Normally on Monday morning we would spend some time in the hotel pool before checking out but we were doing a lot of stuff differently this trip. Since we already swam in the pool yesterday, we got up early, finished packing, bid the Boardwalk farewell, and drove over to Animal Kingdom for the Extra Magic early hour.
The crowds were light, so my daughter was able to hop onto the Kali River Rapids (covered by her poncho) and then we rode Everest (my third favorite coaster at Disney) twice in quick succession thanks to the short lines. Even the line for the safari was short so we went on that even though we had been on it recently (it’s different every time anyway, we saw baby giraffes this time).
Later we took the train back to Conservation Station and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Normally we avoided this section of the park, but since we hadn’t been there since in almost 10 years we stuck with our “doing new stuff” theme. My daughter hadn’t remembered ever going there (she was little the last time) so it was a brand new experience for her. After a light vegetarian lunch from a kiosk (samosas and falafel, yum!) we caught a showing of Nemo: The Musical over near DinoLand USA.
By now the sun was really starting to beat down (although Animal Kingdom has the most shade of any Disney park, which is nice) and we had done everything we wanted to so we left and drove over to Downtown Disney (another Labor Day Monday tradition of ours). We spent a little time playing video games at DisneyQuest before heading over to the Marketplace for a little shopping (and a required stop at Ghiradelli’s for chocolate .. free samples!).
While shopping, the afternoon rains came through for the third day in a row (Florida in late summer) so we finally got back into the car and headed home. We stopped at our local BW3‘s to eat dinner and play some trivia to prolong our vacation a little more. We got home by 8pm and started unpacking and preparing to go back to work and school tomorrow … another family Labor Day weekend vacation in the books.