Mom decided that it would be better to go straight to Animal Kingdom and get breakfast there. We found a Starbucks under the name of Creature Comforts where we got our breakfast before going to our first Fastpass, the Festival of the Lion King show. This was one of my favorites from back in 2003 and it definitely holds up. The dancing, acrobatics, and special effects are spectacular and it features the amazing music from The Lion King. The Circle of Life still always gives me chills. My favorite part of the show is still the high wire routine done by the female bird acrobat during Can You Feel The Love Tonight?
After the show, we went to our next Fastpass, Finding Nemo the Musical. This next show was very cute and I felt teary at a few moments because of its touching story about parents and children. There is a song called “The Big Blue World” which I recognized from the Finding Nemo ride at EPCOT. Our third Fastpass was for It’s Tough to be A Bug which takes place in a theater under the Tree of Life. In the lobby there were posters for plays and musicals redone with bug puns. I appreciated the one which said “Web Side Story”; West Side Story being one of my favorite musicals and movies. It’s Tough to be A Bug scared the crap out of me when I was little but now I found it funny and fun, though I think that some of the effects might be too intense for small children.
We then made our way to Dinoland where there is a ride called Dinosaur, which Aunt Terry recommended. It was a time travel themed ride that had lots of drops and jerking; Mom felt nauseous afterwards. I had also wanted to go on Kilimanjaro Safari, but that wait was over an hour.
This was between one and two in the afternoon and I was tired and overheated and hungry and just wanted to sit down in the shade and have something to eat. I wanted to get lunch in Animal Kingdom but Mom wanted to move on to Hollywood Studios so we could do some of the attractions there before our dinner reservation. To my relief, the first thing we did there was sit down at this outdoor restaurant called the “Dockside Diner” which sold footlong hot dogs; Mom and I split one of these for lunch. After lunch, we went on the Great Movie Ride, which is one of my favorite things I’ve done on this trip. It’s queue area went through what looked like Grauman’s Chinese Theater and had displays of movie costumes. At the end of the queue there was a screen playing trailers for films such as Casablanca and clips from Turner Classic Movies, the ride’s sponsor. The ride had different sections for various film genres such as musicals, gangster movies, westerns, sci-fi, horror, and adventure. My favorite parts were gangster movie section and the airport scene from Casablanca.
Nearby is the Star Wars Launch Pad. Inside, I met Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He asked me if I would join the First Order to which I agreed; in the story I made up in my head, I was really a double agent for the resistance. To prove this, I then met with Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon.
Mom enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear ride at the Magic Kingdom. There’s a similar ride at Hollywood Studios with a Toy Story theme which we decided to go on. This time, I won. Afterwards, we went to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Show which was something I enjoyed when I was seven. Even now I was impressed by the stunts and effects. When I was little I was too scared to go to the Muppet Vision 3-D show for some reason and I threw a tantrum and my grandfather had to sit outside with me while everyone else went to the show. Seeing Muppet Vision was one of the things I wanted to do during this trip and I thought the show was okay, I’m not that big of a Muppets fan. I probably should not have been afraid of it when I was little.
After the Muppet show, there was about an hour and a half until our dinner reservation. Between the show and the restaurant was a place where you could meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Minnie wore this lovely sparkly pink dress and I told her that she looked fabulous. Mickey was wearing his Sorcerer’s Apprentice out and gave the best hugs. Our dinner reservation was for 8:3o at the Sci-fi Dine In. This was one of my favorite places from last time and I wanted to go there again. There was not much on the menu that I like, so I got a burger, which was good but if I could have eaten anything I would not have eaten a burger. I recognized some of the cartoons and trailers shown on the screen and asked my mom if people back in the 1950s and 60s were scared by these sci-fi/horror films or did they look as silly as they do now. She said that people were because the special effects did not look so ridiculous back then (Dad would later tell me that no one really found them scary but they were rather the films you took your girlfriend to so you could pretend to be scared and makeout.)
It was very late by the time we took the bus back to the hotel. As we were leaving the park, the fireworks show were bidding us goodbye. On the bus, there was this soothing jazz music playing. There was something drowsy and magical about this ride home.