Started off my morning waking up relatively early, before sunrise. By the time we got the group moving and to the bus stop it was after 8 and pushing 9 by the time we reached Animal Kingdom. Strolled through the park, checking out the otters then went for a ride on Kilimanjaro Safari. Once back to Harambe made our way to Asia. Walked the Jungle Trek then caught the 10:30am bird show. After the show walked over to Dinoland USA and decided to grab some lunch.. some from Restaurantasourus, the rest Flame Tree. Took a look around Dinoland then walked around the Tree of Life and back to the park entrance. Took a bus back to the Contemporary and hung out in the room for a while taking some pictures. Some of the group went to check out the pool. Then we all headed to the Magic Kingdom. Took the long way there, Monorail to TTC then Ferry Boat to the park. Stopped by the firehouse to pick up a pack of Sorcerer cards. Strolled up Main Street USA as the Philharmonic was marching toward Town Square. Decided to go for a cruise on Pirates of the Caribbean then eat dinner. Some grabbed food from Pecos bill others Cosmic Rays and Sleepy Hollow. After eating walked along the Rivers of America which is now mostly refilled. Then into Fantasyland by way of Liberty Square. Some went for a spin on the Carousel. The park was closing in 15 minutes so we checked out a couple more wait times then called it a night. On the way out waved to the characters in Town Square then took the Monorail back to the Contemporary. Once back to the room caught the Electrical Water Pageant before calling it an evening.
Thoughts & Observations:
- We made our way down to the bus stop a little after 8am. The next scheduled bus arrival for Animal Kingdom was almost 30 minutes away. The line stretched back quite a ways and we were unsure if we were going to make the next bus to arrive. That seemed like a really long time for a morning bus near park opening to us. After about 15 minutes of waiting the group in front of us grew impatient and decided to go get their car and drive to the park. This worked out for us as we were the last group to make it onto the bus when it pulled in. Had they stayed only half our group would have made the bus. Also really interesting we ran into the group again at the park entrance. So in the end we both got there the same time.
- Our first ride this morning was Kilimanjaro Safari. The line kept moving and there was almost no wait again. We had an entertaining driver/guide. A couple of different/noteworthy encounters this trip. We spotted 5 cheetah out, with a couple moving around. Also several giraffe were near the elephant area, a couple even on the left side of the road where you normally do not see them.
- We paid a visit to Asia and the Jungle Trek. Walking through there were only two tigers out and only one was visible.
- Feathered Friends in Flight! Is the current show taking place in Asia. We really enjoyed this version of the bird show. It features more birds than the previous Up! Versions of the show. There is a little comedy from the two cast members that narrate the show but its focus is the birds.
- My bad luck with mobile order continues. Today we were in Dinoland and decided to eat there. Some decided to order from Flame Tree. They ordered, walked there, picked it up and came back faster than my order for Restaurantasourus. My order was a plain burger and chicken nuggets. Due to COVID protocols the self service drink station are not reachable. Instead you walk up and cast member is there to get your drinks for you and hand them to you. With the low crowds this seemed to work well. On a crowded day or meal time this seems like it will be a big back up.. especially with the CM I encountered. I went to get two cups of ice and it took quite a bit of communication to get them.
- Later in the afternoon we visited the Magic Kingdom and took the long route there from Bay Lake Tower. We took the Monorail to the TTC then the ferry boat. We ended up with our own private ferry boat. Just our group and cast members on both decks.
- The Main Street Philharmonic marched by while we were walking into the park. I really wish they would march at a slower pace or pause. You really do not get to enjoy the band.. they just sort of rush by. Also as usual I caught the end of a song then they went to just a beat as they passed by.
- Today was the last day for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. We picked up some cards but the lines to play were really long so we skipped playing today. As luck would have it we received a couple cards that completed a set of cards I had at home.
- We noticed several of the dining locations started closing at 4pm and more at 5pm even thought the park stayed open until 7pm only. This seemed odd and was limiting but demand was still light. Guess with the early closing people opt to eat after leaving?
- Some in the group wanted to visit Pirates of the Caribbean. The line was long but moving so we hopped in. It progressed at a slow pace.. due to only two parties per boat. Several of the spaces in the queue felt a little tight to us especially when stopped and groups were not hitting their marks on the floor for social distancing. The plexiglass in a couple areas added to this feeling. One member of our group saw that ahead and opted out leaving the queue at that point.
- The Rivers of America were mostly refilled with the water level just below normal. No sign of the watercraft yet.
- Stopped by Fantasyland and one of the nephews wanted to visit Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. The line did not look long but it took several cycles to reach the attraction. Guests were spaced out and set every other row only.
- We left the park around closing time and there were several characters at the train station waving good bye to guests. This drew a decent crowd in Town Square, much larger than we had seen at other times. Guests were doing an ok job of spacing themselves out.
- We were planning to walk back to the hotel but noticed the resort Monorail had no wait (the express monorail was backing up as usual). We walked right up and boarded a waiting train.
- It felt really weird to be at the Magic Kingdom for park closing at 7pm on a weekend night with no party going on.
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