My phone’s weather app has a few locations saved that I don’t live in. Kyoto, Anaheim, our nearest beach, and, of course, Orlando. Well, to be more specific, I actually have Bay Lake because I might as well be accurate. Those places are saved partially because I’m curious what there weather is doing but more just like to look at them and think of my favorite places to visit. At least that’s what they usually are there for. Instead, this summer the Bay Lake page has taken a cruel turn and is just mocking me. I’ll look at it, I don’t know, once a week. We’re in the dead of summer, just a few days from August. I check out the high temperatures on the day and it’s almost 10 degrees cooler every day than on this June trip that I’m writing about. No, 90 degrees with over 90% humidity is no picnic but it sure beats 100. I’m not sure what the moral of this paragraph is outside of me wanting to boast (well, it’s really complaining) about surviving Disney World’s hottest week of the year. Here’s a tip: If you don’t like absurd temperatures then don’t plan a trip to Disney World in the summer. Do as I say, not as I do.
With our sweat-drenched walk through Epcot behind us, we relaxed at the hotel for a while before meeting up with the whole group for dinner at Flying Fish. The meal was excellent and we’ll have a review soon. During our meal we were able to watch a downpour of Biblical proportions. I don’t really mind being in the middle of these storms, especially after a hot day, but there it is entertaining to watch others sprinting for cover while you’re having the nicest meal of the trip. “It’s like rain on your wedding day.” Much like that famous line, this wasn’t ironic either. But, I do hope you’ll take my good advice and do some of your best Disney People Watching™ (DPW) during a thunderstorm.
By the time we finished our meal the rain had passed. We hung around the Boardwalk for a while, taking a few family photos and watching the boats pass. It was a pretty night and the humidity had gone down so it was far more pleasant than earlier in the day.
Eventually, some of our group went to Epcot for the evening while the others went back to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds after a day in SeaWorld. It was a Tuesday night which means Extra Magic Hours for Epcot. We didn’t get into the park until around 8 so we walked through a few shops in the UK Pavilion and then went to use our FastPass for Illuminations. That FastPass is one of the easier ones to grab after completing your reserved three. The viewing area is large and one of the better spots so it beats the hassle of trying to find a spot elsewhere.
The problem on this night is that the weather was toying with everyone and seemed to be on the verge of another thunderstorm. That storm didn’t come but the show was delayed for 45 minutes. We had a good time waiting for it to start and enjoyed Illuminations when it did happen. Unfortunately, it cut into Extra Magic Hours but that’s not a big deal.
My nephew loves Frozen and we thought the Extra Magic Hours would be a good time to sneak an extra ride on Frozen Ever After. Being past his bedtime, Melissa made sure he stayed awake by dancing around and singing with him throughout the line and 30-minute wait. It’s a simple memory but a fond one.
After our ride through Arendelle’s waterway (I think that’s what we’re riding through but it’s hard to tell), Melissa and I enjoyed a couple of pastries from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. The Norwegian bakery was a common stop for us this trip, having a few of our favorite treats throughout all of Disney World. We enjoyed our snacks and then slowly made our way through the park, as it had closed. Wanting to make sure our dreams were haunted, we stopped for a quick photo of the Boardwalk Pool’s clown slide. I would have zoomed in but you don’t want to stare directly into the clown’s eyes. No good could come of that.
The next morning saw us back in Epcot with a ride on Spaceship Earth to start things off. It seems like something is malfunctioning or not working every time I’m on Spaceship Earth at this point. Do I just have bad luck or is the attraction in that bad of shape? Either way, I’m ready for a refresh and new script.
Passing our course in World History with flying colors (what a strange phrase), we moved on to The Seas With Nemo and Friends. We’ve been kicking around the idea of doing a 10 Worst Disney Rides on an upcoming Wandering in Disney Podcast episode. Not to spoil anything but this Nemo ride would definitely find a spot on my list. It’s an easy one for me to despise, for one reason or another. On a brighter note, the dolphin was at the end of a feeding session when we made our way into the aquarium so that was fun to watch.
A few days after we returned from our trip it was announced that the Fountain of Nations would be closing. I was happy that I had taken the time to watch it on this day. Although if I’d known it was closing I might have tried a little harder on the photography aspect. I’ll miss the fountain but don’t have quite the same attachment to it as others. As long as there’s an appealing water feature in the new Epcot spine then I won’t mind the change.
Ahead of our Frozen Ever After FastPass, Melissa and I went and had an early lunch at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. I had an Apple and Ham Sandwich that was terrific and one that I’d happily order again. Eventually, the rest of our group met up and we all rode Frozen Ever After.
When it opened I thought Frozen Ever After was a really good dark ride that was just misplaced. I still think it’s misplaced but I’m not sure that it’s really good. There are parts of the attraction that are really good but the projection faces, dark spots in the ride and somewhat choppy plot (or lack there of) have me lukewarm on the ride. Despite everyone being fairly exhausted of Frozen (including me), the film is already a Disney classic and deserves a better ride than this.
The flip side of Frozen Ever After is Gran Fiesta Tour. I think I like this ride more and more each time I go on it. There’s a case to be made that it’s Disney World’s most underrated attraction. With it’s cool atmosphere, low wait times, catchy soundtrack, and added animatronics, it’s a fun ride that doesn’t try to be too much. Every Disney World park needs more of those rides.
After our boat rides, we were entering the middle of the day AKA “Get to the hotel or find shade immediately!” time. Melissa and I walked around the back of World Showcase making a few stops along the way.
Our most important stop was for Shaved Ice in Japan. This has become a go-to snack for me in Epcot when it’s hot. The one problem is that it melts all over your hands as you eat it. That leaves me licking off my fingers like a 7-year-old who ate too much Cotton Candy. For some that would be embarrassing. For me, it’s just another day. Why do you read this blog again?
We got back to our hotel, took a quick swim and then got ready for our early dinner reservation at Ohana. Here’s a distant view of the Skyliner from the Boardwalk bus station.
For the most part, I’m a fan of the aesthetic that the Skyliner brings to the… err… sky. I’m a sucker for more kinetic energy which the gondolas bring. I think adding that energy throughout part of the resort was a good choice despite a few intrusive views. On that note, I think the Skyliner does a good job of not being an eyesore but instead a point of interest. I’m looking forward to the gondolas being open.
Getting from a hotel to hotel at Disney World using complimentary transportation is pretty frustrating. Honestly, I should bite the bullet sometimes and just use a ride service but I’m fairly stubborn when it comes to money. All this to say, we were a little late getting to Ohana that evening. Fortunately, this was waiting for us on the other side.
I always enjoy Ohana but I’m not sure we were hungry enough this time around. Despite our lack of eating until we puke, we had a good time. Maybe that’s why we had a good time?
After a short walk around the Polynesian Village Resort we took the monorail over to Magic Kingdom for the night. The park was open until 1 AM that night thanks to Extra Magic Hours.
We started off in Tomorrowland, enjoying jokes at the Laugh Floor before moving on to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. We finished off the Tomorroland trifecta with a ride through on Carousel of Progress. Currently, Tomorrowland is a mishmash of styles and colors. Overall, it’s a jumbled aesthetic that’s getting better. When just looking at Carousel of Progress by itself, I really like the colors of the facade. The inside needs some refreshing but the outside looks really nice. Speaking of looking really nice…
It was a beautiful sunset and shooting from Tomorrowland towards the castle has become one of my favorite spots in Magic Kingdom. Around this time, Melissa and I went to take a few more photos and save spots for Happily Ever After. Eventually most of our group joined us in the crowd to watch the show.
I’ve been effusive in my praise of Happily Ever After and that won’t stop here. On this particular night, I was tired and a little stressed from planning everything for the last week. The show hit all of the right notes for me that night, making for a memorable experience with most of the family around.
Once the show was over we waited for the chaos to clear before heading off to Pirates of the Caribbean. It was time to fit in as many rides in as we could.
We started with Pirates before getting some ice cream because food is also important. I had the Peter Pan Float at Storybook Treats. This is Key Lime Soft-Serve in Sprite. While I still prefer the Dole Float, this was excellent and is one of my favorite treats I’ve had at Magic Kingdom.
After our dessert (2nd dessert but who’s counting?) we rode Little Mermaid, The Barnstormer and the Tea Cups. Eventually we made our way over to Tomorrowland where a few of our dwindling group went and rode Space Mountain. I opted to go for the PeopleMover with my mom. The Space Mountain line ended up being a little longer than expected so we left the others and walked over to Big Thunder Mountain. I hadn’t rode the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness at night in a long time and forgot how much fun it was. Melissa came over there shortly after and we rode it again.
All in all, the lines for these Magic Hours were a little longer than we’d seen before. Still, getting in six rides in two hours is pretty good and well worth it if you’re a night owl like me. We were both fairly tired at this point int he night so I didn’t take many photos and we headed back to the hotel for a good night of sleep. It was a very fun and full day.
We’ll pick up our fourth installment of the trip report the next day in Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post or Disney World? Let us know in the comments below! Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our Disney World Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Trip Reports