Animal Kingdom + Hollywood Studios + Epcot
On our third day at the parks we decided to go big and conquer 3 of them– Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. We had Park Hopper passes, so we figured we should take full advantage of them. We started out the day at Animal Kingdom, spent a few hours there and then headed to Hollywood Studios. We then decided to go to Epcot for dinner and for a couple rides. Here are some of the highlights from each park.
Animal Kingdom was probably my second favorite park we went to. I loved the theme of the park and how all of the different areas were designed. We didn’t use any Fast Passes here because we were saving them for when we met up with the rest of the group at Hollywood Studios. Because of that, we had to strategize a bit to knock out the park in a short amount of time. I had read that if you want to do the safari you should do it first thing to avoid lines and so the animals are more active. As soon as we entered the park, we headed right to the safari. We walked right on and saw tons of animals! After the safari, we wanted to ride Expedition Everest. Unfortunately, we walked up and found out the ride had broken down. We instead headed to the Kali River Rapids, which I was excited about because I love water rides. The ride was fun, but it was super short. Disney’s rides are usually super long, but this one was about 2 minutes. Since we had waited 40 minutes, we were a tad disappointed in it. Fortunately, when we got off the rapids ride, Expedition Everest had just opened back up. We walked right on to the ride and loved it so much that we hopped into the Single Rider line and rode it again. We then ate some lunch, watched It’s Tough to be a Bug, and headed to Hollywood Studios.
We got to Hollywood Studios around 1:30 or so, giving us some time before our first Fast Pass. We decided to use this time to ride the Rockin’ Roller Coaster as Single Riders. I rode this ride back in 2nd grade when I came to Disney and had no idea it went upside down. It terrified me, but now that I love thrill rides I was super excited to ride it again. It was awesome! We then rode the Tower of Terror, which I never got to ride last time. I am not a big fan of rides that drop you fast, so it wasn’t my favorite, but it was still fun. After the Tower of Terror, we got delicious Mickey ice cream bars and headed to Star Tours, which was actually way more intense than I thought it would be. I never thought I would like the virtual 3D type rides, but we went on a bunch this trip and they are actually pretty fun. We had some time to kill after Star Tours, so we went to go meet Mickey Mouse. While we were waiting to meet him, a Make a Wish kid arrived to get a photo. It was such a heartwarming moment to see how excited he was to meet Mickey. He wouldn’t stop hugging him…it was very precious and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. After Mickey, we went back to the Rockin’ Roller Coaster for our Fast Pass time. It was just as awesome the second time. Especially because we all posed for the photo. 🙂 We then headed on to Epcot for the rest of the evening.
We arrived at Epcot around dinnertime and decided to squeeze in a few rides before dinner and fireworks. We first went to Test Track, which I loved as a kid, and rode Single Rider. The ride was super fun…especially the outdoor part. Liz (my best friend who we went with) and I then went on Mission Space, which is this ride that simulates being in space and spins you around. It was one of the craziest feelings! We then met some Disney characters real quick and headed to Italy for dinner. Walking around the different countries was super neat. I have never been outside of the US (Adam has though), so it was cool to get a little taste of other countries. We finished dinner around 9, right when the fireworks started. However, when we walked outside, we could tell a huge storm was coming. So we decided to walk fast and watch the fireworks at the same time. Adam and I got out our pricey ponchos and right as we finished walking through the countries it started to downpour. We ended up sprinting half a mile in the pouring rain to our car (half of the group without ponchos or umbrellas). It was a hilarious memory that I wish we had on camera.We had such an incredible time in Florida. It was fun to feel like kids again and spend time with friends we hardly get to see. Stay tuned for more adventures in 26 days when we go explore Puerto Rico!