Started off the morning catching an early bus to the Magic Kingdom. I arrived around 8:30am and made my way onto Main Street. Roamed around waiting for the new opening celebration to begin at 8:55am. After the show strolled through Fantasyland and into Tomorrowland. Went for a drive on the Tomorrowland Speedway then walked around Tomorrowland for a while. Decided to give Buzz Lightyear a spin then the PeopleMover. Spotted iCan so watched him for a while then took the Express Bus to the Animal Kingdom. Used a FastPass+ for the Safari then headed to Dinoland and grabbed a bite to eat. After lunch walked around the Tree of Life then caught a showing of the Festival of the Lion King. Decided to go on a second safari so used another FastPass+ then caught an Express Bus back to the Magic Kingdom. Strolled through Tomorrowland and Storybook Circus. Continued on through Fantasyland and then the Castle to Main Street. Caught the Philharmonic and Dapper Dans before heading out to get a boat to Fort Wilderness. Ate dinner at TrailsEnd then took the boat back to the Magic Kingdom. Used a FastPass+ for the Jungle Cruise followed by Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan then met some friends and used more FastPas+’s for the Little Mermaid, then some did the Mine Train and the rest of us Winnie the Pooh before we all watched Wishes from Fantasyland. We let the crowd disburse and then headed for Main Street to find a spot for Once Upon a Time. After the show caught a ride back to the Boardwalk Resort from some friends and ended my evening.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Let the Magic Begin is a stage production in front of Cinderella Castle that official opens the Magic Kingdom each morning. This replaced the Main Street Train Station Welcome. I think it is really nice to let guests spread out on Main Street and the hub before the park opens vs being crammed into that small area before the tunnels. Also it makes the opening moments much smoother with the removal of the chock point of having to go through the tunnels. The show itself is a nice little show featuring Mickey and Minnie plus several princesses and other friends. It is only a couple minutes and works well. I thought the previous show was better. The energy of the arriving steam train and being outside the park seemed to build energy level and excitement.
- I decided to go for a drive on the Tomorrowland Speedway. Since the park had just opened I was not expecting a wait. Turns out I was wrong. They only had one track loading and four cars at a time. This made for a 15 minute wait just after park opening. I wanted to get some video because it was the last of the Autopia style attractions from around the world I needed a full POV video of. I already had Anaheim and picked up Hong Kong and Tokyo in 2015 but somehow had managed to leave out WDW.
- Spotted iCan out again. He had a healthy crowd around him. His routine does become a bit redundant after extended and multiple viewings. The same can be said for most of the character interaction though.. they have a script or set routine.
- Hopped on a Express bus to the Animal Kingdom next. It is a long ride from the Magic Kingdom, clocking in at just over 20 minutes.
- Decided to grab a hot dog in Dinoland for a quick lunch because I had a relatively early dinner booked. Was pleasantly surprised to find the adult hot dog now comes in a nice roll, same one as the chilli dog, which makes sense to me, but was not the case on previous visits.
- Before leaving the park decided to use a FastPass+ for a second Safari since we had a couple to use and our first safari of the day was not that eventful. This time around there were more animals and they were more active so it was a nice call.
- Had some time before dinner so went back to the Magic Kingdom to roam around and then took a boat over to Fort Wilderness for dinner. I always allow an hour or so for transportation. We had some great boat luck and walked out and right onto the one for Fort Wilderness. So we were 45 minutes early for dinner. That meant some quiet time relaxing at Fort Wilderness. It is always such a change of pace to visit.
- Dinner at Trails End was much better this time around than in December. They were not out of anything and our server was great.
- After dinner it was back to the Magic Kingdom for the evening. While en-route saw Pirates of the Caribbean went down so my FastPass+ there converted into an open use one for anything but the Mine Train. So I had a mix of regular FastPass+, the open use one for anything but the Mine Train, and one other open use for any attraction to use this evening. So we had more FastPasses than time with only about 2 hours from our return until Wishes.
- Watched my last performance of Wishes. The fireworks are to be retired on May 11th and a new show called Happily Ever After debuts on May 12th. I have never been a big fan of Wishes. Not sure why but the show been high on my list of Disney firework spectaculars. I opted to watch this evening from Fantasyland so it would be more in the round with the large shells over the Beast’s Castle and the low level ones to my left around Cinderella Castle and Fantasyland.
- Closed out my evening with Once Upon a Time. I still do not understand why this show runs 45 minutes after the fireworks. I noticed on the schedule it is set that way with the new show too.. you would think Once Upon a Time would run first then Happily Ever After. The two shows are named in sequence but will be presented out of sequence. The projections looked a little more crisp this time around, assuming that is because of upgrades for the coming show. The show itself is nice but when compared to the original version at Tokyo Disneyland it is lacking. It will be interesting to see if they plus this show at all with more lighting and laser effects in the future since the equipment is now installed for the new fireworks show.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Other Picture sets from today: