Tax Day: RideMax Roulette at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom

Similar to last week’s round of RideMax Roulette at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I’ve decided to celebrate tax day, which falls on Wednesday, April 15th, by doing another round of RideMax Roulette, this time at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. If anyone is in the park Wednesday and cares to join me, feel free to look for the really tall guy in the rope drop crowd holding a camera over his head and taking pictures of the crowds (hopefully) behind me. I’ll be making my way to Fantasyland on Wednesday as soon as the park opens.

I’ll be doing another half-day visit, and again, I ran my trusty random number generator to come up with a list of attractions to plug into RideMax. This time, the list doesn’t happen to include any of the big “mountain” rides, but the plan might be suitable for someone with young children who just wants to drop in for the morning.

Here is the randomly-generated attraction list, in alphabetical order:

  • Aladdin’s Magic Carpets
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Dumbo, the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Tom Sawyer’s Island
  • Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Winnie the Pooh

As far as FP+ selections go, there’s nothing here that would absolutely call for FP+. I first tried using FP+ for Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Winnie the Pooh, but this close to my visit date Disney’s system didn’t have my needed time selection for ETWB, so I swapped it out for the Teacups. FP+ there isn’t really needed, but the new plan RideMax came up with looks good, at least on paper. (And despite the lack of the more “thrilling” attractions, I know this exercise is good for helping me to “keep RideMax real” for customers. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually visited TSI, for example.)

Here’s a screenshot of the game plan RideMax came up with. Remember, RideMax’s goal is to minimize both waiting and walking time:

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Touring Plan

Like last week, I’ll be posting live updates from the park Wednesday on Facebook and on Twitter.

Follow along there, or if you want some exercise, join me at ETWB right after rope drop, and enjoy tax day in the park!

RideMax Roulette at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tomorrow!

Tiger at Disney's Animal Kingdom

I’m headed to Animal Kingdom tomorrow, April 10th, to test a half-day RideMax plan. You can follow along for live updates from the park:

I’m calling this “RideMax Roulette,” because rather than using a predetermined list of attractions, I decided to plug in a (mostly) random list of shows and attractions into RideMax, then created my half-day plan from there.

I say it was “mostly” random simply because I knew in advance that I wanted to visit both of the trails — Pangani and Maharajah Jungle Trek — and I also wanted to see the Lion King show. (Sorry, but I also knew I didn’t want to sit through the 40-minute-ish Finding Nemo show, and I didn’t want to get soaked on Kali with my DSLR in hand, so I omitted these from the list of possible attractions.)

After adding my three “must-do” attractions to the list, I used a random number generator to come up with five others, and I was left with the following list of eight attractions altogether:

  • Dinosaur (twice)
  • Expedition Everest
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
  • TriceraTop Spin

I know this may seem like a pretty wimpy attempt, given that the plan doesn’t include the Safari, but hey, it is what it is. I think it’s also good for me to test RideMax plans that include non-obvious ride selections, as it has sometimes helped me to see and/or fix problems that might come up with various ride choices.

Given this list of attractions, I decided to use FP+ for at least Dinosaur and Expedition Everest. I would normally use the other FP+ for either the Safari or Kali River Rapids, but since neither of these are in my list, I’m using the third FP+ slot for It’s Tough to be a Bug! (Yeah!)

After crunching on this list of attractions, here is what RideMax came up with. Remember, RideMax’s goal is to minimize BOTH waiting AND walking time:

Disney's Animal Kingdom RideMax Plan

Notice the large-ish block of “free time starting just before 9:00am. I think I’m going to use this to go see DiVine near the park entrance.

After creating this plan, I went into Disney’s “My Disney Experience” application and reserved my FP+ time slots to correspond with the times shown in green on the plan. (And yes, I realize that I most likely won’t need those Dinosaur and ITTBAB FP+ tickets that early in the day. If this were a full-day plan, you’d likely see those FP+ slots set up for later in the day.)

I’ll keep you updated on Facebook and Twitter as I progress through the morning. Feel free to comment there or below as I go!

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 2015 – Hyperlapse Video Tour

I expect to post more about Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival in a future update, but since the festival just opened yesterday, I thought it would be nice to provide a high-level overview of what’s available this year around the World Showcase. I hope this video gives you a feel for where those food kiosks and topiaries are located in relation to one another.

I also should say that as I shot the video, I tried to pause briefly at each kiosk so you could see the menus, but looking at the video now shows plainly that I didn’t pause long enough. Keep your mouse on the “pause” button if you want to gaze at the menus for more than about a second each, lol:

Note that if you’re using RideMax to plan your visit to Epcot and want to take in the Festival, my advice is take one of two approaches when creating your plan.

The first approach is to simply try creating a plan that begins when the park opens and which closes in the evening, with no scheduled breaks in the plan. This should typically leave you with a large block of “free time” on the plan, which you can use for touring World Showcase, viewing the topiaries, and sampling the food at the various kiosks.

The second approach is to use one of the activities listed in RideMax as “World Showcase, 3 hr Clockwise,” or similar, depending on how much time you want to spend here.

I suggest you experiment with both approaches or play “what if” for a while, until you arrive at plan you’re happy with.

Bon Appetit!

Disneyland and Walt Disney World Spring Break 2015 — Four Tips to Reduce Your Wait

Here we go again — it’s the time of year when people start planning that spring break trip to the theme parks. Whether you plan to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World, here are four tips that can help you avoid the crowds and have a successful, fun vacation:

  • Arrive early, well before the park opens for the day
  • Buy your tickets in advance
  • Have a game plan
  • Choose the “right” park for your visit date

Let’s elaborate on these in more detail.

Tip #1: Arrive Early, Before the Park Opens for the Day

When visiting Disney’s theme parks during crowded seasons of the year especially, it’s important to be at the front gates well before the park opens for the day.

Consider the two pictures below, taken a couple of years ago at the Magic Kingdom during spring break. The first shows what Fantasyland looked like just after the park opened for the day:

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-8f7jvBt/0/X2/i-8f7jvBt-X2.jpg

Now, compare this to following picture taken two hours later:

Magic Kingdom Spring Break -- Mid-morning

Arriving early gives you access to the shorter lines right after the park opens, as you can imagine. But another huge advantage of arriving early is that it helps you get the most out of the FastPass-Plus (FP+) system at Walt Disney World, and the FastPass (FP) system at Disneyland.

At Walt Disney World’s theme parks, where the FP+ system is now in full use (with no paper FPs in use at all anymore), arriving early allows you to use your FP+ reservations earlier in the day, opening up the possibility of obtaining more FP+ slots once you’ve used your first three.

At Disneyland, arriving early is even more critical for efficient FastPass (FP) use. For those who aren’t aware, after you obtain your first FP ticket, you can’t obtain another one until either two hours have elapsed, or until the “ride window” for that first FP ticket has arrived, whichever comes first. Early in the day, those FP windows can be as close as 40 minutes away from the time at which you obtained the FP ticket, allowing you to get your next FP ticket 40 minutes after the first. Contrast this with later in the day, when the return windows for some of the more popular attractions can stretch out to several hours away instead, forcing you to wait the full two hours before you can get your next FP ticket.

The other significant thing to note about the Disneyland FP tickets is that they can “sell out” by midday for some rides (depending on crowd levels), so arriving early helps you to not get “locked out” entirely from getting FPs for certain attractions.

Tip #2: Buy Your Tickets In Advance

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World especially, it’s critical that you buy your tickets well in advance of your trip.

Disney allows you to make your FP+ reservations 60 days in advance if you’re staying onsite in a Disney hotel, and 30 days in advance if you’re staying offsite. And FP+ reservations for popular attractions and time slots can sell out very early, so it’s important to secure those FP+ reservations as far in advance of your trip as you can.

The catch here is that you have to have your actual tickets in hand before you can make those FP+ reservations. Once you have your ticket numbers, you can create an account on Walt Disney World’s My Disney Experience website and “link” these tickets to your account. Once that’s done, you can make your actual FP+ reservations.

Note that if you’re using RideMax to create and optimize your itineraries, the RideMax plan will tell you when it thinks it’s best to actually use those FP+ tickets. So the idea is that once you have your RideMax plans created, you then go into My Disney Experience and adjust your FP+ reservations to match the times shown on your RideMax plans.

The point is that the earlier you make your FP+ reservations, the more likely it is that you can get the time slots you want (or which your RideMax plan specifies). So buying your tickets in advance is critical.

For Disneyland visitors, the same “buy tickets early” advice applies, but it’s not nearly as important as it is for WDW guests. If you buy your Disneyland tickets in advance, it can save you some hassle the first morning of your visit, since you won’t have to wait in line at one of the ticket counters. You can also get access to one of Disneyland’s Magic Morning hours if you’re purchasing a 3-day or higher ticket online. This in itself can be a huge advantage if you wish to take advantage of Magic Morning.

Tip #3: Have a Basic Game Plan

OK, you probably figured this was coming, since I earn my living from the RideMax planning tool. But even if the detailed planning that RideMax allows isn’t quite your thing, you’ll still benefit greatly by mapping out at least a partial game plan in advance of your trip. Give at least give some thought to which attractions you want to start your day with, and then go from there.

Visiting your attractions in an efficient order can literally make or break your day, especially when the park is crowded, so I’d advise spending at least a few minutes before your trip thinking this through. This will help keep you from wandering around the park with your head buried in the park map trying to figure this out on the fly later.

Tip #4: Choose the “Right” Park for Your Visit Date

Radiator Springs Racers

In addition to arriving early, you can save yourself a lot of grief if you choose the “right” park for your visit date.

The example photo above shows absolutely nobody in front of me as I made my way to Radiator Springs Racers. The catch is that for most guests, this is only possible on certain days of the week.

The reason for this is that both Disneyland and Walt Disney World host some an “early entry” program for their hotel guests, which gives these guests access to one of the parks one hour early on specific days of the week. For example, Disney hotel guests are normally allowed early entry to DCA on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and to Disneyland on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

If you’re not staying at a Disney-owned hotel and still want to get a jump on the crowds by arriving early, the best way to do this is to simply avoid the park hosting early entry on the day of you visit, and go to another park instead. For example, the picture above was taken on a Tuesday, when Disneyland, and NOT DCA, was hosting early entry. Had I gone straight to Radiator Springs Racers when the park opened to the public on a Monday instead, I would have found a large line for this attraction right at opening time. (And do yourself a favor and steer clear of Peter Pan on an early entry day at Disneyland, unless you have early access yourself!)

You’ll see a similar scene play out at Walt Disney World, which normally hosts “Extra Magic Hours” at one of its theme parks each morning as well. (Walt Disney World RideMax subscribers can find our “Which Day, Which Park?” recommendations in the RideMax “Tips & Hints” pages, or you can consult the Walt Disney World website for the early entry schedule also.)

So, do yourself a favor this spring break and avoid the crowds by arriving early, buying your tickets in advance, having a game plan, and choosing the right park for your visit date. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Are you planning a spring break visit to Disneyland or Walt Disney World? I’d love to hear your comments below!

Disneyland – Huge Crowds on October 17th?

Disneyland Fall Break - Scary Crowds?

When I’m working on estimating crowds at Disneyland for the RideMax planner, October is one of those months that is always sort of dicey. One day things can be just fine, but other days can have absolutely crazy crowds.

The past few years, in order to help with these October crowd estimates, I’ve researched school fall break calendars, especially for schools in some of California’s neighboring states. And this year, I’m seeing something of a perfect storm of crowds shaping up for Friday, October 17th.

Why October 17th?

Well, first of all, I expect the entire week to see larger crowds than you might expect for the fall. Both Columbus day and Canadian Thanksgiving are on Monday that week, and sometimes the “holdover crowds” from these holidays can spill into the week. There are also schools in Arizona which will be out the entire week on fall break as well.

The real icing on the cake is UEA break, however, when schools in Utah are on break Thursday and Friday (the 16th and 17th), and Utah’s Alpine and Provo school districts are out on Monday, the 20th, as well.

You may discount the idea that a school break in the state of Utah, which doesn’t actually even touch California, could have a large impact on the crowds, but consider this: Utah has the highest percentage in the nation of homes with children. And you can bet that many of those families will be headed to Disneyland for fall break!

Given that the Utah break doesn’t start until Thursday, I don’t expect crowds to be nearly as bad Tuesday and Wednesday (though I expect the AZ break will make even those crowds larger than normal for fall weekdays).

The crowds should peak on Friday, the 17th, with UEA break in full swing. I flat out expect the 17th to be the most crowded day for the entire month of October. Adding to the craziness, Disneyland itself closes early that night, at 6:00pm, in order to make way for the Halloween party that evening. As such, you can expect DCA to be extremely (extremely!) crowded that evening, as all of the local annual passholders come into the park expecting a nice Friday evening visit, likely unaware of the crowds that await them.

As if this weren’t enough, the other thing that could make the crowds seem larger-than-normal is if Disney itself is unprepared for Friday’s madness, and doesn’t bulk up the staff that day. Some attractions that rely on employees for throughput rate (i.e., Jungle Cruise), could see much longer lines if Disney doesn’t anticipate the crowd levels adequately.

Unlike Friday, Saturday is blocked out for both types of Southern California annual passholders, so the crowds should actually be somewhat lower on Saturday than on Friday. And both parks will be open late Saturday, allowing the crowds to spread out more than on Friday. (Add to this the fact that many folks from AZ and UT will also use Saturday as a travel day home.)

OK, so in an effort to not be all gloom-and-doom here, if you are visiting on the 17th, is there anything you can do to help salvage the day?

I’m sure you expect a shameless plug for RideMax here, so let’s get that out of the way first: Yes, by all means, use RideMax. This will at least set you up with a basic game plan for the day, which sure beats wandering around with your head buried in the park map trying to get everyone to agree on where to go next… meanwhile, the precious morning hours just tick away and the crowds continue to build.

The other, significant thing you can do is arrive early Friday morning, well before the park opens for the day. I really can’t stress this enough, so let me say it again with emphasis: ARRIVE EARLY FRIDAY MORNING!

Because the Disneyland park doesn’t host Magic Morning on Friday, you can especially get a jump on the crowds at Disneyland if you arrive well before opening time. (DCA, on the other hand, will have crowds already in the park at opening time, due to Extra Magic Hours on Friday morning for hotel guests. So the early advantage isn’t as great at DCA unless you have access to Extra Magic Hours yourself.)

As an added “early-arrival” bonus, the parks both open at 8:00am on Friday, and given that many folks have a much harder time getting out of bed for an 8:00am opening than a later one, this is a case where the early bird really does get the worm.

I hope this helps you anticipate and plan your week if you’re heading to Disneyland for fall break. There really are a lot of great things about Disneyland in the fall, and some of my favorites include the cooler weather and the holiday makeover of the Haunted Mansion (something I really wish Disney World would also do in Orlando).

So if you are visiting on the 17th, don’t let the crowds discourage you. Anticipate them, do a little advance planning, and arrive early to beat them!

“Frozen Summer Fun” Added to RideMax

Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios has added a set of “extras” this summer, all under the banner of Frozen Summer Fun. I stopped by earlier this week with Liesle and my daughter to check it out, and we found that we enjoyed it more than I had expected to. Although it’s nowhere close to a Star Wars Land, it adds to the experience of a park that’s long overdue for some sort of update.

(Note: Click on any image in this post for a larger version.)

Get tickets before the show for the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Our first stop of the day was to get tickets for the lengthily-titled show, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration. At 10:45 there were still plenty of tickets available for the first show of the day at 12:30.

A short line to get tickets for the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The line to get tickets for the show is in the Streets of America. Look for the green umbrellas set up on the “side street” off the main thoroughfare. Based on the queue set-up, it looked like they were expecting much larger lines for this than actually existed.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios

We planted ourselves off to the side of the Sorcerer’s Hat for the 11:00am Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome, which turned out to be sort of lame, actually, and was our least-favorite activity of the day. It consisted of Anna and Elsa in a carriage, along with Kristoff and a handful of dancers, all making their way down Hollywood Boulevard to the Sorcerer’s Hat. Granted, we didn’t have a great vantage point from where we stood, but I’m not sure being up-close would have helped that much.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The festivities included Anna and Elsa being handed flowers by someone dressed up like a Disney manager. Not sure what more to say about this.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Sing Along

On the bright side, we did get to sing-along with Let It Go. (This is sarcastic or not, depending on your own level of Frozen fatigue.)

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Finale

And the guy in the suit helps wrap the whole thing up.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Kristoff

With the brief festivities at the hat concluded, the processional continued down toward Star Tours, where I could see the characters a bit better. If you don’t care about the stage show, this location offers a better view and is less crowded. To give you an idea of the overall brevity of the show, this picture was taken at 11:12am.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Say Goodbye

“Say goodbye, to the…” well, you know the rest.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen T-Shirt Red

I thought these Olaf t-shirts were pretty cool (sorry). $21.95.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Olaf T-Shirt Blue

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Olaf T-Shirt White

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

We next made our way over to Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland. This is located in one of the old “sound stage” buildings between Toy Story Midway Mania and the Backlot Tour. We didn’t have to wait at all to go inside, but the individual activities inside did include some waiting.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

The longest wait by far was for the “snow ground” playground area, which included real snow. This was a real treat in Florida in July.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland Ice Skating

Folks also seemed to be enjoying the small ice-skating rink in this area, which is available for an extra $10.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

Frozen-themed treats are also available here.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun Treats

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Cupcakes

A close-up of the cupcakes.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

By now, it was time to use our tickets for the 12:30 show of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.

As someone who downloaded the soundtrack for this show before I was even home from the movie theater — two days after the film was released — (and before every 9-year-old girl in the country had the lyrics memorized), these songs are near and dear to my heart. We really enjoyed this sing-along. It was fast-paced and fun, despite the fact that they left out one of our favorite tunes, Fixer Upper.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The show included segments of live acting…

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

…as well as a bouncing snowflake for the lyrically-impaired. (Not us!)

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration - Anna

Sounds good, Anna!

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The grand finale…

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration - Finale

As I said, all in all, we really enjoyed the sing-a-long. (And hopefully we didn’t annoy anyone around us too much with our boisterous rendition of the lyrics.) I’ve given this one a fairly high rating in RideMax, and would definitely recommend adding it to your RideMax plan.

Note that the actual showtime came in at around 30 minutes, and this is how we’ve listed it in RideMax, despite Disney’s Times Guide indicating a 20-minute show length.

As a bonus, both the sing-along and Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland are a great way to get out of the heat and enjoy some *very* cold air-conditioning. In fact, both Liesle and my daughter were downright cold by the end of this show.

Frozen living up to it’s name, I guess.

We didn’t stay for the evening Frozen version of the fireworks, but I hope to see that in the near future.

For RideMax customers, you’ll find four of the “Frozen Summer Fun” activities listed in RideMax now through September 1st, so feel free to add these to your RideMax plans:

  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome
  • Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland
  • Frozen Fireworks Spectacular

What about you? Have you seen or do you plan to see the new “Frozen Summer Fun” activities yet? Do people really smell better than reindeer? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

 

“The Disneyland Book,” by Betsy Malloy, Plus a RideMax Review

 

The Disneyland Book

Along my journey with RideMax, there have been a few significant milestones, and I have Betsy Malloy to thank for one very important one. For those who aren’t familiar with her work, Betsy is the California Travel Writer for About.com, and very early in RideMax’s life, she discovered it, put it to the test at Disneyland, and wrote about her positive experience with RideMax on her website. Though most of our RideMax “PR” has been word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers, Betsy’s early review helped to kick-start this process, and I’m grateful to her for being willing to write about RideMax before it was well-known.

Betsy has released a unique guidebook for Disneyland, titled The Disneyland Book: 101 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Add Wow! to Your Vacation. One thing I like about Betsy’s book is that she relies a lot on pictures, rather than lengthy text, to drive home the tips in the book. It covers a lot of basics for those not familiar with Disney’s parks, including one tip from yours truly, and even contains some information that was new to me. Be sure to check out her book if you’re planning a trip to Disneyland this summer.

Earlier this spring, Taren, Jason, and Terrance over at the EarzUp! podcast also did an episode which included a RideMax review. Check it out if you’re on the fence about subscribing to RideMax, and while you’re there, check out the other fun Disneyland-related podcasts and blog posts on their site as well!

 

 

Beating the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Crowds at Park Opening. Festival of the Lion King Opens in New Harambe Theater.

Magic Kingdom - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train CrowdsAs you can see in the image above, Disney is now using a new “follow the rope” procedure when they open the Magic Kingdom in the morning. This is used to help prevent guests from running to the very popular new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, as well as to the Anna and Elsa meet and greet.

I visited the Magic Kingdom yesterday, and followed pretty closely behind the Cast Members leading the way, as the picture above — and the one right below — shows.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Park Opening

What may not be obvious from these pictures, is the HUGE crowds following behind. I somehow managed to hold my camera over my head, pointing backwards, and caught the following amazing sight (click on any image for a larger view):

Magic Kingdom Crowds

With most of these folks attempting to get to these new attractions, you can see how important it is to both arrive early and to know what you’re doing once you get there. The first one is up to you, and if you’re a RideMax subscriber, we’ve added an in-plan tip (our longest one yet) to help with the second one.

New Lion King Theater in Africa

I also hopped over to the Animal Kingdom yesterday to check out the new Festival of the Lion King theater, which has been built in Africa, replacing the old location in Camp Minnie-Mickey. As you can see in the picture above, the standby entrance is on the left, with FP+ access on the right.

Festival of the Lion King - New Theater Location in Africa

Just to put the new location in context, this is the wide-angle view from the bridge leading into Africa. Kilimanjaro Safaris is straight ahead on the right-hand side of the picture, with the new Lion King theater on the very far left-hand side of the image.

New Lion King Theater

Once you’ve crossed the bridge, just hang a left here to get to the new theater.

New Festival of the Lion King Theater in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Here’s the view of the theater building taken from the far end, looking back toward where the previous picture was taken.

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

It’s the same great show as before, one I consider a “must see” attraction!

A final note is that in my observations yesterday, there is no need to use FP+ to visit the FOTLK. For the noon show, you could still get in standby by showing up just 15 minutes before showtime. Arriving a half-hour early should be a safe bet on all but the busiest days of the year.