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Walt Disney World Day 4 Report

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Trip Log:

Started off my morning sleeping in till 6:00am.  We headed down to catch a bus around 7:00am for Disney’s Animal Kingdom arriving in the park in time for the start of early entry at 7:30am.  Joined the crowd heading for Pandora but we opted to go on the River Journey vs the Flight of Passage line.  After our cruise walked through Pandora and out to Africa and arrived just before 8am as the Safari was opening.  After our Safari walked through Gorilla Falls then over to Asia.  Some went on Everest. I went to see Winged Encounters then joined them by Everest.  Walked back to Asia to see some animals and Kali was 5 min so the group went on that then we walked the Jungle Trek followed by Feathered Friends in Flight  At this point some of us went to Yak & Yeti for lunch others to EPCOT.   After lunch I caught a bus for EPCOT and the rest of the group with me went back to the Riviera.  Met up with the EPCOT contingent and we visited Moana and Nemo before they headed back to the room.  I stopped by Canada and then Test Track before catching a Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.   Strolled up Main Street USA and stopped to grab something to drink at Cosmic Rays.  Decided to go visit the Hall of Presidents then a cruise on the Liberty Belle followed by a train ride from Frontierland to Fantasyland.  Took a look around at the Smellephants then walked by TRON to reach Tomorrowland.  Went for a trip on the PeopleMover then headed for the park exit and a Monorail to the Contemporary.  Found my entire group there and we went on a Fireworks cruise.  After the cruise we were dropped off at the Grand Floridian then caught a Monorail to the Magic Kingdom and a bus back to Riviera to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • This morning was our Animal Kingdom morning.  We opted to arrive around the start of the early morning entry time.  No one in the group really wanted wait for Flight of Passage which is where a large majority of the guests were moving quickly toward. That backed up rather quickly.  We opted to visit the River Journey which was a walk on then took our time walking out to Africa arriving just as the Safari was opening for the day (it is not an early entry attraction).  We had no real wait and the line moved quickly once they opened.   
  • We had a less than ideal safari experience.  There was not a lot of activity on the savanna and many animals appeared not to be up/out yet.  So the conventional wisdom of an early safari is best did not pan out today.
  • Same experience at Gorilla Falls, not a lot of activity this morning.
  • I took my youngest nephew to the front of the park to see Winged Encounter. He did not remember it and really enjoyed seeing all the birds flying around and landing close to him. 
  • By lunch time we had rolled through the River Journey, Safari, Gorilla Falls, Jungle Trek, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Winged Encounter and Feathered Friends in Flight. 
  • Half of us decided to visit Yak and Yeti for a relaxing lunch.  The wait was minimal thanks to the Landry’s Card membership.   We were seated upstairs with a nice view into the park. The downside was the A/C was cranked up and right on our table so it was rather cold.   The meal was good as usual. I thought they overcooked my burger charring the edges too much.
  • The bus to EPCOT was slow going, seems my park to park bus luck is bad this trip.
  • Stopped by Journey of Water so the nephews could experience it. They had a ball playing in the water.  I tried to engage them in the water cycle info but that failed nearly instantly in favor of playing in the water.
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends had a posted 20 minute wait which seemed odd given the parks crowd. We decided to chance it and go inside. Turned out to be 5 minutes, we kept walking almost the entire way.   Once at the Sea Base not a lot going on during our time there.
  • Test Track closes in June for a major renovation so decided to make it a point to experience the current version.  I utilized the single rider queue this afternoon and it was a tad longer than I would have preferred but moved quickly. I have never been a fan of this version of Test Track. The TRON look just did not work for me. It will be interesting to see what direction they go with the third version of the attraction. 
  • Walked by the Groot topiary, it seemed in a rather out of the way location.  I thought it was well done and fun to see.
  • Next stop the Magic Kingdom for a couple hours. The park felt busy as you would expect for a Saturday afternoon.  I opted for the A/C and low crowd of the Hall of Presidents and then a cruise on the Liberty Belle and ride on the PeopleMover so it was a relaxing afternoon.
  • I find it interesting how many guests at Disney World tend not to want to wait for the train to stop at the station. They want to start moving before, even though the cast members are telling you to remain seated.  At Disneyland, I see this occasionally, but at WDW, it seems a regular occurrence at every stop nearly every time I go for a ride.
  • Walked through Storybook Circus and the smellephants were not in action this evening.  Not sure if they closed for the day or just not open today. 
  • Decided to take the Monorail to the Contemporary vs walking there. That was not an ideal solution as it was slow and the Monorail was very full. There was a conference going on at the Contemporary and guests were heading to that.
  • Today is my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary and we closed out the day with a fireworks cruise for them.   The cruises are as popular as ever, even with the increasing prices.   This evening there were 15 boats out.   The boat we were on was really new, only a few weeks.  We had a friendly cast member as our driver/guide and as usual they shared a number of stories and pointed out things around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. It is interesting to see what each CM picks for their stories and which are accurate and which can use some help with details.     I was a bit disappointed that we did not go to a good location to see the Electrical Water Pageant, I guess I should have told her that the kids would like to see that. Instead we saw only about half from the back side.  It was still rather light out too so it was less than ideal.    For Happily Ever After we were in a good spot and the speakers on our boat worked great for the audio.    The show is impressive and it is much more relaxing to watch from a boat than in the park.      The upgraded/new spotlights used in the show looked great from out on the water.     We decided to be dropped off at the Grand Floridian vs Contemporary to save some time. We could quickly take the monorail vs having the long walk or Monorail ride from the Contemporary.

Pedometer Information for the day:

Steps 25,368
Miles 11.1
Walking Time 4:12
Total Time 15:40


WDW Pictures Part 1: Disney's Animal Kingdom
Started the day at the Animal Kingdom where we visited Pandora, Africa and Asia before lunch.
WDW Pictures Part 2: EPCOT
After lunch spent some time at EPCOT taking in a few attractions.
WDW Pictures Part 3: Magic Kingdom
Traveled the Magic Kingdom for a couple hours this afternoon where I took a cruise around the Rivers of America and visited the Hall of Presidents.
WDW Pictures Part 4: Happily Ever After Fireworks Cruise
Closed out my evening on the Seven Seas Lagoon watching Happily Ever After from a pontoon boat.


Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: