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Old 2 Jan 20, 07:59 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Charlie's First WDW Adventure - Sep/Oct 2019 - Day 5: Animal Kingdom and T-Rex

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Thursday 3rd October

Charlie woke up at a very respectable 7:15am and as was becoming tradition we watched some Peppa in bed for a bit. Before long we were all up and getting ourselves ready for the day… whilst I was getting dressed Charlie took himself off to the our bathroom and got in the bath to play with his cups!



We had some breakfast at the villa and whilst we did this Paul and John popped out to Walmart in search of a step (Joan has had both knees replaced in recent years and was struggling to get into the car due to it being rather high so the hope was that step would make it a little easier for her and less painful!). The boys returned with a perfect little foot stool which they picked up for about $10 (it made a huge difference so definitely money well spent! Charlie also enjoyed passing it out to Nanny every time we got into the car, such a helpful little man!).

By 9:30am we all ready so set off out of the villa… today's destination was Animal Kingdom!





Charlie’s trusty animals kept him entertained in the car (I told you they was money well spent!). He had adopted 4 as firm favourites (red fishie, blue whale, star fish and turtle) and these were always the ones he picked out to play with. These animals are still played with daily at home with blue whale still the top choice to take everywhere with us (along with tiger shark).



We arrived at Animal Kingdom and parked up in Giraffe 42. Joan, John, Charlie and I jumped on the tram down to the entrance whilst Paul walked with the pushchair (again, so much easier than the fuss of unloading it all and collapsing to take on board!). Soon enough we arrived at the park entrance.



I took Charlie through the no-bag line whilst the others queues for bag check. On making it through I spotted a free photographer so quickly jumped in to get a photo of Charlie and I.





Whilst having our photos taken Paul arrived so he jumped in so we could get some shots of the three of us.





Joan and John then also made it through so we ended the photo shoot with some snaps of all of us together… including the obligatory roaring shot! (Charlie was having none of that nonsense though!)







With our family shoot complete it was time to tap ourselves into the park… Charlie was ready with his magic wrist!



I did attempt to get a photo of Joan and Paul with Charlie but Charlie was having none of it, just the two of them it is then!





Our first FP of the day was for Everest and was now open so we made our way in the direction. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the park was looking absolutely glorious!









On arriving outside of Everest we asked the CM about child swap and was pointed in the direction of another CM stood a little further out from the ride entrance so we headed over to get that sorted.



Now it all got a little confusing here as this was the first time we had used rider swap when having FPs booked. On doing my research on the child swap system and getting some great advice from fellow Dibbers it was my understanding that it was possible for me to book FPs for just two members of our party (they would ride first) and then have child swap adding to the other two members of the party to ride after. Now in booking our FPs I had booked Joan and John for Everest with the intention Paul and I would ride after using rider switch. But as Joan and John had ever been on this ride before we decided that I would ride with Joan and Paul would ride with John. It all got a bit confusing here, in reality we should have just swapped magic bands to make it simple but we were very new to this at this point! The CM was far from helpful (and in reality was actually quite rude!) and told us that we should have booked FPs for all of us but would allow us to have the rider switch this time anyway (to confirm we used this tactic many more times in the trip going forward and had absolutely no problems at all).

Eventually we were all set so Joan and I headed off leaving John and Paul on Charlie watch. I was excited for Joan to ride as they had avoided it on our last trip, I was super proud of how brave she was for giving it a go!







I think I can speak for Joan when I say she wasn’t a huge fan of this ride! To be honest it is rougher than I remember so I don’t really blame her! But she braved it which is the main thing!



On leaving the ride we headed back over to where the boys were waiting to tag-team with them. Joan told John about the ride and he decided against riding and as Joan wasn’t up for riding again I took John’s band so I could ride with Paul, lucky me getting to ride twice! I was even brave enough to put my hands up on the drop this time!







On making it back out and reuniting ourselves with the others we made our way out over the bridge that overlooks Everest. We stopped for some photos here as there was a photographer stationed up but sadly these never came through to my account!

Our next FP for the day was for Dinosaur. Learning from our previous mistake we successfully put rider switch on Joan and John’s bands (the FPs were on Paul and my bands). Paul and John headed in first whilst Joan and I waited outside with Charlie… he was having much fun playing with a bottle of water!





When the boys returned Joan and I took our turn to ride. I always forget how much you get thrown about on this!







By the time we exited the ride it was 12pm and we were all getting hungry so we headed in the direction of Restaurant-a-Saurus to get some lunch. We found a table outside on the shaded terrace and I got Charlie settled whilst the others went in to order the food. The animals of course came out to keep him entertained and we also grabbed an Animal Kingdom pressed penny to add to is collection.







The others soon returned with the food (a selection of chicken BLT sandwiches, chicken nuggets and fries. Charlie’s kids meal was served up in a bucket with a spade which I thought was a great touch! It was a lovely keepsake to take with us and he even now still plays with this bucket! (He likes putting his animals in it!).









The food was lovely, this is the first time we have stopped here and it made for a great quick and easy lunch!




With full bellies we headed out in search of Pandora! We managed to coax Charlie into his highchair and set him up with the buggy fan as it was getting very hot by this point!



We passed by the Tree of Life as we made our way over to Pandora.





Before long we arrived! This was the first time seeing this for all of us so we were very excited! And I have to say we weren’t disappointed! I have never seen Avatar so the theming was a little lot on me but regardless this land absolutely blew me away! Everything is so beautiful and the attention to detail is outrageous. As with Galaxy’s Edge, it really does feel like you have been transported to another world!











As we were wandering around we noticed that Charlie had nodded off in the pushchair! So we laid him back and put the hood right over him to let him recharge his batteries! Annoyingly the battery on his buggy fan had ran out (and I didn’t have the spare) so we had to make do with the fan on his spray bottle… not that it did much!)





With Charlie sleeping soundly we took the time to have a good wander around taking it all in and of course snapping lots of photos!









By now it was 1:20pm and our FP for Na’vi River Journey had opened up. I was a bit disappointed that Charlie was asleep as I knew he would love this one but we had another FP booked for it later in the trip so all was not lost! Joan and John headed in first whilst Paul and I waited with Charlie and then we swapped over when they returned (we all had FPs booked for this so no need to add rider switch this time).



Such a lovely little ride and so pretty! On exiting we stopped for a few more photos in front of the waterfall and also spotted a photographer so managed a group shot too (sorry Charlie, snooze you lose!)









As Charlie was still sound asleep we took the opportunity to have a wander around the shop Windtraders. I spotted a pressed penny machine in there so grabbed one of those. On leaving there we spotted the Pandora ranger in the courtyard so we stopped to watch him for a while, I found this very amusing!







Paul and Joan even joined in for the group photo at the end!



We were all feeling pretty hot and thirsty at this point so we headed into Satuli Canteen to get some drinks. Joan, John and I went for the Pandoran Sunrise and Paul had a cherry Coke.





Whilst we were sat down Charlie woke up so I got him out the pushchair and whilst on my lap he fell back to sleep! I think the crazy days were really starting to catch up with him by this point! I did enjoy the lovely snuggles though so no complaints from me!



We needed to make a move as our FPs for Kilimanjaro Safari had now opened up so I passed Charlie over to Paul and he stayed asleep!



On making it out of the canteen he did finally wake up and we made a quick stop at the restrooms.



We made our way out of Pandora and over in the direction of Africa.









Our FPs ended at 3:25pm and we made it to the entrance just in time at 3:20pm. Paul parked up the pushchair and we headed in.



We were soon loaded into a truck and we had a great tour with lots of animals spotted! Charlie absolutely loved it and was in his element pointing out all the animals… he particularly loved the rhinos and the giraffes!







On leaving the safari we decided it was a good time to make a move but of course we weren’t able to leave without a visit to the gift shop so we stopped in Island Mercantile as we made our way to the exit. Whilst there we picked up a 2019 Mickey figure for Charlie for $7.99 (he was very taken with him, so much so that he was willing to share his Veggie straws with him! I also got a 2019 mug ($14.99) and an Animal Kingdom bag to take them home in ($2).





On making our way up to the exit we spotted a photographer so made a last stop to grab a group shot of us all.



We made it out of the exit at 4:30pm and decided to walk back to the car.









On the drive back to the villa we made a quick stop in Walmart to pick up a few essentials (bin bags, milk, batteries and paracetamol). I also spotted a cute 2019 Disney t-shirt ($12.95) that I wouldn’t resist (it’s now one of my favourite PJ tops!)







On making it back to the villa I prepared some fruit for Charlie and had an iced latte that I had picked up in Walmart (it was delicious!)



We all set about getting ready for the evening and I gave Charlie a bath. By 7:10pm we were ready to head back out. Our destination this evening was Disney Springs as we were going to T-Rex for dinner! We parked up in the lime parking lot on level 3 row 11 (I do wonder why I felt the need to be so specific in my notes!) and then got the lift down.



Disney Springs was bustling as always. I love the atmosphere there and looking back now I wish we had managed more time there on this trip. We made our way straight over to T-Rex and on arrival managed to bypass the rather long queue due to having a Landry’s card (as always I am amazed that more people don’t have these… there are golden!)







Within 5 minutes of checking in we were led over to a table in the ice cave. We have been here on a previous trip but never sat in this area… I have to say the blue lighting is a little harsh (and also doesn’t make for very good photos so I apologise for the poor quality of all the upcoming photos!)







We ordered our food and drinks and I went for the shark water which came in a novelty light-up glass!





Paul and I both went for one of the trio dishes, Joan had salmon, John had meatloaf and Charlie had pasta with meatballs. The photos are never going to do it justice (mainly as you can barely even work out what is on the plate!) but it was all really delicious but as always the portions were huge so I once again had to enlist the help of John to finish mine off! Charlie did amazing though and polished off his whole bowl of pasta plus the fruit that came with it!









In the blue lighting with tomato pasta sauce around his face, Charlie didn’t look too dissimilar to a flesh-eating zombie!



Whilst we were eating the manager Rob came over to check on us and see how the food was (another perk of visiting with a Landry’s card). Whilst there he told us that the restaurant had cost $25 million to build! Yikes!

We finished up our food and settled the bill (which had $25 off due to the welcome bonus we had on the Landry’s card – I had set Paul up with one for this trip).



On leaving we took a little stroll around the restaurant to show Charlie all the dinosaurs. The theming is great in here and makes for such a fun dining experience. Its definitely one that we will always come back to on our future trips that’s for sure!









Before leaving we of course made the obligatory stop in the gift shop. Whilst there Charlie spotted some lovely dinosaur figures which Nanny and Grandad very kindly bought for him ($12.99 for all 8). These also turned out to be a star buy as along with the Seaworld animals, they went everywhere with us for the rest of the trip!





We also spotted a T-Rex pressed penny machine so grabbed one of those to add to the collection too.



On leaving the gift shop we stopped for a short while in the fossil play area outside. Charlie had a great time brushing away all the sand to find the hidden fossils underneath (although I think he enjoyed washing his hands after just as much!)





On leaving T-Rex we made our way back to the car as by now it was 10:30pm and Charlie was super tired… so much so that he fell asleep very quickly as we drove back to the villa!



We made it back to the villa at 10:55pm and I put Charlie straight to bed. We had a little count up of our money to see how we were going in regards to spends (we were pretty much on budget so far, even with a little more than anticipated so that was good!). By 12am we all headed to bed, pooped after another very fun day!

Join me for the next installment that sees us visiting Cracker Barrel for breakfast, shopping at the outlets and heading to Epcot for our first ever viewing of Epcot Forever!

Day 6 can be found here

Edited at 04:55 PM.
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Old 2 Jan 20, 09:38 PM  
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sheluk
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What a brill day full of all kinds of animals... real, plastic, pre-historic!

You got through a decent amount of rides as well, even more impressive with a toddler in tow.

Think you’ve sold me on TREX!

Another fabulous day-thanks again for sharing xx
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Old 3 Jan 20, 10:02 AM  
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Em4owen
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Charlie seems to be keen on the animal toys, like my DS1. We started with a few and now have hundreds of them!

I don't know if you're aware of this, but most zoos/farms etc in the UK stock pick and mix little animal toys and they're only around £2 for 6. We got most of our animals this way.
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Old 3 Jan 20, 11:43 AM  
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Palm trees
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What a lovely day, the crowd levels don't look bad in your photos. We bought the same set of dinosaurs from t rex cafe back in 2012(!), they have been much loved.
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Old 3 Jan 20, 03:14 PM  
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Redrach1903
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So cute to see Charlie with those wee animals. Jake had loads of dinos and sea creatures he loved too!

Lovely photos of you all at the entrance and those skies are just lush!

Hahaha poor Joan. I'm glad you got to go on twice though

We quite like Restaurantosaurus too! Bit of a hidden gem I think! Love the bucket and spade!

Ah very glad you all loved Pandora! Charlie obviously wasn't that impressed given his epic snooze Oh and his face on the safari is like "mum, another selfie?!" hahahaha!

Oh that cave is horrible for photos isn’t it?! Glad you all enjoyed it though! I always think the theming in some of the Disney restaurants is so over looked. So impressive!

Can't wait to read your review on cracker Barrel on the next day! FINALLY!

Fab read, as per usual xxx
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Old 5 Jan 20, 11:29 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by sheluk View Post
What a brill day full of all kinds of animals... real, plastic, pre-historic!

You got through a decent amount of rides as well, even more impressive with a toddler in tow.

Think you’ve sold me on TREX!

Another fabulous day-thanks again for sharing xx
I think T-Rex is a must for your trip... Charlie and Penny will love it! The theming is so much fun and the food is really good... win win!

Originally Posted by Em4owen View Post
Charlie seems to be keen on the animal toys, like my DS1. We started with a few and now have hundreds of them!

I don't know if you're aware of this, but most zoos/farms etc in the UK stock pick and mix little animal toys and they're only around £2 for 6. We got most of our animals this way.
That's funny you should say that... we were at Sealife Adventure earlier in the week and they had an animal pick and mix stand! We of course had to get some for Charlie to add to his collection! He also got a tub of farm animals for Christmas that he absolutely loves... the challenge now is trying to convince him that he doesn't need to take all of them with him every time we leave the house!
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Old 5 Jan 20, 11:33 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by Palm trees View Post
What a lovely day, the crowd levels don't look bad in your photos. We bought the same set of dinosaurs from t rex cafe back in 2012(!), they have been much loved.
Those dinosaurs are so loved! Such a great buy!

We were really lucky with crowd levels on this trip, it never felt too busy at all!

Originally Posted by Redrach1903 View Post
So cute to see Charlie with those wee animals. Jake had loads of dinos and sea creatures he loved too!

Lovely photos of you all at the entrance and those skies are just lush!

Hahaha poor Joan. I'm glad you got to go on twice though

We quite like Restaurantosaurus too! Bit of a hidden gem I think! Love the bucket and spade!

Ah very glad you all loved Pandora! Charlie obviously wasn't that impressed given his epic snooze Oh and his face on the safari is like "mum, another selfie?!" hahahaha!

Oh that cave is horrible for photos isn’t it?! Glad you all enjoyed it though! I always think the theming in some of the Disney restaurants is so over looked. So impressive!

Can't wait to read your review on cracker Barrel on the next day! FINALLY!

Fab read, as per usual xxx
Haha you would think the poor boy would be used to a selfie by now wouldn't you?!

I'm excited to re-live Cracker Barrel... although it's going to make me want to go back soooo bad!
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Old 28 Jan 20, 03:12 PM  
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Joosebug1987
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Another fab day! Laughed out loud at Charlie the flesh eating zombie in the blue light - very good description!

Animal Kingdom is such a lovely park - I always think it feels quite chilled out.x
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Old 30 Jan 20, 11:21 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by Joosebug1987 View Post
Another fab day! Laughed out loud at Charlie the flesh eating zombie in the blue light - very good description!

Animal Kingdom is such a lovely park - I always think it feels quite chilled out.x
Charlie the flesh-eating toddler! Makes me chuckle every time I see that photo!
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Old 13 Feb 20, 03:19 PM  
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HelenJNT
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I do love reading an Animal Kingdom day. Riding Everest twice first thing is like my dream (one I have accomplished several times luckily!).

Did you find rider swap slowed you down a lot? I guess it must take twice as long to do anything. I bet you know all the great spots to sit outside the rides though!

I like the fact that you’re so specific in your notes. It means a lot to me to know not only which garage you parked in at Disney Springs but which lot too. And I am not even joking! It feels like I’m right there with you. Hehe.

T-Rex always looks fun but we’ve never made it there. Disney Springs is just so good these days. It’s a good distraction from the parks!
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