home > Walt Disney World > Trip Report

WDW Logo
Walt Disney World Day 1 Report

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trip Log:

Started off the morning with an early arrival from LA, we were over 40 minutes early landing, of course no gate for 20.  Headed to the Magical Express and to the Riverside.  Checked in, changed clothes and checked our bags since the room was not ready then headed for breakfast at 7:00am when they started serving hot food.  After breakfast we hopped on a bus to the Animal Kingdom, arriving a little after 8am.  The park did not open till 9am so we hung around the entrance area then queued up around 8:30 and were let in at 8:45.  Watched the brief opening show from in front of the Tree of Life then joined the masses marching out to the safari.  Walked on and went for our ride.  Once back strolled through Pangani Forest to check out the Gorillas.  Decided to grab Fastpasses for the Safari so we could ride again later.  Received a call at this point saying the room was ready.    We decided to check out the Tigers in Asia before splitting up with a couple heading back to the room to get some sleep and I stayed behind to roam around Animal Kingdom since I managed to sleep most of the flight.  The 10:30 Nemo show was just about to start so I hopped in line and watched the show.  Then spent some time roaming around Dinoland before grabbing lunch at restaurantosourus.  After lunch walked around the Tree of Life then hopped on the train out to Conservation Station.  Spent some time taking in the exhibits and then back to Hambre.  Used one of the Fastpasses for the Safari and then strolled over to Camp Minnie Mickey.    Spent some time hanging around and taking pictures then walked around the Tree of Life a bit more and the Oasis before heading over to the Magic Kingdom.  Rejoined my group and watched the Showboat Jubilee out on the river then hopped on the Train to Toontown.  Walked to Tomorrowland and went for a spin on the People Mover  (TTA).  Once back decided to head for the parks entrance and then a boat over to Fort Wilderness.  Ate dinner at Trailsend.  After dinner took a boat back to the Magic Kingdom then a bus to the Riverside to call it a night and unpack a bit more and get ready for the rest of the trip.

Notes: This trip we took advantage of the free Dining Plan Promotion Disney had. So we had a standard DD plan.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • We arrived over 40 minutes early due to some favorable winds and leaving on time from LAX.. of course when we arrived in Orlando there was no gate so we ate up most of that early arrival sitting and waiting for one.

  • Headed down to the Magical Express and we were ready and waiting for a bus to arrive in a couple minutes. A bus pulled up, we hopped on, and were on our way in a few minutes. Another successful Magical Express experience for us. I know some have run into problems but I guess with our flight times we are just in a good situation. I would be arriving mid-day is a different experience.

  • Checkin at the Riverside was a bit slow. There was only one CM working and they were training them. Our room was not ready, but they said they were able to get us into the building we wanted, so in the end a favorable checkin. We received a call at 10am that the room was ready for us.

  • The Riverside (along with most other Disney Resorts) is home to the Pop Warner football, cheerleading, and dance teams (and their families/friends). We talked to some of them and they said there were over 56,000 people as part of the event this year.

  • We were at the Animal Kingdom for the parks opening and the crowd was not that bad. People did start to show up 10-15 minutes before the gates opened but up until that time there was no one. Throughout the day the lines seemed mild at the park. I never saw the Safari go above 30 minutes.

  • Hmm.. nothing else new to report from the Animal Kingdom.In Dinoland at the restaruaratosourus they now have self serve beverage stations. I thought this would speed things up but it was still slow to get your food. The cashiers were rolling through the lines quickly but there was a backup bringing the food out to you. I would have thought doing away with the sodas would have helped this and things actually seemed worse than before to me. Also I was disappointed in the dessert offerings. They only had a couple of choices and I did not really care for any of them. What happened to the fresh baked cookies or other sweet treats??

  • In the afternoon we spent some time at the Magic Kingdom. Again the crowds seemed on the mild side.

  • I need to go look through my pictures from previous years but I did not recall seeing so many signs/banners/etc.. up for the after hours Christmas party. This year seemed to be more in your face. It kind of bothered me a bit to see so many banners on Main Street selling the event.

  • Caught Tiana's Showboat Jubilee and its format is almost identical to Disneyland's. There is a procession that comes out near the Diamond Horseshow and makes its was down to the Liberty Belle. Once on board they pull out and around to the river bend near Splash Mountain for the show stop. There they go through a handful of songs from the film before continuing on around the River. The two substantial changes from Disneyland is they use a pre-recorded singing track which I found a not as lively as the performances in Anaheim (there its live singing). Secondly they have fireworks during the finale instead of paper streamers. This is a little more impressive.. The Magic Kingdom only runs the show three times a day. Also since they are lacking the sound system that Disneyland has (thanks to Fantasmic) all the sound comes from the boat, which is a little awkward. Speaking of which the procession is substantially shorter and does not work as well without New Orleans Square. Also the stop is not as clean as the Disneyland one since there is no easy viewing area.

  • It was nice to ride the People Mover again.. last trip it was closed due to the Space Mountain work.

  • We had dinner at the Trailsend out at the Fort Wilderness, which I had not done before, only lunch in the past. I thought it was a great meal and really enjoyed it! The price point is not as good as lunch but since we were on a meal plan it did not matter this time around.

Pedometer Information for the day:







Walking Time

143 min