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Walt Disney World Day 4 Report

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trip Log:

Started the morning off before sunrise with a 6am wake up call.   Was in a cab and on my way to Oak Trail by 6:30am for a quick nine holes.    Headed back to Pop Century for a shower.  Had some time to kill so took pictures across the lake of the Art of Animation Resort.  Met up with my group at the bus stop and we headed to EPCOT to meet some more people.   We walked through Future World checking out some of the Flower and Garden displays including the Butterfly house on our way to World Showcase.  Stopped for the film in Canada and then walked by the United Kingdom.  Decided it was lunch time so strolled over to the Beach Club to Beaches and Cream.  After lunch back to World Showcase to finish the tour.  Some stopped by France for dessert then we continued on through Morocco and Japan.  Listened to the drummers for a bit before going by the American Adventure, Italy, and Germany.   Kept on walking around by the Outpost, China, Norway and Mexico to finish up the circle.  Caught a brief song of the Test Track All Stars on my way to the Festival Center.  Walked through MouseGear and then Future World to say good bye to our company and then we headed back to the central plaza  (guess that is Innovention plaza) to regroup.  Decided to head for the Magic Kingdom via Monorail.   Stopped by the Firehouse to pick up some Sorcerers cards and then caught the Flag Retreat before hopping on the Rail Road out to Frontierland.  Walked along the River and went to watch the Country Bears.  Strolled through Frontierland, through the hub, and to Cosmic Rays for dinner.  Once we had our fill walked around the Castle to Fantasyland and finally had time to finish one mission/quest of the sorcerers game.  Then some headed for the exit and I walked through Frontierland and hopped on the train to Storybook Circus.   Took some pictures and then headed for the front of the park and the Monorail.  The Express line was closed so took the Resort which took forever!   Finally made it to the TTC and transferred to the EPCOT line.  Had to walk briskly but made it to the edge of World Showcase Lagoon just as the inferno barge was beginning its sequence for Illuminations.  Enjoyed the show then joined the masses heading for the park exit.  Made it on the first bus that pulled up to the Pop Century stop and headed back to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • Today we had an early tee time for golf at Oak Trail, 7:20ish. So that meant an early wake up call of 6am to get there on time. The morning started off on the cold side (remember I have thin Southern California blood so anything below 70 is cold!). The rest of the day was not much better with it being breezy and cool all day, very odd for Florida in April.

  • I noticed major changes to Oak Trail now that it is not run by Disney anymore. Arnold Palmers company has taken over the day to day management of all the courses since my last round. The only really different thing I noticed is it took the poor cashier three different systems to check us in. One for the course, one for our Annual Passes, and then another for the room charge for the pull carts.

  • There were some minor things that jumped out to me. First the starter was no longer offering the divot repair tool with the Disney logo on it, actually they were not offering any. Today they had tees but on a subsequent round they did not. Speaking of tees I did not see the kids tees on the course either. They used to have a set close to the hole, want to say it was 100 yards out or so for them to use and those were all removed.

  • It seems with each trip to WDW that the cab rides to and from the golf course the cabbies are getting less and less helpful. They have never been overly friendly but they used to at least help you load the clubs into the cab or get them out. This time I got the impression from them that it was a burden for them to press the trunk release even!

  • Spent the rest of the morning at EPCOT exploring the Flower and Garden Festival and visiting with some family that came for the day. Overall I thought the Flower and Garden Festival was fun as usual. The topiaries and extra color around EPCOT are always favorites to see and photograph.

  • This year thanks to the cooler weather and breeze the skies were a real sharp blue for pictures.

  • I was a little disappointed with the Festival Center. It was fairly deserted when we walked through and unlike years past they did not have the interesting making of video or display and I did not see a train display this year either like I did one year. There was plenty of merchandise and two areas set up for seminars. One was going on and looked well attended.

  • We walked over to Beaches and Cream for a leisurely lunch and had a great meal as is the norm. The music inside seemed to be quieter this trip which made the overall noise level much more reasonable and easier to carry on a conversation. A group ordered the Kitchen Sink when we were there, they managed to eat most of it (I think there were five at the table).

  • As I was walking to the Festival Center caught the tail end of a Test Track All Star performance. Want to reserve judgement till I see an entire show, but it seemed awkward to me on first glance.

  • When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom in the late afternoon/early evening the Ferry Boats were offline and you had to take the monorail. Not sure if this was because of the light crowd or the heavy winds.

  • The Flag Retreat was about to start when we stepped on to Main Street so we hung around and watched it. I do appreciate the ceremony and think how they include a guest of the day is a nice touch but overall the ceremony feels very abbreviated compared to the one I usually catch at Disneyland.

  • Stopped by the Country Bears to pay them a visit. I thought the audience was very chatty this time around. Seemed that they kept talking through most if not all of the show. There was always this baseline of noise in the theater. They clapped a bit and slightly got into it. Wonder if there were a lot of tour groups or something? We walked by just as they were about to close the doors and sat in the back so we were first out so I really did not see the crowd.

  • It was about a quarter to eight and I was walking through the hub and decided that I wanted to see Illuminations. i thought over an hour was more than enough time to make it there and maybe get some night pictures around Future World along the way. Well that was wrong. It took me approximately 70 minutes to make the trip thanks to the Monorails having problems. As I exited the park the express was closed and cast members were directing everyone to the ferry. I looked down there and one was pulling out and I was guessing there was a solid two boat wait. I glanced at the resort line and it was maybe a one train wait so I headed up the ramp. I made it onto the second train that pulled in the station but at that point we sat.. then had the longest ride around to the TTC. Then walked over to the EPCOT line where of course had to wait for a train to show up. It eventually did and made it to EPCOT a few minutes till 9. I managed to pick up the pace and thanks to no security wait or ticket wait was able to make it within ear shot of the opening and out to a spot to watch the show just as the inferno barge was doing its think.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 32,222 (8,471)
Miles 12.2 (3.2)
Moderate 22,378 (5,212)
Walking Time 198 (44)
Parenthesis are golf numbers that are included in the total for the day