Started off the morning heading for the Magic Kingdom. Arrived on Main Street as the Trolley Show was rolling into Town Square so took in the performance then wandered up Main Street, through the Castle and into Fantasyland. Waited about 20 minutes for Peter Pan so I could explore the new queue. Then walked over to the Jingle Cruise, no wait so went for a trip. Doubled back to the Haunted Mansion and it went down one group in front of me so I had to walk out of the queue and did not get to ride. Stopped by Buzz instead, about a 10 minute wait, then headed for the exit. Stopped to watch the Dapper Dans on Main Street on the way out. Waited for a bus to the Animal Kingdom. Once there hiked out to Pangani Forest to find the rest of my group then we doubled back to Pizzafari for lunch. After lunch returned to Pangani then waited about 40 minutes for the Safari (it was posted at 30). Walked around the Tree of Life (using the Tough to Be a Bug exit trail) and spotted Tarzan along the way. Headed for the exit and a bus back to the Beach Club to meet some friends. We all headed to Yachtsman Steakhouse for dinner. After dinner roamed around the Yacht Club then Beach Club before going to Epcot. Walked to Future World and wandered around the Fountain of Nations and Spaceship Earth then went to find a spot in the FastPass+ area for Illuminations. After the show slowly made my way to the International Gateway and back to the Beach Club to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Arrived at the Beach Club bus stop around 8am and found a large crowd waiting for the Magic Kingdom, where I wanted to go. I made it onto the second bus but thought this was a sign of things to come. As luck would have it this was the worst.. once at the park it was mild for the first couple of hours. Note I met someone coming from another resort and they said the same thing that the bus was full.
- Decided to go see the new queue for Peter Pan. As you will see in the pictures it features two parts. The first is best described as an art gallery featuring artwork from the film. The second is a trip into the house to see the bedrooms. Overall it is an improvement over the endless switchbacks and come summer the A/C will be appreciated by those stuck there. I thought the art gallery was a little odd though. Not sure how it fits together. I thought I read somewhere that it will be interactive, so maybe those effects were not in operation yet.
- Next up was the Jingle Cruise since the person I was with had not ridden yet this year. This trip had a better skipper but it was still lacking compared to the Disneyland version for me. For a comparison here is my video summary page looking at both 2013 and 2014 from both coasts.
- The plan was to see the Haunted Mansion next. It was a short wait. But unfortunately it went down just as we were exiting nearing the front door. So no Haunted Mansion this visit.
- We substituted Buzz Lightyear instead. It was a short wait too. This version could really use some updating.. the guns are hard to use and some more targets vs the large projection rooms would be a great update.
- Went over to Animal Kingdom to try and see the new baby gorillas. No luck on the first try but they said to try back after lunch. So we had a relaxing lunch at Pizzafari then headed back.
- After lunch finally got to see the two new arrivals to the gorilla family. There was a large crowd gathered around the glass windows where they were. We spent some time observing them and trying to get pictures. The glare and crowd made it hard to get video so I skipped that.
- Decided to give the Safari a try since it had a posted 30 minute wait and looked to be moving quickly. That failed and it was over 40 minutes thanks to a large number of FastPass returns and the cast member holding the stand by line to let them all go.
- Walked by the Tree of Life trail that goes by the Tough to Be a Bug Exit and noticed the nets over the walkway on this side have been removed. Great to see! Also along the way ran into Tarzan out greeting guests. This was great since since there were only a couple other guests on the trail so he was able to interact with everyone vs a standard meet and greet line.
- Dinner this evening was at one of my favorite restaurants.. the Yachtsman Steakhouse and the meal did not disappoint. The steak was perfect and all had a great time. The did change the french fries and they were not as good as past visits.
- After dinner the rest of the group was tired so I decided to go to Epcot by myself. On the way checked and was able to pick up a FastPass+ for Illuminations.
- When I showed up for the show noticed this evening the FastPass+ area had grown. You entered the Christmas tree side of the store and it was the area in show center plus by the store. It was still not crowded and I front row spot.
- After the show I slowly walked back to the International Gateway since it was my last evening. I thought about taking the long way but decided not to. Always great to watch the masses heading to Future World and walk slowly the opposite direction. A great way to end the evening.
Pedometer Information for the day: