I was up early again for some reason, no alarm but moving around just after 6am. Had no where to be so hung around the room and watched the sun rise and waited for others to wake up. Finally headed down to the bus stops around 7:45am and was on my way to Animal Kingdom shortly after. Stepped into the park about 10 after 8 and decided to stop by Pandora. Posted 25 min wait for Na’vi River Journey, turned out to be about 15 minutes only. After our cruise headed to Africa. The Safari was posted at 40 minutes and took us about 45 minutes unfortunately. Next up a stroll through Gorilla Falls then decided to catch the 10:30 Bird Show. Followed by a stroll through the Jungle Trek. We learned they are renovating the Tiger enclosure so they were not out, wish they told us that before the hike! Decided it was lunch time, I went to Pizaffari to pick up some food and met everyone else in Dinoland. After eating we decided to head back to the Boardwalk for a couple hours to relax. Set out by foot for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 1:52pm arrived at 2:12pm. Took a stroll around the park through Toy Story Land, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge then met the rest of my group at the Backlot Express. Went to the 3:15pm Indiana Jones show then headed for the Skyliner. Disembarked at the Caribbean Beach Resort and transferred to a bus to Disney Springs. Circled the Marketplace and the Landing then grabbed dinner at the Chicken Guy. After dinner took the Nephews back to the Boardwalk and I headed to EPCOT to close out my night with a concert and fireworks.
Thoughts & Observations:
- Spent a peaceful early morning in the room watching the sun rise over Crescent Lake. I really enjoyed the Boardwalk view. It was great to look out and see activity and Spaceship Earth in the distance.
- We arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom just after the parks regular opening time. The wait times were still mild so we walked through Pandora and opted for the Na’vi River Journey and thanks to very few Lightning Lane returns it was only a 15 minute wait. I have visited this attraction a number of times over the years and I it still falls flat for me. It is a detailed environment but I am just not entertained/engaged by it.
- The Kilimanjaro Safari wait was about the same as we have seen on recent visits in that 40-60 minute range. The line moves at an ok pace, but thanks to so many Lightning Lane returns it does have some starts and stops vs a smooth flow.
- We drew a great guide today. She was the opposite of the one from the other evening. She conveyed a lot of information and energy in her spiel plus adapted as she went and as we had to wait at times. Adding to this was a large number of animals out and about so it was a successful safari.
- Stopped by Feathered Friends in Flight since it was about to start as we were walking by. The show is the same as the last couple of visits with a focus on the birds vs a story and I think it works well. I hope they stick with this vs trying to bring the Up! Characters back. It was interesting because a couple birds from the Winged Encounters show had decided to visit so they were flying around and a CM was watching/waiting for them to head back too.
- Visited the Maharajah Jungle Trek and was frustrated that they did not have any indication that the Tiger area was under refurbishment and there were no tigers out. The cast member said it would be at least a week to ten days before they returned. They really should warn you ahead of time.
- For lunch we scattered with the plan to meet and eat in DinoLand. I went to Pizzafari to pick up some food and do the walk to save others the steps. As I have mentioned several times the last few trips I am disappointed that the mobile order does not allow for the same flexibility as the register when ordering. I just wanted to pick up a couple pizzas, no salad, and that is not an option through the app. So I had to go through the gauntlet of Cast Members asking you to mobile order and then wait in the line for the single register that was open (think there were three or four CMs telling you to mobile order and only one working a register, not sure how that saves on labor costs). A generous cast member working the food pick up area was offering some extra free kids size Cokes if anyone wanted them. Guess they poured too many or something. Of course I had my hands full and a long walk so I could not add cups with no lids to my trek so I had to pass (as did two others around me).
- Spend the heat of the day back at the room at the Boardwalk enjoying the view and breeze on our balconies. It was a relaxing afternoon. We grew a little too comfortable though and did not pay attention to the weather and decided to walk to the Studios. That walk has almost no shade and turned out to really take a bite out of the group.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios was busy this afternoon with wait times beyond our patience for all attractions we would want to experience. The entertainment options were extremely limited too. We opted to go see the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular since had not returned my previous visits. The show has been tightened a bit and tweaked slightly but more or less is the same.
- While walking by the snack kiosk near Indiana Jones a cast member opened the door and came out with an ice cream cone and offered it to us. This we accepted and someone in the group ate quickly as it was turning to liquid at a rapid pace. Thought it was odd to be in the right place at the right time twice on the same day for some free food.
- The plan was to meet the rest of the group at Disney Springs for dinner so we left the Studios and took the Skyliner to the Caribbean Beach Resort. From there we walked across the parking lot to the bus stop and waited. Only the internal shuttle stops at the Skyliner and we decided to save a bus ride and do the couple minute walk. The TV for bus arrival times was not working (same issue as the Boardwalk). One showed up rather quickly and we were on our way. Total travel time was about 30 minutes only from when we left the park until we were walking through Disney Springs which seemed quick by Disney transportation standards.
- There was a good crowd at Disney Springs. We walked through several stores and roamed around a bit. There was very little entertainment going on. We did see one band as we were getting ready to leave.
- We grabbed a bite to eat at Chicken Guy. The wait was not as bad as previous visits. The meal was good as usual. I always forget how poor their water/ice cups are. They are tiny plastic cups that hold a sip of liquid only.
- To return to the Boardwalk the bus shared the route with the Yacht and Beach Club. It took just over 30 minutes to get back to the hotel, but it sure felt longer.
- I spent the evening at EPCOT roaming around. Since it was a Friday a featured group was performing for the Garden Rocks series. This evening was Blood, Sweat, and Tears. I am not a fan of theirs but I stopped and listened to a few songs since there were no other entertainment options this evening.
- After the concert I hung around and watched Harmonious from near the American Adventure then roamed down by Japan to try a couple views I had not tried before. I thought the view from across the walkway in Japan offered a nice trade off in terms of crowd, time investment, and view of the show (screens, center ring and fireworks).
Pedometer Information for the day:
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