Headin' to Disney World July 22

Discussion in 'Trip Reports & Member Reviews' started by zackiedawg, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    I've had an unusually long break between Disney trips so far this year, having gone the first week of February, and usually taking an early June trip - but family schedules got all mixed up and didn't work out, so the summer trip had to be bumped back to late July. Still, at least I can get back there - just in time to enjoy the hottest, most humid, miserable time of year in central Florida. ;)

    Staying at Old Key West as the Ft. Wilderness cabins I would have preferred were all booked up. Looking forward to playing with the newer camera up at Disney for the first time. And looking forward to seeing some of the changes since I was last there in February - with the Norway pavilion finally opened and all done with reno for Frozen, the new Animal Kingdom water and light show and tree display up and running, and the expanded Disney Springs area now all opened up.

    Should be fun - I'll update the thread when I actually go there with a little trip report on the new stuff...if anyone happens to be suffering through a hot July in Disney around the same time, let me know. I also booked my usual September trip, starting on the 16th so I can enjoy Food & Wine festival...but I'll start another thread on that one as it gets closer!
  2. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    OK - so it was hot. And humid. And hot. Good old July in central Florida! Got back from my July trip yesterday, and it was the first time to see a few of the new things around the World - so here's a basic breakdown while I work on processing the photos. Surprisingly, the only rain I had was on Friday evening, and it was light enough to even be able to still walk around in - just a light sprinkle. Some lightning shows in the distance on two evenings, but no rain at Disney World.

    First: On Friday, I took the boat from Old Key West to the new expanded Disney Springs. Yep - it's bigger! A little odd with rows and rows of high end stores - I can't see too many people visiting Disney and feeling the need to shop at designer stores too - but I suppose it may entice those from foreign countries, as well as being a high-end mall for locals. Still - the design and architecture are very nice, it's a lovely place to walk around and photograph, and it finally feels less crowded even with more people there than ever, because there's so much more space to walk around. I ate at the Frontera Cocina, as I like Mexican food - and didn't need any reservations - the place had just opened...food was very good and margaritas were delicious. I headed over to Hollywood Studios afterwards to close out the night - walking around looking at all the construction walls that take up about 1/2 the park right now. It will be nice when the two new lands finally get completed here.

    On Saturday, it was Animal Kingdom day/night...mostly to enjoy the new extended night hours until 11pm. I wanted to see the new stuff here, but didn't get to hit everything I wanted. I completely forgot to look at Tiffin's - I never even went down that path. I did two safari rides - one day, and one during the new night hours - the night ride was shorter as they divert the path a bit while in the savannah section, but still neat and different to enjoy the animals in the darkness (and fun to shoot at ISO25,600 or 51,200 to have any chance of photographing an animal at night!). They have some minor lighting in some places to help see some animals - but nothing too intrusive. During the day, I got to see the new African wild dogs - which was nice...at night they introduced hyenas, but the poor things are quite shy and not used to the trucks and people, so the two I could see in their penned area were hiding way at the back by the door, looking like they just wanted to leave! Still, neat to see. I intended to see the Jungle Book show, but due to the lightning nearby they canceled that night's performances - even though the rain never came our way...so I missed that too.

    Sunday was Magic Kingdom day - nothing new to report as the only 'new' thing would have been the stage show, which I didn't see. Haunted Mansion was unfortunately swathed in nylon with fake images of the mansion printed on it - so no joy photographing from the outside. Wait times didn't look too bad throughout the parks - generally everything was 30 minutes or less standby...even splash mountain and space mountain. I took an early evening break to head over to Disney Springs for dinner, as I wanted to try the DLuxe Burger - I had a hankering for meat which I hadn't had yet. The burger was quite delicious and huge, and the shake was very rich and good (made from gelato). One warning: order the small fries. There's nothing that tells you anything about the sizes - just 'small' and 'large'...I figured I'm a big healthy adult male, and I can do a large fry! Well I'm guessing the 'large' size has about 10 potatoes in it. It's like a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket filled with fries. The 'small' looked like it could feed two. I'll remember that next time. Nice dips though - I had the garlic ranch and a BBQ for the fries...both were good.

    Monday was Epcot day - with the 'new' thing being the Frozen expansion at Norway...and the new Member Lounge for DVC over at Journey into Imagination. DVC Member Lounge - cool! Nice to see the big space inside the glass pyramid used again - comfy chairs and cool air, and great soft drink machines, gratis. Especially nice to have that as a place to go on a hot day. Frozen stuff...eh. I'm not much of a 'Frozen' fan anyway, but it seems to have just caused the lovely Norway pavilion's atmosphere to have become superbly overcrowded and filled with screaming kids. Didn't do the princess meet, but just walked around outside that area...I had a 'fast pass' for the Frozen ride just because I wanted to see how they changed the old Viking boat ride. 'Fast pass' was not very fast, given that it was 25 minutes...but then again, the standby was at 105 minutes! Considering the ride itself lasts around 3 minutes...that's a whole lot of time waiting for a very short ride. The ride is exactly as it was before...except the various scenes of Norway's life and landscapes were replaced by the Frozen characters singing...the ride track itself is unchanged.

    That was it! Next trip is lined up for mid-September for Food & Wine. Maybe at least some of the edge will be taken off the heat by then!
  3. jbwolffiv

    jbwolffiv Member

    Sounds like you had a great time. Too bad about the Jungle Book show, but i hear its pretty awful. Let's hope they can get Rivers of Light up and running before Pixelmania. You skipping this year again due to family cruise travel?
  4. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Likely yes - I will be headed up in September, and December - but October isn't looking good so far. Haven't booked a cruise yet, but I usually wait for last-minute deals right around that time.

    I heard the Jungle Book show wasn't much - but I just wanted to see it because it was new...I agree though, I'm more hoping to see Rivers of Light up and running.

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