Started off my last morning packing up and checking out. Dropped the suitcases at the airline checkin and then the carry ons with bell services. Grabbed a quick bite to eat and then hopped on a bus to the Animal Kingdom. Encountered an extremely slow security line before entering the park. Wandered through the Oasis and onto Discovery Island. Continued on to Harambe and used a FastPass+ for the Kilimanjaro Safari. Once back walked through Pangani Forest and then along the trail to Asia. Stopped by the Jungle Trek and then decided to grab an early lunch in Dinoland. After lunch made my way to the park exit and hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom. Decided we did not have enough time to go inside so opted to take the ferry boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Transportation and Ticket Center then one last trip on the Epcot Monorail. At Epcot boarded a bus back to Pop Century and picked up our carryons and waited for the Magical Express bus to head back to the airport and home.
Thoughts & Observations:
- It had been quite a few years since I last stayed at Pop Century. The airline checkin being on the back of the main building is new to me and it worked out great. There were four stations available and the line was short and moved quickly for us. Checking in our luggage took less than 10 minutes total time from when we left the room till I was done. Then I moved on to bell services for the carry-ons and again it was a quick process to drop the bags. It was a very smooth and efficient process compared to other resorts or my last time at Pop.
- Decided to spend our last morning at the Animal Kingdom so headed for the park. The morning started off nicely with the Animal Kingdom bus showing up quickly and we were on our way in no time. But then things hit a snag at the park. It took over 20 minutes from when I exited the bus until I was through security. The part that really made it painful was there were only a half dozen guests in front of me. It was not a long line. It just was the slowest line I had ever seen. The cast member was looking at everything. I felt like they were relatives of Flash from Zootopia. There were two different CMs checking, the second came on in relief of the first but was just as slow. Other members of my group went to other lines and were through security 10 minutes or more before me. I tend not to move lines since when I do the other one seems to usually stop. So my general rule is to wait it out. This backfired this time.
- Went for a last trip on the Kilimanjaro Safari. Not much to talk about. It was a very standard experience. The one nice thing is we had one member of the group that could not get the same FastPass+ time. Their window started 30 minutes after ours ended. We asked and the CM let them use it early with no problem.
- Same can be said for Pangani Forest. We did get to see both young Zebras as well as the gorillas but it seemed quiet to me.
- On the Jungle Trek in Asia there was one tiger moving around in the first area. The tiger was roaring/growling a bit and all around the enclosure. It did come right up to the windows too. There was one tiger out on the other side too but this one was sleeping and not moving at all. We all commented how sparse the tiger sightings were compared to years ago when there were several in both areas.
- Decided to grab a quick hot dog for an early lunch. I did not want French fries since I had eaten so many this trip so I asked for just a plain hot dog, nothing on it and no fries. This took three cast members to figure out and in the end they rang it up as a chicken nuggets with no fries. Best part was they still ended up giving me fries for some reason.
- Had a couple hours until our Magical Express departure time so decided to do a last ferry boat and monorail trip to Epcot before heading back. We always enjoy the time on the Seven Seas Lagoon and I wanted to get a few more Flower and Garden pictures from overhead.
- The bus from Epcot back to Pop Century was a healthy wait but we made it back with over 30 minutes to spare. Always be sure to allow a lot of time when using Disney transportation.
- Our Magical Express bus showed up on time, we boarded and were off to the airport in no time. One advantage I have found to Pop Century is it tends to get its own Magical Express bus so you do not have other stops. This makes for a much quicker trip to the airport.
- Speaking of quicker the new offramp on 417 is finally done for the airport so the bus no longer has to exit the freeway and deal with the turns and lights. That shaved a couple minutes off the trip too.
- The security lines at the airport had mild crowds. Luckily we had TSA pre-check which translated into no wait at all.
- The gate area was very busy due to several flights leaving and delays in another one or two.
- The flight home was uneventful. The great news happened a couple days ago when I was upgraded by the airline so that meant a first class seat home. I have not flown standard first class in a long time. The food was not that good to me. The seats were larger than economy but not overly comfortable, especially compared to the international business class I had for Paris. But as a free upgrade it was a great way to end the trip.
- We arrived at LAX almost 30 minutes early and there was even a gate. The regular suitcases were coming down the carrousel when we arrived so no wait for them, but we had to wait a good 15 minutes for the golf clubs. I guess there is no priority for them.
- Then came the fun of waiting for a shuttle to the parking lot. We found a great deal on parking. But sometimes you get what you pay for. We called and the shuttle showed up about 20 minutes later.. and it was full no room for bags and only one person.. that would not work so we had to wait. It took another 25 minutes or so for the second one to show up. It took us almost 90 minutes from when the plane reached the gate until we were loading our car.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Other Picture sets from today: