Thanks to a Thunderstorm rolling through this morning had a pre-dawn wake-up call that I ignored. We left for the parks slightly later than usual trying to see what they weather would do. Had no real game plan so when we reached the bus stop noticed the Animal Kingdom one was empty and the others had a lot of guests so headed there. Once in the park made my way out to Africa. Stopped by Pangani Forest for a while to watch the gorillas then went on Safari (no wait today). Roamed through the park in the rain and ended up seeking some shelter in Dinoland and grabbed lunch. After eating decided to move on to another park so hopped on a bus to Epcot. Walked through Innoventions East and then paid a visit to the Universe of Energy to get out of the rain for a while. The rain was letting up as I exited. Walked across to Innoventions West and took a look at the new Character locations for Inside Out and Baymax. Roamed around Future World taking pictures of the Flower & Garden Festival exhibits and the Monorails. Then wandered toward Canada and the United Kingdom. Caught a performance by Quickstep in the UK before making my way to the International Gateway. Boarded a waiting Friendship Launch and took it over to the Swan/Dolphin for dinner. Ate at Shulas and then boarded a Friendship Launch in the rain and headed for the Studios. Wandered around Hollywood Blvd and ended up taking shelter in the Backlot Express for a while. During an easing in the rain made our way to the Muppets and of course arrived about a minute before show time. When we exited the rain had just about stopped. Walked by the ABC Commissary on our way to Pixar Place. Used the Standby queue for Toy Story. The sign said 40, instinct said less. I turned out to be right for once and it was only a 5 minute wait. Walked over to the Animation Courtyard to give the Little Mermaid show a try but just missed it. So instead wandered down Sunset Blvd and then back to Hollywood killing time until 9:45 and the Star Wars Fireworks. After the show headed for the bus and back to the room to call it a night and dry out for tomorrow.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Today started off with an early morning thunderstorm and then turned into regular rain fall for most of the day. The temperature dropped around 20 degrees from the previous days.. the 90+ and humid was replaced with 70s and a cool rain. Because of the big morning storm we decided to try and sleep in a bit then had a slow start to our day.
- Walked out to the Pop Century bus stop with no destination in mind. Decided to get on the first bus we saw with no real wait. Turned out to be the Animal Kingdom.
- There were only a handful of families on the bus with us this morning, but we still stopped at Blizzard Beach. One family from the back of the bus got up and headed off. As they were disembarking into the wind and rain the dad looked at the family and asked if everyone was ready. The kids had sweaters and jackets on and put umbrellas up as they stepped off the bus. So not quite sure Blizzard Beach was the right call.
- Walking around the Animal Kingdom in the cooler weather was a great plus. Some animals seemed more active too. These included the gorillas which are always fun to watch.
- On Safari the painted dogs were mostly hiding under the rock from the rain. As we turned into elephant country there was some activity. Seems one of the younger ones enjoys pushing the others into the water when it rains.. the driver said it is fairly common to see. Due to it not being crowded it seemed like the driver was able to slow down longer than usual for us to watch.
- To get out of the rain for a while we paid a visit to Dinoland and Restaurantosaurus for lunch. I was not really that hungry after a late breakfast so just wanted a plain hot dog.. no fries, chili, etc.. that seemed to stump the cast members at the register and in the end they rung it up as nuggets without fries.
- On the way out of the park caught a Winged Encounters. There was a light rain and the show went on as usual. They said it would be quick, but the normal show is quick so not sure how much faster they could go.. maybe a minute or two.
- Next stop for me was Epcot. Paid a visit to the Universe of Energy to stay out of the rain for a while. Interesting they were not using the center set of cars. Only the outer four were available.
- Stopped by Innoventions west and it is in sorry shape. Really the only thing left are character meet and greets. Baymax from Big Hero Six and Joy & Sadness from Inside Out have moved into the space across from the Character Spot. There backdrops/locations were well done for meet and greets but still sad to see what Innoventions has become.
- Caught a glimpse of the Zootopia Monorail wrap. It is on Monorail Orange. From what I saw through the rain it looked like a nice overlay.
- Dinner this evening was at Shula’s. Our one and only dinner reservation of the trip. The meal was great as usual. It hurt a bit not to have a discount of any type, my Tables in Wonderland lapse back in January and with the price increase the break even point was beyond what made sense for me.
- The rain was forecast to let us so after dinner we boarded a Friendship Launch and headed to the Studios. Some of the group had not seen the Star Wars fireworks yet. As we stepped onto Hollywood Blvd the rain started to pick up again so we sought shelter. The next easing we made it to the Backlot Express and eventually the Muppets. The park was really quiet thanks to the rain and half the park shuttered for construction. For example Toy Story turned out to be a 5 minute wait. Once off cast members said we could walk right on again if we wanted to. We opted not to.
- Speaking of Toy Story the queue is rather dull without Mr. Potato Head. It is going to be interesting how the new track and then new entrance will come into play. I am assuming the entrance/exit will swap around and be where Potato Head was more or less?
Pedometer Information for the day: