This morning it was time to leave the Disney Dream. I have always just gone to the airport from the ship and gone home but this time I was fortunate enough to be going back to Disney World for a few days. Sadly, Donna and Pam had to go home. I had new travel companions arriving – both of my sisters and my husband.
I had signed up for Disney transportation to the resort and I received a letter in my stateroom saying I needed to disembark early that morning making my only breakfast option the buffet. Donna and Pam were leaving later so we said our goodbyes in the room and I went upstairs to grab breakfast.
Getting off the ship was fairly easy, although my timing wasn’t great as the first seating for breakfast had finished just about the time that I was leaving. I found my suitcase in the terminal and waited on the line for customs, which was long but moved pretty quickly.
I followed the signs for the resort buses. A cast member asked what resort I was going to and I was directed to the correct bus. It was about an hour ride to the hotel. I had already received a text that the room was not ready. Not a surprise, as it was about 9 am.
More on the room later, but we were staying at Bay Lake Tower, so this is a picture of our home for the next four nights.
I dropped my bags at bell services. The timing worked out great and my sisters arrived about 20 minutes later. Chris would be coming in the early evening. They dropped off their bags and we made our way to our park for the day:
First stop was Starbucks! It was chilly and my sisters had been up for an early flight. I got a hot coffee and one of my favorite snacks: the Mickey cinnamon roll. I had seen these before but never thought much of them, until I had one on a food tour of Disney that I did last year. Now they are a favorite.
We had a fast pass for Kilimanjaro Safari so we went in that direction. We were a little early so we walked through one of the paths to see some animals until it was our time to ride.
I always love the safari. Sometimes you see more animals that others and you just never know, but that’s ok. Since the weather was cool, the animals were more active. It isn’t easy to take photos as the vehicle moves quickly and only stops briefly. I was able to get a few. One is of the new baby zebra that was with her mom. Very cute!
Our next Fastpass was for the new Animation Experience at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. You have to take a train to get there. I haven’t been there in a really long time. There is an Affection area where you pet some sheep and goats. We walked in there. Not many people were there and the animals were nice and relaxed.
We would have made it into the Animation Experience without the Fastpass, but when it was at Hollywood Studios it was super popular. It could be that guests don’t realize it is now in Animal Kingdom.
The experience has a Disney artist walk you through drawing a Disney character. In the past you received a blank sheet of paper. Now the paper has guidelines already on it, which speeds up the process and sets up the proportions of the drawing. I am not an artist at all but this is really fun and anyone can do it. Our character was Tick Tock from Peter Pan.
We had a dinner reservation at 4 pm so we took the train back and looked to see what else we could squeeze in. There was a performance of Festival of the Lion King that worked so that was our next stop. Who doesn’t love some Tumble Monkeys?
Our dinner was at Yak and Yeti which is a favorite of ours. I tried a new menu item which was a Dragon Roll Bowl. It was all the elements of a Dragon Roll with the rice on the bottom. I loved it! I would go back for one right now!
Yak and Yeti also has one of my favorite desserts. Cream cheese filled wontons on skewers with pineapple pieces between them and a vanilla sauce on top. YUM!
After eating, we left Animal Kingdom and went back to the hotel. Chris would be arriving soon and I had wanted to do some laundry before our evening activity.
Thanks to the generosity of a friend, we were staying at a 2 bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower. The room was amazing! Chris and I had a bedroom with a king size bed and our own bathroom. My sisters had a bedroom with two queen beds and their own bathroom. We had a full living room, a full kitchen and another bathroom in the main area. There was also a stack able washer and dryer.
Chris arrived and he went to grab some food for dinner to bring back to the room. There was some confusion and long delay in getting our bags from bell services but they did finally arrive. I was able to get some laundry started.
We had the After Hours Villain party that night at the Magic Kingdom. The party was from 10 pm to 1 am, but you could enter at 7 pm. Staying at Bay Lake, the Magic Kingdom is about a 10 minute walk which is really convenient.
It was cold!! I had multiple layers on and borrowed my sister’s scarf. We walked over to the park and got our wristband for the event. The park was still open so we went to do some rides before the party officially began.
Because it was a Villains theme, there was a special stage show and mini parade that we wanted to see. We decided to do the last showing of each one and do rides until then. There were a few special add ons to two attractions. There were live actors in Pirates of the Caribbean.. but we didn’t make it there. We did do Space Mountain which was completely in the dark with Villains saying classic lines all around. I have ridden Space Mountain in complete darkness before (at the Halloween party) and actually find it less scary because you can’t see anything that is coming at all.
A highlight of the After Hours Party is that you can get unlimited amounts of Mickey ice cream bars, Mickey ice cream sandwiches, popcorn and bottled soda / water. It was so cold that I didn’t want any ice cream. I did have a popcorn.
The After Hours parties have a low amount of tickets sold, which makes the wait times for rides minimal. We were able to ride several attractions before going to the hub for the stage show and parade.
Honestly, I thought the stage show was long and not very interesting. I am not sure that I can even summarize the plot. It didn’t help that it was late and I was cold standing still. One part that I liked was they did projections on the castle that represented different villians.
The “Cursed Caravan” parade started soon after the stage show. It was cute. The characters had funny things to say as it moved along. The highlight is the fire breathing dragon towards the end.
One thing that we had fun with at the party was the Magic Shot photo opportunities. This is when the photographer tells you do act or stand a certain way and you have no idea why. Then when the photo comes up in your Disney account, you see what was added. There were several of them at the Villains party and we did a few.
It was nice to able to just walk back to the room. Overall, it was fun. Can’t help that it was cold. I am not a huge Villains fan but I am glad that I checked out the party. Since it is only three hours, you do take away from your ride time if you want to see the stage show / parade. Spoiler alert: We did the regular After Hours event on our last night and I preferred that one.