Sunday, March 8, 2009 - Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot

Sunday started out with a trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom in the morning and a visit to Epcot for the afternoon and evening.

The first half of the day was very quiet in Animal Kingdom.  My brother and I were able to go through the single rider line at Everest with only about a ten minute wait, had no wait for Dinosaur, and waited about twenty-five minutes for Primeval Whirl.  The FastPass was not being used for Whirl and they were only using the left side of the ride.  Nonetheless, the line moved slowly and we were on the spinning coaster without any issues.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is always a popular ride, so it was useful that we grabbed FastPasses for it when we first got into the park.  The separate handicap loading station was empty and a vehicle was there waiting for us, so our wait was kept for a minimum.  This trip on the safari was pretty good and quite a few of the animals were out and about.  The next trip later on the trip would prove to be better (with photographic evidence).

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Restaurantosaurus - closed

Restaurantosaurus in DinoLand was closed both days we were in the park.  This didn't really effect us as our main eating location in Disney's Animal Kingdom is at Pizzafari over in Discovery Island.  The line at that place went out on the main sidewalk during the peak rush hour, so not quite everything had a short line on a Sunday in the off-season.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kali River Rapids - line queue

The two longest lines in the park were for Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest.  The Kali line was long but moved fairly well since they were not using FastPass there, either, just like at Primeval Whirl.  For the record, It's Tough to be a Bug was also not using the FastPass system during the week.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Celebrate Today!

The Celebrate Today theme uses special banners for each park similar to the new attraction banners used during the celebration for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration.  Balloons are a big part of the theming as they also appear on the monorails and some of the Disney buses.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - symbol

n the parking lot we noticed this symbol on the ground for Disney's Animal Kingdom.  I don't remember seeing it before, but that doesn't mean that it was recently added to the park.  I also got a photo of the parking lot logo for Epcot (check the last day of this report for that picture).

Epcot - Celebrate Today!

Like at Animal Kingdom, Epcot felt like it was empty.  After arriving at the park at around 2:30 pm, there were still FastPasses available for Soarin' (went active at 6:45 pm, significantly better than having the FastPass sold out by 11 am during New Year's Eve).  All of the rides except for Test Track and Soarin' were walk right on.  It was great.

Epcot - Living with the Land - 01

The Brussels sprouts (also known as "alien life pods" and thought as being from Mars or Venus by some people) were growing just fine in Living with the Land.

Epcot - Living with the Land - 02

The outer wall in the second greenhouse on the Living with the Land boat ride was hidden behind a wall.  This is part of the pathway that was used for the Land's walking tour.

Epcot - Living with the Land - 03

And after having this aquaculture scene added to the Land boat ride months ago, there is still no mention of it on the automated spiel.

Epcot - Innoventions - Fountain of Nations refurbishment - 01 Epcot - Innoventions - Fountain of Nations refurbishment - 02

The massive Fountain of Nations in the middle of Innoventions Plaza was hidden behind the big blue wall for some refurbishment.  It didn't feel right walking through this area and not hearing the usual show music and being sprayed by a fine mist of water.

Spring in Epcot.

Springtime in Epcot.  The outstanding weather and blooming flowers and trees made it an almost perfect day.

Epcot - Mission: SPACE - 01

No big crowds outside of Mission SPACE today.  Both orange and green team lines had no wait.  My brother and I were inside of one of the capsules and waiting for lift-off when the ride had a malfunction and we had to leave and come back later.  We were given a FastPass for a free re-ride, but on a zero-wait day it was a useless gesture.  We came back later and rode it without any problems.

Epcot - Mission: SPACE - 02

All of those rows were empty during the first preshow for Mission: SPACE.  Since we had an electric power cart we were in row 10.  Later in the trip the cast members enforced the non-power cart policy and we had to transfer to a normal wheelchair like on previous trips.

Epcot - China

A nearly full moon is seen rising over the Temple of Heaven in China.

We went on Test Track at the end of the day.  The elevator used to help get wheelchairs over the loading station was not working, so they had our small group of three enter through the exit.  Otherwise, we were ready to wait in the stand-by line queue which was only about twenty minutes long or so.  The cast members were helpful and gave us a little extra help getting in and out of the car.  The high-speed loop around the building at dusk was awesome.  Like Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Test Track is best at dusk and night.