whole ride.  Yup.  I sat on the side that all the kids were sitting on, but it wasn’t enough to counter balance 6 adults.

After Small World, I headed to the Haunted Mansion with almost no wait.  Then Toontown was opening.  I thought it would be great to go see Tinkerbell and her friends since I hadn’t met them yet.

The wait for Tinkerbell was only about 15 minutes.  They use Pixie Dust to shrink you down to pixie size and then you go into meet everyone.  Of course, they were all excited to see me and when they saw my medal, they were ever more excited and wanted to hear all about my race.  They asked me if I was ran really fast or if I was given Pixie Dust so that I could fly to the finish and win.  I told them I wasn’t fast at that the medal was a reward for finish.  Tink ask me if it was a “slow and steady wins the race.”  I had to laugh at that and tell her that was my approach.

Tink was full of energy and practically bouncing off the walls.  She came over to me when I was with Fawn and started talking my ear off.  We went to her are to take picture and then she walked me over to Terrance.

She had to tell Terrance about my medal and how far I had to run.  I think he was really impressed. 

He, of course, posed for a picture with me too.

After I headed back into Toontown and decided to hop onto Goofy’s Barnstormer.  It was a day of firsts so, why not?  It wasn’t a bad ride and the theming of queue is lots of fun with loads to look at.

I figured I had time for one more ride so I headed over to the Jungle Cruise.  I had never had a chance to ride it in the daytime.  I had a good skipper.  I also had an almost full memory card so I didn’t get to take very many pictures.

I then started making my way out of the park when I saw that Princess Tiana was about to come out for a meet and greet.  Of course I had to get in line!  I got to meet her and Prince Navine!

After meeting the Princess and her Prince, I caught a few minutes of the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! parade/show and then headed back to my resort to get some lunch and take the sad Magical Express ride back to the airport.

Overall, this was a really good trip.  I’ve never been so cold in Florida before in my life.  Even when I went over Christmas during my senior year of high school, it wasn’t this cold.  It was a great experience for me though and I’ll be back there with Team in Training this January so I can do the full!

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