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Walt Disney World Day 4 Report

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trip Log:

Started off the morning with a 6am wake-up call.  Got dressed and headed for Everything Pop to grab a quick bite before getting a cab over to the Magnolia.  Played our round and then back to Pop Century to regroup.  Ended up hopping a bus to the Studios then hiking over to the Boardwalk and ESPN Club for lunch.    After lunch some took the boat to the Studios and I ended up walking.  We found a spot on Hollywood Blvd to watch the Block Party Bash.  After the show it was off to One Mans Dream to check out the new displays and then watch the film.  Made a loop of the park heading down Mickey Ave and through Pixar Place around the backlot, down the Streets of America and past Star Tours.  Found a spot in front of the giant hat to catch the Disney Channel Rocks show.  After the show strolled down Hollywood Blvd and out to catch a bus over to the Magic Kingdom.  Worked my way down Main Street and watched some of the Street Party before queuing up for the castle lighting.  Once the castle was lit stopped by Sleepy Hollow for a snack and then strolled through Liberty Square and Fantasyland.  Pushed our way through the crowd at the Castle and then wandered down Main Street.  Hopped on a launch over to the Wilderness Lodge to check out their Christmas decorations and then a bus over to EPCOT.  Some bailed and headed for the hotel, I saw 25 minutes till show time so headed for Illuminations.  Had a few minutes along the way to take some pictures.  Watched Illuminations then reversed course back to the bus stops and back to Pop Century to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • I started my day off with another pre-dawn wake-up call. It was 6am and temperatures were in the 30s as we headed for Everything Pop and a quick bite before going over to Disney's Magnolia golf course. Due to the cold weather the course was not crowded and the round went quick and smooth. Too bad I played so bad... I am going to blame the weather but in reality it is lack of skill...

  • Our initial plan was to go the Sports Complex for lunch at the ESPN Grille and to see what was going on. After walked around the bus stop for a bit stopped by the lobby and talked to a CM and found out busses only run when there are events. So no busses today. Who would have thought a Saturday would have nothing. So we had to call an audible and head for the ESPN club instead. The downside to this was instead of using our planned quick service meal we ended up paying for lunch.

  • Interesting to note the bus to the Studios stopped out in the Charter lot. It was at the end of the main walkway but not in the normal Disney area. It appeared this was the new norm. The busses would drop you off out there then proceed to get an assignment and go to the bus stops to pick guests up. Seemed to work ok with the traffic flow from what we saw. Also since we were heading to the Boardwalk this was already a fair way toward where we were going so we hiked over to lunch.

  • The food at ESPN Club was good as usual, but the service was extremely poor and slow. The only good thing was they gave us our AP discount even though it was not supposed to be good on weekend days.

  • After lunch it was back to the Studios (the others in the group took the boat, I walked to take pictures and beat them by several minutes). The park felt crowded this afternoon. Guess because it was the weekend?

  • Watched the Block Party Bash for one last time since its multi year/bi-coastal run is coming to an end the end of the year.

  • Stopped by One Mans Dream to check out the new displays. Nice to see some new touches, but guessing the average tourist did not notice or care. I was hoping for more on the upcoming WDW things like the Fantasyland Expansion or the Animation Resort or Hyperion Wharf. Odd to see DCAs Pier getting a larger display than Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.

  • As usual Toy Story Midway Mania was packing in the crowds with waits over 100 minutes and Fastpasses gone by mid morning. Great to see the popularity, but sad to see they did not anticipate this more with higher capacity in Orlando (to me it is the same problem Soarin has).

  • Caught the new Disney Channel Rocks show. The concept is very similar to its Anaheim cousin. They perform several songs from Disney Channel shows. They utilize the same rolling stage as the High School Musical shows did. The song selection between the two shows is slightly different and the California version seemed longer. I thought the singers at the Orlando version blew the cast I saw in Anaheim out of the water. I was really disappointed with DCA's leads where as Orlando delivered. I thought the staging attempt at DCA was great and use of the World of Color fountains a nice touch. At the Studios the way the show interrupts traffic was a bit of a pain sometimes.

  • Stopped by the Magic Kingdom in the evening for castle lighting. The show is the same as last year, no noticeable changes and a great way to introduce the lights.. but I still like the Anaheim version better with the snow fall during the enchantment events.

  • Grabbed a snack at Sleepy Hollow, which was its normal busy self, but the lines kept moving. Because the evening was the warmest we had so far I opted for the cookie sandwich. Was a bit disappointed at how hard the cookie was.. I remember once upon a time when they were still warm or at least fresh. But still a great sandwich. We also thought back and missed the fresh caramel corn that used to be sold here.

  • We wanted to go check out the Christmas decorations at the Wilderness Lodge. It took forever to get over there and then a long time to get over to EPCOT (had to go by the Camp Grounds so it seemed like a long bus ride, even though in reality it probably was not too much further than if we had to stop at one of the other Magic Kingdom Resorts.)

  • The bus did pass the new Kennel that is open across from the Riverside. It was dark so I did not get a usable picture.. maybe next trip. It did look impressive though.

  • Nothing to report from EPCOT since I was in the park less than an hour… of which half that was spent at Illuminations or walking back to the bus.

Pedometer Information for the day:


28,078 (10,925)


10.6 (4.1)


17,074 (4,990)

Walking Time

149 (42) min

Parenthesis are the golf numbers which are included in the total