We’ll head out to Magic Kingdom for a brief update on affairs as the moats around Cinderella Castle are filled. Walls still line much of the area – hopefully as many as possible can come down sooner rather than later.
But first, we’ll grab dinner at The Wave of American Flavors lounge, the Contemporary Resort’s casual first-floor restaurant just off the lobby. Its not the most obvious restaurant in the world. Fortunately the website has Photoshop CC to draw arrows like this.
Even more casual than the restaurant is the attached bar, which is rarely crowded and doesn’t accept or require reservations. There are no tables, which can make conversation among more than two people difficult unless you sit on the end of the row. The lounge is open until 12am.
Like this I mean.
In addition to not requiring reservations, the lounge offers its own appetizer menu, in addition to the full restaurant menu until 9:30pm:
Just about everything with “today’s” in front of it was swordfish.
The multi-grain bread served is freshly baked and perfectly executed, but it fell flat in my opinion with not a lot of flavor.
The salted butter does a little to liven things up.
Although its cocktail list is the standard Disney bar menu, The Wave offers several interesting beers and wines on tap. Each of these four is wine served from kegs underneath the tap. They say it is environmentally friendly because it makes shipping easier, there’s no cardboard/glass etc., and each keg holds something like 35 bottles. Beer on tap includes Orange Blossom Pilsner and Orlando Brewing Blonde Ale, Brown Ale, and Pale Ale.
I confirmed that wine served from a keg via a tap does still taste like wine for those of you wondering at home. The Smith & Hook is 65% consumed for your pleasure, while the North by Northwest riesling on the right is a fresh pour. The Smith & Hook cabernet was a $12 glass – spendy considering a bottle is around $18. The riesling was $9.
Lisa started with the Seasonal Florida Strawberry Salad with Pecan Praline, MacGregor Farms Greens, and Warm Goat Cheese – $10.49.
It was surprisingly large with several of the freshest, reddest, sweetest strawberries we’ve ever tried. The Pecan Pralines were a nice substitute for your usual crouton – a very elegant salad.
Dinner is avec George and Greg, whom you may remember from past reviews like this Tutto Italia blowout. George enjoyed his Royal Red Caribbean Shrimp Flatbread with Tomato Pesto, Vidalia Onions, Mozzarella, and Lemon Crème Fraîche – $10.99. The flatbreads here are universally outstanding, if not a bit on the small side and often rather unattractive looking.
Another potentially unattractive item – Greg’s Thompson Farms Naturally Raised Pork Tenderloin on a bed of Onion-Potato Purée with Organic Green Beans and Veal Jus – $22.99. This was excellent with perfectly cooked pork on top of creamy potatoes and large, slightly crunchy green beans. It’s not an overwhelming amount of pork, but it will be “just right” for most appetites and the price is right.
This was significantly better than our last attempt at pork at Be Our Guest.
Sustainable Fish Taco – Soft Flour Tortilla, Apple-Jícama Slaw, and Yuzu Gelato – 10.99.
I hesitate to use the word amazing!!!! but these were, at least as far as sustainable fish tacos go – packed full of fish with a nice crunch from the slaw. The tacos are a bit spicy so they come with the yuzu sorbet, which acts as a palate cleanser. A nice touch.
I ordered the Dry-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak – Citrus Aïoli, Potato Leek Gratin, and Locally-sourced Spring Vegetables – $23.99. The steak was tender and cooked to a perfect medium.
I didn’t care much for the aioli, which it was drenched in – too acidic for my tastes and didn’t really pair well with the meat in my opinion.
The Potato Leek Gratin was a nice accompaniment that wasn’t as heavy as you might expect. The potatoes were a bit underdone for my tastes – probably by design.
George’s Pan-seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn, Applewood-smoked Bacon, and Tillamook Cheddar Risotto – $11.99. Perhaps the best of the bunch, and with the nicest presentation, this consisted of five nicely sized scallops on a bed of creamy, cheesy risotto. Very good.
The Wave lounge experience is pleasant, though I’m not sure it stands out versus the other options on the monorail and across the lagoon. California Grill upstairs offers similarly priced flatbreads in its lounge area, in addition to the outstanding sushi and better beer and cocktail list. The people watching is significantly better as is the view during Wishes. You may remember the website’s post-refurbishment review of Cali Grill here. The Wave is a much better choice than the Outer Rim bar on the 4th floor, at least for those that don’t want a bar overrun by kids waiting while their parents try to buy their way into Chef Mickey’s at the last minute.
Main Street is again scrimless as the Confectionery’s came down that morning.
Water again flows around Cinderella Castle and into other areas of the Park.
An inflatable-looking dam keeps the water out of the area where they’re still demolishing the old smoking section/AAA fireworks viewing area.
On the other side, the old swan boat dock has been reduced to a layer of mulch.
The unfortunate area the walls are hiding.
Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports11/why.jpg. For those of you wondering why they’re expanding The Hub area, this is it about five minutes before the Electrical Parade is set to step off from Main Street.
Hub construction isn’t expected to be complete until around September of next year.
Kiosk waits continue to be significantly shorter with all guests able to select FP+ in advance via the app or website.
We walked up right at 9pm and could have selected Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Enchanted Tales, (11pm) Main Street Electrical Parade, and others.
FP+ lines continue to be intermittently out of control depending on the number of people that don’t know what they’re doing getting in line.
I am not as anti-dance-party as some, but it is a bit strange standing around Buzz Lightyear with Pharell’s “Happy” blasting in the background.
During the Electrical Parade is one of the best times of the day to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain because the Parade basically cuts off traffic to the area. Remember all those people in The Hub? Yeah…Splash Mountain has a 15-minute posted wait here 10 minutes later at 9:04pm.
Splash continues to be in excellent shape though the jumping water remains iffy.
We were off the ride and back out front at 9:31pm for a total wait/ride time of 27 minutes. So we ended up waiting about ten minutes. By the time we disembarked the wait time was reduced to 5 minutes and there was literally nobody at the load area waiting to get into our vacant log.
Big Thunder is still posted at 30 minutes at 9:32pm. It was nine minutes between when we got in line and when we were on our way down the mountain.
The queue enhancements from last year’s refurbishment are neat, but almost all of the interactive elements are closed off to guests.
Canaries? Roped off.
Always request the back rows for the wildest wide in the wilderness.
In the front, the train is half way down the drop before it gets going.
Dole Whip – just add water.
Early Easter crowds haven’t met expectations thus far as staffing levels are ratcheted up to their second highest levels of the year and the Parks are open longer than any time of year outside of December 25th – 31st. We’ll pop in later this week.