Tonight, the River of Lights.
I have to say, Disney World does so many things right.
First, they kept the weather amazing. I don’t know what Mickey Magic they cast, or what Avatar weather machine they activated, but the evening at Animal Kingdom was perfect. Pink skies. Long, fading clouds. A little hot, but manageable.
Second, they do the details sooooo right. There’s a whole rant about that later, but they create little worlds better than anyone, even most movie makers, though, yah, I guess, technically, they are movie makers as well.
Thirdly, they do shows well, perhaps better than anything in Vegas. Oh, sure Disney World has far less nudity than Vegas, and they’ve geared up their shows for younger audiences, or people who are secret 8-year-olds like me, but they are always entertaining and, often, spectacular.
River of Lights promised to be no exception.
But first we HAD to see the Kilimanjaro Safari in the evening. When talking to someone in the candy shop, he said it was a completely different experience at night. He also offered me a lot of candy to get into his van, so I’m a little suspicious of him, but his safari info mirrored what I’d see on YouTube.
So off we went. At this time of night, about 7:00, there were no line-ups. No line-ups! We got right on.
Oh, how I love no line-ups.
And the van-guy was right. A lot more animals had come out to wander around or stare menacingly at us.
See the Instagram pics here.
I saw giraffes glide across the plains, rhinos lumber around like they’d had a hard day standing in line-ups at Disney World, and the hyenas stalk around in a dangerous-looking pack.
But the highlight was the lions.
They roared at us!
Even the tour guide was excited.
The lions roared like majestic thunder, which was thrilling but also oddly unsettling (mostly because I think they were saying, back in my day, we’d eat your face off.) One moron roared back, but even that didn’t spoil that moment.
I’d heard real lions roar!
Super stoked, we finished the ride & soon reached the seats for the River of Lights show.
Ok, it was crowded and we had to shuffle next to our sweaty neighbours (or to quote Rorschach from Watchman, I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with ME!)
Ok, we didn’t have the best view.
Ok, despite the sun going down, it was so hot that I began to sweat out of my eyeballs.
But none of that mattered when the show started.
Giant lotuses floated across the lake and spouted all sorts of colored water. Animated creatures danced on the water spray. Big turtles and other animals crawled across the water changing color, and all the while music blared, happy and all Lion-Kingee.
What made it even better were two girls who sat behind us. They knew every character who appeared in the water spray, would sing along with the songs with unrestrained glee, and even threated to cry at least twice because of how the show moved them.
I have to confess, when I’m watching a show like this or riding something like Avatar, the Flight of Passage, all cynicism melts from me in a sweaty puddle at my feet. All sarcasm dissipates like mist. I become a goofy kid, again, giddy and bouncy and delighted.
If only I could be that way all the time.
Either way, the boys had fun, though not as much fun as me, and The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World, being a girl, loved the message of love, the light displays, and music.
Afterward, we made our way with the crowd to stand in line for our bus. Even that line didn’t matter. We were on a Disney World high. Even being stuffed into the first available bus like potatoes about to be mashed, we were on a Disney World high.
It had been a great day.
And tomorrow, we were sure, would be even better!
The video of the River of Lights, below, is far, far better than my own, but being there, in person, is far, far more magical.