Disney is toying with FASTPASS distribution at Disney’s Animal Kingdom again. This time, they are offering FASTPASSes for Festival of the Lion King from the machines that at one time distributed FASTPASSes for It’s Tough to be a Bug. Currently, the “test” is only expected to last through October 15th. Beginning October 16th, FASTPASS will no longer be offered for Festival of the Lion King.
Here we are looking at the FASTPASS machines with the entrance to It’s Tough to be a Bug located right next door.
You can collect a FASTPASS for Festival of the Lion King and then collect a FASTPASS for any other attraction immediately after. The Lion King FASTPASS was pulled at 2:34pm for the 3:30pm show. The return time is 3:15pm to 3:25pm. Only FASTPASSes for the next scheduled show are available. If I wanted a FASTPASS for the 4:30pm show, I would have to come back after 3:26pm. If I wanted FASTPASSes for the 5:30pm show, I would have to come back after 4:26pm. Luckily, It’s Tough to be a Bug is somewhat centrally located in Discovery Island. It’s much more convenient than having to walk all the way through Camp Minnie-Mickey to the Festival of the Lion King stage.
Here we are at the makeshift FASTPASS return line for Festival of the Lion King around 3:15pm. This is in the same area as the Character Greeting Trails, which are located to the right. Like with other shows that currently or could theoretically offer FASTPASS (Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show), guests with FASTPASSes will be allowed to take their seats before anyone in the standby line is admitted. If you’re planning to visit Animal Kingdom between now and the 15th, you might as well get FASTPASSes for the show you’re planning to attend.
Another day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. You may recall yesterday’s swirling crowds. Today is supposed to be better. I don’t think it could be much worse.
Here we are arriving at the turnstiles around 1pm:
It’s late enough in the afternoon that most of the people that are going to be in Epcot are already there.
A two minute wait.
Why is it so small?
That’s what she said. Sorry, I’ve been waiting all weekend to say that. I’m still laughing about this thing. Look at how close they are!!
A little context.
Due to some unforeseen scheduling conflicts (PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSE don’t tell the boss), we can’t take the exact same look at crowds at the exact same times as yesterday. It’s 1:20pm here as we’re headed up through Mexico. Yesterday’s pictures were taken about 45 minutes earlier.
And just to jog your memory, yesterday:
It’s a slightly different angle, but it isn’t like people were hiding. It’s a little early for people to be passed out in the bushes too, but I admit the “crowd calendar” doesn’t take passed out people in the bushes into account. The algorithm isn’t perfect!!
On our way to Norway.
Here’s what our look from Norway looked like today:
We are closing in on the end of the first weekend of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Somehow I decided it would be a good idea to schedule an event every day from last Thursday through Saturday of next week, so we’ll be seeing a lot of Epcot in the near future. I’ve already been chewed out over the lack of variety by the boss, so please be gentle with me if you get tired of looking at Spaceship Earth with a line in the morning and then no line in the afternoon. I really don’t have much else to say.
Spaceship Earth with a line in the morning. Actually, it’s just past 12pm. We have the Mexico Tequila Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel at 1pm.
This is the new wait times board in front of the Fountain in Future World. When I saw it for the first time on Friday, I started laughing because it is so small. You can see how close people are getting to it in order to read the wait times. For some reason, Disney decided it would be a good idea to post tweets about the Food and Wine Festival on the right side of the board. I hate Twitter.
I’m still laughing. Maybe someone saw the dimensions and assumed it was inches rather than feet. Remember, this took them like two weeks to install. Still laughing.
It “feels” busier than it has been in recent memory.
Wait times on the bigger board:
Not bad, but we already have FASTPASSes at Test Track with return times that are two hours in the future and Soarin’ is four hours in the future. It’s 12:20pm. Test Track hit 60 minutes in the afternoon and Soarin’ was up to 70.
Heading up to World Showcase, which is where we should find more people. According to our “crowd calendar,”
Epcot will be busy again for the first weekend of the International Food and Wine Festival. Many locals know how busy Saturdays are and they wait until Sunday to visit. We’ll also have a lot of “hardcore” Disney fans visiting Magic Kingdom yesterday for the 40th Anniversary and they’ll hold off on Epcot until today. Because the Food and Wine Festival runs every day during the week, there’s really no benefit to visiting over the weekend if you have flexibility in your choices, unless you’re planning to attend a special event or workshop that is only offered on the weekend. For most locals, visiting on the weekend is much more convenient than trying to swing a weekday visit. Thus, weekends are busier. You can find success if you arrive prior to 9am and head straight for Soarin’, Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, and Mission Space, but you would be much better off waiting until tomorrow to visit when you won’t need to worry as much about Food and Wine crowds. The World Showcase will be busier than usual in the afternoon and evening.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom. First of all, a big shout out to friend-of-the-site Walt Disney, for waiting until October to open his theme park. Weather-wise, September was brutal, but today was astonishingly comfortable. It was around 72 degrees with low humidity at 9:45am, compared to 84 degrees with 70% humidity (a “RealFeel of 107 degrees) the week before.
If you subscribe to the “crowd calendar,” you would see that Magic Kingdom is the “least recommended Park” and the overall crowd level has been bumped up to above average to account for much heavier expected crowds at Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Let’s see what we’re dealing with.
Here we are arriving at 8:40am. I told you it was going to be crowded. This is worse than most summer mornings. A couple more looks:
Here we are in line in the last picture. The regular pre-show viewing area inside the turnstiles is completely full and no one else is being admitted. We’ll have to wait until after the pre-show to get through. Looking behind us:
Looking right into the sun, but you can tell how many people have arrived just between 8:40am and 8:50am.
Other than a banner and the Mayor of Main Street mentioning the fact that it was the 40th anniversary a couple of times during his normal spiel, the preshow was exactly the same as any other morning.
Mickey and friends arrive on the steam train along with the family of the day. I suppose if you could choose which day to be family of the day, this would have to be one of your top choices. Though the 43rd anniversary has a bit of a ring to it.
Here we are headed into Magic Kingdom behind a ton of people.
I spent most of my day at Epcot today, but we’ll take a quick detour over to Magic Kingdom in between my two seminar events, just to see how things are looking before tomorrow’s 40th Anniversary.
Here we are arriving just before 1pm. As we all know, this is not a good time to arrive:
Doesn’t look very busy just outside and just inside the turnstiles. I hope we can manage.