After spending perhaps a little too long in the supermarket we arrived at Fort Wilderness Resort at about half past 6… so much for setting up the tent in the daylight. Check in was relatively straight forward and armed with a campsite map, a welcome package and our personalised “Key to the World” cards we set off in search of our campsite. By now, we pretty much have setting up the tent down to a fine art. Using the car headlights for light we were able to set the tent up pretty quickly and then had a somewhat bizarre salad, mange tout and crisps dinner before showering and heading out to Downtown Disney. While staying in a Disney resort is great, the buses could be a little more frequent, especially the ones throughout the campsite (it is so huge that there are three bus loops within the campsite to take you to the main bus stop for all the other destinations). It was after nine by the time we got there, but we spent a good few hours wandering around the various shops and planning our purchases for later in the week. Back at the campsite it was straight to bed since we had to get up early in the morning to head to Animal Kingdom.

By this point we had not fully appreciated how long it would take to get from the campsite to the parks (taking into account waiting for two different buses), and we didn’t get there until after 10am. Luckily, since we had chosen Animal Kingdom to ease us in gently, this wasn’t too much of a problem. After  queuing for bag search and then again for the turnstiles, we were finally in the park. Our first port of call was the Kilamajaro Safaris ride in the “Africa” section of the park. The queue wasn’t too long and we made friends with a group of women next to us in the queue, they ended up in the same car as us which was good as they turned out to be better than the guide at spotting the animals.

Elephants on the "Safari"

The safari was good, mostly real animals, but with some Disney fun thrown in which took us through a poachers camp and on a trail to save a kidnapped baby elephant. Coming out of the ride we headed straight along the discovery trail to see some more animals, and after that it was time for some highly exciting cheese and cucumber sandwiches that we had brought with us before heading straight for the newest attraction in the park, the Expedition Everest Rollercoaster. The queue was relatively short and the ride so good that we immediately went to get a Fast Pass to go back on it later in the day. Sandwiches eaten and no longer in danger of getting wet we decided to go on a water-ride, “Kali River Rapids”, which turned out not to be the greatest idea… Having selected the driest seat on the boat, we were told to move round to fill the whole boat which involved sitting in a pool of water before the ride even started and within the first minute I was soaked to the skin. Coming off the ride I was literally wringing water out of my dress and it was getting longer and longer with the weight of the water. Stopping to admire some dresses for sale I decided that now was the perfect time to buy one, which turned out to be a very good choice. The parade was good, but our chosen position looked straight into the sun, so the pictures aren’t great. After the parade we ran to see “Finding Nemo: the Musical” which was great and then hurried back across the park to catch “The Festival of the Lion King” just before the park closed. Both shows were well worth the sprint across the park in order to fit them in, especially the acrobatic monkeys in the Lion King show.

DUCKS!

Animal Kingdom is the earliest closing of all the parks and has no evening fireworks display, both because of the animals. So we made our way back to the campsite to shower and chill out for a while before heading back out to Downtown Disney. Since we had booked through Disney, we were given a book full of vouchers which included $15 at Planet Hollywood. Unfortunately, the menu was A) rather expensive and B) not at all vegetarian friendly, which ruined our plan of sharing a main course as the one option for Liz was spaghetti… not great for sharing unless you are Lady and the Tramp. The meal was pretty good and after we were finished we had a wander around the restaurant taking photos of the various movie memorabilia on display. By the time we were finished it was pretty late so we walked back through Downtown Disney to catch the bus back to the campsite.

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