Thursday is almost always a recommended day at Epcot. For most of the year, it’s the day before or day after evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot and Magic Kingdom usually has morning Extra Magic Hour/Main Street Electrical Parade/Wishes/longer hours. In the past, Thursday was also a more popular day at Hollywood Studios because it was one of only two or three nights during the week where it offered Fantasmic. Now that Fantasmic is scheduled much more often, the Studios isn’t quite the attractive force that it used to be. We also had shorter hours at Magic Kingdom and no evening entertainment during regular Park hours because of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Nonetheless, we’re coming off of a morning Extra Magic Hour on Tuesday, evening Extra Magic Hours on Wednesday, and it’s not the weekend, which is especially important during the Food and Wine Festival. Let’s see how it looks.
The reduction in monorail hours continues to be a hotly debated topic. Over the last three months, the Epcot Monorail has operated from 8am – 10pm almost every day and signs have indicated that the monorail will only run “up to one hour after regular Park close.” Today (Thursday), the stated hours were 8am – 11pm, which is two hours after regular Park close.
And the Magic Kingdom Resort Monorail, which normally runs until 10:30pm on Mickey’s Party nights, operated until 12:30am:
I’ll keep an eye on it.
I’m not real popular. Actually, because the Epcot Monorail runs less frequently than the Magic Kingdom Express Monorail, it tends to sit until it’s mostly full. Sooner or later, people have no choice other than to join me.
The number of people we’re accustomed to seeing at Spaceship Earth just after 3pm.
I almost always take a picture from this angle for whatever reason, so today should be no exception.
Wait times at 3:15pm:
Much better than yesterday, where Soarin’ FASTPASSes were long gone and Test Track’s FASTPASSes were three hours out instead of 50 minutes. Still, we don’t want to be in the standby line at Soarin’ or Test Track at 3pm most any day. The lower waits and FASTPASSes with return times that aren’t as far out are indicative of lower crowds and a less crowded morning though.
To the bog!
I basically take a picture every three steps:
I like how you can see the color of the ground today. Won’t be true on Saturday.
And looking the other way.
Seriously, every three steps:
Short lines at the booths and fewer people around.
And in the other direction. It’s about 3:25pm.
From my favorite perch in Norway looking toward China.
No one in line at China.
And in the opposite direction. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ground!
Ruh roh!! Where did they come from!!! Actually, the bridge was up (and just went down) to allow the stupid globe for IllumiNations into the World Showcase Lagoon. A delay of a few minutes – just long enough to demand that Grand Floridian upgrade. Okay, okay, we’ll take the Beach Club.
Following them into Germany.
Italy zoomed out.
Looking in the opposite direction towards Germany.
More people in Japan – watching the Taiko D(r)ummers.
A better look than yesterday. Somehow, I always manage to arrive just as they are saying goodbye and announcing when the next show will begin.
A super long line for Aladdin and Jasmine. See them in Magic Kingdom!
And back to Italy.
And into Germany looking toward the Brewers Collection and Germany booth. Though I didn’t take a picture (it looked like a dark beer), I “sampled” the 22-ounce BraufactuM Roog (Smoked Wheat Bier) from the Brewers Collection. No, I don’t know how to pronounce it either. No one does. I like the Brewers Collection the most of any of the booths (for obvious reasons) because you’ll find a variety of rarer beers that you probably won’t have an opportunity to try elsewhere. I’m not “big” on paying a 500% upcharge for a beer that I can buy from the store and pop open at home.
We’re going to skip ahead here to the Rose & Crown Pub, which is attached to the Rose & Crown Dining Room in the United Kingdom Pavilion. I don’t like the Pub much, though as a Disney blogger I have to fall in line and say I love it there. It’s loud, cramped, crowded, and expensive. And those are its good points.
A marriage proposal. I was standing in the back yelling “fake!!!!!!” as I do whenever I see a marriage proposal at Disney World on a Thursday. This one might have been real though.
Also the bar.
Your $8 beer. It tastes better in the Pub though.
The Dining Room is attached, making this part of the restaurant loud as well.
Over to the Beach Club:
It’s nicely themed and feels more approachable than the blander Yacht Club next door.
Club Level, baby.
The Club Level spread:
Make your own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Very classy(?).
Cheese, crackers, and vegetables.
We timed this just right because this is the last of the Lobster Salad. They didn’t restock.
Crab Rangoon and some sort of spanakopita sort of thing. The Rangoon was really good, though they tricked us by serving a similar looking dessert item last night. Had you been expecting something sweet, you probably would have been disappointed by the very different crab taste.
Club Level is really all about the booze. We have a variety of cheap wines and some good looking beer. They were stocking Heineken, Bud Light, Widmer Brother Drifter Ale (YAY), Yuengling, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, and several popular soft drinks. Considering beer runs $5+ out in the theme parks, you can really get your money’s worth if you go to town (like I do). The food selection left something to be desired, depending on what you’re expecting.
The view from the room:
A great view of the BoardWalk and some of the fireworks from IllumiNations are visible over the Beach Club on the other side.
Overall, it was the least busy day of the week at Epcot with far fewer people in World Showcase in the afternoon and lower crowds and wait times throughout the day in Future World. We’re going into a more crowded weekend with Columbus Day on Monday, so we’ll see how things look this weekend and moving into next week.