Started off the morning grabbing a bus to the Studios and then walking to the Boardwalk Resort. Took a look at the gingerbread houses and then met some relatives to visit. Walked around the Epcot Resorts starting with the Beach Club then moving on to the Yacht Club and around to the Dolphin and Swan before ending up back at the Boardwalk for lunch at ESPN Club. At this point most of the group headed for the bus stop and over to the Wilderness Lodge and MK Resorts. I headed for Epcot and walked out to the American Adventure area to meet a friend. We walked around World Showcase taking in some of the Holidays Around the World entertainment. Started off in Germany with Helga then went to China and walked through the Shanghai exhibit. Caught the Chinese Lion Dances. Continued on to Mexico and watched the Mariachis and Dancers. Strolled into Future World. Used single rider on Test Track, about 15 minute wait, then walked over to the Land and the DVC Lounge in the former ImageWorks space of Imagination. Returned to World Showcase for more the Moroccan Holiday Storyteller followed by Pere Noel. Met the rest of my group and we all went to see the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs. Wandered around World Showcase Lagoon and back to the American Adventure area to catch the 6:45pm Candlelight. After the ceremony headed for Norway to use a FastPass+ to see Frozen Ever After. Walked toward Future World and bid goodbye to our friend and we continued on through Future World to the front of the park and boarded a Monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center. There we transferred to the Ferry Boat and was able to watch the Electrical Water Pageant. Made my way up Main Street USA to Sleepy Hollow where the others had a baked potato and funnel cake. Walked through Liberty Square and out to Fantasyland to watch Wishes then back through Liberty Square to the hub to find a spot for Once Upon a Time. After the show joined the masses leaving the park and waited for the bus back to Pop Century to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Today was a perfect weather day. It felt like Southern California almost. Very pleasant to walk the parks and no rain. The crowds seemed mild in the parks for most of the day too.
- We headed to the Boardwalk to meet relatives in the morning and visit. While there checked out the gingerbread houses. This year they did a series of small houses vs the store front. I think this was much nicer great to see.
- Made the rounds of the Epcot Resorts. The carrousel at the Beach Club resort this year had the horses decorated one for Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. This was great! The other hotels all looked the same to me, nothing substantially new or different.
- For lunch we ate at ESPN. The meal was decent and since it was a Wednesday afternoon and nothing going on it was really quiet too.
- Spent some time in the afternoon visiting several storytellers at Epcot World Showcase Holidays around the world. Nothing too interesting or noteworthy from them. All seemed to be status quo.
- Stopped by the Shanghai Disneyland exhibit in China and thought it was well done. It reminded me of the D23 exhibit, which was not bad.
- Used single rider for Test Track and the wait time indication was off, instead of the posted 10 minutes it took almost 20. There was a small child that sat in the middle seat and this kid did not know or want to brace themselves at all so they started to get tossed around in the seat. The father sitting on the other side asked if I could help to prop/support the kid. So the two of us did our best. The kid seemed to love it but it was a challenge for us.
- I spent the afternoon with a Disney Vacation Club member so we were able to access the DVC lounge on the 2nd floor of the Imagination! building. It is in some of the former ImageWorks space up there. The set up and amenities were really nice. It is relatively small so on crowded days I am sure it is not as pleasant. We hung out there and had something to drink from the Coke Freestyle machine and a cast member brought around cookies or chips.
- Anthony Mackie was the guest narrator for the Candlelight this evening and he appeared to be having a great time and was entertaining to listen too.
- Used FastPass+ to visit Frozen Ever After and I thought it was a very well done attraction. I like how they opted for a new experience vs retelling the movie. The use of the existing ride system worked. My biggest issue is it is in the wrong park. It has nearly nothing to do with Norway and it has such a low hourly capacity the wait times are terrible.
- Caught the Electrical Water Pageant from the Magic Kingdom Ferry Dock and on board. Still great to see it circling the Seven Seas Lagoon after all these years. A nice little plus for those staying in one of the resorts or just passing through.
- The Magic Kingdom was busy but manageable. This was one of the few nights it was open past 7pm so I was anticipating it to be a mob scene. We were able to walk through the crowd fairly easily to reach Sleepy Hollow.
- Right before the 10pm Wishes show I headed to Fantasyland to find a spot. I passed dozens of guests all looking toward Cinderella Castle for the show. Found a spot where I could see the Beasts Castle and I faced that way. Guests were looking at me confused and one actually told me I was looking the wrong way. I explained that most the show would be that way but they were non believers until it started.
- My purpose for visiting was to see the Once Upon a Time show. The original version is in Tokyo and is incredible. The version at Walt Disney World can best be described as a less expensive, less impressive, shorter, cousin. The one positive note is it is in English so I could understand it. But just about every other aspect was less than ideal. First up the timing. It is scheduled for once per night at 10:45pm. This is really late for families and makes little sense to me. Also they do not really publicize it so many did not know what it was. I found the projections to not be as crisp as those in Tokyo. My guess is because the projectors are back on the roof tops and not up close like Tokyo. Also they only use the castle itself. Add in the stage area obstructions and the viewable area felt less. Tokyo they use the turrets too and have a clear shot at the castle. The Tokyo version also has more special effects, the lasers are impressive there. No sign of them here. Show length is longer there too.
- After Once Upon a Time I headed back to Pop Century and the backup at the bus stop was substantial. There were probably a dozen scooters/wheelchairs. They were loading two buses at a time, including some of the double length ones so the line did move but it was very busy.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Other Picture sets from today: