As soon as we stepped out the doors of Tusker House, though, the heat and humidity completely enveloped us, sapping our energy. While the morning's heat had been tolerable, the afternoon sun was scorching, and the humidity made it difficult to breathe.
Tip Time: Animal Kingdom is probably the hottest park in Walt Disney World. The beautiful canopy of foliage traps the humidity and creates the very authentic illusion that you have been transported to the jungle. To make matters worse, there are few indoor attractions at Animal Kingdom, providing little opportunity to escape into an air-conditioned oasis. Finally, Animal Kingdom's walkways are narrow, creating several bottle-necked areas of pedestrian congestion; with everyone crowded together, the heat feels worse. Drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks in the shade.
I glanced down at my children who were trudging along beside me. They looked exhausted. We were about halfway through our trip, and I could tell that our pace and the heat was starting to take its toll on them. Nevertheless, I decided to push on to the next attraction on our list: Expedition Everest.
Tip Time: Expedition Everest is a headliner roller coaster at Animal Kingdom park. Most kids over age 7 handle it well, but some children are intimidated. This attraction builds long lines quickly, so experience it first thing in the morning or use FASTPASS.
Before lunch, we'd grabbed FASTPASSES for the attraction, and our return window had opened by the time we'd finished our meal. My 7-year-old son, Jack, had been talking about this attraction for months; he could not wait to ride it with my husband. As we approached the roller coaster, however, I could feel his hand stiffen in mine.
"Mom...," he whispered, in a tiny voice. He didn't even need to finish his sentence. I already knew that Jack was not going to get on that roller coaster. I also knew, however, that he would probably regret his decision; so, for the next ten minutes, my husband used every trick in the book to convince Jack to hop on that ride with him. Finally, frustrated and disappointed, my husband left to ride the attraction by himself. By this time, Jack was in the throes of a complete meltdown, the severity of which threatened to ruin the rest of our day. I knew that we needed to regroup...and quickly. And the first step was to throw the touring plan away.
|A cool drink under the shade can quickly cure a meltdown|
I knew that abandoning the touring plan meant that we would not experience all of the attractions on our "Animal Kingdom Wish List". I also knew that, if we didn't slow down the pace fast, we wouldn't see anything else at all! So, for the rest of the day, we just relaxed. We enjoyed frozen Cokes (complete with brain freezes) in the shade. We spent some quiet time digging for dinosaur bones in The Boneyard, Animal Kingdom's massive playground. And we explored all of the little treasures that Animal Kingdom offers, from bongo bands in Africa to spontaneous animal presentations throughout the park.
|Enjoying some much-needed quiet time digging in The Boneyard|
|Finding some time to be in a bongo band!|
Disney Specialist, Ginger's Getaways
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