Another month is placed between My Mother’s and my fateful trip in January and my writing of it. Another month of memory to be challenged. Let’s see how I’ll do!
So, uh… Tuesday, yes? Yes! Tuesday. Umm… Hmmmm… Give me a moment. Like trying to recall a dream, we just need to find one lone thread to pull on, and suddenly it’ll all come unraveling back to us. I’m recalling Animal Kingdom… let’s pull on that!*
*That’s what he would like you to say.
We awoke that fine day with plans to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the morning and Magic Kingdom in the evening, thus designating our FastPasses for the likely busy afternoon at MK. This left us in the FP-less limbo I like to refer to as a “Type-A Planning Nazi’s Panic-Inducing Discomfort Zone.” We must rope drop. But how do we rope drop if we’re trying to be relaxed and go at an easy pace? Will we actually get on a ride? Will we be forced to wait in a line of commoners for more than five minutes? Will I just flop on the ground in the middle of Harambe and scream, “I give up! Drag me to Dawa!”?
Valid concerns, all of these, if I do say so myself, which I do.
Upon arriving at DAK (at what time, I do not remember — likely repressing the memory due to FP-less stress), we decided to prioritize the Safaris as one must Choose, and one must Choose Only One. Because by the time you’re ready for your second ride of the day, the benefits of (near) rope dropping are gone and there are crowds.
Miraculously, we walked on Kilimanjaro Safaris, despite the egregiously late hour of 9:30 (I’m guessing; I don’t remember). We lucked out with what turned out to be the best Safari Guide I’ve ever had. And that’s saying something, as I’ve been on my fair share of safari rides (I know what you’re thinking; stop), and let me tell you — there’s nothing worse than a guide who isn’t into it, goes through the motions with no enthusiasm, or straight up mumbles unintelligibly the whole time leaving you to wonder what the hell just happened and how they’re able to complete the ride believing that they were at all satisfactory to you. Still talking about safaris here; stay with me. Anyway, in a classic safari move, I don’t remember the guy’s name, but he was great. Stop it.I believe what followed the safari was a traversing of the Pangani Trail. That’s not a euphemism. What better follow up to seeing animals from afar than seeing animals slightly closer? I, for one, prefer the Maharajah Jungle Trek because big kitties and bat penises, but I’ll do Pangani, too, when in a pinch. What?
From that point, it was with diminishing optimism that we headed toward Everest to see what that the wait time would be. Sadly, it was an offensively long 30 minutes, so My Mother opted to forego high-fiving the Yeti, and I went alone to the single rider line. Five minutes later, I was back out and ready for a different rope-dropping experience: Thirsty River Bar.
Hint to Thirsty River Bar: Many people are thirsty before 11:00 AM. Just sayin’. Dawa gets it.
I’m struggling to remember lunch. Which is ironic, given that I recall struggling over what to do for lunch — Flame Tree or Sanaa? NAY — I remember now! Skipper Canteen! Wow. That’s like when you’re trying to remember some safari guide’s name and you’re all, “Ben… Bob… Beau… Oh, I remember! Fitzwilliam.”
Wait, no… that was Thursday. Damnit! And with a spoiler alert to boot.
Hmmm… Must’ve been Sanaa. So let’s assume I ordered a Safari Amber (or two), bread service, and something else that I regretted because I was still full from bread service. And let’s also assume it was amazing, because it always is.
After lunch we headed to Kidani’s bus stop to hitch a ride to MK. This, I do recall, because I remember being excited to use the digital times board to see how long we’d be waiting for our bus, and then being the opposite of excited when we saw that it would be 35 fucking minutes. My brain instantly lept into Unacceptable Rage Strategy Mode, conceiving of every single possible alternative scenario to get to MK. “We could take the bus back to DAK and then get a bus to MK.” “Bus to Epcot, MONORAIL TO MK.” “Uber!” Ultimately, my calmer, saner mother prevailed and suggested we just sit and relax for 35 minutes.What felt like more than 35 minutes later, we were aboard a bus to MK, disembarking, and hitting up those FPs that I’d purposely saved for the afternoon. Seeing as we also had FPs at MK for Thursday (now that that cat’s out of the bag!), and knowing myself as I do, our FPs were for three of the following: Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Pirates, Peter Pan, Thunder Mountain, and Haunted Mansion again. What? I’m emotionally monogamous with my favourite attraction.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a ton of time to frolic about the Magic Kingdom, because fortunately, we had dinner reservations at Citrico’s. Or, more accurately, we didn’t have a ton of time to frolic in the Magic Kingdom because I wanted to show My Mother Trader Sam’s for the first time before we needed to be at Citrico’s. Wait, a quick Google search tells me that it is Citricos — not Citrico’s. Good thing I’m not writing a book about WDW lounges and bars, right?
As far as Trader Sam’s (Sams? Sam’s) goes, I was shocked to just waltz in with no wait whatsoever. Actually, if we’re being honest, I was almost disappointed, as I was going to use the wait as an excuse to go to Tambu Lounge for round one. Best laid plans…
It was fairly dead in there, and we were able to pick from a variety of seating locations. We ordered drinks. They involved rum and souvenir glasses. Sound effects were made. A punch line was delivered. I found myself missing Tambu Lounge like one misses a trusted, tried, and true safari guide; younger, prettier models aren’t always better.
Next up was a personal first for both of us: dining at Citricos (no apostrophe)! We were ushered toward the back of the restaurant where we found ourselves with decent views of not just Wishes, but some other fireworks display, too. #Factual
The service was attentive, and the food quite good. Lots of attention to detail. Unlike this blog. I remember being pleased. My Mother, too.
After that was the fun adventure of getting back to the Beach Club, which involved a monorail ride to MK, and then waiting another potential 35 minutes for a bus to BC. I’d use this as an opportunity to complain about Disney transportation, but even I’m not that self-entitled to bitch about free transportation between the greatest place on earth and one of its deluxe resorts. Especially when you consider the alternative: parking at MK.
By the time we arrived back at the resort, I’m assuming it was bed time. Either that or, remember that one time I tried to record a podcast from my Disney resort room but was way too distracted by pins? Yeah, that may have been that night.
And on that note, look — shiny objects!