Observations from Disney’s Animal Kingdom: May 21, 2013

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117A few days ago I heard from some friends over at Disney Hipsters that there were laser effects working on DINOSAUR that had been broken for years. I also heard from a friend that the bird at the top of Expedition Everest near the broken track was working. I decided it was time for a trip to Animal Kingdom to see for myself.

On the way I stopped at Disney’s Pop Century Resort to collect the new breakfast menu. Since Animal Kingdom didn’t have any breakfast dishes I haven’t tried I decided to eat at Pop. It was my first time eating breakfast there! I ordered a Ham and Cheese Omelet with a Biscuit. My boyfriend, Tom, who was with me, got a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel.

118My omelet was very good. I expected a counter service location to be a bit skimpy with the toppings, but there was a ton of ham and cheese. It was a big portion as well and very filling. I was especially surprised at how good the biscuit was. It was fresh, soft, and delicious!

I had high hopes for the Bagel sandwich, but they were quickly dashed. The bagel was hard and dry, it had obviously been sitting out for quite some time. The eggs were really runny and the bacon was cold…it was very disappointing. Maybe if it was first thing when the food court opened I would be willing to try the bagel again, but I would have to see it being made and know it was fresh.

121We made it to Animal Kingdom just after Rope Drop. Our first stop was Adventurers Outpost. When I was there last week they only had one of the two rooms operational and I wanted to see if the other one was ready yet. It was! There was no line and we walked right in. We got to go into that room to meet Mickey and Minnie this time. The room was just about identical except that it was a mirror image. Even the photos in the small waiting area were the same as in the other room.

After a quick detour to get FASTPASSes for Expedition Everest we headed to Dinosaur. Tom (who knows much more about Disney World’s past than I do) explained that there were laser effects during the time travel portions at the beginning and end of the ride when it first opened in 1998. Shortly after the ride opened they were no longer used and have been gone ever since.

130The ride began and there they were! Green laser-like lights illuminating the fog as we went through the red-lit “toaster” section to travel back in time. It wasn’t a particularly fancy effect, but I really appreciated that I couldn’t see the forest through the fog like usual…it really added to the time travel element not being able to see the destination before you actually get there.  There were similar green lasers at the end of the drop after the Carnotaurus, again in the “toaster” section. These seemed to serve less of a function but still looked cool.

124There was a lot of talk on twitter after photos and video were posted about whether these were the original lasers or new ones. Some people say it is the original…but it isn’t the complete effect, some lasers are still turned off so it looks different. Others are saying these are new lasers all together. Honestly? I don’t care whether they are new or old. What I care about is that someone is doing work on the ride. Some imagineers took the time to either fix or add something in an attraction that has several broken elements. Hopefully this leads to fixing other broken effects and other attractions. Anytime maintenance that has been long-overlooked is being done I am a happy fan.

On the way to Everest we stopped at Royal Anadapur Tea Company. It was a really hot day and I wanted to get my favorite in-park treat: Frozen Chai. The Frozen Chai is like a creamy smoothie and is perfect for cooling off. If you haven’t ever had Chai tea, it tastes a bit like a pumpkin pie with lots of whipped cream…it’s very good. I highly recommend it! It’s a bit expensive but worth it.

141After seeing the Dinosaur lasers we were feeling pretty amped about Expedition Everest. I haven’t seen the bird work since the first time I rode back in the fall of 2010! Since we had time to kill while finishing our drinks we spent a while slowly looking through the queue. The queue at Expedition Everest is one of my favorites. There is so much detail and so many things to look at! There was a family in front of us discussing the artifacts found destroyed by the Yeti having a heated discussion about whether or not all those and the photos were real…they were so into it! Sadly, the bird (and of course the Yeti) were not working, but I remain optimistic that one by one things will be fixed.

147It was starting to rain pretty heavily at this point so we decided to head out, but not without making a quick stop at Camp Minnie-Mickey. I knew Mickey and Minnie were gone (there was even a sign at the entrance to Camp directing people to Adventurers Outpost to meet them) and I wanted to verify their replacements. As I had heard Pocahontas and Baloo with King Louie occupied to two vacated meet locations and their old meet spots on the trail between Africa and Asia were empty. I wanted to stop for pictures but the rain was coming down really hard and the lines were long and outdoors so I’ll have to go back another day.

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Posted on May 22, 2013

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