So, when we got off the Disney Cruise we hopped on a shuttle to Disney World. We were supposed to stay at the Coronado Springs Resort, part of the package we'd booked through Priceline, only the bus driver seemed to have inhaled too much pixie dust or something like that because he drove right past it. The next stop was the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and it looked great. I decided we'd all get out there and see if they had a room available. They did!
The cool thing about the Lodge, besides the magnificent lobby, is that you can view animals on the savannas right out of the hallway windows and from certain rooms (not the one we had). One morning, while Dave and the kids were swimming, I met up with a staffer from South Africa who spent 15 minutes talking with me about the animals there, which include zebras, giraffes, ostriches and vultures. For some reason, I am always mesmerized by vultures when I see them.
Our first stop was The Magic Kingdom. We picked up this Guest Assistance Card for Max at Guest Services. Crowded lines were going to be too much for him to handle, and he also tires out when he's been standing for too long. With the card, we were able to use the Fast Pass entrance or go in through a handicapped one. It enabled us to wheel Max's stroller close to the entrance, so be sure to ask for that if you need it.
Double strollers, by the way, rent for $31 a day, singles for $15 (it goes down to $27 and $13 if you rent for multiple days). That can add up if you're planning on spending a fair amount of time at Disney, so it might be worth it to haul along your stroller from home. We did that the last trip, but got lazy this time around.
I had high hopes that Max would be able to handle rides, because on our last trip even It's A Small World had made him sob. We eased him in by heading straight for The Speedway Racetrack in Tomorrowland. Max actually remembered it from two years ago and at some point gleefully lead the way there. We had to go on it several times in a row.
After that, though, he was really unhappy about the Transit Authority ride, a slow-moving cart that gives you an overview of all the rides in the area.
We figured Max would adapt over the next few days, and stuck with the characters after that.
He really enjoyed visiting Minnie and Mickey's homes (they live separately—this is Disney, after all). The microwave in Minnie's kitchen, with popcorn flying around everywhere, fascinated him.
We'd booked a Winnie the Pooh and friends character dinner at The Crystal Palace. It's a big, bustling place with a gigantic buffet. Max got a kick out of Tigger, but he decided he wasn't having any of it and tried to make a break for the door. We'd already taken some food from the buffet and brought it to the table, yet there was nothing to do except bail. The manager was totally understanding. "Take some food with you," he said.
Dave and Max headed back to the hotel (except they ended up riding the monorail for 45 minutes, Max's idea of a good time), and Sabrina and I had dinner, explored and went on rides. Then Max got room service, and he was content.
Sabrina made me take a picture of the castle, which turns various colors at night, when it was purple. "I want Max to see!" she said.
It wasn't quite the day I'd expected, but it was a very good day. More tomorrow, including our memorable lion sighting at the Animal Kingdom Park. I