Started off this morning meeting a friend in the lobby of the Boardwalk then heading to the Animal Kingdom. Made our way through the park and out to the Safari. It had a posted 20 minute wait but looked shorter so went for Standby. Turned out to be about a 10 minute wait only. After the Safari roamed through Pangani Forest then made my way over to Asia. Some of the group went on Everest and I took pictures of some equipment in the lagoon and waited for them. Continued on past Dinoland and back to Discovery Island. Ended up at Pizzafari for lunch. Bid everyone else goodbye then I walked back along the water by Flame Tree BBQ and out to Asia. Returned to Africa and decided to go for a second Safari. Used a Fastpass this time. Once back stopped by Camp Minnie Mickey then headed for the bus and back to the Boardwalk to rejoin my family and a group of friends for dinner. On the way over to dinner stopped by the Swan and took a look at the chocolate display then walked across to the Dolphin for dinner at Shulas. After a great meal walked along the water and by the Yacht & Beach Clubs to the International Gateway. The others took the boat back to the Boardwalk and I went to Epcot. Stopped by the UK to hear the end of a set by the band then saw Father Christmas. Continued on past Canada and around by Mexico. I walked quickly continuing past Norway, China, the Outpost, Germany, and Italy to reach the American Adventure with a few minutes to spare before the Candlelight was to begin. Watched the ceremony then strolled around World Showcase to find a spot for Illuminations. Ended up on the bridge again to cut down on some steps back to the Boardwalk. After the show headed back to the room to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Started the day off waiting a long time, over half an hour, for a bus to the Animal Kingdom. We saw a handful going to the Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney. It was going to be one of those days...
- We did not get Fastpasses for the Safari and instead did the Standby wait.. it was posted at 10 minutes and took about that, but it kept moving the entire time. Speaking of moving this trip we saw a lot of Animal activity.
- Walking around by Everest noticed quite a bit of equipment around and in the lagoon. Anyone know what was going on? Best guess was this was test/proof of concept for a potential night time show.
- An interesting side effect of the Fastpass+ system was visible at the Safari in the afternoon when I went back for a second run. The Standby line was 20 minutes but the Fastpass Return time was actually 5 minutes before the current time. In effect meaning there was no wait. You could get a Fastpass and walk right on, which I did. It was very odd, but nice. This will be going away as they are doing away with traditional Fastpass in the very near future.
- The Swan and Dolphin Hotels were jammed with guests this evening as the Baseball Winter meeting going on. We tried to walk through the Dolphin Hotel lobby and it was a mob scene.. almost felt like Main Street, just much better dressed guests.
- The chocolate display in the Swan was very impressive. As soon as you walked in the building you could smell it. With all the people it was a bit of a challenge to photograph, but fun to look at.
- Dinner was at Shulas this evening. Had a great steak again. Everyone else in the group really enjoyed it too. Only complaint I heard was how dark it was inside.
- After dinner walked around the Epcot Resort area and then into World Showcase. It was very peaceful inside the park this evening.
- Stopped by the new restrooms near the American Adventure. It is a very large building and should help with the back up problems throughout the year in World Showcase.
- I caught the 8:15pm Candlelight. They have made a couple tweaks to the show since my last visit. Some that jumped out are the removal of the solitary life reading. They also tweaked the Silent Night introduction as well as the opening remarks to tie it more to Walt now.
Pedometer Information for the day: