Correction: I popped into Magic Kingdom this evening after spending the afternoon photographing Coronado Springs Resort and Old Key West Resort.
I’ll have a brief update with a few things of interest tomorrow, but wanted to get back to you about Dumbo/Barnstormer since I know a lot of people that follow the website are arriving this weekend. I think there’s still some confusion about how these “disconnected” FASTPASSes work. There are two attractions with FASTPASSes “disconnected from the system.” Those two attractions are Dumbo and the Mickey Mouse Town Square Theater Meet and Greet. You can collect a FASTPASS for Dumbo or Mickey before or after pulling a FASTPASS for another attraction. In most of my examples (including the one above), I collect a Barnstormer FASTPASS along with Dumbo because they’re distributed right next to each other and I’m lazy. But Barnstormer has been connected to the system for several months and is just an example of a FASTPASS attraction. It could just as easily be Jungle Cruise or Space Mountain. Journey of the Little Mermaid is also now connected. Dumbo and Mickey remain disconnected. As you can see from the example above from January 26th, I first pulled a FASTPASS for Dumbo and then Barnstormer less than a minute later. I also confirmed that The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh FASTPASSes continue distributing a Dumbo FASTPASS alongside it. So if you pull Winnie the Pooh, you’ll get Dumbo too.
I hope that makes sense.
Edit: TouringPlans is reporting today that Barnstormer and Dumbo FASTPASSes are connected, meaning you can’t pull one and then the other immediately after.
We’ll pop into Magic Kingdom on the afternoon of January 22nd, 2013. This crane is “literally” going to ruin every one of our family’s photographs.
While Disney is busy ruining your childhood by converting Main Street Bakery into a soulless, sterile, corporate Starbucks, Tomorrowland Terrace is picking up the slack by offering breakfast from 9am – 11:30am. Here’s the menu:
Disney Food Blog has a review of several of the items here. The beignets sound like a nice snack in the late morning, but I wouldn’t spend time eating here early unless your itinerary only includes visiting Country Bear Jamboree and Liberty Square Riverboat.
It’s 1:51pm at Be Our Guest Restaurant and the line is backed up here to the bridge.
Disney aims to cut the line off so everyone is inside by 2:45pm. I wouldn’t be in line any later than 2:15pm. It’s hard to avoid the 30 minute wait. They usually start service at 10:30am. So if you get in line at 10:20am, you’re going to be waiting at least 15 minutes to order. If you get in line any time after that, expect to wait at least 20 minutes to get to the ordering kiosk and then another ten to fifteen minutes for your food to arrive. I got in line at 1:51pm. I ordered at the kiosk at 2:19pm. And my food didn’t arrive until 2:34pm. That’s 43 minutes.
Only one person has to be present to place the order. You may want to take a look at the menu (below) and figure out what everyone wants. That way, one person can stand in line and order while the rest of the group does something else. Once the person placing the order completes that process, they can text/call someone from the rest of the group letting them know that it’s time to return to the Castle. Just notify the person guarding the bridge that someone in your group has placed an order and you’re meeting up with them.
The weather is pleasant this time of year with highs in the low to mid 70s. Fast forward six months to the end of July and it’s going to be 93 degrees with 80% humidity and a 60% chance of rain. One wonders if anyone that had anything to do with the design of New Fantasyland had spent a day in Florida between the months of May and September. The queue for Enchanted Tales with Belle is 97% outside without cover. The queue for Journey of the Little Mermaid is partially indoors, but a lot of it is uncovered and outside. I can’t see the wait here, at Belle, or at Mermaid being anything but bordering on unbearable come summer.
Kids Picks are already up another 50 cents since the last price increase. I would guess that’s partially to deter adults ordering one to save a few dollars. The “Whole Grain Macaroni” is a relatively new choice. So far, Disney has held out from offering a Mickey Burger and Mickey Nuggets for about seven weeks. I’m not sure how long they can keep it up. How many kids are ordering “Turkey Meatloaf, Broccoli Florets, and Zucchini served with Orange “Stuff” for dipping.” Seven-year-old me would tell you to stuff your orange “stuff.” This post from last month has a better overview of lunch along with links to dinner that cover more information about the restaurant in case you missed it.
I opted to sit in the Rose Gallery. Protip: If you don’t want to be photographed a thousand times with your mouth full of Mickey Meatloaf, don’t sit at the booths surrounding the Belle/Beast music box that spins in the center of the room.
Just as a reminder, that rose on the table is embedded with an RFID chip that lets the food runners know where to deliver your food. You scan it at your kiosk before placing your order. Also as a reminder, I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay for your fountain beverage, I’m just saying that an unlimited number of cups are sitting there across from us waiting to be picked up and filled with Coke Zero. It took nearly 15 minutes for my food to arrive and I’ll admit I was getting a little nervous as people that sat down after me were served first.
But my “Carved Turkey Sandwich – served warm on a Baguette with Dijon Mayonnaise and Pommes Frites – $10.99″ finally did arrive.
Sorry Mom, but I can’t take credit for subbing the fries for green beans. The beans came mistakenly. I briefly considered logging into the DIS to complain about the TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE, but the food delivery person promised to bring a side of fries, so I calmed down a bit.
The sandwich was okay.
Be Our Guest seems to be taking a page out of the Diamond Horseshoe playbook – there is no cheese. It’s just a couple pieces of turkey, greens, four bits of red onion, and the mayonnaise which didn’t have a ton of flavor.
It wasn’t bad by any means, but it didn’t stand out as being outstanding either. The baguette was indeed served warm and the meal was quite filling.
The green beans were quite good I thought. I’m not sure how healthy they are rolled around in butter. Originally, the ordering kiosk had a button that would tell you the nutritional information of each item, but I think it was removed. It probably added to ordering time and Disney doesn’t necessarily want you knowing their steak sandwich weighs in at 1,100 calories.
A common question seems to be, “Is eating at Be Our Guest worth it?” It’s certainly worth doing once, particularly if the group can figure out what they want to order so only one or two people have to wait in line. Since a cast member delivers the food, you don’t have to worry about carrying anything. The main problem is, of course, the wait. The second is potentially the kids’ menu, which doesn’t include staples like chicken nuggets and burgers. While the rest of the group waits in line or does something else, a parent could head to nearby Pinocchio Village Haus to pick something up. The Uncrustables would be easiest since temperature is less of a problem. Just tell the person guarding the bridge that you’re joining the rest of your group inside. I wouldn’t expect waits to die down any time soon. It’s going to be years before the “newness” wears off. I’d probably bite the bullet and get in line in the late afternoon, around 1:45pm. Go first thing and you’re wasting precious touring time when crowds are lower. In the afternoon when crowds are heavier, it’s not a colossal waste of time to be standing here waiting.
I’m wondering if Disney is disappointed by LeFou’s Brew sales. It’s on the ridiculous side that Disney couldn’t come up with a unique frozen beverage for Gaston’s Tavern, instead of relying on frozen apple juice from Cars Land.
These Gaston steins are relatively new – they run $24.95 a pop.
Stock of most of the other items seems healthy.
Posted wait times for Journey of the Little Mermaid continue to be exaggerated. It’s listed at 60 minutes here when it’s probably closer to 30. I think the problem is that New Fantasyland is marketed so heavily, but once someone arrives, they find that it’s “literally” two meet and greets, a store, a restaurant that’s booked solid for dinner or requires a 30 minute wait for lunch, and this ride. So people get in line for the ride. I would be interested in how satisfied the average Park guest is with Journey of the Little Mermaid. It’s underwhelming in my opinion. It’s perfectly pleasant, but is far from wow-worthy here in 2k13.
Waits for Enchanted Tales with Belle continue to be 60 minutes almost all day. One has to wonder what management was thinking when they installed an attraction with such a limited capacity. I guess we all want an Ollivanders in our Park. You may remember that my advice is to head straight back here in the morning – no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You could have one person in the group grab FASTPASSes for Peter Pan’s Flight on the way, but I wouldn’t go further out of your way.
I’ve seen a lot of “Is it worth it?” questions for Belle as well. With kids and a rope drop, I think it’s worth heading straight back here to experience it. Without kids, the technology is still neat, but deciding whether it’s “worth it” depends on what else you’d like to do. You really have to head straight to Belle in the morning to avoid the 40+ minute wait. The good news is that many of the popular attractions have much higher capacities and will still have short waits after you’re done at 9:20am. So I’m not sure if I answered the question, but yes, I think it’s worth it. But you don’t have to do it this trip either.
Mine Train construction continues:
As I’ve mentioned before, any comparisons to Barnstormer are ludicrous.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was closed for a very brief refurbishment – it will be open tomorrow the 25th. Barnstormer will be closed January 29th and 30th.
Back in Storybook Circus, these umbrellas are new. Not sure why Disney didn’t elect to call a “media event” to announce this exciting addition. Maybe if the chairs were new too. They seem to get more excited about seating.
Dumbo FASTPASSes remain disconnected from the system, meaning you can pull Dumbo and then any other attraction immediately after. The PhilharMagic FASTPASSes are essentially worthless since you can walk into any show without one. Winnie the Pooh FASTPASSes should continue distributing with a Surprise FASTPASS for Dumbo when it reopens.
Journey of the Little Mermaid FASTPASSes continue to be distributed alongside Winnie the Pooh at Mickey’s PhilharMagic. They are connected so they work like any other “normal” FASTPASS.
Storybook Circus now comes with clowns who march out from in between the entrance to Pete’s Silly Sideshow and the FASTPASS tent.
They continue down past Dumbo.
And set up shop to the left of Big Top Souvenirs at 10:30am, 11:35am, 1:45pm, 2:50pm, 3:55pm, and 5:00pm. Wowzer the Clown comes out at 11:05am, 12:05pm, 1:05pm, 2:20pm, 3:25pm, and 4:30pm. At least this week.
I am not a big clown person myself. When I was a young boy, I started reading Stephen King’s It. I had panic attacks for some amount of time after that, but Mother would tell you that I was a very worried child anyway.
I stood there watching for five minutes and only six children were wheeled away in hysterics. That’s 31.7% better than average.
At one point early in the show, the musicians all play their instruments loudly for a moment, which wakes up any sleeping children and startles the other kids that are seated in front. Otherwise, the show is inoffensive. If you’re clown-phobic, visit before 10:30am or after 5:30pm to avoid them entirely. They don’t really mingle unless you run into them coming or going, which is why I posted the pictures of their arrival.
The Royal Majesty Matchmakers continue appearing near the Carousel out in front of Pinocchio Village Haus to crowds of seven or eight. I didn’t notice while walking, but the concrete out here is pretty dirty these days.
Right? Anyway, that’s our WDWMAGIC moment of the day.
That’s a 30 minute posted wait at Barnstormer.
Casey Jr. smelled like poop and Casey’s eyes still don’t blink. SHUT IT DOWN!
Waits eased in the afternoon. As I mentioned on the Hollywood Studios “update,” crowds had been considerably higher than expected over the weekend. Things were a lot better today and should be even better over the next two weeks.
We can assume work is going on at the Fairytale Hall location. Interestingly(?) Disney removed Tiana’s picture from the wall and then released concept art with her featured. I like her gazebo.
Work continues at URINE.
Unfortunately, Launchpad was passed out on the couch when I left, so we don’t have any aerials.
The Rapunzel tower seemed to be more obscured than last time we fixated on it. I don’t really care that you can see it from certain angles outside of Fantasyland.
This child seems less enthusiastic though.
I just liked this picture.
More scrims are up in Liberty Square – this time on the end of Columbia Harbour House.
Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is also behind walls and scrims.
You try to take some decent refurbishment wall pictures AND THIS CRANE RUINS EVERYTHING.
The pretty picture scrims should be up shortly. This looks to be a pretty serious refurbishment though I don’t know the extent for sure. Sleepy Hollow remains open.
Good news on the refurbishment front – every animatronic is supposed to be removed and fixed.
The exterior is getting a lot of work as well.
Big Thunder Mountain wait times should be bumped up a little bit in the interim. Splash Mountain isn’t usually that popular this time of year anyway, though. Splash is expected to reopen on March 20th.
Pecos Bill has new electronic menus. I have no idea whose idea it is to have cast members making noise in here, but they seem hellbent on creating as much as possible. Here, they’re marching through the ordering area clapping and banging on pots and pans with sticks. Menu:
The Pork Glop Platter appears to be a permanent fixture.
I doubt it’s improved since I tried it, but you never know! It was basically an old hamburger, pile of barbecued pork that would ordinarily be part of the Pork Sandwich, a half cooked piece of corn bread, overcooked corn, and an unnecessary side of salsa. Terrible, especially considering the $14.49 price tag.
Disney announced the arrival of “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” a couple of days ago.
“Guests will use a pirate map and magic talisman to help them complete five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. The goal is to help locate different Treasures of the Seven Seas and fight off pirate enemies like the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa, among others. If guests help Captain Jack succeed in all the missions, they’ll be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they’ll face the wrath of the cruel sea – alone.”
Adventureland is already on the cramped side in the afternoon, particularly when the Pirate Tutorial show is going on. We’ll see if this contributes to crowd flow “issues.” You may remember that Shrunken Ned’s boats were removed to make way for part of the game.
Some work going on to the left of Aloha Isle, potentially as part of the game.
Adventureland Veranda is seeing some work too.
These scrims have been up for months.
It’s otherwise pretty this time of year. Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports7/pretty1.jpg.
And really, all year. Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports7/pretty2.jpg.
Yet they make Mickey get up every morning for the opening ceremony. And I think Tigger drinks Guinness in the morning.
A ton of turnstiles out front are being converted to RFID.
Disney has been pretty lame about operating enough turnstiles for those of us who spent $550 on Annual Passes or otherwise have “regular” $250+ tickets. Here, they’re operating exactly two sets of turnstiles, leading to several hundred people waiting in line to get in.
A couple more crowd calendar updates are incoming and we’ll try to get out to Animal Kingdom over the next couple of days.