Started my last morning off packing up, dropping my carryons and checking in for the airline before heading to a park. Decided to pay a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to start the day. Spent some time in Pandora using a FastPass+ for the River Journey and seeing the utility suit demonstration. Then walked out to Africa and used a FastPass+ for the Safari. Made my way to Asia and the Jungle Trek to see what the cubs were up to next, nothing, just laying around. At this point decided to make our way to the exit and catch a bus over to the Boardwalk then a boat to Epcot. Wandered around World Showcase grabbing a quick lunch at the Liberty Inn and some snacks in Germany before heading for Future World. Decided to take the Monorail to the TTC then catch the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. Stopped by Adventureland for some dessert and then back exited the park and caught a last Monorail ride to the Contemporary. Picked up our carryons and waited for the Magical Express. Once at the airport grabbed a bite to eat then waited for our flight to head back to Los Angeles and wrap up this trip.
Thoughts & Observations:
- The last morning is always a bit depressing knowing the trip is coming to an end and having to pack up and check out. Luckily most of the packing was done on previous days so we were out of the room fairly early. For Bay Lake Tower you can check your carryons at the entrance to the Tower but Airline Checkin was over at the Contemporary. It was not that far of a walk and the weather was pleasant this morning. There were no issues or delays with either drop off and we were on our way to the park quickly.
- I had some FastPass+ reservations at Animal Kingdom so we started our day there. The standby lines for both attractions were extremely long. Flight of Passage was backed up over halfway down the walkway to Africa.
- Before using our FastPass+ decided to see the Pandora Utility Suit demonstration that was listed as starting at 9:45am. We waited around until 10ish with no sight of any activity. Used our FastPass+ for the River Journey and as we were entering the final scene received a text from a friend that the demonstration had just started. So after our ride I walked quickly over and caught the last couple minutes. The demonstration consisted of a cast member in the suit walking out of the gate, stopping and talking to guests then walking backstage. The couple minutes gave enough of an impression. It was an interesting suit but not that good of a show. I was expecting more.
- One more comments on the River Journey. They were packing guests in tight again to try and keep the line moving. The boat in front of us they put 4 large adults (each was well over 200lbs) into the row. They had to sit with their shoulders turned and it looked extremely uncomfortable. The row in front of us they put 6 people. 4 adults and 2 kids that were probably around 3 or 4 into the row.
- Animal Spotting today was on the light side. Nothing too interesting on the Safari.. no signs of the hippo baby and also noteworthy the crocodile area was still empty. In Asia the tiger cubs were out but just laying around.
- As I was waiting for the rest of my group at the park entrance I was reflecting on the changes to the entry and how they do not seem to be re-enforcing the park theme as much any more. First the removal of the planters and trees opens up the area and makes it look more sparse. Secondly the background audio no longer has the unique soundtrack and instead features animated feature tracks (or at least the multiple times I walked through and noticed). The music is not bad.. but the original tracks were much more distinctive to the park and unique to set the tone vs movie tunes.
- We were heading to Epcot because someone wanted to pick up a last souvenir in World Showcase. So took a bus to the Boardwalk. It took a long time for the bus to show up but once it finally did it was a quick trip. I really like not having every resort route stop at Blizzard Beach. I am sure this makes getting to Blizzard Beach more time consuming but with the small number of guests going there vs the park it seems much more efficient for most guests.
- As we walked out to the Boardwalk we were debating walking vs taking the Friendship Launch and we heard the horn as one was approaching the dock.. so took that as a sign and cruised to the park.
- Decided to grab a quick bite to eat at the Liberty Inn. No delay in ordering but fulfilling the orders was really backed up.. three to four groups in every line. Not sure what the issue was but the cast members taking orders were slowed down because guests could not reach the register to order.
- Made a quick stop at the Magic Kingdom on the way back to the resort dessert. Some of the group took the resort monorail vs going into the park and it took them a long time, over 20 minutes to get to the Contemporary. When we left there were no delays and the system worked as designed.. walked up a few minutes later a train showed up and we departed right away. First time I think that happened all trip.
- We had a 3:20 Magical Express bus time. A little after 3pm a bus showed up for the airport. We asked to board and they let us. The driver said this was the 2:50 bus running late. The bus makes a lot of stops.. Bay Lake Tower was the first then it went to the Contemporary. IT was supposed to go the Wilderness Lodge but the driver received permission to skip it since he was so late and the next bus was close behind, then did the Polynesian and finally the Grand Floridian before finally heading for the airport. I do not understand the long routes with buses close together. It seems to me you can split the route and split the time so its less stops.
- I was really happy to have gotten TSA pre-check. The standard line was posted at over 20minutes. Precheck I was able to walk right through with no delay or wait.
- Our flight’s inbound plane, from Los Angeles, was late. At our boarding time it had not even landed yet. So we were late leaving.. but managed to make up time inflight and arrived only a few minutes late. Of course at LAX there was no gate available and we had to sit and wait for a plane to leave. I thought one of the selling points of Delta moving sides of the airport was to eliminate these gate waits.
- Baggage delivery was slow today so it took a while to get out to the shuttle stop.
- Eventually our shuttle showed up then the slow crawl out of the airport started. We were barely moving as we passed terminals 4 and 5. LAX felt holiday busy and it was after 10pm on a random Tuesday in May.
- Eventually made it back to the car and was happy to encounter minimal traffic on the drive home to wrap up this trip.
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