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Walt Disney World Day 3 Report

Friday, May 3, 2024

Trip Log:

Had a 5am alarm set this morning to be ready to go by 6am.  We picked up a voucher and took a cab to the Contemporary Resort for our 7am fishing excursion.  After fishing walked over to the Magic Kingdom.    Some of the group went on TRON, others took a nap in the shade. Spent some time in Storybook Circus checking out the new Smellelephants on Parade experience. Went for a spin on Dumbo then headed for the bus stops and caught a bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Some grabbed lunch at the Backlot Express and other PizzaRizzo.   After lunch visited the Muppets then walked onto Star Tours.  Toy Story Mania was showing under 30 minutes so crossed the park only to find it posted at 50 min then.  Decided to wait anyways and it turned out to be less.    After Toy Story Mania made our way to the park exit.  Most took the Skyliner back to the Riviera. I caught a bus to the Animal Kingdom.   Walked onto the Safari then through Gorilla Falls.   Hung out in Harambe then made my way back to the bus stops and caught one to the Yacht Club.  Walked to EPCOT international gateway and met up with some of my group in Morocco (the rest had gone to Disney Springs).   We joined the wait list for the AP Lounge then spent some time in World Showcase until we were texted.  Visited the lounge for a while then walked over to the American Gardens Stage to see the Garden Rocks concert then reversed course and headed for France to grab a snack.  After eating the rest of the group headed for the hotel and spent some time in Canada and the United Kingdom before catching the Skyliner back to the Riviera.   Watched Luminous and Happily Ever After from my balcony then called it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • This morning we were up before the sunrise to set off for Fishing on Bay Lake.  Due to no Disney transportation running yet the Riviera Front Desk provided us with a cab voucher to the Contemporary.    It still makes no sense to me why the early morning fishing do not include this like Golf does. 
  • We had a relaxing time out on Bay Lake this morning. The weather was mild and the group caught a good number of fish.  The nephews had a great time. 
  • After fishing we walked over to the Magic Kingdom just in time for the virtual queue spot the group had for TRON.   It still seems poor to me that they have a virtual queue but call so many groups at once that you still wait between 30-60 minutes depending on your timing.  I would think the goal of a virtual queue would be more in the 10-20 min wait time range.
  • The Smellephant experience was open today when we walked through the area so we picked up maps and gave it a try.  The kids enjoyed it but found it hard to actually smell most of them.  Seems like they could use some sort of activation mechanism vs randomly spraying the scent.   The maps themselves were rather large and awkward to carry around after (I guess they are about the same size as the Pirates ones), but I would have preferred something that folds up smaller and can go in a bag easier to go around the park.     I found the experience to be a bit lacking.  It was odd to have the CMs just standing around the ticket booth and they were not overly engaged.  Not being able to smell most of them was a disappointment.  
  • We decided to go over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to grab lunch and visit a couple attractions that were on the groups list to see.  The park to park bus was slow as always (they tend to seem less efficient than the resort ones to me.. maybe its just bad luck).
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios felt busy as we walked through the parks.  Wait times were on the average side from what I had been seeing in the app.  
  • Dining was not busy though.  We grabbed food from the Backlot Express and Rizzos and ate in a nearly empty upstairs of Rizzos.   The menu at Rizzos seems even more limited than before.  I did not even see chips with the sandwiches or other options.  It still really annoys me that I have to pay for a salad that I do not want or like.   I started off in the register line thinking I would attempt to get them to ring it up without then after several minutes of barely moving a I caved and mobile ordered with an instant pick up since the group was hungry and the odds of getting the salad substituted for something we liked or taken off with a few dollars savings seemed low.
  • After lunch we stopped by the Muppets.  My nephew insisted on sitting in the front row. This is a slightly different experience than the rows we usually try toward the back or side.  Seeing the penguins and other figures up close is a nice plus.  
  • Toy Story Mania was ono their must see list.  The wait time had been bouncing around on the app so we decided to get in line and wait it out. It was slow going. It was posted at 50 minutes but took us only 45 minutes.  The merge with the LL returns was the culprit for the slow progress as expected. 
  • Decided to head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a bit while the group went to rest in the room.   The bus was slow to arrive, the people in front of me had been waiting for a while before I arrived and it was nearly 20 minutes, they said they had waited about 30.  
  • Interesting a Shades of Green bus pulled up right across from the Animal Kingdom stop and it created some confusion among guests since it said Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on it.  I explained to several groups that was a resort bus and you needed an ID.  They still left the line since they did not believe me only to rejoin at the end.
  • When our bus finally showed up another showed up directly behind it.  In typical less-than-efficient Disney Transportation, our bus had an ECV to unload and another to load. The other bus pulled up, let its guests off at the stop behind, and looked at our queue and bus. Waited a few minutes and then set off.  Why they did not load anyone made no sense to me.  In the end, our bus was packed (we may have left one group) when they sent an empty bus back to DAK. 
  • Walked out to Kilimanjaro Safari and walked right on this afternoon.  Seems most of the animals were done for the day and there was not much going on until the White Rhinos and Lions at the end.  Even the elephant area was deserted.
  • Spent some time in Gorilla Falls and saw one of the bachelor males up in a tall tree throwing some branches down and sitting around. It was interesting see such a large gorilla so high up.  I had not seen that before there.  Over on the family side they were active too moving around. 
  • I drew a new bus from the park to the Yacht Club this afternoon.  It looked like I was going to have the bus to myself as the driver closed the door and put it in gear. Then he spotted a group running and waited.  This repeated itself several times and one group had an ECV.  So in the end a handful of groups and a slow departure happened and I lost my private bus.
  • Once in  EPCOT met up with some of the group who were going to the Annual Passholder Lounge.  It was more crowded today and took longer to get called.
  • Spent some time at the Garden Rocks, Canada and United Kingdom entertainment this evening.  None were that engaging this evening and all wrapped up relatively early.
  • Decided to call it an early night and head back to the room to experience the fireworks from there.  From our room you could see both Luminous the Symphony of Us at EPCOT and in the distance Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom.  So it was a nice double feature.  I did not see any audio option on the TV (but I only had a few minutes so it was a very quick look), so watched without audio.   My timing for pictures was terrible and I could not get any shots with large shells at both shows at the same time.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 24,458
Miles 11.19
Walking Time 3:53
Total Time 15:11


WDW Pictures Part 1 - Fishing on Bay Lake
Started my day with an early morning fishing excursion on Bay Lake .
WDW Pictures Part 2 - Magic Kingdom
Stopped by the Magic Kingdom so some could experience TRON then we took a look at the Smellephant experience.
WDW Pictures Part 3 - Disney's Hollywood Studios
Lunch at the Studios and visited a trio of attractions while there.
WDW Pictures Part 4 - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Visited Kilimanjaro Safari and Gorilla Falls this afternoon.
WDW Pictures Part 5 - EPCOT
Closed out day with some time at EPCOT and then back to the Riviera to watch two fireworks shows from the balcony.

Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: