Good Evening everyone!
Tonight's post will be about the 24 hours leading up to the wedding. I've been to enough weddings to know that most brides are complete wrecks the day before their wedding. They are either running around getting their nails done, or taking care of out of state guests, trying to tie up lose ends with the bridal party, or all of the above! I, on the other hand, spent most of the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. YAY!
Adam and I decided about a month in advanced that we wanted to do the Animal Kingdom the day before the wedding. The logic behind that was that since we were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge it was the easiest park to get to, plus it went with the theme of the day since our "welcome dinner" was going to be at "BOMA : flavors of Africa". We sent out a "wedding weekend" itinerary to our guests letting them know that we would be attending the Animal Kingdom Park. If they wanted to join us they were more than welcome to, but if they wanted to go to another park there were no hard feelings.
Early that morning Adam and I headed down to "The Mara" to grab a quick breakfast before getting on the Disney bus headed to the Animal Kingdom. We saw both my sisters, Adam's brothers, my mom, and both Auntie C. and Auntie A. We all sat together and discussed the plans for the day. Auntie A. and my mom were taking my sisters and my two little cousins to the Magic Kingdom. Adam's brothers were coming to the Animal Kingdom park with us, along with Auntie C who would meet us there later on.
We snapped a few pictures after breakfast before heading to the buses
Here are the brothers acting goofy as the always do
and here they are looking (some what) normal. *notice their pins, both boys felt left out that Adam got to wear a "happily ever after" pin, so they got "we're Celebrating" pins from the resort staff.
We hopped on the next Animal Kingdom bus and were on our way! The bus was rather full so we gave up our seats to a family with small children (proper WDW bus etiquette) and stood huddled together. This would have been fine if my cell phone hadn't started ringing. I was worried it may be my wedding planner or one of my vendors so I struggled to maneuver my way into the backpack and search for my phone. I finally found it and it was only "dad". I told the boys to hang on to me while I used one hand to hold the phone to my ear and the other to block the opposite ear to lessen the bus noise. I may have been touched or touched someone else inappropriately during the process but whatever!
Dad, sounding insanely excited, asked where we were. I told him we were on the bus headed to the park. Apparently he was already there! He'd been there since the early morning and even watched the rope dropping ceremony with Nancy! (his girlfriend) He told me to call him once we arrived and we'd all meet up somewhere. This phone call made me VERY HAPPY and let me explain why... There were a few people (who shall remain nameless) who were not very happy with Adam and I. They just couldn't fathom the idea that we didn't want a large wedding at home with 200 people. One of the only people who were completely supportive was my dad. Regardless of his views on Disney he always had my back and was 100% behind me. So for me to hear him THIS excited about being at the parks with me just melted my heart! :*) Ok enough sappy stuff... fast forward to the bus pulling up, getting our Annual passes, going through the front gates, calling dad, and finally we all met at the tree of life! YAY we're all here!
Dad was wearing an awesome safari hat that Nancy had bought him and Nancy was taking pictures of everything! The Animal Kingdom spirit was running wild! We all decided to head over to Expedition Everest. This was terrible of me... Dad isn't normally a "ride" person so when he asked what Expedition Everest was I just said it was a moving car that showed you a movie about Everest Expeditions... oops! We got to the queue and there was only a 10 min wait! YAHOO! While we were waiting dad kept asking if the ride we were going on was the same one with the large drop he kept hearing people yelling from. Adam and I just said "nope!". (evil daughter!) When we finally got to the front of the line I admitted to dad that it was sort of, kind of a roller coaster. I would feel terrible if the poor guy hurt his back because of me! He said he had a feeling that it was a roller coaster but that he really wanted to do it.
BEST RIDE EVERRRRRR!!!!!!!!
Adams brothers loved it, Dad and Nancy couldn't stop screaming, and Adam and I couldn't stop laughing! We bought the 8X10 picture of us all going down the big drop but I can't seem to get it to look right on the computer. (sad I know but I'll work on that for later)
After the ride my phone was ringing again. After another rummage through the backpack I found it and Auntie C was calling. She had convinced my mom that she should be hanging out with me even though she wasn't my dads biggest fan. I was slightly worried about this due to my parents yucky divorce and the fact that my mom hadn't met Nancy yet... awkward! I told them we'd just gotten off of Everest and that we were heading over to the Kilimanjaro Safari. We met them at the ride entrance and the weird "hello's" happened without any problems. There was a 25 min wait for the safari. I gave everyone the option to either get fast passes or wait. I was hoping they'd all opt for fast passes so that I wouldn't have to stand in line with that much tension but everyone said they'd wait. As we were walking into the queue Auntie C pulled me aside and promised me that nothing bad would happen. I knew she could tell I was worried so to have her tell me that everything would be fine made me feel much better! Everyone seemed to be getting along and I was so grateful! Part of the reason I wanted a WDW wedding was to be able to be in my happy place with my family one more time. It had been 15 years since my sisters, my mom and dad, and myself had all been away on a family vacation together. This was very important to me.
I'm not going to spoil what happens on the safari for any of you who haven't been on it, but I will share some of the AWESOME pictures I got of the animals!
This guy was in a habitat near the queue
giraffe hanging out in the shade
I always forget what these are called so for now we're calling them the "big horned bulls"
After the safari, dad decided that he was beat! He asked if I would be upset if he and Nancy went back to their hotel for a rest before the "welcome dinner". I told him it wasn't a problem at all so he left us and headed back to All star movies resort. Mom told me that she wanted to go back to Magic Kingdom to be with my sisters. I made her promise that they'd all be at the BOMA hostess desk on time! She promised that they would arrive on time, and mom and Auntie C left too. It was down to me, Adam, and his brothers. We decided that we'd head over to Dinosaur before taking the bus back to the lodge to get ready for the dinner.
We walked slowly just to take in all the surroundings and enjoy the lush greenery and all the animal habitats along the way. The boys then discovered these African drums just ripe for the playing!
I was so glad they were all having fun!
When we go to Dinosaur it said there was a 30 min wait. The boys and I decided to get fast passes and grab an ice cream and wait it out. Well our fast passes were for 1 hour later and we ate our ice creams in about thirty seconds so we said forget it and jumped in the queue... hey at least it was air conditioned in there!
We made Adam's brother Jared sit on the end where we knew the Carnitor would come popping out and we all had a good laugh at girlie scream he belted out. As we were leaving the attraction we gave our fast passes to a family who was contemplating waiting in line and they were psyched! (Again I'm all about the WDW etiquette) We headed to the exit and back to the bus. We all wanted to shower and change before the "welcome dinner"
To Be Continued.....