Started off the morning with a 6am wake up call. We were on our way to Osprey ridge by 6:30am and arrived a few minutes later. Played our round and then headed back to the Riverside to grab a quick lunch and shower. Then it was off to the Animal Kingdom. Walked through the park and grabbed a FastPass for the Safari. Strolled through Pangani then doubled back and went for a ride on the Safari. Made our way around to the Theater in the Wild to watch Finding Nemo the Musical. After the show headed back to Africa to eat a relaxing dinner at Tusker House. It started to rain just as we headed in for dinner. When we came out it was still raining and the park had closed (it closed at 5pm today.. not because of the rain, just regular closing time). Made our way to the bus stops and headed for the TTC and then hopped on the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. Roamed around Main Street taking pictures of the Halloween decorations and eventually made it into Fantasyland and over to Storybook Circus. Spent a couple hours roaming the park in the rain and taking pictures of the new areas then strolled through Tomorrowland and made my way to Main Street to return to the Riverside to call it an early evening.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Started off the morning golfing, after three days in EPCOT it was time for a break. We played Osprey this morning which also gave me a chance to check in on the Golden Oak and Four Seasons work. There were changes visible immediately (well as soon as the sun came up). The main tower for the Four Seasons has taken shape along the old 18th fairway for Osprey Ridge. Due to this work Osprey is now using the old Eagle Pines #1 as its number one then shifted all holes forward one.
- It surprised me a bit at how few homes from Golden Oak appear to have a view of the golf course. Only one stretch and maybe a half dozen homes at that. Maybe there are later phases or something I missed.
- As I played I still find it sad that soon this course will not be part of the Disney "family" anymore. And I still miss Eagle Pines.
- After our round and showers it was time to head to the parks. After 3.5 days at WDW finally made it to a park other than EPCOT. Today our first stop was the Animal Kingdom since we had a dinner reservation at Tusker House. As I roamed the park there was not too much new or interesting that jumped out to me.
- On the Safari the spiel has been reworked since my last trip. The poaching story line is now completely gone. In its place you go on a straight safari now. At the end where you encountered the poachers and went through the geysers that area has been removed for the most part and the story line now talks about reintroducing animals, namely zebras to the area. Their new home looks to be nearing completion with the grass fairly thick and new fences and gates installed in the area. I am curious if they are going to do more to hide the fences or work them into the story somehow. Right now they are really visible and quite different than the rest of the attraction.
- Next I decided to take a walk around the Tree of Life. There were no signs indicating the trail was closed. As you walked along you could see the nets down below for the Tough to Be a Bug queue and then over your head. Unfortunately just passed the overlook for the Kangaroos the trail comes to a dead end and you have to turn around. It would be nice of Disney to let you know this.
- The new nets over the walkways are really disappointing. This was in response to something that happened when I was there in April, seems a piece of the tree fell during an overnight storm and for guest safety they shut down walkways and have now installed nets over some of them and reopened them. I understand safety but seems they can do some work on the tree to ensure its safety vs this step which makes the trails feel really different and your views of the tree is much more limited now.
- Stopped by to see Finding Nemo the Musical since some in the group had not. Also it let us avoid a cloud burst. Nothing different jumped out at me. I thought the singer for Crush was not as good as ones in the past I had seen.
- We ate an early dinner at Tusker House. For dinner it is non character, where as lunch has characters. The dinner seatings were really limited since the park closed at 5pm and I think dinner started at 4pm. The meal was great and everyone enjoyed. One word of advice is if you want to avoid the rush be sure to book and arrive before the parade ends. Once it ended quite a few guests showed up for dinner.
- After dinner we made our way over to the Magic Kingdom. It had been several years since my last fall trip and much of the Halloween decorations at the Magic Kingdom were new to me. I really enjoyed all the pumpkins carved to match the building they are on. For example on the fire house you have a dalmatian as well as fire hydrant. Disneyland has a few of these but at WDW there seemed to be many more.
- I made my way to Fantasyland to check in on the construction. There was one portion of the new castle wall out from behind walls and the level of detail going into the new area looks great! (on 10/12 after I had already returned home Disney started dress rehearsals and had much of the new Fantasyland open for guests).
- I made my way around to Storybook Circus and the Big Top Souvenirs that had opened just opened on Sunday. The new tent is a large gift shop with a candy kitchen/store in the middle. This is the exit area for the character meet and greets (which opened a few days later). I thought the level of detail in the store was great and it was fun to explore.
- There is a new Fastpass distribution area set up under a third tent (near the train station exit). This houses both the Barnstormer and Dumbo Fastpass machines. It really seemed like an odd placement for them, but having them out of the way like this seems like a good move traffic wise to spread guests out.
- The evening featured off and on showers and cloud bursts so taking pictures was a slow process and challenge to keep everything dry. I called it an early night due to the rain and the early morning.
Pedometer Information for the day: (Golf)
|Moderate ||14,901 (3,574)