Started off the morning with a 7am wake-up call and we were on our way to the Monorail by 7:30am. Arrived at the Polynesian just after 8:00am so it took almost 30 minutes to get the two stops on the Monorail Line. It had already started to rain so we were in for another wet day. Ate breakfast at the Kona Café then walked downstairs and outside to catch a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Made our way to Pandora and used a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage. Then walked out to Africa and used a FastPass+ for Kilimanjaro Safari. Made our way to Asia and grabbed a FastPass for Kali but just swiped my band, opting not to ride. Walked through the Trek, no sign of the Tiger Cubs. Then did a loop through the rest of Asia and Dinoland on my way back to the park entrance. We caught a bus to the Hollywood Studios. Stopped on Hollywood Blvd and picked up our AP magnets and then went to lunch at Rizzos. After lunch watched the Incredibles 2 Preview then used a FastPass+ for Toy Story. Caught a bus to the Beach Club Resort and walked over to Epcot from there. Walked by France, Morocco, and Japan before deciding to grab a bite to eat at the Liberty Inn. Then continued on to Germany for dessert. Had about 30 minutes so paid a visit to China and the Shanghai Disney Exhibit then back to Germany for the 5:00pm performance of the band and then to the American Gardens Stage for the 5:30 concert there. It was starting to drizzle again as I left the park and walked back to the Beach Club. Took a bus from there to Animal Kingdom. Walked quickly out to Asia and went out to watch the cubs until the Trek closed at 7pm (about 15 minutes). Then walked back through Discovery Island and around to Pandora. It started to rain again so waited just under 30 minutes for the River Journey attraction. Once back the rain let up so wandered around taking pictures. A little after 8pm decided to head for Africa and a night time Safari. The trip took longer than planned and arrived back around 9:15 when Rivers of Light was slated to start. Decided to hike out there just to see the finale and to my surprise it was just about to begin due to some issue. So watched the full show from the bridge then headed for the park exit, caught a bus back to the Contemporary and called it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Started my morning off with another frustrating Monorail experience. It took 30 minutes to get from the Contemporary to Polynesian (2 stops) at 7:30 in the morning. This seems incredibly inefficient. You are paying a premium to be at a Monorail Resort but the Monorail is turning into more of a headache than effective transportation option.
- Breakfast this morning was at the Kona Café. It was a nice breakfast in an ok atmosphere. The 2nd floor of the Polynesian has gotten a lot more crowded with lines for the character breakfast and long backups at the Monorail station too.
- Decided to take the bus to the Animal Kingdom after breakfast. I always forget that the Polynesian bus stop is not attached to the building and offers very little cover.
- Paid a visit to Pandora and used a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage. I have ridden several times now and each time my original opinion seems to be re-enforced. It is a nice attraction, but if you are not an Avatar or CG fan you may not enjoy it that much (which is the boat I am in). I drew one of the worst seats.. I was #16 on the bottom row. So the very far corner. The one really interesting advantage of this seat was I could easily watch the ride system of the other rows. I found myself enjoying that more than the attraction.
- Had a mixed bag with the animals today. The Safari was average, no backup this time to ride. Stopped by Asia and the tiger cubs were not out, only their father was. The Gibbons were very active so that was fun to see.
- Walked through Dinoland USA and there were quite a few walls up as they prepare for the DinoBash that takes over on Friday for the summer. With all the work wonder if it will be extended or repurposed going forward.
- Took a bus over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was there when we walked up and a quick trip but we sat for quite a while as the drivers changed before departing.
- Picked up the new Annual Passholder Magnet featuring Donald Duck on Hollywood Blvd. So my collection of large magnets continues to grow.
- Decided to grab something to eat at Rizzos. I do not understand why you cannot get just a pizza via the mobile app. They all come with a salad. At the register you can. So that meant I had to wait in line. The trend I noticed last trip help true today. Downstairs seating was fairly full with a lot of people. Upstairs was nearly empty with only a couple groups on the entire floor.
- Stopped by Walt Disney Presents to see the Inredibles 2 sneak peek. A couple pieces of artwork were added to the lobby and the merchandise location in the lobby was probably 2/3 Incredibles now. The preview showed the first 10 minutes of the film.
- Used a FastPass+ for Toy Story that I picked up earlier in the day. I was directed to the new third track area this time. It was my first time over there. Some in our group really appreciated not having to go up and down steps. You load/unload on the same side so you do not need to cross over the track. The load process was really slow as the cast members were trying to keep groups together. With only 4 rows this was turning out to be hard and I saw several empty rows dispatched. I understand the desire to be in the same set of trams as your party but in reality if you are back to back you do not see each other so it really is not that big of a deal and I would bet most guests would take a shorter wait over that. Or maybe it would be nice to have a line of single riders or parties of 2 to help fill in the gaps.
- Next up took the bus over to Epcot by way of the Yacht Club. The convention center expansion is moving along and the exterior looks to be nearing completion.
- While walking around World Showcase ended up at the Liberty Inn for a bite to eat. The line to order was short so did not try the mobile order. The wait to pick up food was very slow. All the meals came with a lot of French fries..
- Spent some time in China looking at the Shanghai exhibit. It was fun to see the concept art and models to compare to what I saw just over a month ago.
- Caught a performance by the Groovin’ Alps in Germany. This was my first time seeing them and they put on an entertaining show.
- Continued on to the American Gardens Theater and stood in the back to watch the Guess Who? Perform. I am not a fan of their music so only listened to a couple songs then moved on.
- I decided to return to the Animal Kingdom, the bus from the Yacht Club was slow going but eventually made it to the park.
- Walk out to Asia again. It was raining again/still and the cast member at the entrance to the Jungle Trek said the cubs were out and active. She did not lie and it was fun to watch them. It was near closing so I only had 15-20 minutes before I needed to move on but luckily it was not crowded so I could hang out and watch with no problems.
- I spent some time roaming around Pandora waiting for the sun to set so I could see it at night, last trip I only saw it after dark for a few minutes as I ran through. The rain picked up so I opted to wait for the River Journey attraction to stay dry. The posted wait was 30 min. The cast members loading the boats were really packing guests in. I was by myself and they put me, another single and a couple in a row.
- After exiting the rain stopped and it was fairly dark so took some pictures and look around. I had a choice of spending more time and waiting for complete darkness or trying a night safari. I opted for a Safari so headed to Africa since Pandora at night was not that exciting to me.
- There was no wait and I walked through the queue and was going to be on the 2nd truck to pull into the station. It was several minutes and no truck. Finally you could hear one arriving. The crowd cheered.. it drove right by. This happened a couple more times before one finally stopped. Overall it was not a good Safari. Most of the Safari was dark and no animals. The few areas that had animals they were not that visible. The Lions were moving around which was the highlight but the rest was a disappointment. The best was still the first twilight one I went on last year.
- Due to several delays on the Safari and the load when I exited I was already late for my next goal.. which was Rivers of Light. The show was scheduled to start several minutes before I exited my truck. I still walked out that way figuring I would catch the finale. As I walked into Asia nothing was going on. Guests were seating but nothing happening. An announcement came on saying it was going to start in a few minutes. I walked around and decided to stand on the bridge vs go find a seat (I figured the seats were wet) and as I leaned on the rail the show started, so perfect timing!
- The full show ran but they were one animal barge short. Looked like all the other units were present/working for the show. The show still is not that strong in my mind.
- After the show they forced exit traffic coming from my direction to walk through Dinoland vs straight down the path. This made for a longer hike to the bus.
- The bus for the Contemporary & Wilderness Lodge was slow to arrive but it did eventually arrive and the assembled crowd started to board. A wheel chair showed up during this process and the driver halted things, cleared space, and boarded the chair then continued the regular boarding. So this meant a long time at the stop before setting off on the long route to the Contemporary. Stopping at the Wilderness Lodge makes sense but it just makes the trip even longer.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: