We’ll take a moment from the website’s intensive Food and Wine Festival preparations to see if any mounds of dirt in the Hub have moved or any snack carts have taken up new positions. Spoiler: both.
It’s 6:12pm on July 2nd 2k14 and crowds are thin at this website’s most recommended Park, despite high overall crowd levels. Looking over posted wait times over the course of the day:
From the morning through the early afternoon we see the same trends we’ve discussed over the last six months, including longer waits at most secondary attractions and shorter waits at the headliners. At 1:30pm, Haunted Mansion has a 55-minute wait, which is longer than Space Mountain and nearly double Big Thunder Mountain.
Early mornings and late nights remain the key, particularly here in the summer when Magic Kingdom remains open until at least 11pm nightly. By 10pm, only a handful of rides have waits over 20 minutes.
Compare the waits on the recommended July 2nd versus July 4th, which saw a late afternoon capacity closure. 75 minutes at Haunted Mansion, 40 at PhilharMagic, 90 at Peter Pan’s Flight, 150 at Space Mountain, 50 at Barnstormer, etc. Pretty rough.
Back to July 2nd, Tinker Bell waits remain relatively short since her move to Town Square Theater, where her capacity has doubled and she meets alone.
Last month we saw this construction box outside Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.
Replaced with a new planter.
Legacy FASTPASS machine removal continues here at the old Mickey machines.
Walls continue to surround the Hub area on both sides.
Circling the area outside Casey’s and Crystal Palace on the Adventureland side.
This is an extensive project expected to take over a year still to complete – this looks to be the base for another pedestrian bridge.
From the Tomorrowland side where dirt looks to form a new dam.
No more abandoned boat in the middle of the world’s most popular theme park.
Back on the Casey’s side, brass railings protect the grass from meandering tourists.
While railings and plants hopefully protect ducks from tourists looking to murder them with hot dog scraps and french fries.
It’s artsy because it’s tilted.
Unable to keep Anna/Elsa dresses in stock, Disney is peddling this generic pink/blue skirt as an “Elsa dress.”
Waits continue to drop at the Meet and Greet, thanks in part to the fact that the characters now meet separately and the fact that they now meet through 30 minutes prior to Park close.
“Just” 70 minutes at 6:30pm.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train continues seeing some of the longest waits in the Park. Looking over the last three weeks:
Or as a long PDF: http://www.easywdw.com/reports11/7dmtjune.pdf.
Each ‘-’ indicates downtime. The big takeaway here is that waits continue to jump up to 60+ minutes almost instantaneously after Park open and remain high into the late evening. July 2nd is as short as waits should be through the last week in August with July 4th being as long as waits get.
Expect to wait 60 minutes if the line is just barely backed up outside the entrance. Posted waits tend to be 10 to 15 minutes longer than actual.
With FastPass+, we got in line at 6:34pm, were onboard at 6:38pm, and back out front at 6:43pm. That’s less than ten minutes.
Still 75 minutes posted. FastPass+ remains the best way to experience the Mine Train. Otherwise you want to arrive by 8:15am and MOTOR it to the ride by taking the path to the right of Cinderella Castle toward Mad Tea Party and then take a left toward the Mine Train entrance. Or get in line right at Park close and wait about 30 minutes.
25 minutes at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, about half of what we would have seen with legacy FASTPASS.
Cheshire Cafe began offering “Gourmet Cake Cups” about a year ago if memory serves.
The White Chocolate Rabbit was recommended by the cast member.
It’s pretty darling and at $4.59, is a nice use of a snack credit.
Taste is exactly like Pillsbury Classic Yellow Cake with Vanilla Supreme Icing (because that’s what it is), but the sugary daisy and chocolatey ears make it a little more unique than your standard birthday cake.
It’s far from compelling in the grand scheme of things. Most people will be happier with a treat from Big Top Souvenirs or Main Street Confectionery, but the cake cup beats most quick service pre-packaged/batch-made desserts.
I know you’ve been waiting for it and here it is: The Storybook Circus pretzel cart has moved next to the popcorn cart.
Dumbo was posted at 15-minutes but it was more or less a walk-on.
Peeking inside, Minnie/Daisy looked closer to 10 minutes with just a dozen people in line for Goofy/Donald.
Barnstormer posted at 20 minutes at 7pm.
With FP+ we got in line at 7:07pm and were off at 7:15pm.
30 at Tomorrowland Speedway – not the ride you want to be in line for when it’s 90+ degrees out with 100% humidity.
The PeopleMover/Astro Orbiter refurbishment continues:
PeopleMover is slated to reopen August 5th, while Astro Orbiter reopens September 20th, if everything goes well.
While Carousel of Progress closes briefly in September, from the 22nd to 27th.
One thing you might not do is wear Glow with the Show ears in the front row.
If not for the walls maybe.
Cinderella Castle boarded up.
Plaza Restaurant is located at the end of Main Street on the right across from Casey’s Corner.
It’s the least expensive table service restaurant on property with most entrees under $15. The Beef Brisket Onion Burger is a relatively new addition.
There isn’t much to the restaurant, which is small and has a capacity south of 100 people. As Disney describes it: “Step inside this charming dining parlor awash in turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau touches, including beautifully embellished light fixtures and mirrors and an inviting solarium. From the main dining room, enjoy a stunning view of Cinderella Castle as you eat.” That’s what I meant to say, I guess.
Plaza is not the place to be if you’re trying to catch the Electrical Parade or Wishes during your meal. If you happen to be seated at a window, you can sort of make out the tops of some of the floats.
And potentially a few fireworks.
Lisa ordered the Vegetarian Sandwich – Fresh Mozzarella, Hummus, Basil Pesto, Cucumber, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, and lettuce on Freshly Baked Focaccia with choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries – $11.99. She commented that it tasted exactly like it sounds with most of the flavor coming from the basil pesto. Very good and a large sandwich for the money.
The broccoli slaw is similar to/the same as what’s served on the Lighthouse Sandwich at Columbia Harbour House and an improvement over what I was served last time with more broccoli flavor.
I ordered the Plaza Club – Smoked Ham, Turkey, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Mayonnaise layered on Sourdough Bread with choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries – $12.49.
Cut up into four sizable pieces with fresh vegetables, several slices of bacon, a generous pile of lunch meat, and lightly toasted bread, the sandwich was very good for what it was – a relatively inexpensive sandwich inside a theme park.
Remember that this is what a $10.29 quick service turkey sandwich looks like at Cosmic Ray’s. For two extra bucks at Plaza, you receive a significantly higher quality sandwich that’s larger and arrives with crispier steak fries.
While Plaza Restaurant is unlikely to change your life, it’s a good choice for a relatively inexpensive, relatively quick dinner. It was about 50 minutes between the time we checked in at the podium to the time we were outside and headed for the Park exit. Plaza can be loud – our meal was hampered by dueling toddlers with parents certain that their children screaming was the most precious thing in the world. But other than that, it’s a smart reservation on a budget and only a few more dollars more expensive than quick service. With larger portions, you may be able to more easily share.