After the last few days frenetic activity it was nice to have a late start today. Our fastpasses for the day were all for late afternoon in Animal Kingdom. This didn’t mean, of course, that I could wake later and lie in, no I’m useless at that so I was still up just after seven. But at least we didn’t need to rush round first thing to get out of the villa and miss the crowds. So for the morning everyone did their own thing, in Helen and my case broken only by a trip to the local Publix supermarket.
After lunch we set off for Disney Springs (neé Downtown Disney). In the four years since we were last here it has changed enormously and has probably doubled in size. This has necessitated the building of two new multi-story car parks as the previous surface car park has been eaten into by the expansion.
The new Disney Springs is much more adult and upmarket than the Disney Springs it replaced. Where once there was a magic shop and a build-a-bear there is now a high end shopping centre featuring the likes of Zara and Lacoste. Fortunately the old favourites such as the Lego shop and, more importantly, Ghiradellis are still there. This meant that I was able to reacquaint myself with their strawberry milkshake as last tasted in LA last September.
Springs done we made our way for our first visit this holiday to Animal Kingdom. I love Animal Kingdom as it is so beautifully decorated with it’s highly stylised visions of Africa and Asia. It’s a real pleasure to walk around. We started off on the Safari ride where all the action seemed to be on the other side of the bus to me! We then walked through the gorilla enclosure and got to see a family really close up, albeit behind glass.
At eight we split up with the boys managing to squeeze in four more rides while Helen and I went to the Rivers of Lights show, something that is new since the last time we were here. This is a light show on the small lake in the park with colourful automated flower buds and a couple of boats. It was pretty impressive, especially when videos were projected onto giant sprays of water.
At nine we met up again by the park exit and were on our way home.