Started the morning a bit later after getting caught up on a little sleep. Arrived at the Magic Kingdom around 10:30am. Stopped by the fire house and picked up some Sorcerer cards then strolled up Main Street USA and into Liberty Square. Caught a performance by the Muppets then wandered over to Grizzly Hall to enjoy the Country Bears. After their performance decided to take the train around to Main Street where we disembarked and then caught a Monorail to the Contemporary. At lunch at the Contempo Café and then caught a Monorail to the Grand Floridian. Took a look at their Easter Egg display then back on the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Roamed around Main Street USA and then into Tomorrowland. Hopped on an Express Bus to Epcot. Used a Spaceship Earth FastPass+ followed by a Nemo and Friends FastPass+ (neither was needed but I had them so used them) then walked onto Imagination. Walked out to World Showcase and around to China to watch the Acrobats then stopped by the Shanghai Disneyland Exhibit. Received notification that our Frozen FastPass was not going to happen since the attraction went down. So we decided to head toward Test Track and found out that was down too. I needed to use a third FastPass+ at Epcot so scanned my band at Mission Space but skipped the ride then headed for the Express Bus to the Studios. While en route booked a FastPass+ for Toy Story. Upon arriving on Sunset Blvd the plan was to eat dinner but the place I wanted to eat at was closed so I ended up at the Backlot Express. Walked around the Muppet Courtyard then headed to Pixar Place to use my FastPass+ for Toy Story. Booked one for the Great Movie Ride next. We stopped by One Man’s Dream for the Pirates Preview then went to use the Great Movie FastPass+. Walked around Hollywood Blvd for a while then found a place for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. After the show walked back to the Boardwalk to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- This trip we ran into some trouble with our Magic Bands and opening the room door. My band did not work the first day and come the second day one of the other bands, that had previously worked no longer worked. Each time we would go to the front desk and they would check it on the computer and reprogram and check it. It would work for a brief time then stop.
- This trip we tried out the Express Transportation option. This is a park to park bus service that runs on a schedule from within each park. It allows you to by pass security and the park entrance when you park hop. For 7 consecutive days the cost is $29 per person. Or you can buy single day for $19. The option can be purchased at Disney Resorts or in the parks. We opted to purchase ours at the front desk. Since it is only 7 days and we were there 8 days we made sure to purchase it the second morning so it would be good our last day. The purchase process was quick and paperless. We were done in a few minutes. I plan to do a full blog post on this with all my thoughts, experiences and tips. A quick summary if you plan to do a fair amount of park hopping, are looking to save a couple steps, or have a scheduled bus run you may want to consider this add on. We had a positive experience overall. The weekly cost point is not that high compared to most other add ons. Prices have gone up once since it rolled out in January and I would expect it to continue to climb.
- We decided to head to the Magic Kingdom this morning and had some great bus luck. As we arrived at the Boardwalk bus stop the bus was pulling in, so no wait!
- We wandered around the Magic Kingdom for a while catching some of our favorites including the Muppets in Liberty Square as well as the Country Bears in Frontierland. I did not take note of the Cast Members name but the one who did the intro for the Country Bears was great! He was really engaged and interacted will with the audience, walking around and talking to guests. The abbreviated show is still disappointing each time I experience it but it is better than nothing.
- Decided to go visit the Monorail Resorts. It was very nice to walk directly to the ramp without having to walk around because of the security set up. It was a minor inconvenience to have to go through security at each resort before boarding the monorail but the lines were short and plenty of cast members were on hand.
- Ate lunch at the Contempo Café in the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contempoary Resort. We had great timing and no line. By the time we were seated and eating the line stretched out of the ordering area thanks to a convention that had gone on lunch break.
- After lunch the plan was to take the Monorail around to the Grand Floridian to see the Easter Eggs. The experience was less than ideal. The Monorail paused at each station for a good 5-10 minutes and traveled very slowly. Not sure what was going on but it was not a smooth trip and took a really long time to make it over there.
- This is the sixth year for the Grand Floridian Easter Eggs. I typically miss them since I avoid the Easter and spring break seasons. This year though they ran for a few days into my trip so I made a point to visit. There were a large number of eggs throughout the lobby featuring Disney characters as well as more abstract and traditional decorative elements. I really enjoyed the presentation.
- The plan was to use a FastPass+ for Frozen in the mid afternoon but unfortunately it went down about 15 minutes before our time. We knew we would not be back but I needed to burn the FastPass+ so I could get more at another park. So figured I would stop at Test Track on the way out of the park. But of course it was down too! So ended up walking over to Mission Space and just scanning the bands and not going on. The reason for this is after you use three attractions in a single park you can then book single attractions elsewhere. We were heading to the Studios for Fireworks later and I wanted to book Toy Story since I saw it was available.
- Today we used the Express Transportation twice. Magic Kingdom to Epcot and Epcot to Studios. Both times the buses were right on time and uncrowded. One bus had one other family and the second was just us. The drivers on both routes were fun to talk to and entertaining. The guest relations cast members were friendly. The drive from Epcot over to the Studios took quite a while thanks to all the construction and having to go around a bit. Also the guest relations cast member that was supposed to greet our bus did not show up for several minutes so it took longer than expected.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a big construction zone. With a large portion of the park behind walls and off limits as they build Toy Story Land and the Star Wars expansion. What is left is not a whole lot. We were able to pick up a FastPass+ for Toy Story and ride with no wait and same for the Great Movie Ride. I became annoyed with the dining options at the Studios. I wanted to visit PizzeRizzo but it closed at 4pm. So plan B was to grab a pizza at Catalina Eddies.. of course it was closed (with no warning on the app.. ).
- Stopped by One Man’s Dream which is a bit disappointing with several displays gone and the film no showing, in its place is the Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales preview. Same sequence as Disney California Adventure but shown in 2D here vs 3D in Anaheim. Was disappointing to only see one costume from Pirates in the final room, I was expecting more. Also odd to have a Storm Trooper there when you have the Launch Bay next door. The meet and greet was closed as they were preparing for Guardians of the Galaxy.
- The construction at the Studios is really hard to see with only a couple small vantage points that really show nothing of the project. It is no where near as interesting or accessible as Disneyland’s.
- I had not seen the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular since it started a couple weeks after my trip last spring and was not running in December when I visited. I was disappointed with the show. The projections take center stage and feel like a majority of the show. The main firework shells are off to the right and not where you would expect show center to be. Sight lines are bad because of this. I waited and had a good viewing angle but it still was not a top show for me. I actually enjoyed the Jingle Bam show in December more.
- Walked back to the Boardwalk because it looked like at least a two boat wait for the Friendship Launch. There were a large number of guests doing the same. We strolled along at a slow pace and still beat the first boat back to the Boardwalk by several minutes.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Other Picture sets from today: