Hey ya’ll! I’m back for part two of our June Birthday Trip Report! You can catch up on Part 1 here if you missed it! This trip was my first ever time spending my birthday in Disney and this section is all about my actual birthday! Let me know what you think of this series because if you like it I’d love to do more of these! PS- Here’s a link to go to part 3!
This day started at a truly ridiculous hour, something like 5 in the morning. Animal Kingdom had morning extra magic hours (they were doing TONS of EMH time because Pandora had just opened a week before) so the park was opening at 7. We’ve learned driving is so much more reliable than Disney transportation, it makes me sad to say because I’ve always loved the Disney busses but as soon as I finally gave in and tried driving it was such a difference. We knew we wanted to get to the park by like 6:15 so we could really get in early with the EMH and driving helped us do that- we got THE BEST parking ever!
Getting into the park I was honestly shocked by how many people managed to get there before us! Like, how?! Did they not go to sleep? Camp out in the AK parking lot? It’s a mystery. We had to wait on the bridge to Pandora for a bit before being let in, it was pretty cool to see the Tree of Life so empty though!
I had intentionally not learned anything about Pandora so I could be surprised, thankfully the crowd knew exactly what it was doing though and entirely split either left for the River Journey or right for Flights of Passage, we went right and spent the next 45 minutes on line. Considering how insane that line gets 45 minutes wasn’t bad but… SERIOUSLY HOW WERE THERE THAT MANY PEOPLE IN FRONT OF US?! Oddly enough it was a very slow moving line outside but as soon as we got to the indoor part of the queue it was a walk on. We’re really looking forward to going back and hopefully getting to slow down and appreciate the queue more because it was amazing.
I won’t tell you too much about FoP in case like me you wanted to save it to be a surprise but I will say it immediately became my favorite ride in Walt Disney World and honestly it would just be cruel to ask me to choose between it and Radiator Springs so I’ll say it’s tied for first Disney ride in general.
After Flights of Passage we had breakfast at Satu’li Canteen which was TOO GOOD FOR WORDS… but I tried to put it into words in our review of Satu’li a few weeks ago. We shared breakfast because we knew we had a lot more food coming this day.
Funny story time now, as we were walking out of Satu’li I spotted my Dad in the Pongu Pongu line! He’s a south Florida local and came up because he couldn’t stand us seeing Pandora before him haha! We all shared some Night Blossoms which were awesome, they’re especially good for when it’s super hot, which it was! Then we headed over to the Na’vi River Journey, Dad waited on about half the line with us then had enough waiting and headed back home! Just like that!
We had mixed feelings about the ride, it was definitely super gorgeous and overall we liked it but we would never never never wait in that line for it again and at the end of the ride I believe my exact phrase was “wait that’s it?” because I was expecting a bit more of a plot or… something.
After that we had fun taking some pictures around the area before going back to Satu’li to split a lunch, yes the River Journey line was that long and yes we ARE the kind of people who would wait in it (remember when Frozen opened last year and there were all those pictures of the line going past the 300 minute wait sign? Yeah, when we start something we see it through hahaha). Again Satu’li completely and totally knocked my socks off. It was by far the best park lunch I’d ever had and really, well, just read the post, I’m obsessed and when we’re locals will definitely be going to AK for lunch often!
At that point we headed back to the hotel to relax and cool off before dinner at Yachtsman. We headed down to the pool area because when you’re staying at the Beach and Yacht you really need to give the pool some love! Then we got ready for dinner.
This is where the day got tricky. I love Yachtsman, I have loved it my whole life since they won my little 7 year old self over with a whole head of roasted garlic just for me. Since becoming gluten intolerant I have been to Yachtsman quite a few times without problem. This time there was a problem- I was glutened. Glutened is what we call it when a meal is contaminated and makes me sick, like many GF people I have very specific symptoms when it happens and I was starting to feel it at the end of the meal. I proceeded to spend most of the night sick and even though we managed to have a great time the next day, my stomach was uneasy and uncomfortable most of the day too. David went back to the restaurant to tell the manager that I had gotten sick and the manager was very apologetic, took our info, all of that and to be honest we were feeling like some sort of partial refund or come back and let us do better type of thing was warranted but nothing came of it. We know things happen, I’ve been glutened in Disney before and it’s a risk anytime you have a serious allergy to eat outside your own kitchen. I’ll be 100% upfront here though, the meal cost us about $200 and literally poisoned me on my birthday. I was and still am disappointed in a restaurant I have loved for so long. That’s all I’ll say on that.
I don’t want to end on a sad note so I will say that before I started feeling bad the meal was delicious. My Dad actually (as a birthday present because I come from a family that knows love comes from the stomach haha!) paid for me to try the Wagyu beef and HOLY MOLY. I can understand the price, it was the most buttery, tender, buttery, did I say buttery? If you don’t like tender meat this is not for you but if you’re a rare/medium rare steak eater this needs to be on your bucket list!
Alright, that’s all for Day 2 folks! I hope you’re having at least as much fun reading along as I am writing this! HERE’S A LINK TO GO TO PART 3 AND KEEP READING!