No alarm so slept in till 7am this morning. The group was slow moving so we did not make it down to the bus stop until after 10am. Boarded a bus to the Animal Kingdom and arrived at the park around 10:40am. No waits for screening, security or park entry. Decided to hike out to Africa and went for a trip on the Safari. There was no wait until the end when we had to wait for a truck, none were coming in, something was holding them up. After our Safari we got in line for Gorilla Falls, this ended up taking over 15 minutes to be able to go in. Walked through Gorilla Falls then decided to grab lunch. Ended up at Yak & Yeti’s Local Foods. The seating looked busy and tight so we walked back to Africa and ate in the empty Harambe Marketplace (which was not open today). After lunch we took the Wilderness Express out to Conservation Station to look around. Then back to Africa. Walked over to Asia and some went for a ride on Expedition Everest and the rest of us found a spot to rest for a bit. Then some spent time in Dinoland and the rest of us hiked over to Pandora and visited Flight of Passage. Rejoined the group on Discovery Island and headed for the exit. Caught a bus back to the Contemporary and most of the group called it a day at that point. I ventured out. The first bus that showed up was Disney’s Hollywood Studios so I boarded it. Walked up Hollywood Blvd. to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and it was down. Talked to a cast member and they said at least 30 minutes until it would be back. Decided to go for a flight on the Skyliner instead of waiting. At Epcot grabbed some food in France and strolled around to the American Adventure area and ate at a picnic table listening to a concert. Watched a performance by the Voices of Liberty then wandered around World Showcase as I headed toward the front of the park. Today exited by taking the West side. Boarded a bus back to the Contemporary to call it an evening since all the parks were closed.
Thoughts & Observations:
- The group was moving slow today and enjoying the room and view of Bay Lake this morning. We were up by 7am but did not head out to our first park until after 10am.
- When we arrived at the Contemporary bus stop there were a lot of guests in line, but we lucked out and most were in line for Epcot since it opened at 11am. Our destination today was Disney's Animal Kingdom and there were only two groups in line for that bus so we had no problems at all.
- Throughout the morning we were glancing at the wait times for Animal Kingdom and all seemed mild. We figured by the time we got there they would creep up, but they did not. We were able to walk onto just about all attractions or had minimal waits throughout the day.
- Our first attraction of the day was Kilimanjaro Safari. We moved quickly through the queue but then had to wait at the load station.. there were no trucks. Seems something was delaying them en route. There are now plastic dividers up between rows on the truck. This made your area feel a little self contained and small. They did not really bother me that much when looking around, but when trying to take pictures it meant a much more limited viewing angle.
- Recently Nigerian Dwarf Goats have been added to near the end of the safari. They are in a yard with a building and some props. When we drove by the goats were active in their area.
- Gorilla Falls is undergoing renovation so you enter and exit through the gorilla side area and then loop out to the outlook. Combining this with the social distancing and it meant the area felt fairly crowded and was backed up. Guests did not seem to understand the traffic flow and this led to traffic jams in a few areas. There was a queue filling the old stroller areas for the safari and they would let you in group by group. You then walked down the left side of the trail and out to the family viewing window, then looped through the outlook area then came back along the bachelor side. One positive of this set up was you had an unobstructed view at the window to see the family group. The downside is you could not linger and had to move fairly quickly due to the crowd.
- For lunch we ordered from the Yak & Yeti Local Foods and then took our food over to the Harambe Market to eat. The Market was closed so there were plenty of tabes and very few guests. The Local Foods did not offer mobile order so we waited in a short queue. It took quite a while for the food to be ready. The food is on the pricey side, but the burger was better than most counter service ones I have had in the parks. Too bad we cannot use Landry's gift cards there though.
- Took the train out to Conservation Station. The limit appeared to be three groups per train car, but we lucked out with no wait, going the other direction though there was a backup, but it cleared by the time we left. This was my first time visiting since the Animation Academy moved into the building. It really is an awkward squeeze that takes up a lot of space in the building. It did draw a crowd though so seems positive from that perspective.
- Throughout the day boats circle Discovery Island with characters and a band onboard. These floatillas move at a good clip and you get a brief moment to wave to a character. Seems to me they could slow the boats down. I am sure its a balancing act as they do not want to draw a crowd at any given time.
- Visited Pandora and finally got to see the standby queue for Flight of Passage. I had only used FastPass+ on previous visits. The line moved quickly and the wait was 1/3 that of the river journey.
- We had some good bus luck leaving Animal Kingdom. We walked up and the bus was just getting ready to pull away. The driver saw us and opened the doors.
- When we arrived back at Bay Lake Tower Goofy and Pluto were out in the grass greeting guests. They had pulled up in an RV an were available for distanced photos. It was a great way to interact with the characters and spend a little time in a low crowd way.
- Around 4:30 I set off for Disney's Hollywood Studios from the Contemporary. A bus showed up fairly quickly but the bus driver was not overly friendly or helpful. I was waiting for guests to disembark and he seemed more interested in closing the door and leaving than letting myself and another party that was waiting board. Then he grumbled to us that you know you only have a couple hours until the park closes so why are you going? Then to top it off the route he took to reach the studios was the long way.. he exited at Epcot and circled Epcot to Buena Vista Drive then make a left into the park vs the normal route of exiting directly from World Drive to Buena Vista and then taking a right into the park.
- I did not spend long at Disney's Hollywood Studios this afternoon. The goal was to visit Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. I walked up Hollywood Blvd. and found it was down. The CM said it would be at least 30 minutes until it reopened. I opted to leave at this point as that was longer than I wanted to wait. The park felt more crowded this evening than last.
- I was onboard the Disney Skyliner as the sun set this evening and it was a peaceful way to watch the sunset.
- World Showcase felt more crowded this evening as I walked around too.
- My primary objective at Epcot was to see the Voices of Liberty Disney Song book concert and I was able to do that with no problem. I enjoyed the concert but it felt really brief.
- With the 8pm park closing I did not have time to do anything else this evening except walk out of the park.
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