Anyone that knows my husband (or follows the @disneypicaday twitter feed), knows that he has a fondness (ok, obsession) for riding coasters. His favorite one at WDW is, hands down, Expedition Everest. It started out pretty tame. We would go to AK a day or two each trip and he would ride Everest a few times each visit. Around 5 times, generally. Then he discovered single rider line!
I remember our first time to ride Everest. We had been watching the construction with great anticipation. I have vertigo, which makes riding attractions as much as I want to a challenge. Some rides affect me more than others, but we learned very quickly (on our first WDW vacation) that I cannot ride any inversion coasters. I was excited Everest didn’t fall into this category, but the backwards corkscrew made me nervous. Louis and our daughter Amanda rode it first. They loved it and said I had to give it a shot. My first ride was amazing, it was a slow day, so we got off and immediately got back in line and rode it again. Having enjoy it just as much the second time, and still feeling fine, we immediately rode it a third time. As I exited that third time and walked through the gift shop, the world began to spin without the assist of a mechanical ride. Two times on this would be my max, so I try to do one during the day and save one for an evening ride!
A few years ago, on a trip without me, Louis started on a quest – to ride Expedition Everest as many times in a day as possible. He was able to ride over 25 times, and the obsession was born. This means that during trips when the park is slower (like February) he typically takes a day of our trip to ride Everest all day long. He gets there as early as he can for the opening, and rides until closing – possibly stopping to eat a very quick meal or two with me (if he hasn’t brought protein bars to keep going without delay). So far, his personal best is 58 times in a day!
All this means is, over the last few years, I have spent a lot of time wandering around Animal Kingdom alone. To be honest, I was feeling a little tired of this particular park. There are a lot of great attractions and shows but for some reason I was not enjoying it so much. I even started going to other parks while he enjoyed his day at Everest.
This summer our kids (daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters) came with us to WDW. My oldest granddaughter wants to be a vet someday, so she was super excited about Animal Kingdom. I saw Animal Kingdom through their eyes and it got me very excited about this park again. Our daughter (Up is one of her very favorite movies- “Caw! Caw! Roar!”) did the Wilderness Explorer interactive experience, which she greatly enjoyed even if it is generally more for younger children (younger than late 20s in any case) – and we spent a lot of time at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We still had plenty of time to see the big attractions and ride all the rides – but we really explored the park all over. It reminded me of all the hidden gems there are to see.
Thanks to them – I am really excited for Louis’ day of riding Everest on this upcoming visit. I have a list of things I am anxious to do and see again.