Started my morning with the goal of sleeping in. Still awake in the 7am hour and on a bus just after 8:30 and on our way to the Magic Kingdom. Arrived on Main Street as the park was opening. Strolled up Main Street USA and rope dropped the Peoplemover. Thought about going out to the Indy Speedway and as we started walking that way it started to rain so we sought cover and waited for our 9:30am return time for Buzz Lightyear. Made our way across the hub, through Liberty Square and Frontierland ending up in Adventureland and visiting the Enchanted Tiki Room. After the show used a FastPass for the Jingle Cruise. Continued our cruising with a ride on the Liberty Belle around the Rivers of America. Made our way back to Main Street USA and caught the Street Party then exited the park and took a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge for lunch at Geyser Point. Lunch was interrupted by rain, we could see it coming and moved quickly mid-meal to cover closer to the main building. After lunch walked through the Wilderness Lodge to check out their Christmas decorations. The rain let up so decided to take the boat back to the Magic Kingdom. Just before we were to cast off it started to rain again and by the time the boat reached the Magic Kingdom it was pouring. Security and the front gate cast members did a great job moving the lines trying to keep everyone from getting soaked. Hung out at the Main Street Train Station as the storm passed then strolled up Main Street USA and through Liberty Square to Fantasyland to use a FastPass+ for Peter Pan. Wandered around Fantasyland and Storybook Circus before decided to head for the front of the park and catch a bus to the Animal Kingdom. The rain picked up again as I was en route but not too bad once I arrived. Entered the park and spent some time on Discovery Island then in Dinoland USA checking out the Christmas decorations. Back to Discovery Island for a bit as the lights came on. Hid from the rain a bit then took some pictures before catching a bus to Pop Century to meet some of my group for dinner. After eating took the Skyliner to Epcot then parted with the group and took the Skyliner to Disney's Hollywood Studios. The rain had picked up while en route again. Entered the park and found some cover along Hollywood Blvd before making my way to Sunset Blvd to try and watch the Sunset Seasons Greetings in between cloud bursts. Returned to Hollywood Blvd and found a covered spot near Echo Lake to wait for the evening shows. The rain really started coming down at show time for the Wonderful World of Animation so I stayed undercover and had a very obstructed view. The rain let up as show time for Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam approached. I went out to the courtyard area to watch and was able to put the umbrella down at a couple points during the show. After the show walked quickly back to the Boardwalk to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- We were taking our time this morning and relaxing and somehow still managed to reach the Magic Kingdom by rope drop due to favorable buses and us just being up. I had FastPass+ reservations lined up but for later in the morning. So we ended up heading to the PeopleMover for rope drop while waiting for our first FastPass.
- Used a FastPass+ for Buzz Lightyear. Since my last visit the queue has been reconfigured. You now enter from the opposite side of the room (further away from Buzz at the front then walk along the moving walkway before making a u-turn to enter the ride vehicle. Guessing this was done so people can see what is ahead of them and to help with the merge point.
- While walking through Frontierland some country bears were roaming around. Always great to see them out having fun.. even though their attraction was not open for the day yet. Time for my annual complaint of no Country Bear Christmas Show.. it really annoys me having to travel to Japan to see the bears sing Christmas songs!
- It was drizzling out and we had time before our next FastPass+ so stopped by the Tiki Room. The show seems so short still.
- Used a FastPass+ for the Jingle Cruise. We had a great skipper and some fun jokes. Still miss this overlay in Anaheim. I wish they would plus the decorations a bit here at WDW, but happy to have the overlay.
- From the Liberty Belle you could see a team working on the railroad. A section of track is removed. The railroad bed looks to be new and ties were ready to be installed.
- The rain stopped so decided to head to the Wilderness Lodge for lunch. With all the renovation work at the Magic Kingdom entrance all three boat routes (Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness and Seven Seas Lagoon resorts) share a common dock.
- Lunch at Geyser Point was great for the first half but we could see an approaching storm beyond Bay Lake. Unfortunately we did not eat fast enough and it arrived as we were eating. We packed up as soon as it looked like it was near and walked quickly up toward the main building to find a covered spot to eat. It started to rain while en route but made it to cover before the skies completely opened.
- After lunch stopped by the lobby to stay dry and check out the new gingerbread display. This year there is a log cabin in the lobby. It was a fun display and will be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming year.
- The rest of the day consisted of rain.. some periods of heavy rain others a drizzle. I watched throughout the day the radar maps and tried to time visits to see the parks in between storm cells. Most of the time with bad luck. I got wet but not soaked luckily.
- One of the stops was at Disney's Animal Kingdom to see the Christmas lights. The decorations during the day looked great so was curious to see them at night. The Discovery Island and Dinoland ones did not disappoint.
- The storms let up a bit and I took the Skyliner for a couple flights to try it after dark. Went from Pop Century to Epcot then back from Epcot to the studios. The views in the dark are not overly interesting, it was much more impressive by day. The ride from Epcot to the Studios took almost 25 minutes total travel time this evening.
- Watched Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam in a light rain. Then as soon as the show ended walked quickly back to the Boardwalk. It only took 12 minutes from my spot on Hollywood Blvd to my room.
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