Headed for the Monorail just before 9am and finally made it to Epcot around 9:30am. Made our way to the Land and used a FastPass+ for Soarin’ and then one for Living with the Land. Moved next door to the Seas with Nemo and used a 3rd FastPass+ there. Walked around Future World a little, picked up my AP Magnet in Innoventions West on my way to the Butterfly Garden. Took some pictures then headed out toward World Showcase. It started to drizzle a bit as we walked by Canada and the United Kingdom so picked up the pace a little to the International Gateway where we caught a boat to the Boardwalk then a bus to Disney Springs. Spent some time wandering the stores then went to our late lunch reservation at the Boathouse. The rain was coming down pretty good after lunch so took a bus back to Bay Lake Tower for a couple hours to avoid the rain. The radar showed the storm becoming more fragmented so we decided to return to Epcot. Walked to the Contemporary and caught the resort line then transferred to Epcot. Arrived at the park with alight drizzle. No wait so walked onto Spaceship Earth. Then walked out toward World Showcase. Passed Canada and the UK. Some stopped for ice cream in France then we doubled back to Canada to watch Suroit perform. After their set strolled over to Mexico and paid a visit to the Three Caballeros then had something to drink before using our Illuminations FastPass+. After the show joined the mass of guests exiting the park. Walked onto a Monorail and eventually made it to the TTC and transferred to a waiting Resort Line train. Returned to the Contemporary and walked to Bay Lake Tower. Concluded the evening with the Electrical Water Pageant from the balcony.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Started the morning off with a trip to Epcot. That meant another slow journey on the Walt Disney World Monorail system. In theory the trip from the Contemporary to Epcot should be quick with one stop and transfer. In reality it took over 30 minutes thanks to the monorails sitting at the station and then waiting.
- While on board the Monorail had a good look at the Magic Kingdom entrance roadwork on World Drive and Tree Clearing near Epcot. The road work is moving along but very slowly. In the months since my December trip they have moved along but still have several more months of work ahead on this project to reconfigure the entrance and exit roads. The main change is the addition of a by pass that will go directly to the hotels and allow you to exit from the east side (Contemporary side) without having to travel by the TTC and Polynesian.
- As you approach Epcot trees are being cleared along the Monorail path and around the solar farm. A large number are going away. Based on permits that were filed it appears this is for a new retention pond and other preparation work. Word on the internet is it is for a rumored Epcot hotel. No confirmation from Disney or the permits yet. I am not a huge fan of this change. I thought approaching the park through the forest/swamp was a nice transition. Will be interesting to see what is constructed.
- From the Monorail you can get a glimpse of the Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster show building that is rising up behind the Universe of Energy. This appears to be a massive building. It will be interesting how it works (or does not work) with the Epcot skyline. I am not overly excited for the coaster. I do not think the parks need more coasters. I think they need more solid family friendly / large hourly capacity attractions.. especially at the Magic Kingdom. Once Guardians opens it means all three attractions in Future World East will have height requirements.
- It would be great to see a restructuring of the Monorail exit ramp and security set up at Epcot so you are within the secure zone and do not need to go through security again. This would really speed up the park entry. It is nice to go from Epcot to Magic Kingdom without having to redo back check. Hopefully someday they will reconfigure the Epcot entrance to allow this.
- Started my morning off with a flight on Soarin’ since I was able to get a FastPass+. I think it was my first time being sent to the new theater, Concourse C. It is quite a hike to and from this theater. Inside it is the same as the others. I was able to draw a good seat too in the center section in the center.
- Next up used a FastPass+ for Living with the Land. I still enjoy this boat trip. I think the pre-recorded spiel makes it a little less interesting but it is still nice to be able to visit a classic Epcot attraction.
- The Seas with Nemo felt busier than the last time I visited. There were a fair number of guests moving around the main area.
- Picked up an Annual Passholder Magnet for the Flower and Garden show. I prefer the buttons over magnets, but Magnets are better than decals/stickers like Pixar Fest has.
- Walked through the Butterfly Garden and it was fairly busy too. My plan was to revisit at another time when it was less crowded.
- I had a late lunch reservation at the Boathouse in Disney Springs. Getting to and back from Disney Springs is still a time consuming trip. The bus lanes on Buena Vista Drive help but with all the lights the trip can still bog down. I took one of the shorter routes too, from the Boardwalk Resort.
- I spent some time roaming around Disney Springs and as seems the norm there were several projects underway including renovation of the World of Disney store and a couple new dining locations. I stopped by the new Disney Corner store, this appears to be a temporary location set up due to half of World of Disney Being closed. It felt very temporary but had a lot of guests roaming around.
- Lunch at the Boathouse was great as always. The service was friends and efficient and the food was good.
- The bus ride back to the Contemporary was miserably long, but it did beat being out in the rain. Spent some time in the room during the heaviest part of the storm then set again later in the afternoon.
- The afternoon Monorail trip to Epcot from the Contemporary was just as inefficient as the morning.
- It was drizzling when we arrived at Epcot so walked onto Spaceship Earth to get out of the rain. The post show area appears to need some work. There were several areas that were having issues. Also some obvious problems like one of the projection screens down and another saying the lamp needs to be cleaned/replaced.
- Caught a set by Suroit in Canada. I had not seen them perform before. They were average.. the set was mostly in French and not that entertaining.
- I had a FastPass+ for Illuminations and I broke one of my own rules.. I did not pay attention to the wind and I blindly checked into the FastPass+ area. It was really empty which was great. I quickly realized one reason for this is the wind was blowing right at us. At this point it was only a couple minutes to show time so I decided to stay and see how bad it was. Luckily the wind was strong enough that the smoke blew through rather quickly, but it was still not a wise choose on my part.
- After Illuminations joined the mass of guests leaving the park and headed up to the Monorail. To my surprise there was no real wait to board. But then the train sat for several minutes before pulling out. We had good timing at the TTC to transfer to the resort line but again it was slow going and each stop took several minutes. So it was after 10pm when we made it back to the room at Bay Lake Tower.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: