Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 1 of the Platinum Plan

We checked into Animal Kingdom Lodge very early in the morning. We have a Savannah view room with concierge level privileges. I think we received these perks because we are doing the Platinum Plan. I'm excited to have a balcony off our room where we can sit and watch the animals, although there is very little time to do so during our first day! We are packing in one day what most people would do within a week's stay at Disney! So after dropping off our luggage and picking up our keys, we were headed off to start our adventure!

7 a.m. - Guided Bass Fishing excursion
We met our guide at the Polynesian boat docks, and he brought us on a fishing pontoon stocked with a cooler of water and sodas. We headed out onto Bay Lake, and parked near the pier for Wilderness Lodge. Our guide was very easy-going and handled baiting the fishing lines for us. He showed us how to hold the poles, and when we got a nibble, how to set the hook and reel 'em in! I have to admit that I'm a city girl and was somewhat reluctant to go fishing, but after 20 minutes out in the water, watching the sun rise, and sitting on the calm lake, I was really enjoying myself. And the excitement of catching the fish was an adrenaline rush. Disney practices catch and release. The final tally of the day: 7 fish!

10:30 a.m. Richard Petty Ride-Along Experience
My partner felt the need for speed! We checked into the Richard Petty Driving Experience. They offer the chance to drive a race car around the Walt Disney Speedway. We didn't have time for all the classroom instruction the driving experience required, so we opted for the 3 lap ride-along with a professional driver. My partner suited up in requisite racing outfit while I waited in the grandstands. He said the most difficult part was having to climb through the car window. Once inside, they roared off onto the speedway. Imagine the take-off to Rock & Roll Roller Coaster and multiply it!

12:30 p.m. Epcot Living Seas Aqua Tour
This was one of my favorite activities. A small group is led backstage to the aquarium at Epcot. We saw the various feeding areas, vet areas, and tanks that are used to treat the animals in the Living Seas. The last part of this tour included getting into a wet suit and actually snorkeling within the aquarium -- right alongside the fish, stingrays, sharks, and sea turtles! What a unique experience!

3:00 p.m. Lunch at Teppan Edo (Epcot -Japan)
After all that swimming, we were quite hungry, so we were looking forward to our Japanese grill. We had steak and chicken, cooked on a large grill in front of us. Our chef was very friendly and showed off his amazing knife skills.

6:00 p.m. Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba
The Platinum package includes tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, and they were great seats -- 7th row center. We saw the show many years, and Cirque du Soleil doesn't disappoint. I think my jaw was wide open in wonderment throughout most of the show. La Nouba frequently updates the acts, so even if you've seen the show before, it's worth seeing again.

9:00 p.m. Dinner at Jiko
This restaurant, located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, is one of our favorites on property. We really love their filet mignon with the delicious macaroni & cheese. Great wine selections, and a fantastic wait staff make this a place we always enjoy visiting. Being able to do so while on the Platinum Dining plan was an extra treat!

After all that activity and delicious food, we were happy that we just had to go up the elevators from Jiko to get to our room. We were exhausted! But we were only halfway through our whirlwind weekend! We still had more activities planned for the next day! I think I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!

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