Magic Kingdom Odds and Ends – 1/18/14

by josh on January 22, 2014

Time for a few odds and ends that didn’t make their way into one of the previous posts on FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom. If information like Pecos Bill now serves Raspberry Slush instead of Root Beer Slush excites you, then this update is right up your alley. This is a picture of a leaf in Tomorrowland. Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/tomorrowlandleaf.jpg. It’s all downhill from here.

The DIS picked up yesterday’s post on touring Magic Kingdom with FP+ here: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3225398. The first few pages are relatively sane, but things really pick up by page five when people start arguing about whether you should ride rides or not. I have a response to a few things on page 11:

A couple of things.

This is not an EMH morning. It’s the Saturday of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and by attendance, one of the 25 busiest days of the year. In the afternoon, they are only about 6,000 people away from discussing the possibility of a phased closure. That’s still about 15,000 people away from actually needing a phased closure, but a phased closure is rarely a concern. I purposefully waited until a busy, non-recommended Saturday to show how much you can expect to accomplish first thing in the morning, even when the afternoon is “insane.” I’m sure there will be plenty of “NEVER AGAIN IN JANUARY” threads incoming, but this is one of the least busy four week periods of the year at the Parks.

If this was today (the 22nd, a most recommended day on easywdw, overall crowd level ’4,’ highest crowd level of the day on touringplans) touring would be even easier and we would see much shorter afternoon waits. This is what we’re talking about:

This is basically dead.

It’s true that I do move faster than your average family. But I also meander a lot, take a lot of pictures, change lenses, pose for pix with my adoring fanz etc.

For example:

Larger: http://imgur.com/ohmyDd1

Each pic with red text is a stop.

And while I might move faster than your average family of eight, the cheat sheet timing is more conservative. Even families with 2 year olds, grandpa, and a “stop and strike a pose for the scrapbook” aunt should be able to complete each step within the time allotted. I’m ahead of the timing as I point out, but a couple minutes here and there for strollers etc. isn’t going to throw you off too far. and it’s already factored into the timing. Because I’m a little quicker personally, I end up about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. But also, on my particular touring day, I take 25 minutes in between Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean and both Pirates and Jungle Cruise are still walk-ons.

If you showed up at 11am at Magic Kingdom on this particular day, you’d be pretty screwed whether we’re talking about FASTPASS or FP+. FASTPASS return times for Peter Pan would be out to 3pm or 4pm, Space Mountain would have a 100 minute wait and FASTPASS out to 6pm etc. If Jr. wanted to re-ride Big Thunder Mountain at 1pm, you would initially wait 75 minutes or have had to pull a legacy FASTPASS by 11:30am. Then you’d have to wait 100 minutes in line or pull a legacy FASTPASS for a return time of 3pm.

etc. etc.

A better look at the entirety of Pinocchio Village Haus with the new planters.

The Haus is expected to be closed for refurbishment from February 17th through March 30th.

Much to my surprise, work was actually going on at the Mine Train.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/closeryet.jpg.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/ihope.jpg.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/imeantheycantbeconstructingbackwardscanthey.jpg.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/iwishithadmoremegapixels.jpg.

Hopefully Prince Eric’s portfolio is diversified as he does not do a lot of business from his New Fantasyland market.

Minestrone soup available with the cooling temperatures. The low on January 22nd is 36 degrees. Florida news runs SEVERE WEATHER ADVISORIES when the temp hits anything below 60, so I imagine we’re in straight up apocalypse mode.

Walls and scrims are again up all around Magic Kingdom.

This runs from the left of Liberty Square Riverboat.

The back side.

They are really getting good at these things.

Walls all around Tiki Room.

And at the Jungle Cruise FASTPASS machines.

Golden Oak Outpost, across from Pecos Bill on the Adventureland side, now offers a Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

Diamond Horseshoe menu.

As previously hinted, Raspberry Slush replaces Root Beer at Pecos Bill.

No more souvenir boots. I saw a headline that read, “‘Frozen,’ ‘The Lone Ranger’ Lead 2014 Oscar Nominations for Disney.” You know that must have been a bad year. I did see Frozen and was impressed.

Liberty Square Market serves “Italian Spiced Roasted Corn.” They roast the corn on a big grill near the Market now – it’s kind of neat.

It’s artsy.

Because it’s tilted.

#quack I think you mean. Otherwise it’s unsearchable and nobody will know, Donald! #hashtags101

Splash Mountain is expected to be closed through March 21st.

The scaffolding looks more serious than previous years.

A few Space Mountain shirts:




In the arcade at the Space Mountain exit (why on earth wasn’t this waste of space converted into a MyMagic+ service center?), charging stations have been installed.

You may want to invest in a Disney lifestyle blogger essential – the external battery charger.

The FastPass+ kiosks in the back of Storybook Circus are less popular than others, but seem to bring more people back here. I’ve never seen more than a handful of people seated here and it’s now almost full. Both the hot dog and pretzel carts are operating. This is partially a symptom of the heavy crowds, but even over Easter there were just a couple people back here.

Big Top Treats case:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/bigtop1.jpg

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/bigtop2.jpg

I feel like Ariel is giving off one vibe here.

And sort of a different one here.

Someone is browsing for oranges at Prince Eric’s – a rare gem of a photograph.

Can we dwell on the fact that this is the turkey sandwich lunch line? Maybe they could give tours from Park open through 10:30am so some of these people could take their children inside for some pix. Dazney isn’t losing $$$$ because those people are going to spend 15 bucks a head on lunch somewhere, even if it’s Tortuga Tavern.

Sunshine Tree Terrace, the home of Citrus Swirl, is selling these neat-looking “Souvenir Tiki-Tankards” for $9.99.

Build quality was pretty lousy though and I haven’t had much luck in recent memory with souvenir cup quality. The Orange Bird cup will not last a cycle in the dishwasher and the face will likely melt off if washed in hot water. My souvenir Be Our Guest souvenir goblet thing that cost $15 never lit up. I recently picked up my 40th anniversary SHAG lowball glass and the top separated from the bottom. Fortunately there was no scotch in it at the time. Or we would have a problem.

The Cat apparently has a new look too.

To the excitement of nobody.

The bus loop is seriously big since the recent expansion.

The buses to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom in Gates 5 and 6 might sound convenient, but they’re all the way at the end. Disney has been doing a better job with bus transportation since recently picking up more buses. This remains the very busy Saturday over Martin Luther King Jr Weekend at 2:53pm. A Hollywood Studios bus approached as I walked up and only three people were waiting. The direct trip only takes about 15 minutes.

At Hollywood Studios, there are no more memories.

Yeah, share the magic right now as long as you’ve booked it six months in advance! I’m surprised the headlining attractions are Ariel’s Grotto and Jedi Training Academy.

Can we dwell on the fact TouringPlans had Hollywood Studios as a 3 out of 10 on a Saturday during one of the five busiest holiday weekends of the year with a morning Extra Magic Hour, two Fantasmic shows, and a 9:30pm close? Talk about vacation ruined if you showed up here expecting the Star Tours wait to be less than 70 minutes or maybe a Tower of Terror wait that isn’t triple digits.

Magic Kingdom waits:





The short posted waits really are curious considering how many people are in the Park.

Epcot:



There’s no way around those wait times at Epcot and Test Track over the holiday. Hit one first thing in the morning and plan to use FP+ at the other. Or visit one last thing at night. Or use single rider at Test Track. I go over one-day touring at Epcot in this post. And one-day touring at Hollywood Studios in this post. Both take the current tier system into account.

Animal Kingdom:


It might be sad that Animal Kingdom only needs two screenshots to show all the ride wait times. With the 9pm close, it will be another 90 minutes before the Park really clears out.

No.

I’ll be working on some backend updates over the next couple days. Look for some cruising posts by Lisa over the next few days and we depart on the Magic on Monday.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

MJF January 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Where is the Ariel merchandise sold? I don’t remember seeing a collection like that anywhere when we were there last. I must not have all the new FL figured out yet!

THanks!

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josh January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Big Top Souvenirs in Storybook Circus. Sir Mickeys should also have a large selection.

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Adam January 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Cruel….just cruel. The time I spent reading those 11 pages on TheDis after you teased us with it I will just never get back. I’ll probably start a thread asking if anyone knows the e-mail address I can send a complaint to about your entry….then follow by telling everyone what I want to complain about.

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Dawn H January 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

can’t stand reading the DIS boards, those people scramble my brain….thanks for the wonderful posts Josh, and just for the record I have been using your information for my vacations for I think four years now, and your timing is always realistic…and yes we do have children and we never hurried or rushed about…usually we were ‘ahead’ of schedule Ü
Here’s wishing you and Lisa a wonderful…guess I should say Magical.. time on your cruise!!!

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Brant January 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Josh, what are the walls up for at Tiki Room? I didn’t see it listed on the refurb schedule. We’re going to be there Saturday and was planning to grab a showing if possible. Thanks!

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josh January 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

It’s open. There’s just a wall around it. Exterior refurbishment of some variety I would guess.

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Jill January 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Josh from that picture on your phone with the wait times, it looks like you could use that charging station soon. LOL what a waste of space that is. Great update as usually.

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Mike January 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Did you just “bro” someone out on the disboard site? :D

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josh January 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

60 minute wait for Test Track. CRAZY CROWDED.

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Chris January 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

The Dream a few weeks ago and now the Magic? Is Lisa a budding Disney Cruise Line Blogger? If so, that may get mighty expensive! We love the newer ships but are anxious to cruise on the “new” Magic. Look forward to the update.

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DoctorK January 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I feel like “Backend updates,” “cruising” and “Lisa” ought not appear in the same paragraph going forward.

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J'aimie January 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

You guys couldn’t have held out for the Dream sailing on 2/2 so I could have bought you drinks? Vacation ruined.

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josh January 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm

If you move yours to the 27th you’d leave earlier ;)

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bowtiesarecool January 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the photos from Big Top Treats. We’ll be there in March, and I’m on a personal quest to see how long I can sustain myself solely on Mickey-shaped food items. RELEVANT INFORMATION.

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josh January 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

That sounds pretty bloggable. Please don’t go into business against me.

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Brent January 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

My rule for the Dis boards is : if it’s not on the DisDads forum, stay away. There are very disturbed people there.

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mike January 22, 2014 at 3:17 pm

What does the backside of water look like

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Bernadette January 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

‘The cat’ looks surprised – eye lift, perhaps?

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Susan January 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hmmmm…from where ever did you take the iwishihadmoremegapixels shot?

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josh January 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Bernadette, a lady never reveals her secrets.

All aerial shots are via the easyWDW helicopter, piloted by Launchpad McQuack.

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Molly January 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Sigh, the DIS makes puts me in the depths of despair anytime I read it for planning purposes. It’s really only good for things like the Bachelor thread on the community boards lol. I appreciate your clarifications, for a minute I thought I was reading Tourguide Mike ;) Just kidding! Your site is much more explanatory. I wonder, do you ever tire of going to the parks? I can’t imagine that I would but then I only get to go every 1-2 years.

I’m glad the Tiki room is open, we’re hoping to see it for the first time!

Is it me or does that large Ariel t-shirt have a come hither look that’s sort of disturbing?

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Susan January 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Give L.P my best.

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Anne Marie January 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Love your response on the Disboards. Have a great cruise.

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Joy January 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Touring Plans did admit in their historical crowds that they made a mistake at HS that day.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Crowd Level:
What we predicted: 3 out of 10
What we saw: 8 out of 10

Not that that helps the folks that went there that day now.

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ellie January 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Frozen. Still on my list. I keep hearing good things. I might try one of those cake pops next trip.

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RebeccaMcK January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I actually liked most of “The Lone Ranger” but enjoyed “Frozen” a lot more. As far as Oscar noms go, “The Lone Ranger” is up for Achievement in Visual Effects, and for Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling (I’ve got the list of nominees printed out and have seen most of the films)….that’s it. But yeah, they do “lead the nominations” for DISNEY. I’m rooting more for “Frozen” for Best Animated Feature and for Original Song (“Let It Go”). The animated short that preceded it in theaters (“Get a Horse!”) is up for best animated short film. It’s too bad “Saving Mr. Banks” isn’t up for more awards (just Original Score) – I saw that one twice, Lone Ranger twice and Frozen three times (got a lot of Disney Movie Rewards with the ticket stubs).

They had those plastic Tiki Tankards at Disneyland, too, and I almost bought one in December. Glad to see there was some work being done on the mine coaster.

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clover January 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I choose to walk on the happy side of life which makes the dis boards off limits. MLK weekend is the 5th busiest holiday weekend? I never would have guessed that. Good to know. Thanks for the update, Josh.

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Amy January 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I was reading your article and what app do you use to get the wait times?

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CJG January 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I guess the third time won’t be the charm for bumping into you Josh when I’m at the World 1/30-2/5. I’ve been carrying around a thank you card for 2 trips now……..so I guess I’ll send my thanks now, along with well wishes for a magnificent cruise. Thank you for being you and for all that you do. Best wishes and Bon Voyage!

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Kim January 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm

The souvenir tiki cup looks like the one they sell at Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel!

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Nina January 23, 2014 at 12:12 am

So strange to see people with cardigans! (to me) I don’t think I will be visiting florida in February!

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DUSTY CHEATHAM January 23, 2014 at 2:30 am

what no GLOP UPDATES & you could even tilt it for the ” artsy effect ” but then I suppose people would be bored .I am still waiting for dec 2015 updates please

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Safroim January 23, 2014 at 2:54 am

Great MK posts! Insane how the DISers continued to argue amongst themselves after you offered a full explanation and details. Those people are a special kind of crazy. Thanks for the detailed MK plan. Particularly helpful for us as we’re considering visiting MLK week next year. Enjoy your cruise!

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Jimmy N January 23, 2014 at 7:31 am

I think the best part of this update was the creepy Princess pictures you took that mysteriously didn’t make the cut. Nice sweater by the way. Is that Gucci? Armani maybe?

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Liz January 23, 2014 at 8:50 am

I prefer sexy Ariel, and I think you probably do as well ;) That “plush” is laugh-out-loud funny.
LOVE the Tiki Tankard!
Thank you for feeding my love of Disney parks ♥
Going President’s Day weekend (no choice except to wait ’til summer) and will brave the MK on the Sat. (8-10am and after 10:30pm!) and DHS on the Sun. Thanks so much for all of your tips and photos.

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Meadow January 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I’ve loved using this website for planning our FIRST trip to Disney in less than 2 weeks, such useful (and entertaining) information. I saw a table of how much time it takes to walk between rides posted on April 11, 2011, and for the life of me I can’t find it now. It would be so helpful for our day at HS (planning rides in between shows)and for our day at MK as well. Any thoughts on how I could find it again? I’ve searched several times through the search box with no luck. Thanks for all you do, can’t wait to apply all I’ve learned here on our trip.

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Beth January 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Are you looking for the cheat sheets, Meadow? Here’s the link (or click on cheat sheets on the right side). http://www.easywdw.com/category/cheat-sheets/
Hope you have a great time! And I agree, this website is invaluable!

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Meadow January 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm

No Beth, I have those little gems already. I had never seen it before. It was a table that had how much time it would take you I walk from toy story to tower of terror for example. I didn’t have time to look at it when I came across it because I was busy changing my lunch reservation time at Be Our Guest. I wrote down the date it was posted (April 11, 2011) because I thought I’d have no trouble finding it again. I was way wrong, can’t find it anywhere. But thanks for being helpful.

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RebeccaMcK January 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm

@Amy
He was using the My Disney Experience app (someone please correct me if it’s called something else?), which is the app WDW now recommends – it helps you set up your Fastpass Plus reservations (linked to your Magic Plus wristband) and dining reservations, etc. Looks like the wait times listed are organized well, too. I haven’t used mine yet.

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LarryZ January 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

Thanks for the entertainment while I’m waiting for my Nyquil to kick in. I appreciate the thorough photographic documentation!

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Danelle January 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Josh- It think it was you we saw walking by the Pooh ride on Saturday around 8:30am! We never go at busy times and I was wondering if it is usually that empty when the park opens at 8am or if it was becuase it was chilly and people waited to show up. We rode 16 rides (3 with FP) and left at noon that day before it was busy.

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Erin January 25, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi Josh – Thanks for the great info. Did you find the wait times that are listed on the My Disney Experience app were accurate with what is posted on each ride and how long the actual wait was?

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