Started off the morning sleeping in a bit, well for me.. till 7:30ish. Gathered the rest of my group and did some clean up then headed out for the day. Arrived at Animal Kingdom late morning, thanks to a later start then a long bus wait and a slow bus trip. We made our way out to Africa and decided to visit Conservation Station then walked through Pangani Forest. Grabbed a quick lunch at Pizzafari before our FastPass time for Kilimanjaro Safari. After our trek decided to head for the buses. Some back to the room and my for the Magic Kingdom. Arrived on Main Street just after 2:30pm so had a half hour before Festival of Fantasy. Played a quick round of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom then found a spot in front of Cinderella Castle for the parade. After the parade wandered into Tomorrowland and onto the Carousel of Progress. Strolled along the train tracks into Storybook Circus then through Fantasyland. It started to drizzle so I picked up my pace. By the time I reached the Village Haus the skies opened. I found an umbrella and waited out the storm. Then walked out to Frontierland as another burst started. Paid a visit to the Country Bears and then met the rest of my group at the Columbia Harbour House for dinner. While eating booked a FastPass for the Jungle Cruise and Winnie the Pooh. Walked over to the Jungle Cruise and went for a trip. While in the queue rebooked my Winnie the Pooh time to earlier. After disembarking walked over to Fantasyland and onto Winnie the Pooh. While in line booked the Little Mermaid next. Walked over and onto that attraction and booked a Buzz Lightyear from the queue. Had 5 minutes to spare in Tomorrowland so decided to go for a spin on the Peoplemover. It broke down while we were out over the Speedway and we were walked off. Used our FastPass+ for Buzz then looked for another attraction, nothing available of interest to us. So I roamed around taking some pictures then stopped by the fire house to pick up some Sorcerers Cards. Found a spot on the Train Station for the Main Street Electrical Parade. After the parade headed for the bus and back to Pop Century to wrap up the day.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Started off the day with some bad bus luck. We were heading to the Animal Kingdom and it seemed to be last on the dispatchers list. We saw a handful of buses for the Studios, several for Epcot and a couple for the Magic Kingdom pull in, load up, and head out before ours arrived. Then two showed up at once for us. The first pulled in and they started the slow process of loading an ECV. Luckily the second bus pulled up a little further down and allowed us to board. Then with a full bus we stopped at Blizzard Beach so two people could disembark. Seems it would be more efficient to go to AK and drop everyone off then drop those two off. On the other hand guess it is an advertisement for Blizzard Beach to run the buses through?
- Once we finally got into the park it was not too crowded. We roamed around and ended up out at Conservation Station. This morning they were doing a dental procedure on one of the petting zoo sheep. It is always interesting to see the number of people involved in the various procedures. I thought the idea of having some Zootopia displays was great but the execution was rather weak with just a few displays and due to the character line you could barely get to them. It appeared most people ignored them or did not notice their existence. Seems it would be a perfect location for a Meet and Greet but instead Chip and Dale were there.
- Strolled through Pangani and learned the family troop goes on lunch break. The cast member said they go inside for lunch and training each day right now for the young ones. So if you want to see the family side gorillas be sure to keep that in mind.
- Ended up at Pizzafari for lunch. I think it is short sighted that the one large dining room was converted into part of Tiffins. That really takes away from capacity. Today the park was not that crowded and it was still very full in the seating area. As I mentioned in December there is a new pizza crust here. I am not a fan of it, I liked the old one better. They also switched to a new salad and even the salad eater in our group did not care for it.
- After lunch it was time for our Safari FastPass. As luck would have it the standby line seemed to be moving the same speed as ours. Seems to happen that way for me. If I do not have on there is a wait. If I have on there is not one. It was a quiet safar with not a lot going on unfortunately.
- Decided to try our bus luck again and head for the Magic Kingdom. Again it took a while for the bus to show and when it did they loaded two ECVs this time so it was a slow process.
- I managed to still arrive ahead of the 3pm parade that was my target so I spent some time playing the Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom so I could get a couple more packs of cards. It would be nice to see them update the game. Over the years I have managed to complete it several times and would like to see something new.
- I watched the Festival of Fantasy Parade from several spots in the hub before ending up at the Castle entrance. The views from the hub were ok, but the audio was driving me crazy. It was extremely loud and distorted. From the castle I thought it was an interesting perspective being above the crowd and eye level with some of the higher elements. Not the best spot for a first viewing but if you have seen the parade before it is a different perspective on it and it was not crowded.
- Paid a visit to the Carrousel of Progress. I tend to try and visit the unique attractions to the park on each visit. The Carrousel is a true classic and I enjoy it, but it is in need of some TLC. They are working on the exterior of the building.
- An afternoon rain storm rolled in as I was wandering through Fantasyland. It started to drizzly as I was near Be Our Guest. Made a quick decision to walk quickly toward the Village Haus since that seemed like the nearest place with a decent amount of cover. Made it to the outside dining area just as the skies opened. I found an umbrella to stand under and watch the down pour and guests running around Fantasyland. It is always entertaining to watch people try and decide what to do in the rain and their reactions.
- Stopped by the Country Bears next. I am still disappointed in the abbreviated show, but it is better than what Disneyland has which is nothing!
- At dinner at the Columbia Harbour House. Not sure how cast members translated my request for chicken nuggets without fries into a broiled chicken breast but they did. We explained again what we wanted and they swapped it out and still ended up giving me fries since it was already made. I was really surprised how empty the dining rooms were at 6:00pm.
- As we were eating I took a look at wait times and then decided to do a burst of FastPass+ attractions. I booked the Jungle Cruise while eating then as we boarded each attraction booked the next one so in a very short window with no waiting I managed to visit the Jungle Cruise, Winnie the Pooh, the Little Mermaid and Buzz Lightyear. Also did the Peoplemover in between and got stuck on it and walked off.
- Closed out the evening with another classic the Main Street Electrical Parade. Decided to call it a day before Wishes and head for the bus. It really seems that Wishes is due for an update. Would be nice to see a new 45th Anniversary fireworks show this year. Hard to believe the Magic Kingdom turns 45 in October.
Pedometer Information for the day: