Our June 2017 visits to theme parks included the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida!
Our visit to the Magic Kingdom was a lot of fun. We made sure to take many photos with the park photographers since photos are included with our annual pass. Plus we also wanted to wish Donald Duck a happy birthday while we were there!
We were lucky enough to be in the front two rows for our ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine train that day.
Autism is a perplexing (at times) neurological disorder and even though he has enjoyed this attraction since 2003, the last few times we have gone on the Haunted Mansion ride, our son has not liked the crowds in the loading area and his stress level has been very high, to the point of almost meltdown level. After our last visit, we have decided to take a break from this attraction for the next few months and hopefully his anxiety will not be so high when we try it again during lower crowd levels.
We try not to let a stressful experience at the parks ruin our day and after taking a break, we spent the remainder of our day at the Magic Kingdom enjoying all our favorites, including the Muppets' show in Liberty Square, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Main Street Trolley Show.
On a rainy day in June I thoroughly explored and enjoyed Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park by myself.
I was excited to see the baby elephant while on the Kimilamjaro Safari ride during this visit to Animal Kingdom.
I also spent time walking the trails and paths throughout Animal Kingdom. They are such a good way to get away from the crowds and explore the unique offerings of Animal Kingdom.
I ate lunch at the Flame Tree Barbeque and my mixed greens salad with roasted chicken breast was very good.
I took the train over to Rafiki's Planet Watch and saw Doc McStuffins meeting fans at her Pet Vet Clinic.
Back in May, we attended the annual passholder preview of Pandora: World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We loved the thrilling Flight of Passage attraction and enjoyed the tranquil ride on Na'Vi River Journey. Details about our adventures are here in this blog post.
This visit, I was able to obtain a FP+ for Flight of Passage for later in the day. Flight of Passage was even more thrilling the second time and I highly recommend the attraction.
I ate dinner at Satu’li Canteen in Pandora. I ordered a child's meal of Steamed Cheeseburger Pod stuffed with Ground Beef, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle, and Cheddar Cheese served with Vegetable Chips and Grapes, and small bottled water. The chips were a bit soggy and the cheeseburger pod was okay. Next time I will order one of the bowls available. Satu'li Canteen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and also offers call ahead ordering through the My Disney Experience app (Satu'li Canteen Menu).
In spite of the rain, I had a wonderful long day at Animal Kingdom and look forward to going back again soon.
My family and I visited Islands of Adventure on a hot weekend afternoon in June. We started out in Seuss Landing and enthusiastically enjoyed the water rides in Toon Lagoon the last part of our day.
One of the advantages of living near the theme parks is seeing familiar faces of the TMs and Cms at the parks, and many remember our son's name. We were happy to see our favorite storyteller from the Oh! The Stories You'll Hear! show in Seuss Landing. She was very excited to see our son too since it had been several months since our last visit.
While in Islands of Adventure we also rode The Cat in the Hat, The Trolley Train Ride, Flight of the Hippogriff, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Reign of KONG, Dudley Dooright's Rip Saw Falls, and Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges.
To say we got wet on Rip Saw Falls and Bilge Rat Barges is an understatement! We were soaked to the skin and EVERYTHING was drenched. It was awesome!
A few days after our visit to Islands of Adventure, my husband was able to take a vacation day and our son was in good hands with his caregiver, so we spent the day at Universal Studios Florida, just the two of us.
While we were walking into Universal Studios, I opened the Universal Orlando Resort app and made a reservation for the new Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon ride. This attraction has a virtual queue and guests can either obtain a reutrn time using the kiosks to the right of the attraction or use the Universal app. The app gives more choices of return times than the kiosk. This virtual queue is for all guests, not just those who need the AAP. We recommend using the virtual queue reservation for this ride if a time is available and use the AAP for another attraction-therefore virtually waiting for two rides at once. If your family member can not wait in the holding areas of the Race Through New York (there is one downstairs and one upstairs), tell the TM when you enter the attraction and they can provide you with a black card instead of the other colored cards. Show the card to the TMs and they will direct you where to go to enter the ride loading zone. If you experience this attraction in the first couple of hours after the park has opened, there will be minimal waiting time in the holding areas.
We decided to eat lunch at the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. It was delicious. My favorite non-alcoholic drink from Diagon Alley in warm weather is not frozen Butterbeer (unconventional for sure), it's the Lemon Squash from the Leaky Cauldron. The Lemon Squash is very refreshing without being too sweet.
Our lunch was great. The most surprisingly delicious part of our meal was the dessert. We tried the chocolate potted cream and the butterbeer potted cream. Oh My Goodness! Our tastebuds were jumping for joy! The chocolate potted cream was good, but the butterbeer potted cream was fabulous! We highly recommend these desserts the next time you are at the Leaky Cauldron.
After eating our delicious lunch, we had time to ride Escape from Gringotts.
We enjoyed the fun antics of Margo, Edith and Agnes of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction. And we helped save the Allspark at the Transformers ride (we used the single rider line and didn't have to wait very long).
The Secret Life Of Pets street show has some fun photo ops and we decided to take a few photos while we were there.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our June 2017 adventures at Orlando's theme parks and that you will be visiting Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort soon!
Maureen is married and has a son with autism. She and her family visit an Orlando Theme Park nearly every weekend. Maureen created AutismAtTheParks to help vacationers who have a family member with a developmental disability to better navigate and enjoy the theme parks. She is also a contributor to the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Periscope.
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