Monday, December 5, 2016

The Rapids

It's a beautiful park. Flora and fauna abound giving us the feeling as though we're walking through a jungle or preserve and if you're lucky enough, or patient enough to look for her, you might even spot a mystical creature they call, DiVine.

For us, a trip here always includes an early morning visit to the Tusker House for a glass of Jungle Juice and some Mickey Waffles and no visit to the Animal Kingdom is complete without a ride through Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari to see some beautiful creatures in a magnificently manicured savannah.

This trip was no different. Arriving for our Tusker House ADR early, we were the first in line. While the sun continued to rise on our right, a line slowly formed behind us which was filling with overly anxious and inordinately sunscreened patrons who had been planning this day for months and were now worried that they wouldn't get a seat for breakfast because their ADR time was earlier then those who were in front of them, now waited behind us to get into the park.

As the cast members scanned our magic bands and let us through the gate, a mad dash to get checked in at the restaurant ensued. Although we were the first through the gate, knowing that the Tusker House had plenty of seating, we decided to lay back to let the overzealous crowd pass us so that we could take pictures of the empty park.

Empty streets of Animal Kingdom

Without issue and after taking hundreds of photos, we headed over to breakfast in order to stay within our slotted ADR grace period checkin time. Breakfast was as delicious as usual and when we were finished, we headed straight over to the Kilimanjaro Safari. We arrived just as the attraction was opening and were among the first to head into the Harambe Reserve.

Alison with Daisy at Tusker House

As usual, the safari was brilliant. Early in the morning like it was, the animals were all out and active in order to get their breakfast. They reminded me of the vacationeers who had, just an hour earlier, fought and clawed their way to breakfast as well... Anyways, after the safari was over, I was itching to get to some other rides and the first one on my list was Kali River Rapids.

As we headed east out of Africa and into Asia on our way to the rapids, I had to explain to my wife what this next attraction was. Knowing that she was not dressed for this wet ride, I intentionally explained the ride in a vague manner. I also reassured her over and over again that it was similar to a log flume or Splash Mountain where nobody ever really got wet.

Wearing jeans and eager to experience everything Disney on her first trip, she believed me even as we walked past sign after sign after sign that warned or her impending wetness. Only once did she second guess me when she saw others pulling ponchos over their heads but, she should know me by now.

Kali Rapids Sign

The second we stepped into those puddle creating raft seats and placed our feet into the darkened water on the floor, she knew I had told her a story. By the time our belt was latched, the backside of her jeans were soaked through but before there was anything she could do to me, we were headed down the river.

There's alway one seat on a raft that is positioned in just the right spot. No matter what, whoever is in that seat, will get soaked. She was in that seat.

As headed down the river, past the plundered log town and truck about to tip over, she leaned over and told me "This isn't so bad." It wasn't five seconds after she muttered those words when our raft plummeted fifty feet into a wall of water. Thankfully for me, her body shielded me from most of the water. She was drenched.

The raft picked up speed and took on more water, especially where she was seated but thankfully for her, the ride was over quick. Not so lucky for me, her wrath was just beginning. She let me have it pretty good and she made sure I understood, in no uncertain terms, how she felt about me misleading her.

Not so happy and soaked Alison

I was laughing pretty hard about it still when she finally admitted that the ride was fun. That's when she finally let me take her picture. Looking back, I should've helped her plan better and advised her not to wear jeans but, the real moral of the story...don't listen to Tim.

Thanks for reading.

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