Day 13: Disney Resort Christmas Tree Trail Part 4 / H&H@TP 2017

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Day 13 of Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly 2017, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Today we visited the last few Disney Resorts we hadn’t yet been to, to see their Christmas trees, as well as spending the afternoon and evening at Animal Kingdom.

The Hibiscus & Holly at The Poly 2017 Trip Report Index tells you a bit about the planning of this trip, as well as some info about me and my family (the Cast Members!) In short you have me, Michelle; Steve, my husband; and Liam, my son. It also, of course, has the full list of days for the trip.

Day 13: Animal Kingdom

Saratoga Springs / Animal Kingdom / Lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue / All Star Movies / Tree of Life Awakenings
December 19, 2017
You will be able to find all of the images from Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly 2017 in my Flickr Collection of albums from this trip. To see just today’s photos, you can view this Flickr Album.
Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Report

I am so very near to the end of writing this 2017 (!) Disney Trip Report… Just 2 more days to write and it is finally done! I plan on having it finished before the year is out!

If you have been reading along, thanks for your patience – I hope you’ve still enjoyed reading it despite it taking me two years to complete.

Back to today – we started late morning with a visit to the two Disney Resorts that we had left on our tour of all of the Christmas trees and decorations.

First up was Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. We stayed here for one night on our 2016 trip, and for two nights on our 2019. It has got an equestrian theme, which I found out is because Saratoga Springs in New York is a hub for thoroughbred horse racing.

As such, there were lots of horses hanging on the main Christmas tree in the lobby. And there was also a gingerbread house beside the tree with a paddock of horses. There were no details about it though which was a shame.

Saratoga Springs Christmas Tree

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort was next. We had visited All-Star Music, and Sport back on day 7 of our trip but had to cut that day short.

The tree and decorations here were decked out in silver and gold and lots of stars and sparkles! There were old-style film reel canisters and on the giant wreaths, clapperboards.

Inside the resort’s shop were smaller trees that were covered with photo frames with pictures of movie stars and their Oscars. I do love how every resort had a theme to match.

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
All-Star Movies Resort Christmas Tree

After our whistlestop tour of these two resorts, we drove over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park (to give it its full name!).

Having already visited Animal Kingdom earlier on this trip, I’ve already shared the Christmas tree and decorations in more depth and detail, but here are a few more photos because I think the tree here is awesome!

Animal Kingdom Christmas Tree

I absolutely adore Animal Kingdom! I love all of the plants, trees and flowers, as well as all of the animal exhibits. Not forgetting the Tree of Life which is always a gorgeous sight!

No visit to Animal Kingdom is complete (for us at least!) without watching It’s Tough To Be A Bug which is a 9-minute 3D film screened in the hidden theatre under the Tree of Life.

It’s hosted by Flik from A Bug’s Life who teaches the audience about a variety of different bugs and their role in the world. So that you can see the bugs you wear a pair of “bug eye” (3D) glasses.

We love it and think it’s a lot of fun, but it does have some scary moments that cause many kids to scream and cry! You have been forewarned!

On exiting It’s Tough To Be A Bug we headed over to Flame Tree Barbecue to grab a late lunch. The line was really long, but we utilized the new mobile ordering system and were soon picking up our order.

Flame Tree Barbecue is one of the quick/counter-service restaurants at Animal Kingdom and is another go-to place for us as a family. You can’t beat barbecue food!

Flame Tree Barbecue


Me – Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork – Topped with Onion Rings and Coleslaw ($11.99)

Macaroni and cheese is one of my top comfort foods – I love it! I also love pulled pork, so this combo together is a winner for me.

Him – ½ Chicken – Served with Beans and Coleslaw ($13.29) + Large Drink ($3.69)

Steve and I shared a large drink but didn’t share food! It’s good barbecue chicken and the sides are just fine.

The Boy – French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese ($6.49) + Onion Ring Basket ($4.29) + Large Drink ($3.69)

Liam decided on chips covered with pulled pork and cheese, as well as a portion of onion rings. All went down well!

Flame Tree Barbecue » Animal Kingdom

Bill: $43.44 + Tax: $2.82 + Tip: $0 = $46.26
TiW Discount: $n/a

Total Paid: $46.26

Pandora – The World of Avatar was our next stop as we had a FastPass+ for Navi River Journey. We couldn’t get one for Avatar Flight of Passage (although, I wouldn’t fit on it so perhaps a good thing we couldn’t)

Pandora opened in May of 2017 and we’ve already visited this new land once during our December 2017 visit to Walt Disney World on Day 4 where I go into more detail about the whole area.

I also mistakingly said we went on the Navi River Journey ride… and said I didn’t have any pictures because they were all blurry. Which is what I genuinely thought because I had ZERO from the ride and figured I must have deleted them all.

However, the reason I didn’t have any pictures was because I didn’t take any. On that day… we didn’t go on the ride till TODAY!

The ride really was a bit meh, to be honest. And felt really short too. When it ended, we were not the only ones who said: “was that it?”.

If we had lined up for over 2 hours and that was what we got at the end, I would not have been happy!

Plus-Size Rider Guide – Bench type seat. No restraints. You will have to step down into the boat.

You travel along the river, through mysterious caves with exotic plants and strange animals, before meeting the Shaman of Songs.

Don’t get me wrong, it is very pretty, especially all the bioluminescent lighting, but there was just something off about it. Quite honestly – it was a bit boring.

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