No alarm this morning since it was our last day, but I was still up around sun rise. Finished packing and we set off for EPCOT arriving just after rope drop for the early morning. Strolled through the park heading to the front and Spaceship Earth. We arrived and found it closed. So turned around and stopped by The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Walked around a very quiet pavilion after the ride then went back outside to regroup. Spaceship Earth was still no open, same for Living with the Land, Journey Into Imagination and the Gran Fiesta Tour. So we hung around the area a bit taking a look at the fountains by Imagination and listening to the Jammitors. The Gran Fiesta Tour opened first so we set off for Mexico. Walked onto the attraction. The others were still all showing as down so took a stroll around World Showcase. As we neared the International Gateway we saw Imagination reopened so most went back to the room to pack but a couple of us set of to see Figment. When we arrived it was still closed. We hung out about 10 minutes to see if it would open, but no luck. It was after 10am now and we had an 11am bus pick up so walked back to the International Gateway and the Boardwalk. Met everyone else, grabbed our suitcases and headed for the Bus. Our Mears Connect bus was on time and we boarded and were on our way in a few minutes. Arrived at MCO, checked in, ate lunch, went through security and stopped by the Delta Sky Club to wait for our flight. Arrived back in Los Angeles a little early to conclude our trip.
Thoughts & Observations:
- We decided to call an audible for the last morning. We were originally booked at Disney’s Hollywood Studios assuming we would need a second morning there to visit some attractions but we managed to knock them all out the one morning we did. Then the group wanted time to pack so I switched to Animal Kingdom for myself.. they then changed their minds since the Nephews wanted to do a set of last rides at EPCOT. So I had to rebook everyone for EPCOT this morning. That turned out to be a lot of clicks and a couple awkward moments. The process to move reservations varies depending on the type of ticket you have. Also since we had two types of tickets we had two processes. It seems only Annual Passholders who book as a non resort guests have the option to modify a reservation. All others including Annual Passholders that book as a resort guest have to cancel a reservation and then book a new one. This means a lot of clicks. Also hoping the park you wanted would be there still. For one of our APs we cancelled then when we went to rebook it said no availability at EPCOT. We waited a minute, refreshed and it popped back up but it was still a pause moment for sure! The overall experience of having to deal with reservations is less than ideal and the user interface Disney has for them makes the process even worse.
- We arrived at EPCOT just before the 8:00am early entry for resort guests was to start and they were already letting guests in. So we had no wait at security, tap point or scan to verify our resort stay and were walking through the United Kingdom around 8am. The plan was to visit three attractions that my Nephews really enjoyed.. Spaceship Earth, Finding Nemo and Imagination and if time permitted Living with the Land. We hiked to the front of the park and found that Spaceship Earth had not opened and the cast members had no idea when it would. So we visited the Seas with Nemo and Friends. Early morning rope dropping Nemo was odd.. and we were one of a handful of guests in the pavilion. We ended up spending more time in there as all our other choices were down too. Add to that the Gran Fiesta Tour and almost anything in the park the kids could/would ride was not operating this morning. Not a good morning for kids or those that want to visit all audience attractions. As of a little after 9am Gran Fiesta Tour opened but the other three (Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land and Imagination) were still down.
- We took a stroll around World Showcase after our Gran Fiesta Tour ride. It was nice and peaceful between Norway and France with few guests. Also note most of the shops, kiosks, etc. were also still closed opening later in the morning.
- About quarter to 10am we saw Imagination show a wait time in the app. So most of the group went back to finish packing (our pick up time was 11:15) and I set off with the one Nephew who really wanted to see Figment for a last ride. We showed up and found the attraction down. The cast member said they were opening soon and to check the app. I said we saw in the app it was up that is why we hiked all the way back here. He shrugged his shoulder at that point.
- It would be a nice add on in the app if you could set an alert to tell you when an attraction reopened.
- We saw parts of two performances by the Jammitors. They were performing near Imagination pavilion along a walkway. It was a bit of an awkward spot in a traffic area.
- We hung around for a bit but no signs of opening so at 10:15 called it a trip and started the walk back to the Boardwalk.
- We packed up and left the room a few minutes before 11am. The app had alerted me earlier in the morning saying to use it to say when we left the room. I clicked on the app and poked around but saw no obvious button to say we had left the room and to check out. I would have thought it would be an obvious button on the home page or on the main resort page. No such luck. After a couple minutes of clicking around I gave up.
- We pulled up a seat to wait for the Mears bus. We received a text and link to track the bus. This was a nice little plus. We saw it stop at Pop Century and Art of Animation then en route to us. It was accurate and our bus showed up a couple minutes early. When the bus showed up the driver called out names and then scanned information. The process was quick and we were onboard then on our way in a couple minutes. We had no problems with the service. It worked as well as Magical Express for us. Note we did call the day before and shift our pick up time an hour earlier. We did this to allow a bigger buffer if something went wrong, time for lunch, and us to just go straight from the room to the bus and not have to worry about storing the luggage or sitting outside with it for a period of time.
- Stopped in the main food court before security for lunch. Still seems odd to me that Chik-fil-A is not on the main app but some other app. Since I did not have that and vs spending the time to set it up just waited in the line.
- We all had TSA Pre-check so the security screening process was very smooth. Except the group in front of us had one person with it and one without and they seemed confused on where to go or what do to so that delayed us a bit.
- Spent some time in the Delta Sky Club. The Orlando one seems so dated now, especially after experiencing the new LAX one a week earlier. Also the views are not that great. But it was quiet and we found a space for us all to sit.
- The boarding and flight were uneventful. I always find it odd why people clog the boarding area. For our flight several groups decided to take up places in the Sky Priority queue behind the wheelchairs. The staff kept telling them they had to clear the area and only come when their group was called. The were did not need pre-boarding, were not first class or Sky Priority. So that delayed things a bit. Overall we boarded quickly and the flight actually pushed back a couple minutes early.
- We upgraded to First Class for the longer flight home and some extra legroom. Hot meals have returned but the choices were not anything I was interested in. It was a cold chicken dish, salad or Impossible burger. I looked ahead of time and saw no way to make a meal request on the website or the app. We were not really offered anything else. Beverages were available but that was about it for the flight.
- The flight crew became distracted as we were over New Mexico. An older lady sitting behind us went to a flight attendant and then they made an announcement looking for a doctor on board. Turns out she was reporting the younger traveler next to her (in their 50s probably) was having some problems. A doctor was onboard and came and spoke to the patient, then the flight crew, then someone on the ground and the pilot. They decided to declare a medical emergency but at this point we were under an hour to LAX so they got a priority landing. We came down faster than usual and directly into the airport and had a clear taxi way to the gate. Arrived at the gate and of course they could not get the jetway to move. We could see the gate personnel as well the EMTs but they had to wait for someone on the ground to hit a button. Eventually they came on board, talked to the person then walked them off. Turns out the person was complaining of chest pains but they seemed to think it was related to a lot of travel in a short span with not enough sleep. Once the EMTs left the plane we were all allowed to disembark.
- Due to the delay getting off the plane by the time we got to the baggage claim there was no wait for our suitcases. The challenge was getting them off the over filled system.
- The parking lot shuttle showed up in a couple minutes and we had no delays getting back to the car or out of the garage. So we have had two good experiences with the new lot.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: