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Walt Disney World Day 8 Report

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Trip Log:

Spent the morning packing up and then dropped our bags with Bell Services before setting off for EPCOT around 9:30am.  Soarin’ had a 15 min wait posted so I thought I would give it a try.  Walked all the way to the final hallway without stopping. Was directed to the C theater.   After about 15 minutes or so we did not move and they started to walk people back up the ramp.   We followed behind and were moved to another theater.  So turned out to be a nearly 40 minute.  Next up strolled next door to the Seas. Walked right up and on, with only a slight pause at the end.   Spent some time exploring the area then went outside and roamed around World Celebration Gardens.  It was about 11:15am so decided to grab an early lunch since I was near Connections.  After eating we set off for World Showcase strolling around the east side (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, & Italy.  Saw a little entertainment as we moved along.  The plan was to catch the Voices of Liberty. We arrived just as their set was supposed to begin, they did not show. We waited about 10 minutes then left.  I had a few more Olaf’s to find so walked through Japan, Morocco and France to finish my quest.  While in France I noticed Ratatouille had a 35 minute wait posted and it looked shorter so I decided to give it a try.  It turned out to be about 20 minutes.   My plan was to head back to the hotel around 1pm,  so I spent my last few minutes of park time looking out at World Showcase Lagoon and around the International Gateway.  Returned to the Beach Club around 1:15pm and picked up our bags and found a spot to sit inside for a bit then headed out to catch our 2:05pm bus.  It was about 10 minutes late.  We arrived at MCO just after 3pm, checked our bags and stopped by the food court for a bite to eat.  There was a minimal wait at TSA then we found a place to sit out by the gate with about an hour to spare before boarding. We boarded just after 5:00pm and actually pushed back from the gate a few minutes early.. Unfortunately there was a problem so we returned to the gate and were delayed about 20 minutes.  Finally took off around 6:30pm and arrived into Los Angeles 5 hours later, around 8:30pm local time.  Picked up our bags, took the shuttle to the parking lot and were on the road within 45 minutes of landing and home about an hour later with no traffic.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • The morning we packed up and dropped our luggage and carryons with Bell Services by 9:30am.  We ended up with the same less than stellar cast member at bell services, and overhead the group next to us complaining about him too and happy they did not get him.  So guess its just how he is and not just my impression.  That is rather poor for a deluxe hotel.  We really miss the old airport luggage service where you could check into your flight and check your suitcases without having to deal with them again until you got back home.
  • Decided to spend our final park hours this trip at EPCOT to maximize our time in the park and minimize our travel delays.   Hard to beat a couple minute walk back to the hotel to catch the bus.
  • We had no real agenda as we had good weather and rolled through everything on our list on previous visits.  Soarin’ was posted at 15 minutes so I headed that way.   Walked right through the queue and was directed straight to concourse C.   Stood there for several minutes no moving then saw guests coming back up the ramp. They emptied the theater and then those in the queue and we were re-routed to another theater.   My no wait turned into about 40 minutes from entering the queue until exiting the building.
  • Next up walked onto the Seas with Nemo and Friends.  The overlay does not seem to be aging well and felt old to me.
  • Spent some time in World Celebration Gardens this morning.  The background audio in the central areas was not working so it was silent which made for an odd feeling.
  • It was around 11:15am when I decided to grab an early lunch at Connections vs walking around then circling back.    The burger was decent but a bit undercooked compared to other visits and for my taste.
  • As we walked around the World Showcase spotted the storytellers out in Norway and a performing in Italy.   We arrived at the American Adventure just as the Voices of Liberty were scheduled to start. We were surprised not to see them performing when we entered.  A cast member said he was unsure what was going on or if they were going to perform.  We waited about 10 minutes then set off to complete our World Showcase circuit.
  • I had a few Olafs left to find on the way out to complete my quest to find them all.
  • While in France noticed Ratatouille posted at 35 minutes but looking shorter.  So I hopped in line.  Turned out to be about 20 minutes only. The queue stopped several times for several minutes. Guessing it was the LL mix but was hard to tell with the way the queue is set up.
  • I still had some time to spare so I walked out to the point in World Showcase Lagoon between  France and the International Gateway and spent some time there.   It was peaceful with only a few other guests in the area.  All week there was an unused fireworks barge stored onstage near one of the islands.   Why isn’t this backstage?   Also the center barge for Luminous was left out every day. The six outer barges were brought out each afternoon but the central one stayed out all day.
  • Back to the Beach Club to get our bags and start the trip home. Of course my timing was bad and I drew our “favorite” bellhop. Again I heard another group say how they were happy not to get him.. seems he had quite a reputation.
  • Our pick up time was 2:05pm and we were out at the bus stop about quarter till. Received a text from Mears that said our bus was on its way.  Interesting though it was heading away from us to Disney Springs.  It stopped at a hotel there then circled back to get us and several other families that were waiting.  It showed up about 10 minutes late.
  • It is always interesting watching people.  We were there 20 minutes early, another family came a few minutes later and stood behind us then a third off to the side.  As the bus stopped another one came over and walked right in front of all of us.  Then they tried to scan their boarding pass and it did not work. They were scheduled for the 2:30 bus. The driver worked with them and put them on our bus but it slowed things down.  We had a quick stop at the Boardwalk then off to the airport.  Arriving at 3pm. 
  • It was still hard to see the $2.799 gas price as we drove by knowing what was waiting for us back in Los Angeles, almost double that. Even the gas station at MCO was under $3 at $2.959.
  • The Delta checkin was not crowded nor was the food court. Chick-fil-A was slow and backed up again though.  Even TSA pre-check had no delays.  The regular TSA line looked to be about 10 minutes only.
  • The wait was uneventful and same for the boarding process.  The plane actually closed the door and pushed back a couple minutes early.   Then there was a pause. The captain came on and said their was a bagged issue and we would be returning to the gate.  We pulled forward back into the spot and then heard the doors open below and a lot of rustling around as they moved the baggage around.  We were on our way about 20 minutes later.   We still arrived into Los Angeles a few minutes early due to favorable winds and the time buffer Delta had in the schedule.
  • Two of our suitcases were among the first couple then the second two were several minutes later.  We walked out and a bus pulled up right away to take us to our car.  We were on the freeway about an hour after landing which is really fast for LAX. No traffic this evening and I was unloading the car at home about 2 hours after landing which is near record time for us.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 11,395
Miles 5.22
Walking Time 1:51
Total Time 4

WDW Pictures Part 1 - EPCOT
Spent a few hours taking a lap around EPCOT before heading to the airport.
WDW Pictures Part 2 - Journey Home
Traveled from Walt Disney World back to Los Angeles

Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: