Started my morning with a 6:45am wake up call and out the door on my way to the Magic Kingdom by 7:30am. Arrived in the hub just before the 8:30am early entry rope drop. Most of the group headed for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I went for Tomorrowland. My plan was to do a couple rounds on the PeopleMover but it was not open so I walked around Tomorrowland and out toward the Mine Train. Took a look around then found my group still a long way from the Mine Train entrance, they were out by the Little Mermaid. So I wandered around Storybook Circus and then Fantasyland. Once they finished we regrouped and decided to go to Tomorrowland. Helped Buzz Lightyear save the galaxy then the People Mover. Some did the Speedway and then some went to the Haunted Mansion. I went for a spin on the Tea Cups and Dumbo then we met them in Liberty Square. Ate lunch at Columbia Harbour House. After lunch watched the Festival of Fantasy Parade and then visited the Carousel of Progress. Took a break on Main Street USA and decided to take the Ferry Boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon and then then the Monorail to EPCOT. The original plan was to walk through to the Boardwalk but wait times were short so we went on Spaceship Earth, Soarin, Living with the Land and Imagination on our way through the park. Stopped by to see the Butterflies too Took a Friendship boat from the International Gateway back to the Boardwalk. Took a quick break and then decided to go back to EPCOT. Walked to the park and then over to France. Took some topiary pictures and grabbed some food from the bakery. Walked out to the American Gardens Stage to listen to the band for a bit and the doubled back to Morocco to take pictures of the Flower and Garden displays starting there and all the way around to Mexico. Walked through World Discovery and spent some time in the Connections Eatery and Café. Then hung out at the front of the park watching the light show. Walked out to World Showcase and found a spot for Illuminations near Canada this evening. After the show exited at the International Gateway and boarded a waiting Friendship Boat back to the Boardwalk to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Started our morning at the Magic Kingdom to take advantage of the early entry. We left our room around 7:30 and found a fair number of guests at the bus stop heading to the Magic Kingdom. Everyone was able to board the first bus to arrive but it was standing room only. As we neared the Magic Kingdom we encountered traffic from around the toll plaza by pass through the light. Security and entry into the park were quick as was the scanning to verify you are staying at a Disney Resort. It was almost 8:30 after we scanned our band and joined the crowd as it started to move into the park. The subset of my group that was going to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ended up near the back of the pack and once in line ended up out near the Little Mermaid entrance. It took them a little over half an hour to go through the queue and exit. My plan was to get some PeopleMover time in but unfortunately it did not open with the park due to a problem. Also Space Mountain did not open on time either so Tomorrowland was quiet.
- Later in the morning circled back and was able to ride the PeopleMover. The TRON project is inching along. The Canopy is installed and they are working on the walkways and train tunnel. Disney has not announced an opening date yet but conventional wisdom is pointing to the end of this year or early next year. The canopies look different to me than the Shanghai version, it could be because they are new or just not finished yet.
- We ate lunch at Columbia Harbour House and lucked out with our own room upstairs. The cast members were really aggressive pushing mobile order. We did not realize there was a register option so we mobile ordered. I found it odd that the mobile order does not have the option to get shrimp or fish only. You had to get the trio. Chicken was available by itself. I am guessing if you waited in line the register could ring it up separately still. There was only a single register open and that queue was barely moving so mobile order saved a lot of time but being limited on menu options was not ideal.
- After lunch we hung around the Magic Kingdom for a bit but the crowd was growing and it was getting hot. So we decided to head back to the room for a bit, taking the long way. We opted for the Ferry to the TTC then Monorail to EPCOT. The plan was to stroll through and back to the back to the Boardwalk. We arrived at EPCOT at 2pm when park hopping was allowed and found several attractions with no waits at all that we could not pass up. We visited Spaceship Earth, Soarin, Living with the Land and Imagination with minimal waits at each. Plus the Butterfly Garden and looked at some other topiaries in a little over 2 hours at EPCOT.
- I was not really hungry for dinner so decided to stop by France for a snack around 7pm. The line at the bakery was shorter than December so I decided to get in line. It took about 30 minutes to get through though. They only had one side with two or three cast members helping guests. I waited longer for this than any attraction so far today.
- Walked by the American Gardens stage and there was a local band performing. It was great to see live music on a week night again at EPCOT. The amount of live entertainment is still really light compared to pre-COVID days. The only choices for the last couple hours the park was open was the Garden Rocks band or the Canadians Band.
- I did a loop of World Showcase to check out the topiaries since I had not seen them since 2019. We cancelled the Spring 2020 trip and in 2021 did a January visit instead. They looked great and several have received upgrades since I last saw them.
- I continued to explore different viewing locations for Harmonious. This evening I tried some spots in Canada. I found a nice trade off spot near the Mill Stage that gave a skewed view of the center screen, good views of other screens and a fairly clear view of most of the fireworks.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: