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Walt Disney World Day 5 Report

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Trip Log:

Was up around 7am again and got ourselves ready and we were on our way to EPCOT just after 8am.   International Gateway was open so we headed in and decided to join the Ratatouille ropedrop line.  They walked the line over to France and filled the queue. About 8:25am or so the in started to move and the attraction was open.   It took us about 20 minutes.   Next up strolled over to the Land and walked right onto Soarin’ Over California. Once we landed walked through World Celebration Gardens and used single rider to experience Test Track with only a handful of people in front of me.  Walked onto Gran Fiesta Tour and then continued around stopping at each country to look for Olaf.  At the American Adventure stopped to watch the Voices of Liberty perform then some ate lunch outside.   Walked over to Morocco and caught a boat to Canada.  Along the way mobile order lunch from Connections.  Once ashore went to eat. After lunch walked through Canada and the UK looking for Olaf on our way back to the Beach Club.   Took a quick break (since we could not park hop till 2pm) and then caught a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Caught the 3:00pm Festival of the Lion King then grabbed a bite to eat at Pizzafari before going on one of the last safaris of the day.  Wandered around the Tree of Life Garden and Discovery Island until 6:00pm and watched the Tree of Life Awakenings.  After a trio of segments headed or the bus back to the Beach Club.  Decided to visit the Yacht Club lobby again then the Beach Club lobby before stopping briefly at the room.  As I was entering International Gateway spotted a friend so visited for a bit then set off on my walk around World Showcase. Stopped for the Candlelight Finale then continued on.  Ran into a different friend in Mexico as I headed for World Celebration Gardens.  Roamed around there and checked the line in the Land for the Glimmering Greenhouses (shortest it was posted at was 45 min).   Headed back out to World Showcase around 9pm and thought about where to look for a spot. Ended up finding a location near Norway to watch Luminous this evening.  After the show worked my way through the crowd to the International Gateway to return to the Beach Club and call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • This morning EPCOT opened for resort guests at 8:30am. We arrived a few minutes after 8 and were able to enter the park.  The queue of guests for Ratatouille did not look long this morning and at 8:15 they moved the queue toward the attraction so after scanning in we decided to join it.  They filled the queue and at 8:25am they opened the attraction and the queue moved smoothly with no LL returns yet.  It took us about 20 minutes from when they started moving to get on the attraction.  This morning entering at the International Gateway was a big time advantage to experience Ratatouille compared to the front of the park.
  • Next up on our list was Soarin’ Over California.  I had missed the film’s return earlier this year in Anaheim and was happy to have the chance to experience it at  EPCOT.  We had good luck and no wait at all.
  • My attraction luck held out for single rider on Test Track too. I was able to roll through four attractions at a leisurely pace by 10:15am.
  • As I walked around World Showcase this morning I kept my eye out for the hidden Olaf’s. Many seemed to be in the same spot or similar spot as years past.
  • The Voices of Liberty were a few minutes late but put on a great show as usual. This time of year they dress as Dicken’s Carolers and perform a holiday set.  As we walked around there was a definitely lack of live entertainment and other happens around World Showcase. The Storytellers seemed to have later times or we just had bad luck.
  • The 2:00pm park hopping rule annoyed us again, we are very happy this is the last visit we will have to deal with it.  We were done with Epcot after lunch and ready to move on but were trapped until 2pm.
  • We arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom just after 2pm and there was a noticeable amount of guests entering the park, due to the park hopping rule.   The park seemed to have a moderate crowd with posted wait times longer than we had hoped.
  • We visited Kilimanjaro Safari after 4pm, it closed at 4:45pm today.  The wait was posted at 25 minutes but turned out to be about half that.   Many of the animals had already called it a day and were gone or waiting to go in. The trucks were not going out by the Mandrills or Elephants and cutting the route short like they used to do for the night time safaris.
  • Pizzafari closes at 4:30pm, it seems odd to close a major quick service location before dinner.  But I guess typically the park is emptying out by then.  By 5:00pm much of the park was closed and many guests were leaving.
  • We were waiting around for the Tree of Life Awakenings and noticed the cast members just standing around at the ticket kiosk.  So stopped by to see about getting new annual passes with the new design.  It took only a couple minutes and was no problem at all. I find it interesting that you can do this with no problem but if you want a hotel room key it’s a hassle.  Also if you even want a paper version of your ticket in Anaheim it’s a headache and/or cost.
  • The Holiday version of the Tree of Life Awakenings is back and the same as year’s past.   The crowd for the start was moderate, a lot of space compared to previous years.  After one or two segments it had thinned and most guests were just walking by or pausing briefly it looked like.
  • Decided to visit the Yacht Club and Beach Club lobbies on my way to EPCOT this evening since some in the group had not seen the displays. 
  • EPCOT was much less crowded this evening than the prior evenings.  There were still a good number of guests but you could move around without much of a problem.  The wait time for the Glimmering Greenhouses in the land was posted at 45-60 minutes every time I checked though so no evening ride for me yet.
  • I thought it was funny.. as I walked around World Showcase this evening I ran into three sets of people I regularly see at Disneyland. 
  • While walking around China the main entrance was closed due to an event inside. There was a sign with an arrow pointing to the left for those wanting to see the film. There were no other signs though.  I saw several guests go into the museum area only to find it closed too do to the event then I could hear them talking and deciding to move on and not see the film.   Seems to me they needed a cast member and a more detailed sign or set of signs directing you to the exit.
  • I stopped by the museum which still features Shanghai Disneyland. I had hoped they would have a new display for the Zootpia themed land that opens this month, no such luck.
  • This evening I decided to watch Luminous from near Norway. I found a spot behind a row of seated guests so it started off as a great view. Then a cast member came by and made them stand up. This was a challenge as they had been drinking (you could smell the alcohol) and two of them were huge.. probably pushing six foot five and had the weight to match it so my great view disappeared.  I was able to shift at show time and find a decent view.   I noticed the Ratatouille show building exterior lighting backstage was on and bright.  It was visible next too/beyond Morocco and looked terrible.
  • The view from Norway of Luminous the Symphony of Us was great just like the other ones we have tried this week.  The show is comparable from most locations around World Showcase Lagoon which is a huge improvement over Harmonious.
  • After the show I opted to walk back to the Beach Club going through the front/north route past Mexico, the Christmas Tree and Canada.  This looked to be shorter but more crowded with the second half of the walk against the tide of guests exiting the park.  It was not that bad of a stroll and I kept pausing to look at the fountains from various angles as the exit music played.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 29,908
Miles 13.23
Walking Time 4:42
Total Time 14.3


WDW Pictures Part 1 - EPCOT
A morning visit to EPCOT to visit some attractions then spent some time exploring World Showcase and looking for Olaf.
WDW Pictures Part 2 - Disney's Animal Kingdom
A late afternoon visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom. Festival of the Lion King, Safari and Tree of Life Awakenings highlight the visit.
WDW Pictures Part 3 - Beach Club Lobby & EPCOT
Stopped at Disney's Beach Club Resort to see the gingerbread carousel which features Ducktales this year on my way to EPCOT. At EPCOT watched the Candlelight and Luminous the Symphony of Us.

Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: