It was finally Animal Kingdom Day! We were so excited to finally check out Pandora even though we knew it was going to be really busy.
We quickly drove the golf cart to P&J Southern Takeout for breakfast. Tom ordered a Breakfast Sandwich and I had a Cinnamon Roll. For a quick service place, it’s really good!
The day started off with a bit of a hitch. My mom was sick and needed to see a doctor. Nothing too crazy don’t worry, but this was our first time experiencing this in Disney World. I wanted to take a moment to talk about how pleasant the experience was getting to and from urgent care, well as pleasant as going to a doctor can be. A cast member came and picked up my parents. They dropped them off at an urgent care right outside Disney property. My mom was in and out. She got the medicine she needed and the cast member drove them back to Fort Wilderness. Disney is prepared for any situation and they truly will do what they can to help you.
With my parents off at the doctor, Tom, T.J., and I hopped the bus to Animal Kingdom. It was a very chilly morning so we had to layer. It was our first time ever experiencing this kind of weather in Florida.
Our first FASTPASS was for Expedition Everest. It’s always so much fun! After we defeated the yeti we stopped to get my brother something for breakfast. Once he was full it was finally time to experience Pandora World of Avatar.
We had a FASTPASS for Navi’ River Journey a little later, but we knew there was so much to explore and explore we did. This part of the park is incredible! It’s so rich with detail.
Getting around was a little difficult because one: it was very crowded, two: the line for Flight of Passage stretched the length of Pandora. The wait was 4 hours long and it was even before noon at that point. I understand the appeal of a new attraction but, I feel like these people were wasting their whole day in Disney World to do one thing.
Being a Disney girl, I had to get a picture in front of one if the mossy walls. We then headed towards the back of Pandora to try some treats.
Tom and I grabbed the two very instagramable drinks from Pongu Pongu. I had the Night Blossom, Mixture of Limeade with Apple and Desert Pear flavors topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls and Tom ordered the Mo’ara Margarita, Sauza Conmemorativo Añejo Tequila with Strawberry and Blood Orange flavors topped with Strawberry Boba Balls. I thought mine was little to sweet, but we both really enjoyed Tom’s drink.
We had another great experience with a cast member at Pongu Pongu. She was recently engaged too so we both gushed about our engagement stories. She was so sweet!
With his drink in hand, it was time for Tom to go play the drums! If you remember from our last trip he waited patiently for kids to be done with the drums in EPCOT so he could play. I love seeing his inner child come out while we’re in Disney. I can tell deep down he loves it just as much as I do.
We still had some time to kill before our FASTPASS so we went over to one of our favorites, the Gorillas!
After our quick little animal hike, we stopped by Harambe market for lunch. I ordered the vegetable stack again because it’s so good and Tom got the grilled chicken skewer, which he washed down with an awesome craft beer Reef Donkey APA Draft.
Full from lunch, it was finally time for our Navi’ river Journey FASTPASS. We only got to see a small glimpse of the queue, but the detail was insane! If standby wasn’t so long, I would definitely want to wait in this line to see everything we missed.
The ride, though short, was very cool. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this one, but I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it will always be on my must due list, but maybe one day it will become a Disney World classic. I’m glad we got to experience it.
After Animal Kingdom, we all got cleaned up and set out for the Boardwalk. We had dinner reservations at Trattoria al Forno, but we wanted to spend a little time exploring. It’s been over 10 years since my family ventured towards the Boardwalk.
First up, the Boardwalk hotel where we admired the Jack-O-Lanters created by the hotel staff. Above are pictures of our favorites. We then stopped in the shops looking for sweatshirts because we were not prepared for this chilly weather.
Trattoria al Forno was really good! I give it 4 out of 5 stars. The atmosphere was really nice. It had that rustic Italian feel and the space is huge! My mom and I planned to share one of the personal pizzas and get a salad, but our waitress informed us that the pizza would be too small. The pizzas were very big and you could definitely share if you order an appetizer or dessert for yourself.
We had a delicious bottle of red wine for the table. Most of us started with the Insalata di Stagione, Seasonally-inspired Salad, House-made Ricotta, Brachetto Vinaigrette. We all loved it!
For dinner, I ordered the seasonal vegetable pizza and I’m not really sure why it was called that. There really weren’t any veggies. It was topped with olives and capers with a ton of onions and garlic. Normally, I would be all about a pizza like this, but the garlic so was overpowering, making it almost medicinal. Tom’s entree was a little more successful. He ordered the Pasta alla Bolognese, Braised Short Rib, Smoked Pork Belly, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Pecorino Romano. It was incredible and the pasta was homemade. The pizza may have been a miss, but the pasta and salad were fantastic.
After dinner, Tom and I separated from my family for a couple of hours for a date night. While walking over to the Big River Grille we spotted a group of people gathered. They were watching Coney Island Chris. We stopped to catch the end of the show and it was so worth it. This is one of the best little shows we’ve seen at Disney, so much fun!
Our experience at Big River Grille was definitely mixed. We really enjoyed the beer though it wasn’t anything special. The restaurant just doesn’t feel like it should be on Disney property. It was loud and messy. Children were dumping their food on the floor and the bathrooms were the dirtiest I’ve seen at Disney. We were really disappointed.
To turn this night around, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom just in time for the new Happily Ever After Fireworks. Everything you’ve read about this show is true! It is AMAZING! The projections on the castle are so realistic and the soundtrack will fill your heart with so much joy. It made me as always a little emotional.
The park was really busy so we rode Journey of the little mermaid before calling it a night.
The Magic Kingdom is so beautiful at night. No blog posts next week, but we’ll be back with our last 2 Disney posts in 2 weeks. See ya real soon!