Day 2, Part 2: Animal Kingdom… After Dark! Plus, Dinner at Jiko with da Roots!

We headed out of Epcot and back to BoardWalk Inn, with a stop at BoardWalk Bakery along the way. I spotted “our” Friendship boat (the one that took us from our wedding to the reception), so Patrick took a few glamour shots.

Oooooh, baby!

Oh yeah, baby – work it!

Hey, baby, where ya goin’…?

I want to go to there.

While I waited in line for my Slice of Heaven On a Plate, Patrick took some pictures of the sample Disney Fairy Tale Wedding Cakes on display. Yeah, yeah – I know I already have pictures of them. But, c’mon, you can never have too many pictures of CAKE!





“Moon Unit”

There was also a custom minicake in the case…

And they were selling gingerbread houses…

Oh yeah, and these babies…


Somehow, my lust for peanut butter chocolate cake was temporarily overcome by my lust for pictures, because instead of going straight back to the room to devour said cake, we dillydallied all over the resort taking these:

Anything bearing even a passing resemblance to a special-event setup must be photographed.

If people ask about holding wedding events in the gloomy walkway under the BoardWalk Inn’s porch, I’ll be ready with pictures!

Here’s that neato fireplace again….

More gratuitous shots of my favorite public area at BoardWalk Inn…

We took a nice break in the room, which for me consisted of sitting on the balcony eating peanut butter chocolate cake in front of the magnificent panorama of Crescent Lake…

My idea of heaven

…and for Patrick consisted of photographing his feet…

But we didn’t sit around for long. Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom started at 5pm, and we wanted to maximize our first-ever nighttime visit there!

The first thing we saw was…

… a giant Christmas tree that, at night, looked like every other Disney Christmas tree we would encounter. Call me a Grinch, but I don’t cotton to these new-fangled LED Christmas lights Disney started using this year. They only come in four colors, so after dark all the trees look the same. Plus, helloooo, none of the colors is pink! Or even purple!

Anyway, we managed to choke back our tears of disappointment and soldier on to…

The big blurry tree!

On our way to Everest, Patrick asked if we could check out the Dig Site playground, which we’d never bothered to explore before.

He decided to try out the slide…

Not designed for people with hips

He gave it a …

But at least we saw a…

Off to Expedition Everest!

We rode it three times, and I almost tossed my cookies three times — it really is scarier in the dark!

Why, look! It’s two people who just rode Everest three times and didn’t toss their cookies!

At this point we were kind of out of ideas, Everest being the only ride we really like that was open. We went into Africa to take some nighttime shots, only to be met by a trio of Disney Suits who said we couldn’t go past Tusker House. By being nice, we got them to escort us 20 whole feet beyond that point so Patrick could take more pix.

Then we wandered around some more… (is this as boring to read as it is to type…?)

By then we were so bored we decided we may as well go see what Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama was all about because, hey, no blazing sun and no lines!

Apparently, it is all about “cheap.”

But it’s a “roadside attraction” so cheap/tacky is OK – get it…? This place must’ve been greenlit by the same genius who thought it was OK to put off-the-shelf carnival rides in California Adventure.

The TriceraTop Spin was OK — I guess it was worth the 12-second wait….

But Primeval Whirl was so bad, we were actually laughing in disbelief in between screams of pain as we were yanked around the hairpin turns. Amazingly, it is possible to design a ride that’s worse than DCA’s Malibu Madness (soon to be “Goofy’s Sky School”). Me no likey mouse coasters!

The Roots we still ain’t…

The single thing I liked about Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama was the adorable dinosaur head sticking out of the Airstream trailer that serves snacks!

Even if we were midgets, I’d still be taller than Patrick

Patrick liked the set design of the gift shop.

The “snow” in the windows is pretty dang clever:

Following our “Meh, what the hell…” theory of ride selection, we next stopped at Dinosaur. Patrick really really wants to like this one, but it just hasn’t happened. We figured the third time would be a charm.


Beating back the crowds, we squeezed our way into the pre-show screening room…

We must’ve taken a wrong turn — this charmless queue has to be for a ride at Universal Studios!

Yeah, we got our own car, but it wasn’t cuz they were doing us a favor!

After this go-round, Patrick declared Dinosaur to be “not terrible”!

But my favorite part of the ride was the gift shop, where we found this adorable and oh-so-ironic for meat-loving me T-shirt:

On our way out (not… really) we hit Everest one last time.

Joe Rhode’s basement

A huge crowd had gathered on the bridge to Africa to gawk at the hundreds of birds sleeping in the trees.

Bird: “Hey! Put out dat LIGHT!”

Then it was off to Jiko to meet the Roots for a super-late dinner. (But, with their work schedule, 9:30pm is like noon to them!)

This is what Animal Kingdom Lodge’s lobby looked like when we got there:

And this is what it looked like when The Roots got there:

Before I switch over to Rootography, I’ll post a few more of Patrick’s pix.

I think this one’s the money in the waterfall outside Boma, given his obsession with money at the bottom of Disney water features.

And I’m not even sure this one is right-side up, but I’m posting it cuz it’ll make you feel dizzy if you look at it too long – try it!

I think we may have had another looooong wait for a table just like last time I ate with the Roots, and I may have gotten grouchy with the hostess again, but I’ve managed to blot it out of my memory. You’ll have to ask them! All I remember now is that we had another fabulous meal and it was a ton of fun to catch up with them after six whole months. I remember being a bit breathless with all my questions — and that we pretty much shut the place down, but the staff still let us linger so Nate could shoot a few pictures of the place empty.

Here’s our evening from The Roots’ perspective, with bonus commentary of what I’m pretty sure they were thinking…

“Ooooooh! Pwetty!”

“Mmmmmm….. boooooooze!”

“So… does she ever stop talking?”


[They got the steak with red wine sauce and mac ‘n’ cheese]


“This guy is photographic GOLD!!!”

“Hey – free water!”




After dinner, we ended up in my favorite perpetually empty nook off the lobby:

Patrick, Jensey and I went out on the balcony while Nathan made a pit stop. I glanced back inside and thought I saw him walking toward us, so I popped my head in and started waving madly and shouting “Hellooooo! Over heeeeeereeee! Yoohooooooo!” — until Patrick tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to Nathan, who was standing behind me as I practically propositioned a total stranger. I glanced back to see some hapless guy with a look of pure terror in his eyes frantically backing away over an end table, an arm chair, etc.

Thankfully, the Roots were there to document my moment of mortification…

When we got back to the room, Patrick had to set up his computer and work on concept art for Ginger the Horse for Pee-Wee Herman’s stage show.

That’s right, he’s working on vacation!

Meanwhile, I busted into the a-friggin-dorable Disney Bride survival kit the Roots had given us. Check out the stuffed Roo — they had a “t” embroidered on his sweater to make “Root”!

Up Next: Day 3 at Last — Hollywood Studios! Hugging Dug! And Our First Impressions of Osbourne Lights!

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7 Responses
  • MichelleD
    December 6, 2012

    I hope if you ever back it back during Christmastime that you gander a look at the Camp Minnie Mickey Christmas trees. Anytime after 4pm that land is like a forgotten nook, plus there are dozens of trees that light the path. Be warned that the land closes about 30 minutes after the last show of Festival of the Lion King, and during the show is a ghost town. All this of course is if CMM sicks around.

    • Carrie
      December 6, 2012

      You know, I got to experience this last year when D23 had their Magic & Merriment dinner at Camp Minnie Mickey, and I agree—I really love all those trees!

      • MichelleD
        December 6, 2012

        Shoot. That must have been the convention shift I traded away. We were confused why it was in CMM and not in FoLK. The set up looked nice before I left for the day. Really underused spot.

        • Carrie
          December 6, 2012

          Oh, interesting! I confess I too was surprised at the venue choice, but as you said, it’s really nice!

  • Hope
    December 21, 2011

    I think you’ve talked about that Choc/PB cake so much that I must make that my first stop whenever we go (or give you money to bring me back a slice since you go way more often than anyone else I know! )

    All those public lounge places look really nice. I’m not sure if they’re available for events, but if they were, they’d make nice welcome party spaces or wedding after party locations.

    • lurkyloo
      December 22, 2011

      Bad news… BoardWalk Bakery replaced that cake slice with a dry cupcake with hardly any peanut butter flavor at all! 🙁 I did get the recipe for the cake from one of the bakers there, though, and I keep meaning to make one to write up for the Disney Food Blog. If I even find the time, you guys’ll have to come ’round and be taste-testers!

      • Hope
        December 22, 2011

        Well that sucks about the BW Bakery getting rid of it. We’re always down for being taste testers though! 🙂

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