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Walt Disney World Day 6 Report

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Trip Log:

Was up around 7 and out to catch a bus to the Magic Kingdom before 8am arriving in the park around 8:30am.  Strolled up Main Street USA and into Liberty Square.  Walked onto Haunted Mansion then headed to Adventureland.  Walked through the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse then joined the rest of my group that had just arrived. Waited about 15  minutes for the Jingle Cruise.  Then we walked over to Tomorrowland and waited about 5 minutes for the PeopleMover. Strolled through the TRON area and boarded the railroad.  Took that around to Frontierland.  Wandered around, thought about Pirates but it looked longer than our patience so hung out for a bit then ate lunch at Columbia Harbour House.  After lunch crossed right behind the parade in Liberty Square and made it to Town Square to cross before the first float made it there. Watched a bit of the parade then took a Monorail to the Contemporary.  Looked around at the Christmas decorations and then decided to head to the Grand Floridian.  The Monorail was backed up so we walked back to the Magic Kingdom then over to the Grand Floridian.   Looked around then boarded a boat to the Polynesian to check out their decorations.  Took the Resort Monorail back to the Magic Kingdom to catch a bus back to the Beach Club.  A storm was rolling in so we thought it best to head back to the room for a bit vs getting rained on.   I walked around the lobby and Stormalong Bay a little during the rain and then just before 8pm it looked like the rain had cleared so I set off for EPCOT.  Decided to try the Glimmering Greenhouses and lucked out with an under 10 minute wait.   After my cruise spent some time in World Celebration Gardens then set off for World Showcase to find a spot for Luminous.  Due to the rain there were plenty of spots to choose from.  Based on the wind out of the south I opted to try Italy.  I managed to find a railing spot 15 minutes before showtime.   After Luminous strolled around World Showcase back to the International Gateway and then the Beach Club to wrap up my night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • Encountered another bus delay heading to the Magic Kingdom today.  Walked out with no sign of any buses.  Checked the board and it was a 20 minute wait for the Magic Kingdom. In the time I sat there waiting 4 Animal Kingdom buses rolled through. Total time from my room to the park was pushing 50 minutes.
  • Decided to stop by Liberty Square first and walked onto the Haunted Mansion.  My first impression of the Hatbox Ghost seeming out of place stuck on a second viewing.
  • I was waiting for the rest of my group to arrive so went for a stroll through the Swiss Family Robinson.  I haven’t walked through in a number of trips. There is netting up of a portion of the lower walk way.  It was nice to hear a Christmas song playing on the organ too.
  • The Jingle Cruise was posted at 40 minutes but sure looked shorter with not that many LL Return guests so we got in line. It took about 15 minutes only so it was a wise decision.
  • Stopped by the Columbia Harbour House for lunch. It is still annoying you cannot order a Shrimp or Fish only plate via the mobile app and have to go to the register.  Seems like it would be a trivial change to the app to allow the different permutations.  The register line was slow moving with only a couple open.  To top it off the cast member rung up our order incorrectly adding an extra side to it which we did not catch until we were waiting to pick up our order.   So had to backtrack and they had to get a lead to refund the money.  All of which could have been avoided if the app was functional.    Window seating was a little limited today due to the exterior renovation work. 
  • The original plan was to have a relaxing afternoon visiting the Monorail resorts to check out the Christmas decorations. We were expecting it to be a little crowded due to it being a Sunday.  It turned out to be substantially worse than anticipated.     We should have known things were not going to go  as smoothly as we hoped when as we exited the park the Express Monorail was closed and the Resort one was packed with guests. 
  • Express Line down so the resort line was starting to back up and get crowded.  We took  the Monorail to the Contemporary and as we pulled into the station you could see the queue using the full extended portion.  We thought twice about exiting and decided to give it a try and hope it would clear by the time we wanted to leave.
  • The Contemporary gingerbread display is in the same spot as the last several years at the end of the concourse toward Bay Lake Tower.   The base display is the same as it has been but features Disney100 decorations this year.    
  • The Monorail queue stayed constant and when we were ready to leave it was no better. We decided to walk back to the Magic Kingdom and catch a boat to the Grand Floridian.  The Express line was still down and the ripple effect made for a long queue at the boat dock too. It was a two maybe three boat wait when we arrived.  After waiting a few minutes decided to walk instead. 
  • The Grand Floridian Lobby was jammed with guests.  I took a quick look at the gingerbread house then decided it was not worth fighting the crowd to get more pictures.  Took a lap around the ground floor then went upstairs. The Monorail queue was wrapping several times in the main walkway before security.   We decided that was not good and decided to give the boat a try.  We walked out to the dock and there were maybe 50 guests in front of us.   A larger boat was due in next (we could see it at the Magic Kingdom) so we waited and made it onto that boat with no problem.
  • Next stop the Polynesian Resort.  The resort itself was much more peaceful to walk around.  Unfortunately, nothing different/new in terms of Christmas decorations so it was a quick walk around.  The new DVC tower is built out and now they are working on the interior and exterior finishes.  It is an imposing tower that so far does not fit well on the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon.
  • The Express Monorail was running again, and the Resort line looked to be slightly better than before.  There were more guests than usual waiting at the Polynesian station, but we managed to make it onto the first one that pulled in and took that back to the Magic Kingdom.
  • There was a storm forecasted for the afternoon and it looked to be arriving early so instead of taking the Monorail out to EPCOT as planned we opted to take the bus back to the Beach Club.  It was a full bus with a number of guests standing.  Seems others saw the approaching storm and decided to head for shelter too.
  • We arrived back at the Beach Club around 4pm and spent a couple hours catching up on email and doing some packing since we only had one full day left this trip.  After the heaviest cells blew through, I walked through the lobby area which was very crowded as others waited out the storm inside.   Around 8pm the radar showed the rain was gone and no more forecasted so I headed for EPCOT.  
  • The storm had cleared out the park quite a bit.  I was able to visit the Glimmering Greenhouses for a cruise with an under 10 minute wait.    Viewing them after dark really lets the lights shine and is definitely worth doing. 
  • Spent some time in World Celebration Gardens taking in the shows and just looking around. The crowd was the lightest of the week which was pleasant.
  • I made my way out to World Showcase Lagoon just after 9pm to survey the crowd and look for a spot for Luminous the Symphony of Us.  Due to the wind blowing toward the North I decided to head around toward Germany and Italy to find a spot.  Most of the waterfront by Italy was open, there was only one small area roped off today.  So I was able to find a spot along the railing with less than 15 minutes until showtime.  The view was great from there and the walk back to the International Gateway and to my room at the Beach Club was pleasant too since the park crowd was less and I was with the flow of traffic this evening.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 23,115
Miles 10.58
Walking Time 3:43
Total Time 14

WDW Pictures Part 1 - Magic Kingdom
A morning visit to the Magic Kingdom including the Jingle Cruise, PeopleMover, Railroad, a check of Tian's Bayou Adventure construction and some of Festival of Fantasy Parade.
WDW Pictures Part 2 - Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts
Visited the Monorail Resorts to check out this year's gingerbread displays and Christmas decorations.
WDW Pictures Part 3 - EPCOT
After a few hours of rain visited EPCOT. Stopped by the Glimmering Greenhouses, World Celebration Gardens and finished the night with Luminous the Symphony of Us from Italy.

Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: