We checked in at Coronado Springs Resort and ate lunch in the Pepper Market (Diet Coke, grilled chicken w/ rice, and a churro for dessert) at the resort before my parents, Doug, and I headed out to Animal Kingdom. Emily and her family went swimming and relaxed at the resort's pool while they waited for our rooms to be ready. It was wierd having just the four of us again. We went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris and the Maharajah Jungle Trek before my brother and I went on the newest ride: Expedition Everest, an awesome rollercoaster that goes forwards and backwards and into the dark. Then the four of us went on Dinosaur – a thrill ride where you ride in a jeep chasing after animatronics dinosaurs – before heading back to the resort to freshen up.
The entire group headed to the Polynesian Resort for dinner at Ohana. This was my first ride on the Monorail, which goes from Epcot to Magic Kingdom, making stops at the Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts (original two resorts) along the way. We had chosen to use the Disney Dining Plan on our vacation, which had its pluses and minuses, but overall it was a pretty good experience. Ohana was the best dinner we had on the entire vacation: a blue mixed drink called Glowing Dream (with a blue glow-cube); appetizers of salad, chips and salsa, BBQ wings, and grilled shrimp; continuous servings of grilled pork, chicken, turkey sausage, and steak; au gratin potatoes and green beans; and dessert of bread pudding and Banana's Foster to top it off.
Because we were staying in a resort on the Disney property, we were privileged to take advantage of "Extra Magic Hours" where certain parks on certain days either open earlier or stay open later than normal operating hours for guests staying onsite. Tonight, Epcot was open late, so most of our troupe headed over on the Monorail. We were able to ride Spaceship Earth (which is inside the famous globe icon), see the 3-D movie "Honey, I Shrunk The Audience" (which wasn't worth the 45 minute wait and stupid "pre-show" that you had to stand through), experience a very awesome reality-ride called Soarin', and ride through Living With The Land before calling it a night and retiring to our resort. A few of us sat outside our rooms having a few drinks and reflecting on our first day of vacation. It was a different experience to be sitting outside in shorts in the middle of January!
Coronado Springs Resort, Animal Kingdom
Dad, Mom, & I after our Magical Limo Ride from Orlando International Airport to Coronado Springs Resort, Animal Kingdom