Sunday January 16th 2022
The same weather system that is dropping snow and ice along the east coast to the north of here had a significant impact on Florida’s weather. There were tornado warnings in southwest Florida near the bottom end of the cold front. Here in central Florida heavy wind started in the early morning followed by plenty rain. By late morning the rain started to tapper off. The afternoon was damp and gloomy. The sun never made an appearance and the temperature remained in the lower half of the sixties.
This is not the kind of day the typical Walt Disney World visitor wants to have during there visit. A cold and wet start to your day in the theme park is far from fun. The people that traveled a long distance from northern states to avoid the cold and wet braved the weather to maximize there time in the park. Many of the Florida residents that visit Fort Wilderness don’t come with the expectation of spending a lot of time in the theme parks. Some, like me on this visit, come to just enjoy the campground.
This afternoon I bundled up in a second layer of sweatshirt and continued my exploration of Fort Wilderness. I have been doing a lot of walking. The internal bus system seems to be a lot less reliable than in the past. I’ve been reading about all kinds of cost savings and cost increases at Disney World. Fewer internal buses may be one of them. Other things I’ve seen are obvious cost savings moves. There are fewer transportation boats on Bay Lake. There are still two boats going from Fort Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom. I don’t know how many places they stop along the way. They used to be non-stop. What is missing is the smaller boats that used to make a round trip from Fort Wilderness to the Wilderness Lodge on to the Contemporary Hotel before returning to Fort Wilderness.
The Settlement Trading Post near Pioneer Hall and the boat to the Magic Kingdom is now only open from 11AM to 5PM. It used to be open from early in the morning until late at night. People coming and going to the Magic Kingdom could stop on their way for supplies or souvenirs. The Hoop-de-do review at Pioneer hall that also drew people to the area has not restarted after stopping for the shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic. The bigger Meadows Trading Post is still open longer hours.
I walked down to Bay Lake to catch my third and last showing of the Enchantment Fireworks above the Magic Kingdom. It sprinkled a little on the way to the lake. I almost turned back, but since this is my last night, I continued. The tiny bit of rain stopped and the clouds in the sky started to clear. The wind was still very strong out of the west along the open shore of Bay Lake. On my way back the moon was out full and bright.