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Old 13 Nov 16, 04:54 PM  
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3 weeks is not enough! Disney & Universal Sept 2016 – Day 1, AK & DS

Weather today was hot and sunny with just a few clouds.
Our first day has tended to be AK over the past few years. A combination of busy day guide recommendations and knowing we can be done by early afternoon. Because I knew we’d be up early I’d booked our one and only character meal – breakfast at Tusker House. I’d managed to get an 8.05am ADR so I made sure Mum & Dad knew we’d need to be up and ready to go by around 7.15am.
I woke up a couple of time overnight due to my bladder and was awake at around 3.40am. I absolutely refused to get up that early and the comfy OKW beds helped me stay in bed for a little while longer. I managed another hour or so and got up at 5.20am. With having the living room I was able to just get up and didn’t have to wait until I hear Marie stirring like I usually do. I put on a pot of coffee and made myself some toast. Eventually everyone else started to get up and we spent some time on the balcony taking photos of the view.

Today was Dad’s birthday (Mums was pre-travel day) so we all gave him his cards. We’d been very imaginative and gave him some dollars as we knew he’d be reluctant to buy anything for himself. He’s very “careful” with money (or tight is another way of putting it).
We had ordered customised magic band skins from Magic My Band. We put them on but only Dad’s went on with any success. Mum decided she preferred hers without the skin and Marie and I had kind of wasted one of ours making a hash of putting them on (you get two) so decided not to bother. I put the skins away in case we changed our minds though. We watched Stacey while waiting on Mum getting ready and at around 7.25 we were ready to go and headed out.
We arrived at AK around 7.50am but they didn’t let us into the park until nearer 8am. We headed straight for Tusker House and checked in.

The best I could get of Pandora!

The dining report for today is here.

We left TH at around 9.05am which wasn’t the best time as the park had just opened and as usual everyone was headed for Africa. One thing I’ve noticed about AK is that you can be in Africa and feel like the park is heaving but head anywhere else and it feels quiet. I hadn’t fast passed the safari as I thought “we’ll go straight there after TH and there’ll be no stand by queue”. Well of course everyone entering the park was headed for the safari (or it felt that way). As it turned out the wait time said 15 minutes but it took nearer 10 to get on. We were early enough in the day that we got a pretty good turn out of animals. I had kind of stopped taking safari photos over the years as they tend to be a bit samey when you’ve been a few times however I made the effort for my trip report!

On the way out we normally do the Pangani Forest Trail which seems to have changed its name to Gorilla Falls. Dad needed the loo however so we went to the nearest rest room aiming to return later that day (we never did).
We had a look in the shops in Africa including Zuri’s Sweet Shop which was new since our last visit.

Leaving there took us out of Africa via a new path to Asia and we wandered that way to our first FP at Expedition Everest. This was going to be Dad’s first coaster and we were sure he’d enjoy it but there was no way Mum was going on it! On the way there we stopped at the great picture point for Everest and you could hear the screams.

We asked Mum if she wanted to go on that ride and pointed to Everest, “the one you can hear the screams from”. I think her answer was “aye, that’ll be right!”. So the plan was we’d find somewhere for Mum to wait and she’d have a quick look in the shop before going to sit where we’d agreed she’d be. The rest of us went on the ride with only a few minutes wait in the FP line. Mind you, the standby wasn’t much longer. Dad really enjoyed it which was a relief. We had only a brief look in the shop before heading out to the area we were meeting Mum. Only, no Mum. So we had a look around the area but no sign. Back into the shop, nothing. After a few minutes we were starting to get a bit concerned as she didn’t know the park and she hadn’t brought her phone. After what seemed like an age of the 3 of us wandering around the area outside Everest there’s Mum heading towards us quite the thing. She’d been to the loo thinking we’d be longer than we were. Panic over and after getting on at her for disappearing we decided we needed a drink. I fancied using some of our snack credits for a “fancy” drink so we went to the Royal Anandapur Tea Company. Marie and I had a passion fruit frozen drink and Mum an iced latte. Dad didn’t bother.
Suitably refreshed we had a wander round the Maharaja Jungle Trek (sorry, no photos) to see the tigers then headed out to Dinoland unable to persuade Mum to do Kali River Rapids! Unfortunately Dinosaur was closed while we were there so we were only going for a look. Neither of the other rides appeal. We had a look in the shop in Dinoland then it wasn’t long before it was time for our next FP for It’s Tough to be a Bug. I wasn’t sure how Mum & Dad were going to respond to the 3D shows, especially as I’m not sure either of them had seen the film, but they loved it. I didn’t spoil it for them by warning them about any of the bugs at the end so they really enjoyed that.
Our last FP was for Kali River Rapids in case Marie and I wanted to do it but we weren’t bothered so we had a look around the shops in Discovery Island. I saw this t-shirt for Dad but I couldn’t convince him to buy it!

Our original plan on leaving was to go back to OKW and have a take away lunch from Goods to Go however with all the road works in that area I missed the turn off so I suggested we just go to Disney Springs instead. We parked in the Lime garage which was a new experience for us as the garages were just being built when we last went. I took some photos of the new area.

The back of Marie's head.

The new bridge meant it was a short walk from there to Wolfgang Pucks Express where we decided to go for lunch.
After lunch we looked in a few shops but we were really flagging now so headed back to OKW via Walgreens. We bought some bits and bobs including a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and Ruffles. We planned to spend some time at the pool that afternoon. Mum doesn’t swim and isn’t really a sunbather so she stayed in the villa and sat out on the balcony while the rest of us went. It was fairly quiet at our nearest pool and the water was really warm, like having a bath! It was so hot we didn’t last long plus the metal frames of my sunglasses were heating up in the sun!
Mum wanted to watch the US Open Tennis so we planned a take away from Goods to Go for tea. Unfortunately they had no hot food so we went to Port Orleans Riverside and got from their food court. We didn’t do much after dinner. I wrote up some trip notes and read for a while before giving in to sleep about 9ish.

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Old 13 Nov 16, 07:50 PM  
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Sounds like a great start to your holiday.
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Old 7 Jan 17, 10:34 PM  
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Great first day to your holiday. We had an AK day as our first day, not such a big park to ease us in and we had TH but for lunch, it was fab.
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Old 9 Jan 17, 05:37 PM  
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Great start, love OKW it's our favourite resort, enjoying reading along.
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Old 9 Sep 20, 01:12 PM  
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Mrs Red C
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Making a start on your trip reports, thanks for putting them in one place!

It's weird seeing AK pre Pandora, time flies and loved seeing OKW again as I stayed here in 2017 and loved it.

Ps, just achieved 1st gold ear, yay!

Edited at 01:13 PM.
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