Started off the morning a bit later due to the long day yesterday. Arrived at the Magic Kingdom just before 10am. Spent some time on the Main Street Train Station looking over Town Square and the parade taping preparations that were going on. Used the east side backstage walkway to by-pass Main Street USA and crossed the street right before the hub. I walked up the parade route a bit and then headed for the Jingle Cruise. The posted wait was 25 minutes which turned out to be accurate. After the Jingle Cruise returned to Main Street where some Christmas Parade taping was going on. Took some pictures from street level then from the Train Station. When they reached a break I made my way back to the hub and into Tomorrowland. Went for a trip aboard the People Mover then walked to Fantasyland and boarded a train to Main Street USA. They were still taping the parade so waited for a while to see what was coming. I grew impatient so walked up Main Street to the hub where the cameras were to see what was going on then continued around the hub and out to Liberty Square and Frontierland to catch some of the floats as they were rolled out. After seeing several made my way back to Main Street and out to the bus stops to head to the Boardwalk Resort for a late lunch at ESPN Club after checking out the lobby. After lunch walked back to the Beach Club to get warmer clothes for the evening then headed for Epcot. Started my trip around World Showcase with France. Caught film then moved on to the American Adventure area. Stopped inside to see the gingerbread capitol then watched the first Candlelight of the evening. After the ceremony continued on around World Showcase taking some pictures as I went. Ended up in Future World and hung out there a little before deciding to catch the last performance of the new storyteller in Morocco. So had 20 minutes to hike from the Electric Umbrella out to Morocco. Arrived with a couple minutes to spare. After she had finished roamed around a bit then headed to the United Kingdom to catch a British Revolution performance. After they finished returned to Future World to enjoy the Fountain of Nations and wait for Illuminations. About 15 min before show time headed back to the bridge from the International Gateway to France and found a spot for the show. After the show strolled back to the Beach Club to call it an evening.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Today was a much better day weather wise. The skies were sunny which made the low temperatures feel much more pleasant. Highs were in the 60s today. The first stop was at the Magic Kingdom. The crowds were calm and wait times were not bad. Traffic around the parade taping was congested as to be expected.
- I circled through the parade taping a couple of times to try and catch some of the floats, etc.. If you have never been to a TV or movie taping/filming it is hard to convey how slow and tedious they are. It is an interesting process and "ruins" some of the magic of the parade/show but it is extremely long/boring for long stretches of time. For this reason I would go do something then check back and take a couple pictures. I did manage to see the Frozen characters as well the coach from the upcoming Cinderella film.
- The Jingle Cruise was a bit disappointing to me. The good news is the wait was minimal. I ended up with an ok skipper (I did go later in the week and had a great skipper). But after experiencing the Disneyland version I was expecting more this year at WDW and it felt about the same as last year to me. Maybe a couple more props but nothing too noteworthy or over the top like Anaheim. I have not re-watched/re-looked at my trips from last year to compare though.
- Stopped by Tomorrowland to experience one of my favorite attractions, the PeopleMover.. I guess it is a favorite at the Magic Kingdom since Disneyland no longer has one. The new color scheme of brighter colors is definitely interesting. Curious how this will play out through Tomorrowland or if it is just the center Rocket Tower Plaza that is going to receive the new colors.
- Decided to head to the ESPN Club for lunch today. It had been a couple trips since my last visit. We were seated the bar area, I forget its name. I noticed a large projection/TV over the main door. I do not recall seeing this before, it was a nice addition to the space. The service was ok this trip and the food good as usual. They tweaked the menu slightly with a couple of their offerings.. for example the pulled pork is no longer a stand alone sandwich like it used to be. Also the prices have gone up.
- After lunch spent some time in World Showcase. Stopped to see Impressions De France. I do not recall if this is my first time seeing it with the digital projectors or not but the film looked great. Now if the chairs could be a little more comfortable it would be ideal.
- The American Adventure Lobby has a gingerbread US Capitol Building model this year. The detail work on it is great and it was a fun addition this year.
- Watched the first Candlelight of the evening from the back. It is always awkward to me to see it in the daylight. Also after just seeing the one at Disneyland a few days ago this was a let down for me. The Town Square setting is much more impressive in my book and I enjoy the arrangements better with the West Coast version.
- I stopped by Morocco in the evening and caught a performance of the Holiday Storyteller there. The show fit into the traditional mold of Holidays Around the World with a single story teller talking about traditions of the culture with some guest interaction. I would say it was ok and some guests did stop to see what was going on.
- Caught a set by the British Revolution in the United Kingdom. They opened with a Christmas song. I stuck around the rest of the set to see if they played any others and they did not. The rest was their regular play list.
- I had some time before Illuminations so I roamed around World Showcase then Future World. I spent some time watching/listening to the Fountain of Nations while uploading some pictures. I always enjoy the show. I wish the Joyful stage would retract or have a smaller presence for the holidays. If you are trying to take pictures of Spaceship Earth and the fountains it really jumps out, or at least to me it does.
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