So the Festival of the Lion King begins and the giant Pumbaa comes out and stops right next to us. Harry says Pumbaa is not gairy. Shortly after the show begins Steven wakes up. We were a bit concerned about this because if he woke in a strange location with all this noise going on around him he might freak out a bit. He seemed to be fine however, and was happy to stay with Adrian so I settled back to watch the show. As usual the show was amazing; that’s the only way I can describe it, I can’t use hundreds of words it just doesn’t work. It’s just one of those “do not miss” Disney things.
Toward the end of the performance I glanced to my right to see how everyone else was enjoying it. And there it was. The moment. The moment that I knew all the planning and organising and stressing, and writing 15 page documents was worth every single second of time that I spent doing it. Every single last penny we spent on this holiday was worth it because of what I was seeing. It was there right in front of me. There was Ellie, my 6-year-old niece, and Steven, my 8-month-old son and they were captivated by what was going on in front of them. Absolutely spellbound. In fact I’m not sure spellbound completely captures what I witnessed in those few seconds. The two of them were totally there; just in it, and it’s a picture I’ll never forget. I tried to take a couple of photos to preserve the moment but no photograph will ever do justice to the expressions on those two small faces I saw that day. If the rest of the holiday turned out to be a complete disaster it wouldn’t matter. What I saw there is what mattered.
Harry fell asleep.
So the show was over and we removed ourselves from the warthog section and fought upstream against the flow of people heading for character trails in order to reclaim our buggies. And as planned we returned to the Baby Care Center. We heated up Steven’s jar of food here; they provide disposable bowls and his favourite blue plastic spoons, and one jar of pasta bolognaise (with added texture) later, he was happy. Everyone else browsed in Creature Comforts and when Steven was fed I whizzed in there and bought him a tiny sweatshirt. Now, what to do next? Harry was asleep still so we decided to wait until he was awake before entering Dinoland. So what did we do? We shopped. We shopped for a long time in Island Mercantile and made many necessary purchases. We had our bundle sent back to the resort as we had some items that Nanny Lesley had purchased for Harry as Christmas gifts.
We shopped our way round to the entrance to Kali River Rapids. As there was a little bit of a chill in the air most of us did not want to risk a soaking, except Ellie. Big Steve once again drew the short straw and on they went. I secretly think Big Steve wanted to ride this one and would have been disappointed if no one else did. The rest of us walked round to where the rafts pass under a bridge near the ride exit and waited for them there. There couldn’t have been a very long line because they passed under the bridge a few minutes after we arrived there. A few minutes later we saw them walking towards us. Big Steve was in front looking slightly damp and as he got closer to us he stepped aside – to reveal a dripping wet Ellie. She was “soaked to the brim,” as she put it herself.
Lisa had some spare clothes for Ellie but as it was quite sunny and warm at the time she declined the offer to get changed and we entered the tiger trail. The tigers weren’t that active but in my experience they never are. They were all lounging around nearby though so we got a good look at them. There was a peacock in there too, seemingly trapped under a fallen branch. The CM nearby assured me that it wasn’t actually dead. Then when I questioned him further he also assured me that it was real and not animatronic. Then I asked the CM if the peacock was stupid – choosing to settle in the tiger area. That one stumped him because he just laughed at me.
While we were in the tiger area I had Steven sitting up on my shoulders where he persisted in trying to pull my head off. Practically everyone that walked past was saying, “look at the baby in the cute safari hat.” People - if you want your baby to look cute go to the World of Disney and purchase the safari hat from the Disney Baby area. Steven loved his hat and never took it off when we put it on his head. Actually come to think of it he probably knew it made him look cute and would attract an audience for him.
We came out of the tiger trail and now Ellie wants her dry clothes so we all go and look at the monkeys on the island thing while she goes off and gets changed. I was leaning on the wooden railing at the monkey place and I lent against the wooden finial on the end and it came off. It was only held on with a blob of glue. That’s not going to hold very well is it, well it didn’t because I manage to dislodge it and I am just a slip of a person.
Eventually we make it to Dinoland where Nanny Lesley waits with the small people while the big people ride Dinosaur. Obviously no gairy rating from Harry but the grown-ups give a ‘bit gairy.’ Then we rejoin the non-riders with the plan of seeing a bit of Dinoland before heading back out to see Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. It didn’t quite happen. See Ellie wanted to squish a penny and the first machine she saw was in that Chester and Hester shop so we went in there so she could squish. Then it was a case of let’s look around while we’re in here. Then one person needed the restroom, then another, then someone else was still in the shop, and then a nappy needed changing, etc, etc. So all in all it took over 20 to squish this penny so that was Dinoland done and dusted; it’s time to head back out to see the parade. Oh well, the new stuff in Dinoland didn’t really appeal to us anyway, it looked like the carnival that comes to town each summer. Would have been nice to have some time to spend in the Boneyard though. Maybe next time.