We’ll take a quick peek into Magic Kingdom this past Sunday before disembarking on our WHIRLWIND tour tomorrow. First, a special thanks to forum user stevenmilz, who very generously took me out to lunch on Sunday. It was a pleasure meeting your family and your children are as wonderful as you can expect from a two and four year old ^_^
Let’s see what I had to say about the Magic Kingdom on September 11th:
Magic Kingdom is also rated “green” today, but only under certain conditions. There are two excellent times to tour – 9am to 12pm in particular and also 11pm to 12am for evening Extra Magic Hours. Most Disney resort guests who will be headed to the Magic Kingdom will sleep in and arrive around 11am, in anticipation of staying until around 10:30pm. If you arrive prior to 9am, you can have a lot of success visiting the Fantasyland attractions and headlining Mountain rides. It will also be a great opportunity to collect FASTPASSes for later in the day. However, the Park will be busy from 1pm to 6pm as the bulk of Disney resort guests arrive en masse. You’ll either want to take a break, Park Hop elsewhere, or plan to visit some of the less popular attractions for that time slot. The relatively late night Extra Magic Hours are also recommended, though the first two hours or so will be busy because it isn’t that late at night.
Ruh roh. Anyone want to guess the arrival time? 8:30am? No, don’t be ridiculous. This is 11:40am, which should be peak arrival for Disney resort guests. It certainly looks like it. I saw a few questions about what security would look like on 9/11. The short answer is that bag checks were just as much of a joke as always. I would imagine “secret security” was on high alert, but it’s not something you would notice or be aware of as a day visitor.
As previously discussed, I am late for a very important date. Here we are hightailing it over to Columbia Harbour House.
Not bad at all once we get inside. There’s a Dream Along With Mickey show going on at the Castle Forecourt. It’s only about 15 minutes long, but it’s a good way to get in the Disney mood.
Here’s the new Columbia Harbour House menu (since August 24th) if you haven’t already seen it – http://www.easywdw.com/menus-and-seating/columbia-harbour-house-liberty-square-major-quick-service/.
This is the Broccoli Peppercorn Salad – mixed greens, garden vegetables, chicken, broccoli, bacon, parmesan, tossed with a creamy peppercorn salad ($8.19) – another new item at Columbia Harbour House. It was well above average with a nice mix of crunchy vegetables and a somewhat unique peppercorn dressing. The “garden vegetables” are peas, corn, and carrots, but it’s a nice mix of “stuff.” Not a huge portion of grilled chicken on top, but my idea of a salad is a little lettuce with a lot of chicken – not something served outside Josh’s Kitchen. I’m not usually a “salad person” because they often turn out to be less healthy than the “obviously” unhealthy stuff, but ignorance is bliss.
This cart outside Haunted Mansion has some unique Liberty Square/Haunted Mansion merchandise and some of the more generic Halloween stuff. This is a good looking shirt.
Caribbean Square outside Pirates of the Caribbean.
Which was down, as it has been off and on most days in the last couple of weeks. Last week it went down in the evening and people were purportedly stuck onboard for over two hours. A “very” pirate’s life for them.
Tortuga Tavern, across from Pirate’s of the Caribbean, has been popular recently. Since its name change from El Perico y el Pirata, it has been open every day from 11am to 3pm or 4pm. You may recall that El Perico was open much less frequently. It’s actually pretty good and a nice change from what’s mostly hot dogs and hamburgers at Magic Kingdom. Here’s the menu: http://www.easywdw.com/menus-and-seating/tortuga-tavern-adventureland-major-quick-service/. Casey’s Corner and The Lunching Pad have been closed for refurbishment since August 29th. Lunching Pad reopens on September 14th and Casey’s Corner will follow on the 15th.
Golden Oak Outpost across from Pecos Bill was also closed. Good thing, since the food is pretty sad here. Disney actually lowered the price of the BLT Flatbread from $9.19 to $8.99 with the recent price change. It would be fairly priced around $2.
Big Thunder Mountain with a 30 minute wait and FASTPASSes with return times that are 40 minutes out. That’s longer than we’ve seen over the past few days.
This might have had something to do with it. Splash Mountain was down for a few hours in the afternoon.
A new spot for strollers. You may recall the last time we were here that someone decided it would be a good idea to put them across from Peter Pan’s Flight. Yeah….no.
Fantasyland construction looks to be going well.
A better parking lot. Apparently Disney is trying to push these construction walls closer to Winnie the Pooh and wanted to see what it would like like, which is why the area was roped off last week.
Winnie the Pooh routinely has the second longest wait times in Fantasyland and often the third or fourth longest standby waits in the Park. It gives out a ton of FASTPASSes and has a lousy capacity. Either get here before 10am or collect FASTPASSes for later, keeping in mind that the FASTPASS machines are located near the entrance to Mickey’s PhilharMagic. PhiharMagic is located across from the Carousel and Dumbo and to the left of Peter Pan.
I always take a picture of Enchanted Grove behind scrims, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted one. Disney has really gotten good at their tarp creation – this one lines up almost perfectly with the tree.
The Rapunzel Meet and Greet. The previous group was just let into the Meet and Greet area, which means the people lined up to the left have at least a 30 minute wait to look forward to.
A 10 minute wait at Tomorrowland Speedway, which is really good for this time of day. Not sure what is so “Tomorrow” about it, but I sincerely hope we won’t be seeing five year olds behind the wheel any time soon.
Not much action outside Space Mountain – 30 minute posted standby wait with FASTPASS return times just 50 minutes in the future.
I was discussing the Fairies with Steve and family and we laughed about how you have to know a little about some of the more obscure characters to really “get” them. For example, you’ll always get Tinker Bell at the Magical Nook, but she’s paired with one of the lesser known fairies. Vidia (the purple one) is the most common. According to Wikipedia, “Vidia is the fastest of the fast-flying-talent fairies. She often uses terms such as “dear”, “sweetie” and “cupcake” without sincerity, makes cruel remarks, and is impatient when she is kept waiting. She’s also independent, crafty and opinionated. She lives alone in a Sour Plum tree. Although she dislikes the other fairies, she has a soft spot for Prilla and later Wisp. She is principally an antihero, but sometimes an antagonist.”
When you meet Vidia, she is very much in character, which means you’re going to be interacting with a snotty young fairy. She’s also going to be making a face in the photo. Try not to take either personally. She might warm up a bit if you mention you’ve heard she was the fastest fairy.
Here’s Swiss Family Robinson behind refurbishment walls. It’s expected to reopen November 18th.
It’s not looking real good at the moment. It will be interesting to see if Disney comes up with something better in the near future. You may remember Pecos Bill was behind generic brown scrims and Enchanted Grove had very odd forest-themed scrims on it. We may see something better looking (I hope) soon as it’s fairly obtrusive at the moment.
A look down Main Street around 2pm.
Town Square is decorated for Halloween again. It was. Then it wasn’t. Now it is again. I’m not sure if the building shakes off the garlands or what.
5 minute wait for Mickey or 15 minutes for the Princesses just after 2pm.
A quick look at some of the recent Mickey Ear releases.
Not a lot of people arriving around 2pm here. Much calmer than noon.
Apparently there was some sort of small bus fire in one of the loading bays at the Magic Kingdom, which caused all resort buses to be rerouted to the Ticket/Transportation Center. I was sitting at the Ticket/Transportation Center right after it happened and saw the first few buses roll in. I thought it was odd that there were cast members at the Ticket/Transportation Center boarding each bus and explaining how to get to the Magic Kingdom, which never happens under normal circumstances. No one was injured, no one was on the bus when it occurred, and it’s my understanding that it was quickly extinguished.