On our second day at Animal Kingdom we had decided that we wanted to go to the Lion King Show, Rafiki’s Planet Watch and finish the Pagani Forest Trail.
At rope drop we went along to the Terra Treats stand, planning to get some Erin McKenna’s pastries for breakfast, however when we got there we saw that it didn’t open till 11. By then we would want a sit down meal, so I opened the ‘My Disney Experience app’ and booked us into Tusker House Buffet for the latest breakfast slot at 10.40 am.
We had another look at the Tree of Life and then watched the Lion King Show – Festival of the lion King – it was one of my favourite theatre shows in WDW. It featured songs from the Lion King and costumes in the style of those used in the Lion King Musical, as well as classic depictions of Simba and Pumba, using animatronics, plus Disney World costume versions of Rafiki and Timon. It featured amazing singing, dancing and acrobatics. It was also short enough in duration to hold the attention of younger children.
By the time this finished it was time for our breakfast slot. As standard at Disney buffets, the chef came over to walk me through the buffet. Vegan options included oatmeal, breakfast cereals, sweet fried plantain, bagels, corn bread, fruit chutneys, roast potato wedges and fresh fruit. However, the chef told me that if I waited a little while before revisiting the buffet, the lunch options would be out too! So I could choose from an even bigger selection. Lunch options included 2 types of hummus, more chutneys, white rice, tabbouleh, lots of salads, vegetables and a delicious, spicy tofu curry. I loved everything, especially the plantain bean salad, corn break and the tofu. The chef also made me a batch of 3 vegan Mickey waffles and she brought me some chocolate soya milk.
I noticed many people doing what we did and making the most of the ‘changeover slot’, essentially cramming 2 meals into 1. You could easily load up on pastries, cereal and cooked breakfast goods, and then get lots of the main lunchtime dishes and desserts too! As with the other breakfast buffets; we even got a nice pot of coffee.
After finishing our amazing African inspired character meal and meeting Donald, Mickey, Minnie etc. we left the bustling Harambe market place area and boarded the train to Rafiki’s Plant Watch. Over at a different area of the park, this is where WDW carry out lots of their conservation work and there is a cool education area there, where you can learn about that through videos and exhibits. There were also lots of insects, amphibians and reptiles to view. My favourite bit at Planet Watch was the affection section. Lots of non-farmed ‘farm animals’ were here and they had their own climbing frames and enclosures with toys and beds where they could go when they fancied a time out! The climbing frames were cool as goats are climbers after all. The activity toys, like those given to dogs, monkeys and horses were great too. The supervising cast member explained that ‘farm animals’ get bored and need mental stimulation too. I brushed a friendly goat. Another goat busied itself eating a girl’s wheelchair! On the way back to the train we met Chip and Dale!
Back on the Pagani Forest trail we saw the meerkats and silver backed gorillas. We then went for some drinks at the Rainforest Cafe so that we could enjoy the interior. And of course, see a tropical rainstorm!
It was quite early in the day so we went to Epcot to spend some time in the Nemo area and check out some more countries. I remembered to stop for some delicious vegan sorbet in ‘France’ and tried the mango one this time.
We caught a ‘Friendship’ boat over to the boardwalk area and Epcot resorts but there was a big storm so we had a coffee at the Swan (They had almond milk and larabars but not sure if they always do) and got an uber from the Boardwalk abandoning the idea of miniature golf!