Left the room at 8:04am and was walking through the front gate of Disney's Hollywood Studios at 8:20am. Decided to go for Rise of the Resistance and was in line at 8:27am. Arrived at the briefing room at 8:48am and was on my way. Unfortunately the attraction broke so I had to wait to be walked off. Once I exited walked over to Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway and entered the standby queue at 9:24am. Reached the attraction at 10:12am. Returned to Galaxy's Edge to find Rise down again (it was up as I started walking), so opted for an early lunch at Rizzo's. After eating Rise was still not showing up but walked by just to check and as luck would have it they were just reopening. So used my return pass. Once back continued on through Black Spire Outpost then Toy Story Land. Stopped by One Man's Dream then took a look at the Fab 50 statues during the day time. Spotted Goofy and Max by Echo Lake. Headed for the park exit and a flight on the Disney Skyliner to EPCOT. Still had an hour until park hopping so took a boat back to the Boardwalk to regroup and figure out the plan for the afternoon. Decided to visit the Animal Kingdom so caught a bus there arriving around 4:15pm. Made my way out to Africa and waited under 20 minutes for Kilimanjaro Safari. Walked from Africa over to Asia and grabbed something to eat from the Yak & Yeti Local Foods. Spent some time in Dinoland USA on my way to Discovery Island to watch the Beacon of Magic at 6:15pm. After seeing the Beacon and Christmas projections headed for buses and caught one to the Magic Kingdom. Arrived just before 7pm so spent some time in the shops on Main Street then went for a loop on the PeopleMover. Once back used the East bypass to return to Town Square and found a spot for Disney Enchantment. Joined the masses exiting the park after the fireworks and waited for a bus to the Boardwalk. Arrived back at the room about 8:45pm and spent about 15 minutes before setting off for EPCOT. Enjoyed some Christmas music on the Boardwalk while waiting for the Boat to EPCOT. Entered the International Gateway and strolled around to look for a spot for Harmonious. As the post show wrapped up I walked back to the Boardwalk to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- I was up and decided to take a walk over to Disney's Hollywood Studios to take advantage of the early morning resort entry. The park opened at 9:00am which meant I could enter at 8:30am. I left my room at Disney's Boardwalk Resort at 8:04am and took a leisurely stroll over to the park arriving at the front entrance about 15 minutes later. I was in line in Galaxy's Edge at 8:27am, so 23 minutes from room to queue this morning including the walk, security, and park entry.
- I was conflicted on where to head first this morning. My primary goal was to experience Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway but both it and Rise of the Resistance had wait times over 45 minutes as I entered. Runaway Railway looked shorter and was moving so I figured Rise of the Resistance would be similar and headed that way first to check it out, figuring worst case I can double back and not loose a lot of time. The queue was moving quickly for Rise too so I decided to start there.
- Rise of the Resistance was posted as 50 minutes but was moving much quicker than that. All was going well and I was in the briefing room about 20 minutes after entering the queue. No delays in boarding the transport and I thought it was nice they were allowing guests to soak in the hanger scene a bit before pushing you forward. Many times you are asked to keep moving and do not really get any time to appreciate the scene. I was off an cruising through the ship in no time. But at 9:03 everything stopped. The lights came on and announcements to stay seated were played. This was my first time being stopped and unfortunately I was not in a very exciting spot. It took cast members about 10 minutes to come and walk us off the attraction. They did scan our Magic Bands/Passes so we could return at any point throughout the day.
- The wait was posted at 55 minutes as I entered the queue for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. It filled a good portion of its extended out door queue. I entered the queue at 9:24am and felt like we were progressing nicely entering the building at 9:48am. Then we stopped. I could see a fairly steady stream of Lightning Lane guests entering and we were not moving much. Then we started to move in spurts. Finally I reached the preshow at 10:04am. So about a 40 minute wait.
- This was my first time experiencing the pre-show. When I visited in January you walked through one of the theaters but did not stop due to the COVID protocols in place. I thought the film really helped to set up the attraction and the effect was well done.
- In January I also skipped the Vacation Time short playing nearby so visited that next this morning. We all enjoyed the short and thought it was a nice way to relax for a few minutes.
- My plan at this point was to visit Rise of the Resistance again, unfortunately it was broken, I walked out to Batuu just to confirm the app was right, it was unfortunately.
- Decided to grab an early lunch at Rizzo's. The cast member working the register here was much more helpful than the one I encountered the other day and without any hesitation rang up my request/order for a pizza with no salad which saved me a few bucks.
- As we were wrapping up eating I took a look to see if Rise was operating again. It was not even on the park map. So not sure what that meant. Decided to walk that way and see what was going on. As luck would have it they were just reopening. So I had my band scanned and was directed through the Lightning Lane. Entered queue at 11:40am and was in the briefing at 11:46am and exiting at 12:09pm. As I was leaving the Lightning Lane return had filled its queue, and extended queue and a cast member had a sign and was walking backwards toward Black Spire Outpost as the line grew. So seems my timing was good.
- Toy Story Land felt crowded, there was even a line for the womens restroom extending out the door and into the walkway. The limited seating area was roped off and open only to those coming from the quick service location. I did not see any Christmas decorations as I walked through.
- Stopped by Walt Disney Presents One Man's Dream to check out the Disney Wish exhibit and if anything else new was added to the gallery. The Disney Wish display was nice to see both in terms of its content and that they are updating the space.
- I was done with what I had wanted to see at the Studios so decided to take a Skyliner flight and then stop by the room to regroup.
- Around 3:30 I made my way down to the bus stop to head for Disney's Animal Kingdom. The next bus showed as 3:42 so not that bad. Then right before that time it shifted to be 4:06pm. It showed up at 4:00pm. So almost a 30 minute wait unfortunately and about 50 minutes total time from room to park.
- We decided to visit the Kilimanjaro safari first since it closed at 4:45. We got in line at 4:30 and it had a posted wait of 40 minutes but looked less. Turned out to be about 15 minutes only. The animals seemed to be done with several groups missing or by the door to head in for the evening. They Safari itself took the shorter night time route by passing most of the elephant area. The cheetah were active this evening with several walking around as were the lions.
- Ended up eating outside at the Yak & Yeti quick service again. There were plenty of tables and no wait as we walked by and decided why not vs walking elsewhere.
- Walked through Dinoland to see the Christmas lights. Most of the usual decorations are up so it is festive.
- Found a spot on Discovery Island toward the back to watch the Tree of Life Awakenings and Beacon of Magic projections. Seems like most of the park was there waiting too. The Beacon of Magic projection was first and as expected after the other parks it was not much. Again heard people saying is that it? The Holiday Tree of Life Awakenings seemed the same as 2019. This is not bad, just not new or exciting.
- The wait for the Magic Kingdom bus looked reasonable so we headed that way and made it onto the first bus that showed up.
- Walking through the Magic Kingdom there were a lot of guests but it actually felt less crowded than the other day.
- The Peoplemover queue looked short so we hopped in line. Only about 10 minutes. So longer than the other evening but still relatively short.
- Walked back to Town Square using the east by pass. Interesting to note they had space taped off and were allowing guests to watch Disney Enchantment from back there. I thought about it but others in the group had not seen the show so we opted to go to Main Street and find a spot.
- The Boardwalk bus seemed slow to show up but we made it onto the first one and were back at the Boardwalk by 8:48pm.
- There was an acappella group performing Christmas music on the Boardwalk this evening. I stopped and listened to a few songs since I had plenty of time before Harmonious.
- This evening decided to watch Harmonious from an area between the American Gardens Theatre and Japan. There were some trees obstructing some of the sky views and I was back a couple of rows since I showed up just before show time. The view turned out to be great as I had hoped. You could see the screens and center projections. The laser effects were still MIA but the rest of the show worked well. Also the audio was not horrible.
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