We’ll head out to Magic Kingdom on the afternoon of September 16th for no reason in particular. I had originally planned to work on consolidating the Magic Kingdom quick service locations today, but woke up unearthly hungover, and decided to get a little exercise out at the Parks instead of doing something worthwhile. I think that’s what ends up happening most days.
There had been a few questions about the process to get a picture like this in the nighttime Magic Kingdom pictures post.
I don’t want to give a lot of photography advice because I don’t really know what I’m doing myself. But the photo you originally saw was “HDR,” or “High Dynamic Range.” Your camera may have an HDR mode. What it does, is take three separate exposures - one properly exposed, one underexposed, and one overexposed, and then it merges them into a single shot. The image above is the “correctly exposed” photo straight out of the camera.
Another example of the HDR version.
The original, straight out of the camera. Here, I also clone stamped out half of the flag pole in Photoshop.
And then in Adobe Lightroom, I use these settings. In short, nighttime shots like the “good ones” are going to require a high-end camera, multiple exposures (HDR) and considerable post-processing using Photoshop, Lightroom, or the like.
But it does make for some nice looking “photos.” The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party display at the Ticket and Transportation Center.
The Party display outside the entrance. Fall is my second favorite time of the year at Walt Disney World, just behind Christmas (in November). Temperatures are just starting to drop a little as we move towards October.
If you think the picture quality has improved at the same time the quality of commentary has declined, you’re not the only one.
Magic Kingdom was not recommended today, which means it’s going to be busier than we’ve seen the other Parks in recent memory.
The recommendations aren’t all about ride wait times. That’s certainly part of it, but you can see how long the line for Dole Whips is at Aloha Isle. There’s at least 30 people in line on each side. I like to say that the difference between a “busy” and “not busy” day at Magic Kingdom is 35,000 people in line. What you’ll find during the “slower months” is that there still seems to be a lot of people meandering about, particularly at Magic Kingdom, even when ride wait times are short. For example, the wait at Big Thunder Mountain right now is 40 minutes and Space Mountain is 50 minutes. That’s far from crazy, but when wait times at the minor attractions are shorter, you’ve got people that wait five minutes to ride, ride, and then are back outside looking around for something else to do. In July, they’d be in line for 40 minutes at Haunted Mansion, rather than spending that 40 minutes outside walking around. That’s one of the reasons why the Parks can “feel” busy even when wait times are short.
It’s little things like this that make Magic Kingdom in the fall feel special. The fact that the windows are decorated may not even register at the time and chances are most people don’t even notice, but they’re nice touches. As far as NapkinWatch2k12, Disney is still using brown generic napkins, but the cups are the red Disney Parks design or the Halloween Party design.
Ned’s Shrunken Boats are gone forever, but I haven’t heard anything definitive about what’s going in its place. The pond had been drained after the removal of the Boats, but it’s filled again.
In Pirates of the Caribbean, some amount of work has been done to the queue. The two lines are separated by a rope now shortly before you arrive at the dock.
With both sides loading at the same time.
I really need a wife if you know anyone.
Looks like someone spent the evening at Be Our Guest Restaurant!
This is how I imagine I look when I’m “blogging.”
One piece of the “New Fantasyland” castle wall is no longer behind walls. Yo dawg, I heard you like walls.
I had seen a few pictures of it, but it didn’t seem like they conveyed the size of the thing, which is quite large.
The big news coming out of Enchanted Forest last week was of course the announcement that Be Our Guest Restaurant will serve wine and beer at dinner.
Readable size if you haven’t seen it: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/bogwine.jpg. I’m not sure if I want to hash out the argument for or against booze at the Magic Kingdom. My thinking is that this is absolutely the classiest way to do it and I don’t buy into the “slippery slope,” “this means Cosmic Ray’s is going to sell Jager Bombs and you’ll be able to order a 32 ounce Bud Light at Casey’s Corner.” We can cross that bridge when we come to it. While limited, the beer list is pretty fantastic.
Kronenbourg has long been available in the France Pavilion over at Epcot. It’s not a personal favorite, but the fact that it’s from France fits in with the theme of the restaurant. Of the beers offered, this Euro Pale Lager at 5.9% is your “light” option and you’ll probably like it if you’re more of a Budweiser kind of guy (girl). It’s not particularly bitter.
Yes, I have tasted and have pictures of every beer sold at the theme parks. This website is known for its thoroughness! It’s a tough job. Hoegaarden (pronounced who-garden) is a supermarket staple that would generally run you $8.99 for a 6-Pack. Kronenbourg is a little rarer. I like Hoegaarden too, though I’m unlikely to drop nine bucks on a six-pack of 4.9% ABV witbiers. Anyway, this is another lighter option and a better choice than the Kronenbourg in my opinion. They’re highly drinkable.
I don’t have a picture of the Chimay Blue, unfortunately, but it’s a “world class” Belgian beer. Really one of the best you can buy and quite common to find in stores. I have never had the Saison Dupont, but am looking forward to trying it.
Can’t help much on the wine front, though it looks to be a nice list. Wine pricing seems to be in line with what you could expect to pay at a restaurant. The Freemark Merlot runs $23 at Total Wine, or $49 at Be Our Guest. The Flowers Pinot Noir runs $45 at the store or $75 at Be Our Guest, so that’s bordering on reasonable.
As I mentioned, Disney really is going about this in the classiest way possible. You’ll notice that Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sutter Home Wine, and Bud Light aluminum cans aren’t on the menu.
As far as the Walt quote:
No liquor, no beer, nothing. Because that brings in a rowdy element. That brings people that we don’t want and I feel they don’t need it. I feel when I go down to the park I don’t need a drink. I work around that place all day and I don’t have one. After I come out of a heavy day at the studio sometimes I want a drink to relax.
There is no way to have a rational discussion with people who will just blindly tell you, “It isn’t what Walt wanted” based on a single quote, 60 years ago, about Disneyland. The reality is Walt was desperate to differentiate his product (yes, product) from area carnivals and fairs that had poor reputations. Not selling alcohol was a means to differentiate Disneyland from seedier venues. If Walt were alive today (here we go), he would sit down at Be Our Guest, order a Chivas Regal neat, and ask for a copy of the scotch menu. Not that hard alcohol is even offered, mind you.
Anyway, that’s more than I wanted to say about it, because I feel like most of the posts about the alcohol introduction on the various blogs/websites are just a means to stir controversy and drive pageviews.
Larger menu: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/beourguestpricing.jpg. for those interested in pricing on the dinner menu. It looks surprisingly reasonable. And in some ways, it makes me concerned it’s going to suck. I mean, you can dine here for 80 cents more than the Chicken/Ribs at Cosmic Ray’s.
Back to the wall, it does look fantastic.
I particularly like the flowers, which look like they came straight out of the movie.
Continuing on to Mine Train construction.
Where track is being installed.
I was trying to angle for a picture of Gaston’s Tavern signage, which is complete with antlers, but came out unsuccessful.
Daytime circus sign:
Quite the structure.
Souvies, souvies, er’ywhere.
Pete’s Silly Sideshow signage:
Advertising characters that won’t be appearing, I guess.
Launchpad McQuack was nice enough to give me a boost in the easyWDW helicopter. Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/thxlaunchpad.jpg.
Can’t see much out there.
Launchpad had to cut out, so we’ll see about replacing him with a flying elephant. The background on the FASTPASS return times is red now, making it much more readable.
There seems to be considerable confusion over the Dumbo circus tent as new signage has been installed and cast seems to be concerned with whether or not you understand what’s transpiring.
It’s not particularly difficult. Disney is still corralling everyone into the tent, which meant there were about 100 people waiting. It was louder, but not uncomfortably so, and Disney’s Wi-Fi seemed to work well.
When crowds are low, you should be able to request more time in the tent if you like. A gentleman asked if he could spend more time with his daughter, and they exchanged his buzzing pager for a fresh one.
It ended up taking 22 minutes to wait for and ride Dumbo with the 15 minute posted wait. FASTPASS slows things down a bit.
Otherwise, there wasn’t as much to see up here as I was hoping.
Grass relocation seems to be just about complete.
Winnie the Pooh FASTPASSes are still printing alongside Dumbo Surprise FASTPASSes. I had seen one or more reports that Mickey FASTPASSes are printing with Dumbo too, but I haven’t seen that myself. I grabbed a Mickey FASTPASS on my way out and it printed by itself.
Sir Mickey’s scrims are already down.
Like a sir.
Merida now greets without the bears.
Afternoon waits continue to be in the 30 to 45 minute range.
I got a kick out of this shirt-costume, which was featured on Disney Parks Blog today.
A few new Halloween items are out:
And a Where’s My Water backpack:
It’s actually a pretty fun game.
Not a whole lot to say, but a few new things.