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Walt Disney World Day 7 Report

Friday, December 9, 2011

Trip Log:

Started off this great morning with a light breakfast at the hotel then off to EPCOT.  We arrived at the park about 9am.  I headed for Soarin to gather Fastpasses for the gang then met them at Test Track which was a walk on.  Then we strolled through MouseGear on our way back to the Land.  Went on Listen to the Land then it was time to use our Soarin Fastpasses.  Next up a visit with Nemo and Friends then we headed to Canada to watch the film followed by lunch at Le Cellier.  Watch an Off Kilter Set before heading to the Boardwalk via Friendship launch to catch a bus to Downtown Disney.  Spent some time going through the shops of the Market Place and then walked out to the West Side.  Roamed around DisneyQuest for a while then back on the bus this time to the Wilderness Lodge.  Walked the grounds and hopped on a boat to the Magic Kingdom.  Made my way down Main Street to grab a hot dog and then headed for Adventureland to visit the Tiki Room.  Others went to the Grand Floridian to see the Christmas decorations.  After the Tiki Birds I exited the park with the masses.  Was going to take the Monorail but it was backed up all the way down the ramp so opted for the Ferry and then hopped on a bus to the Studios.  Plan was to go see the lights but a 10 min posted wait for Star Tours sucked me in.  45 minutes later I exited and the park was closed so I hiked over to EPCOT and caught the end of the Candlelight and made my way around to a spot to watch Illuminations.  Joined the masses exiting the park and headed back to Pop Century to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • We decided to make this morning our EPCOT morning. We arrived just after park opening and enjoyed the mild crowd as we roamed Future World. I was really disappointed to see Test Track pushing all guests right through the pre-show video. Usually they do this for Single Riders but I thought standby line guests always saw the video. I think this is really "cheating" those out of the experience. I know guests are in a hurry and want to experience as many attractions as possible but by skipping the show you are really not experiencing the entire attraction. But then again I guess the general public does not care about the story.. they just want the simple thrill??

  • I was lucky enough to get a lunch reservation at Le Cellier in Canada. We had to each just before noon but that was the only open slot I could get and I tried as soon as we had our dates locked in. Between the free dining and Candlelight packages it is nearly impossible to get in unless you get your reservation right at the 180 day mark when they become available. Hopefully the new reservation fee will help to free up some slots. Had a great meal as usual. I was a little disappointed to see the breadsticks replaced with regular looking rolls but at least they still tasted great so not a huge loss.

  • After lunch we decided to head over to Downtown Disney to see what was going on. There were a fair number of guests roaming around but really not too crowded. Stopped by DisneyQuest for a while and it was fairly empty. You could get onto most attractions with no real wait. The only wait I saw was for Cyber Space Mountain.

  • Took the bus over to the Wilderness Lodge. Visiting this resort is always like a mini retreat to me. It is usually a relaxing trip to the wilderness and you can leave some of the chaos of the parks behind for a while.

  • Stopped by the Magic Kingdom to grab a bite to eat and see how the crowds were. The park was alive with activity since this evening there was a Very Merry Christmas party so all those guests were arriving as the regular day was wrapping up.

  • I took in a showing of the newly restored Enchanted Tiki Room. It was a pleasure to see the original show back. The Under New Management one really drove me crazy. This version of the show seemed a bit shorter than the current Disneyland one, I am sure there is a site that document the exact changes but more or less it is the same show.

  • Since the park was closing early I decided to head for the Studios. This seemed like a good idea till I arrived at the bus stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center and the line stretched for close to two buses. I bit the bullet and decided to hang out and wait for the bus. The bus showed up and then I experienced something I had not before at Disney. The guests decided they did not want to wait in the line and the front of the line rushed to the front door and the middle of the line rushed/pushed their way in through the back door. The bus driver tried to gain control of the situation and tried to close the door. They pried it open. Then he just gave up and let them crowd in. This created a mess. Then to top it off those onboard the bus were not moving in tight to allow for more guests to get in. Finally after a couple minutes of struggling he closed the doors and pulled out. I had never seen that sort of mess before and I thought the guests were out of control and the bus driver handled the situation poorly.

  • Finally arrived at the Studios, much later than I had hoped but still early enough to get some pictures of the Osborne lights as planned. Then I did something dumb... while walking out to the lights I saw Star Tours had a 10 minute wait. I hopped in line and strolled right through the first room and most of the second. Then we stopped. It took nearly 45 minutes to get through the attraction. Seems someone decided they only needed to run two simulators.. so it took much longer than anticipated and when I exited I had to get moving to make it over to EPCOT for a couple pictures I wanted. So I had to skip the lights tonight.

  • Did the hike over to EPCOT to save time vs the boat since my destination was World Showcase. For those who have not done it it is a good mile or so and you can walk it in about half the time it takes the boat to get there.

  • Nothing of note to report from EPCOT this evening.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 27,835

Miles 10.5

Moderate 19,793

Walking Time 172