After getting off the train it was time to catch the "Jammin' Jungle parade" on its return trip. Traveler's note: This parade begins and ends right in front of the safari. I would suggest waiting for it to go make its trip around the tree of life and then catch it as it returns to Africa where it ends-the crowd won't be as bad, and you'll get a better view. Also around lunch time, keep your eyes our for cast members as they will be granting "wishes" and making people honorary parade marshals (meaning you get to be in the parade). Rating 9 for the costuming.
It was now time to head back Everest for our fast pass ride, but since we had to head back to the middle of the park, we took a detour through the bottom of the tree of life and hit my favorite Disney 4d attraction "It's tough to be a bug." This is still my favorite of the Disney 4d attractions with "Muppet's 3d" taking a close 2nd. The interaction with animatronic figures and effects really do make you feel like you are living in a bug's world and seeing things their way. Traveler's Note: This is a great attraction, however, it does have a fairly high thrill factor with realistic effects-plus it is VERY loud so it may be a bit much for younger kids. I would suggest testing it once before taking them in. I have been in it several times where kids SCREAM as soon as Hopper appears. Just a suggestion. The wait isn't very long usually so it shouldn't be hard for one of you to check it out first. Rating 9.
After catching Everest one last time, we decided to head to catch "Dinosaur" and "Primeval Whirl." I would recommend spending a little bit of time near these attractions, as it is almost like a prehistoric carnival and has a bit of a kid theme to it, with a great fossil crawl through as well as some other neat things. As it relates to the rides. "Primeval Whirl" is your classic wild mouse coaster with a twist-it spins! It is a fun little coaster, but can be a little rough during the spinning. It is fun and will get a laugh out of the kids. Rating 7. "Dinosaur" is a thrill ride that I highly recommend, but suggest you ride it first to see if it is appropriate for your kids. It is a neat little attraction through the dark, but there are some parts of it that can again be a little much for younger kids. Rating 8.
After the park closed, Traveler's note:Animal Kingdom closes earlier than the rest of the parks, so make sure you plan something for your evening. we headed to Bob Evans off property for supper. Again, it is ALWAYS cheaper to eat off property unless you have a dining plan through Disney. After supper, we headed back to EPCOT for their evening show "Illuminations." We headed straight to the United Kingdom in World Showcase, which I have been told is the best place to watch the show and headed for the spot that someone had suggested to watch it from. Needless to say, it was blocked off for a "special engagement." A little bit frustrated, I asked the lady if there was a chance we could get in a little bit closer to the start of the show. She asked how many of us there were and when I explained it was just my wife and I, she produced to special passes for us "dream viewing passes." OUR DREAM WAS GRANTED!So we got to watch Illuminations from the area where we had been told to watch it, with a bunch of newlyweds. It was great and a lot of fun. As it relates to the show, this is still not my favorite production. It is just okay for me, the coolest part is that all of the pyro happens just above the water, so it is pretty cool, but there just doesn't seem to be as much substance and great music as I wanted. Rating 6.5
Traveler's Note: If it is not roped off, the best place to view Illuminations in my opinion is just to the right of the fish and chips stand in the UK. There is a sit down pub there as well, and just to the right of the stand is a walkway that heads down to some benches. Get there at least an hour ahead of time to mark your spot, but note that it may be roped off, so no guarantees.
After Illuminations, we headed back out to our car and were greeted by what is still one of my favorite sights at Disney-Spaceship Earth at night. Then just to keep from battling traffic, we took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom and back (actually we were hoping to catch Wishes since the park closed at 11 that night, but no luck) before heading back to the hotel for the night. All in all, it was a great day. Next up...MGM and one last go around at the Magic Kingdom.