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Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 10: See ya real soon!

on March 16, 2016

I woke up on Monday, October 12th, and realized that it was our last (half) day at Disney before we started the long journey home.  So bittersweet, because of course I didn’t want to leave my happy place, but I was also looking forward to the traveling ahead of us.

I savored the last early morning view of the Savanna from our room.  It’s really just beautiful.  I took an extra moment to appreciate it, because it’ll be a long time before we stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge again.  Now that all of my little family group has stayed there on their 1st trip to Disney, it’s time to branch out to other Deluxe resorts for future split stays and get more Resorts checked off my list.  Based on experiences on this trip, I’m leaning toward PO-FQ and the Grand Floridian for our next trip in 2021.  Of course, availability and price will guide the final decision.

Time to get ready to go.  We packed up our checked luggage and went down to Bell Services to do Resort Airline Check-In.  This is a great service that WDW offers, where you can check your bags at the hotel, and they will transport them to Orlando Int’l Airport and get them checked in to your flights for you.  We had an overnight layover in Seattle, and they were still able to do it- we picked our bags up in Honolulu the next day.  Most airlines participate, and it is complimentary, though if your airline charges baggage fees, you still have to pay them, right there at the Bell Services desk.  With our Alaska Airlines Visa, we didn’t have to pay 🙂

Our flight wasn’t until 6pm, with Disney’s Magical Express airport bus picking us up in front of AKL at 3:15p.  This left a good amount of time to fill, even with having to be out of the room by 11:00a.  I had planned ahead for this time (duh), and we had all our stuff ready to head to the pool.

We got there, all bathing-suited up and sunscreen-ed, pretty much right at 9:00a when they opened.  The pool was empty and fantastic, if a tiny bit chilly.  One of the perks of a Deluxe Resort is a nice pool slide.  And now, a funny story.

During our trip in 2008, we of course visited the AKL pool.  That trip was DD’s first time having her own camera, and one of her favorite shots of the trip was of me going down the AKL slide.  In it, I’m about to enter the water, and I’ve got my arms up gymnast-style, and am smiling a cheesy grin.  She just loves this picture, and mentioned several times that she wanted me to recreate it on this trip, but on video with her waterproof camera.

Location: Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool, Walt Disney World, 2015

Reason: recreate iconic shot of Mami coming down the pool slide with arms up and orthodontia-corrected teeth on full display

 Outcome: holy crap you guys.  I don’t even know where I went wrong.  I was traveling down the slide, and I may have put my arms up too soon? Whatever I did, I completely lost my balance, flipped over to one side, then my shoulder hit the side of the slide and nearly flipped me back the other way.  I tried to stabilize myself with my legs, but ran out of slide.  I fairly crashed into the water butt-first, legs akimbo.  And nearly drowned because I was laughing so hard.

When I finally came up for air, DH (who was holding DS in his arms) was red in the face from laughing, DS was screaming with delight and wanted me to do it again, and DD was leaning against the side of the pool, breathless with silent mirth.  We all  laughed for a LONG TIME.  And get this: DD didn’t even get the shot!  She forgot to hit record!  This caused us to start laughing all over again.  And over and over again for the rest of the day.  It was great.   I had to take a pause just now while typing it out, because I got the giggles all over again.  I will neither confirm nor deny snaughling at work.

snaugh

Alright, the rest of our pool time was fun, but we were getting hungry!  We decided to go up to the room, clean up, and clear it out for the next lucky family.  After a final sweep to make sure nothing got left behind (it didn’t), we took our stuff down to the Mara, AKL’s quick-service location.  I had some sort of flatbread that was delicious.  Everyone enjoyed their lunch.

What to do next?  Explore the Resort!  We had gotten a $5 gift card to the AKL arcade, Pumbaa’s Fun & Games.  We decided to use it, and got to play a few games.  It’s cute in there, and DH had fun with the latest in arcade technology: Pac-Man.

Next, we wanted to sit down so we went up to the gorgeous lobby.  They’ve got all sorts of comfortable seating, poufy couches and squishy armchairs, and kid-sized rocking chairs!  DD got comfy on one of the couches and promptly fell asleep.  DH was sitting nearby and also dozed a bit.  DS of course, was a bundle of energy, and after sitting in the kid-sized rocking chair for approximately 75 seconds, he stood up and wanted to look around.  So he and I walked all around the lobby and the overlooks outside, where a bunch of animals were doing their animal thing.  Plus, I was able to get my Trip Tradition picture of DS.  From this trip forward, I will take a picture of him at the same spot in the AKL lobby so we can see how he’s grown.  Just like DD’s Grand Floridian [modified due to removal of beach swing] pic.

AKL8

Zebras are my favorite.  You can also see those cool antelope, and a giraffe!

 

DS was over the picture-taking, and wanted to do Sudoku with DH.  So they settled down to do that, and I walked over to the Zawadi Marketplace for some last shopping.  Remember the MagicBandits I had bought to decorate my sad gray MagicBand?  The set I bought included an icon from each Park: Cinderella Castle for MK, the Hollywood Tower Hotel for the Studios, the Tree of Life for AK, and Spaceship Earth for Epcot.  Well, the Castle one had gotten lost at some point, I suspect during one of the times I had DS on my back and his legs were rubbing against my wrist exactly where the MagicBandit was attached to the Band.  The Marketplace didn’t have the exact same set as the one I had purchased at the Art of Animation Ink & Paint Shop, but I was able to find another set that included the Castle, so I bought a whole new set in order to complete the first one.  I also picked up a little something for a coworker who was thinking about going to Disney.

When I returned to the lobby, DD was waking up and gathering her stuff, and DS was charming the pants off an older lady by reciting the order of the planets based on distance to the sun, along with such scintillating facts as how to say numbers 1 through 10 in various languages including Urdu!  She didn’t know what exactly to do with that info, but seemed entertained.

The moment of truth had arrived.  We waited for the Magical Express bus outside.  It arrived about 10 minutes late.  I was holding back my sadness.

AKL9

Last picture, leaving Jambo House.

 

Everything went fine: ride to airport, security (longer line than we are used to in Honolulu!), airport food dinner, flight, and shuttle to our hotel in Seattle.  It was cold!  I had used IHG points to reserve the Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport.  Because I have the IHG credit card, I hold Platinum status and we were upgraded to a very nice room.  We were hungry, and ordered pizza to be delivered to the room.  In the morning, we grabbed the shuttle to the airport, and once again everything was uneventful.  Security, flight, etc, and we landed in Honolulu on time, about 1:30p.  One taxi ride later we were home.

Next post, I’ll sum up my final thoughts and lessons learned.  See ya real soon!

 

 

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