While the group was getting ready today I explored the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. The plan was to be at the Magic Kingdom for opening this morning but as we were getting ready to go it started to rain. We let the first cell blow through then it looked like a lull so we walked over to the Magic Kingdom. It alternated between drizzle and rain most of the morning for us. Caught the Dapper Dans on Main Street USA then strolled up the street trying to avoid the puddles. Veered into Tomorrowland and joined the queue for Buzz Lightyear. After our ride walked around to Fantasyland and waited for Winnie the Pooh then walked onto the Tea Cups. Walked back to the hub and into Liberty Square and onto Haunted Mansion. After our ride decided it was time for lunch. Some went to Peco Bills, I went to Cosmic Rays and we met at Tomorrowland Terrace to eat. After lunch we had enough rain and decided to take the Ferry Boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon then Monorail around to the Contemporary. Went back to the room to dry out and change clothes. The rain let up but we hung around and enjoyed the views a bit. At this point a couple decided to make a run to Disney Springs to pick up something they ordered. Others decided they liked the idea of relaxing in the room. I ventured out to Epcot. Spent some time roaming around Future World starting on the east side then around to Imagination on the west. Walked out to World Showcase and visited Canada. There was only a 4 min wait so saw Canada Far and Wide. Then continued on to World Showplace, United Kingdom, France, Morocco and Japan checking out the Festival of the Arts Characters and art. Listened to the Voices of Liberty then circled back to France to pick up dinner then back to the American Adventure area to find a table to eat. After dinner watched a second set of Voices of Liberty then continued on past Italy, stopped in Germany then moved on Norway. Walked back through Future World east. Made my way to the bus stop and walked onto a waiting bus for the Contemporary. Once back in the room visited for a bit and watched the Electrical Water Pageant before calling it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- This morning while the group was preparing for the day I ventured down the hallway on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. This floor is restricted access from the elevators. Even though we had a door on the floor our Magic Bands did not work to activate the button to reach the floor. The floor has the second floor doors for the Grand Villas and then a handful of rooms facing the interior of the building. The center of the building houses an observation deck and then the Top of the World Lounge. The Lounge is currently closed due to Covid and appears to be used as a cast member break room. The observation deck doors were open and a security CM I passed said it was ok to go out and look around so I did. The views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom are great.
- Today was our worst weather day of the trip. There was a light to moderate rain that was off and on all morning. We looked for a break in it and walked over to the Magic Kingdom. The goal was to avoid the heavier rain. The cold rain seemed like a recipe for a cold. Since it was a Saturday the park felt more crowded than other days, even with the rain. Wait times were on par with previous trips in the early morning but crept up as the morning went on.
- As we were walking around, even with the light to moderate rain there were a fair number of puddles and the queues were not handling the water well. For example a good portion of the Buzz Lightyear queue was outside with umbrellas. They seemed to drip more water onto us than they kept off.
- The Winnie the Pooh queue was also very slow moving considering there was no FastPass+.. we stopped several times for several minutes. So not sure how the groups were boarding or what was going on.
- The Tea Cups at the Magic Kingdom have a roof so they operate in the rain, unlike Anaheim. It had been a while since I road at WDW. The cups felt smaller than Anaheim to us.
- I mobile ordered Chicken Strips from Cosmic Rays. Some of the group made a run out to Pecos Bills and the rest headed for Tomorrowland Terrace. I found it interesting that I was the last to arrive at our table even though I had the shortest walk and a simple order of chicken strips and fries. The Tomorrowland Terrace was much busier today. We still found a table that was a little away from others but not like the other day where there was plenty of space and a great view. This time we ended up further under cover in another area.
- I needed to move around some park reservations for later in the trip. The process involved quite a few clicks and was not that straight forward. I first went in and checked for availability on the days I wanted. Then I had to go into each one and cancel (since we made them at different times our group of 8 had 3 reservations). Then I had to go and request the new one. It would be nice to have an option to just open an existing and try to modify it (similar to the old FastPass+ option).
- After the rain cleared and we dried out some of the group wanted to rest, other run an errand, and I decided to venture out to Epcot since I had not spent that much time there this trip. I circled Future World checking out the construction then some of the Festival of the Arts displays/booths.
- While walking through Canada the sign said 4 minutes for the film, and I had not seen the new one yet so I took a look inside at the crowd. There were only a couple groups so I decided to wait. The 4 minutes outside translated into nearly 10 minutes inside before the doors opened.
- Canada Far and Wide premiered last year. The new film seemed to feature more single shot screens and less circle vision shots than the previous versions. I thought the film was interesting and the finale was a great version of Canada (You're a Lifetime Journey). Overall I thought this was a stronger version than the previous film.
- I spent some time exploring World Showcase looking for the Chalk Full of Character drawings. The name is a bit misleading.. this has nothing to do with chalk art, these character drawings featured in each country around World Showcase. There is no map or quest, it is sort of a free for all.
- While looking for the character in Morocco (which turned out to be Abu) I explored the pavilion a bit and most of it was a ghost town. The shops and dining options are almost all entirely closed. Even the KidCot station had no cast member, the cards/stickers were just out on a table. It was really an odd feeling to walk around.
- Stopped for a Voices of Liberty Performance and this evening there was a different members in the group and they sung a slightly different set. Tonight’s included – Be Our Guest, Let it Go, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, Princess and the Frog medley, and When You Wish Upon a Star. I walked by during a later set and it was the same set list. So it seems the set list can change based on who is the group.
- With our birds eye view of Bay Lake it was interesting to see how the Electrical Water Pageant lined up slightly differently each night. This was really noticeable at the Wilderness Lodge from our vantage point and the angle where some nights we were able to clearly see all the barges and other nights some were at an angle we could not.
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