I just returned from a quick day and a half trip to Walt Disney World. Seeing how I just finished a long trip report about the vacation kingdom I thought another one may be a bit of overkill. Instead I’m just going to add in a few thoughts from our day (and two hours) in the parks. I’ll have some reviews up on the blog over the next few weeks on what we ate and where we stayed but here are some random thoughts.
I might as well start off with the time Melissa and I went. First of all, we were within driving distance and that was the motivating factor in going down to Orlando for two nights. The other factor was that we knew the Christmas decorations would still be up. For those that can’t make it to Disney World before Christmas, visiting in the week or two after New Years is a great time. This is a bit of a risky game, as one day guests will wake up and all the decorations will be gone without notice. Still, it’s safe to say some decorations will still be up in the week after New Years Day. Are the decorations worth seeing? Absolutely, especially if you are a frequent visitor. While seeing Magic Kingdom’s Castle or any of the park icons is usually enough for excitement, there is something special about seeing them in their holiday best. Those decorations along with the Christmas trees and resort decorations really add something fun and different to the experience. New Years Day and the few days after are certainly busy, but if you can time it right this would be the perfect time for those who love Christmas but hate crowds. I’m certainly glad we were able to see the decorations all up.
The other bit of holiday entertainment that Melissa and I ran into was the Jingle Cruise. This is the layover of the Jungle Cruise with Christmas jokes intertwined with the classic puns. The queue was certainly fun to look at, as there were quite a few props and signs displayed throughout the line. The jokes while sailing the world’s rivers were pretty good although our skipper deserves a portion of that credit as he was one of the better sailors I’ve encountered. Overall, I thought the Jingle Cruise was a nice overlay and some good holiday entertainment. Like the decorations, Jingle Cruise is a nice little treat for frequent visitors all while still keeping in the spirit of the usual attraction.
We made our way over to Animal Kingdom in the afternoon and walked around there. The Tree of Life Gardens fully (re)opened about a month ago and they are beautiful. There was a kangaroo hopping around in front of the Tree of Life. The actual path got us closer to the tree than I’ve ever been. I’m a believer in Animal Kingdom being a wonderful place to just stroll around throughout the day. That starts with all of the paths leading up to the Tree of Life. Take the time to explore these paths, they are some of the most beautiful places in any theme park in the world.
Animal Kingdom didn’t quite have the 2016 many were expecting as Rivers of Light was put off for the entire year and will open sometime in the next few months (hopefully.) That the show didn’t open is certainly disappointing. With that being said, Animal Kingdom definitely looks ready for a big 2017. The park looks as beautiful as I’ve ever seen it and will be ready for the increase in crowds that will come with a nighttime show and then Pandora, which is rumored to open on Memorial Day.
Lastly, Melissa and I have a mission while we have our annual passes to ride every single attraction at Walt Disney World (we’ve completed most of them even before getting our passes.) This quick trip checked another two off of our list with Aladdin’s Magic Carpets and the Astro Orbiter. Both of these are spinners and not much to write home about, honestly. The Magic Carpets are especially lame. They don’t go very high, and the only intrigue is whether the camel on the side will spit on you. If you go high enough then the camel won’t spit on you. This attraction is fun for kids I’m sure, otherwise I don’t think I’ll ever go on it again.
The Astro Orbiter is slightly more fun and also more terrifying. This spinner goes quite high and pretty fast. The Astro Orbiter soars above Tomorrowland and moves way faster than Dumbo or the Magic Carpets. This does make it more exciting and fun but in the end it’s still a spinner. I think the Astro Orbiter might be slightly better than Dumbo, although it doesn’t have the nostalgia.
As usual, we had a great time at Disney World. Going for a quick few days was kind of like making a greatest hits album. We chose our favorite things to do, did them and avoided the parts of Disney World we don’t love. Sure, we wish we had more time there and we didn’t get the full picture but this quick trip was a nice little change. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom seem to be in good shape, Rivers of Light and no nighttime parade notwithstanding. We had some good food and did some f our favorite things, it was a great way to start the new year!
Do you have any questions or thoughts? Leave them below in the comments. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney.
Categories: Trip Reports