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Walt Disney World Day 4 Report

Friday, December 8, 2023

Trip Log:

Woke up around 7am again and was out the door by 8am.  Made it into Magic Kingdom at 8:40am due to about a 10 minute bus wait.  At the Magic Kingdom headed to Adventureland and the Jingle Cruise.  The wait was posted at 30 minutes but only took about 14.   Once back ashore strolled over to the Haunted Mansion.  The wait was posted at 20 but shifted to 25 as I walked under the sign.  Turned out to be about 14 minutes also.  Headed to Tomorrowland to meet the rest of my group and go on the PeopleMover, where I waited just over 10 minutes.   We were walking through Fantasyland and the Little Mermaid was posted at 5 minutes, turned out to be 7 min.   Then we walked through Liberty Square and around the Rivers of America.  Boarded the railroad in Frontierland, which turned out to be nearly a 15 minute wait for a train to arrive.  Disembarked at Main Street USA and took in a performance of the Dapper Dans.  Decided to take the Ferry across to the TTC then round trip Monorail to EPCOT and Ferry back across the Seven Seas Lagoon.  Took a bus back to the Beach Club.   Regrouped and set off for Disney Springs.  Ate at the Chicken Guy! Then spent time roaming around and doing the Christmas Tree stroll.  We had tickets to the 5:30pm Drawn to Life performance so that was next on the agenda.  After the show caught a bus back to the Epcot resorts.  Disembarked at the Yacht Club to check out the new gingerbread lighthouse then walked to EPCOT.  Thought about visiting the Glimmering Greenhouses but the wait was an hour so instead just hung out in World Celebration Gardens.  About 20 minutes to show time went in search of a spot for Luminous and found an ok spot toward Mexico this evening.  After the show worked my way through the crowd to the International Gateway and back to the Beach Club to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • This morning we set off for the Magic Kingdom around 8am. The bus was a solid 15 minute wait and we arrived at the park about 40 minutes after we started waiting for the bus.  Adding to the sense of slowness was the bus driver went all the way around the bus stop to drop us off at the Yacht/Beach Club stop.. usually in the morning they would park at a closer stop with less drive time.. but not today.
  • First stop the Jingle Cruise.  It was posted at 30 minutes but looked to be shorter with very few Lightning Lane returns at this hour. My gamble paid off and the total wait was under 15 minutes.  We had a decent skipper and the Holiday jokes were plentiful.
  • Next up was the Haunted Mansion for me.  The wait was posted at 20 minutes but flipped to 25 as I walked under the sign.  Oddly enough this turned out to be about 14 minutes, the same as the Jingle Cruise.   The Hatbox Ghost has materialized inside the mansion recently.  I thought the figure was in an odd place and just seemed stuck in there vs integrated into the story.  I am guessing the story is he is by the hallway to make it seem closer to the recent movie where you see him in the hallway, but it just seemed distracting from the hallway effect.  Also being further from him compared to Anaheim had a different feel too. I would have liked to have seen him elsewhere or more integrated into the mansion.
  • Walked through New Fantasyland and really found the Belle’s Village area lacking after spending time in Tokyo earlier this year.  
  • Walked through Frontierland to see Tiana’s Bayou Adventure work in the daylight. The project is several months ahead of the one in Anaheim so it is a look into the future.  The mountain has been covered in plants and trees with moss were being installed/created in the foreground when I was there.  It is a very different look to the mountain. I don’t see how it fits into Frontierland at all.  Same goes for the mural painted on the building and the look of the queue.  It will be interesting to see how much is replicated in Anaheim or if it will take on a more Critter Country feel.
  • The Walt Disney World Railroad was slow in arriving and slow in boarding.  Always nice to steam through the backwoods. 
  • On Main Street USA I was able to catch a performance by the Dapper Dans that included a number of Christmas songs near the Cinema.  
  • It was before 2pm so you could not park hop yet but we were pretty much done in the Magic Kingdom so decided to go for a round trip out to Epcot to see World Celebration from above during the day.  This took much longer than expected. The Monorail boarded then sat there for several minutes.  One was just about to leave and instead of crowding in we let it go.  The next took a while to arrive then when it did it sat there for an extended period of time too.  And at Epcot it sat again before departing.  Seemed like they were trying to cut down on the number of miles the Monorail traveled in a day by staying in the station longer.
  • We arrived at Disney Springs for a late lunch and decided to stop by the Chicken Guy!   We queued up our order via their app while on the bus which spared us from the long line at the restaurant.  One interesting note the number of sauces available was substantially less than the last time I visited. There were only around a dozen vs several dozen they had before.
  • We spent some time doing the Christmas Tree Stroll and just taking in the sights.  Disney Springs was crowded already and it just kept building as you would expect for a Friday.   The Christmas Tree stroll was the same as last year for the most part. There was a tree for the Wish film but other than that status quo.
  • I had not seen Cirque du Soleil Drawn to Life yet and took advantage of a black Friday deal to pick up some tickets.  We opted to sit square on but high to save some money.    We really enjoyed the show.  It seems to bridge the gap from a typical Cirque du Soleil show and Disney, where as La Nouba was a standard Cirque du Soleil show.   Disney Animation and music was featured throughout the show and between that and the performers you were kept busy trying to soak it all in.  I think the inclusion of so much Disney would work better for younger kids than the previous show. My 7 year nephew would most likely really enjoy it but the 4 year I think would be too young still.
  • On my way to EPCOT this evening I stopped by the Yacht Club to check out the gingerbread light house that was added to the décor this year.   The lobby was peaceful when I walked through, but seemed a tad on the dark side. The lighthouse is large and impressive with its size but it does not have a lot of detail work. 
  • EPCOT was busy as you would expect for a Friday during the holidays.  World Showcase had a lot of guests moving about.   World Celebration Gardens had some guests moving around but still substantially less than opening night.  
  • Speaking of World Celebration Gardens there were a number of elements already having problems.  More lights around the central area were not functioning properly tonight..
  • Due to the wind this evening I opted to watch Luminous the Symphony of Us from between the Friendship dock and Mexico.  This was another great view of the show.   The show has held up from all the views I have tried so far.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 21,927
Miles 10.04
Walking Time 3:37
Total Time 12.3


WDW Pictures Part 1 - Magic Kingdom
A morning visit to the Magic Kingdom including the Jingle Cruise and an extended look at Tiana's Bayou Adventure construction..
WDW Pictures Part 2 - Ferry Boat & Monorail
Had some free time so took the Ferry Boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon and a round trip Monorail to EPCOT.
WDW Pictures Part 3 - Disney Springs
Walked around Disney Springs checking out the annual Christmas Tree Stroll and other sights before seeing Drawn to Life.
WDW Pictures Part 4 - Yacht Club Resort & EPCOT
Stopped by Disney's Yacht Club Resort to see the gingerbread lighthouse then spent the evening at EPCOT.

Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: