(Not) Search Engine Optimized Walt Disney World Blog Post

by josh on March 1, 2012

Some odds and ends from here and there.

One More Disney Day

Check WDWMAGIC for a better look at the full 24 hours here.

Over to Magic Kingdom on February 29th for 24 straight hours of Magic Kingdom goodness.  Of which we’ll partake in about two hours of.  Sorry, but some of us have jobs.  I can’t just watch Country Bear Jamboree (#ImAtCountryBearJamboreeRightNowAndAllDayFor24HoursStraight) all day while tweeting my location constantly to my seven admirers, six of whom were asleep.  I’m at Country Bear Jamboree.  Still at Country Bear Jamboree.  Now at Country Bear Jamboree.  Right now I’m at Country Bear Jamboree.

With the Resort Monorail running for 24 hours straight.  The Express Monorail ran from 8am – 1am.  Beginning tomorrow and continuing through at least March 17th, the Magic Kingdom Resort/Express Monorails won’t run between 11:30am and 6:00pm if you can believe that.  Grand Floridian DVC construction is the cause.  Buses and additional watercraft transportation will be provided during that time.

I think it turned out to be busier than anyone expected, Disney included, particularly from 9pm – 3am.  It’s 7pm here.

Decent lines at the turnstiles.  Crowds would only get heavier through 12am.

Disney really pulled out all the stops for One More Disney Day.  Notice the disposable banner.  I’m sure it will show up on eBay for 1 million dollars or something.

I feel like the “6:00am” is Disney’s version of my red arrows.  And 6:00am “this evening?”  It’s 5pm somewhere I guess.

Because having a ton of kids hula hooping right inside the entrance as thousands of people enter the Magic Kingdom is a good idea.

Busy on Main Street with Wishes an hour off and the Electrical Parade coming up in three hours and again in five hours.

We’re going to need some fuel if we’re going to run around Magic Kingdom for about two hours.  The Chicken and Ribs Combo over at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – $14.19.  A staple on the Disney Dining Plan since it’s the most expensive quick service entree in any of the Walt Disney World theme parks.  “People” will tell you that it’s plenty of food to share.  I’m not so sure – I never have any problem finishing it.  There’s three ribs underneath the chicken, a dollop of Mashed Potatoes, and the Green Beans.  An excellent meal that will run you $4-$5 more than your typical quick service meal.  And it seems healthier than a lot of stuff, even if it probably isn’t.

Great view of Wishes from the Tomorrowland Bridge.  This kid’s head is in the way of Cinderella Castle.

And this rock obscures most of the other fireworks appearing off in the corner.

Tomorrowland immediately after the Fireworks.

A terrible picture of Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger meeting together in Fantasyland.  You virtually never see that outside of Mickey’s Halloween/Christmas Parties.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs appeared here at Friar’s Nook beginning at 9pm.  There was already a considerable line at 8:30pm.  At the Halloween/Christmas Parties, you can get the Dwarfs together, but Snow White did not appear with them in 2011.

Fantasyland down near Peter Pan’s Flight and it’s a small world.

Peter Pan’s Flight with a very believable 65 minute wait at 8:40pm.

A 35 minute posted wait at Haunted Mansion.  The extended queue is almost needed as the line is nearly out to the main walkway.

Jack Sparrow was also meeting guests to the right of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Phineas and Ferb, who also don’t ordinarily appear in Magic Kingdom, were greeting guests in Tomorrowland.  Mickey/Minnie met guests in Town Square Theater in their pajamas, though they saw wait times of 70 to 90 minutes for much of the night.  Chip and Dale in pajamas were in Tour Guide Gardens and Duffy appeared near Crystal Palace.

A more reasonable ten minute wait at Pirates of the Caribbean. Hopped in line and the actual wait was closer to five.

Jungle Cruise would operate all night/morning through 6am.  The posted wait time is 35 minutes, which we were assured was accurate.

A 40 minute wait for Aladdin’s Magical Carpets with the queue extending out here.

We walked through the Treehouse instead.

Main Street crowds at 9:15pm.

Magic Kingdom turned out to be busy for most of the night.  By 3am, crowds began to thin out as more and more people gave up and left, but it was obvious that a lot of people arrived with plans to stay through 6am.

Joy of Tea Stand

Over to the Joy of Tea Stand in the China Pavilion at Epcot.

The menu:

I had my eye on the “LUCKY COMBO” for some time.  If you were to tabulate the items individually, the total cost comes to $17.32.  However, each of the items listed under “SNACKS” individually come with two of said item, whereas the “LUCKY COMBO” comes with just one.  So the actual cost of the items in the “LUCKY COMBO” is $11.08.  So we’re coming out ahead, but only by $1.10.

The items laid out.  One of the few places at Walt Disney World that you can actually get a can of Coke.  Or Diet Coke if you’re watching your figure.  People assume this body is free, but I assure you it takes diligence.  I am a Habit Hero after all.  One of few people that can honestly say they poured their heart and soul into that three minute dance routine.

Zoomed in.

And inside.

I hate when it lists the nutritional facts.

Everything you see was pretty terrible.  The “snacks” just sit out there under a heat lamp in the 90 degree Florida heat until someone buys them.  Since the location isn’t particularly popular, food can sit for a quite a while.  The Pork Bun was stale.  The Chicken Curry Pocket dried out and flavorless.  No kick like you might expect.  The Egg Roll was “just okay.”  The same ones are available at Lotus Blossom Cafe, where they should be a little fresher, but not much better overall.  The Caramel Ginger Ice Cream was the best of the bunch, but the ginger chunks are somewhat off-putting and it was altogether too sweet for my fragile palette.  And there are chunks of ginger in there.  I don’t see any reason to go out of your way to order something here, but someone else might have a different experience.  A wrong experience, but you never know.

Food and Wine Festival La Cava del Tequila Tequila Tasting

This is from like October 2011, but I neglected to mention it because the presentation and tequilas were the exact same as the Mexico Tequila Lunch as described here.  It was a little disappointing that the La Cava Tequila Tasting and the La Hacienda Tequila Lunch used the exact same tequilas.  At the Lunch, several groups had just come from the La Cava Tasting and mentioned that the tequilas were the same, so I wasn’t surprised when I arrived at the La Cava Tasting a couple weeks after the lunch.  Should you be considering one of the Tequila events at this year’s Food and Wine Festival, you might want to take that into consideration.   In 2011, I felt the Tequila Lunch was a much better value.  The La Cava Tasting was less expensive, but came with significantly less food (as pictured above) and didn’t include the margarita or dessert tequila.  Unfortunately, these sorts of events tend to “sell out” long before the Festival actually begins, so it’s difficult to gauge which will be best from one year to the next.

More Flower and Garden Festival Topiaries

We took a look at some of the Flower and Garden Festival topiaries that were already up at Epcot earlier this week.  A few more are up now.

But to get you comfortable, we’ll start with something you should be more familiar with.  A look at the butterfly scene from the Monorail.

And the Butterfly House in context with butterfly topiaries out on both sides.

The scene here at the entrance most likely won’t be up until the Festival officially kicks off next Wednesday.

This peacock is new.  Never thought I would type that on this website.  Actually, it took me a minute to figure out what this thing was supposed to be.  I think it’s a peacock – its feathers (or whatever) are flowers planted behind it.

From the side.

And behind.

This Stitch might look familiar from over the holidays.  He has (fittingly) moved over here in front of Mission: Space.

The Festival Center doesn’t look any different with less than a week until the Festival starts.

Took a bad angle on this one.

Actually, this is probably the sort of comment I shouldn’t make.  Despite seeing 250,000 visitors in February and serving over seven million files (over one terabyte of “data”), this website was not invited to the Disney Fantasy Payoff (Media Preview) Cruise later this month.  I was really looking forward to taking my mom so I could finally show her that I had hit the Disney blogging bigtime.  But I haven’t.  And may never.  One can only print off a Google Analytics chart so many times before your mother just shakes her head and says, “What have you done for me today?”  Sorry mom.  Maybe next time.

A cute scene with Peter Pan and Captain Hook in front of Tick-Tock and a Treasure Chest.

Sorry again mom, but I would probably take this guy with me on that cruise that we actually aren’t going on anyway.  I should keep my mouth shut.

Seems like the sort of treasure chest Jack Sparrow would be excited to open, only to find it full of daffodils or whatever those flower things are.  Maybe we’ll learn at the Festival.  Looks like flowers.

Looking over to the Imagination Pavilion again.  That actually seems like a good looking picture.  Or my standards are just that low now.  Not sure what happened.

For the butterflies.

Pluto by himself at the moment at the base of World Showcase.

Donald and Daisy on the opposite side.

Daisy.

Donald.

Just kidding.  It’s the other way around.  You really thought you were going to be able to correct me, didn’t you? AS IF.

Woody and Buzz in the United States Pavilion.

Complete with drawstring and jet pack.

Lotso in the back of the Pavilion.

The Cars have moved back here to Japan from out front last year.

Flash.

Mater.

You thought that was your chance, didn’t you? Puh-leeze.

Belle and Beast in France.  Not sure what’s going on in between Beast’s legs.  Does he have have a tail or something?  I forget.

Additional characters behind them.

And more behind that.  The flowers around them are beautiful too.

These geniuses decided to leave their trash cart immediately in front of Belle and Beast while they proceeded to take ten minutes emptying the various trash cans in the Pavilion.  This woman actually pulled the cart back so there was room for her daughter to stand there and get a picture.

Over in the United Kingdom Pavilion, we have Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, and Tigger.  Nice to see Rabbit in something – he is such an integral character that is so often overlooked!

Another look:



They do great work with these things.

More to come I’m sure.

And more after that.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

PFalcioni March 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm

” I think it’s a peacock – its feathers (or whatever) are flowers planted behind it.”

Looks like an emu sitting on eggs to me. Maybe it’s better in real life?

Great update, thanks for attending One More Disney Day, because, you know, we must live vicariously through you, and we would have gone if we could. Even if it meant being bleary-eyed and non-productive at work the next day (no, I don’t even believe this myself).

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Peaches March 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm

The mango green tea slushie at the joy of tea stand is really good and very refreshing.
I give it 4 stars, will give you a head freeze.
When I was there last May I drank one each day and the girls who worked at the tea stand would remember me and know my order. The last day I asked if I could take their picture. They seemed happy to have their picture taken. One of the girls said “what should I hold?”, she looked around and then picked up a can of cleaner and held it for the picture. It was very sweet, not sure if that is a cultural thing, to hold something in a picture?

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Jill March 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm

That picture looking over to the Imagination Pavilion is really nice! (So maybe I have low standards too??) Either way…I’m saving it. And tweeting it.

Thanks for going to the park for part of the One More Disney Day stuff.

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Jill March 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm

@Peaches – I want to see the photo! Sounds cute.

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Patty March 2, 2012 at 3:14 am

So, how was Country Bears Jamboree?
Easywdw has taken off this year. I’ll bet you get invited next year, especially if it continues to grow. In any case, you have a great site. Try not to feel bad if it takes the powers that be at Disney to recognize it.

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John March 2, 2012 at 4:21 am

I’m confused. Who’s Flash?

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magic1106 March 2, 2012 at 4:29 am

“Sorry, but some of us have jobs.”
Was anyone surprised to read this?

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Shares March 2, 2012 at 5:04 am

I also want to thank you for attending One More Disney Day. My daughter was there for the entire 24 hours and you gave us more pictures than she did.

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keri March 2, 2012 at 5:30 am

I saw mention of “busing in tons of cast members” and a super full bus on the 29th – was it really that much more popular than they expected, or what?

Did you at least get your free hat? My brother (cast) went just for that, and snuck out through the utilidoors at 7am, according to the series of photos he texted me…

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RebeccaMcK March 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

Yep, the Beast has a tail. Phineas & Ferb in Magic Kingdom, awesome. And the dwarfs. I still haven’t met the dwarfs….I’ve never been to any special parties/events.

I read on two sites (zap2it and wdwmagic) about the closure of Habit Heroes at Epcot. Zap2it’s article (I was surprised to read anything regarding Disney there because they’re usually only about television shows and stars) suggests that the attraction may never re-open. But cast members (and maybe signs near the attraction) indicate that the closure might be just temporary until it’s re-tooled. Huffington Post had something about Habit Heroes, too (it might be where Zap2it got their article).

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Katie March 2, 2012 at 7:54 am

Thanks for the one more Disney Day post! Great info as always.

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Selena March 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

The beast’s tail?!!? LOL! You are so inappropriate, love it…

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jcarwash March 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

@magic1106 the mention of Josh having a job is the most interesting piece of news here. :-)

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Jill March 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

@keri – I think WDW only exceeded expectations a little.

At Disneyland, however….expectations were shattered. They expected 44,000 visitors and ended up with over 88,000. http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al030212a.htm

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JenniferS March 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

I am more than happy to contribute to your visitor total by visiting multiple times/day.
And what is this “job” of which you speak? I was under the misapprehansion that your sole raison d’etre was to visit the parks and DTD daily to feed our fix.

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tanya March 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

canto loopy. How have I never seen this before? I especially enjoy the loopy part. Anyone know if it’s any good?

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Terri in So Cal March 2, 2012 at 11:36 am

I’m not surprised about the crowds at DLR. That’s why I stayed away, far away! I was there in the 80′s when they park was open, without closing, on 2 weekends for the openings of Star Tours (80′s version) and Capt. EO. You would think the park would be empty at 3 a.m. but you would be so wrong! (ant that’s when there was only 1 park-no DCA yet) And typical of overnight weather in So Cal it gets down right chilly before dawn.

Years ago (in the 90′s) DL announced free admission to anyone wearing a costume on Halloween. We tried to go that day but once we realized that we couldn’t get any where near the parking lot and guest were streaming across Harbor and Katella we made the decision to go to work instead. I heard they had to close the park that day. CRAZY!

Thanks for checking it out at MK. :)

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Tabitha March 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

The boss was in MK and you didn’t stop for a picture…….Tsk Tsk. I am bummed he wasn’t in his PJ’s though.

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Jill March 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Terri – we decided to check out DLR on New Year’s Eve a few years ago (we were APs at the time.) That experience was enough to make me realize I want to avoid all events like that. The park was at capacity and it was just too much for me.

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Peaches March 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Jill,
Sent you the picture, she picked up the can becuase she need to hold something in the picture. It was very sweet and still to this day makes me smile.

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Peaches March 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Oh, I forgot maybe we can let the DIsney suits know who the top blogger is. If you want to mention an address or contact person I am sure many of us would be happy to let them know how we feel, I am serious. All of us spend alot of money visiting WDW, credit should be given to the person who helps us choose WDW as our vacation destination.

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Andrea March 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Awesome pics! The Mango Gingerita is DISGUSTING! Probably the worst drink I have ever had – we still laugh about it. Seriously…how they keep it on the menu is beyond me!

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Julia March 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Josh, thanks for reviewing and showing pictures of the Lucky Combo from the Joy of Tea stand. It was emntioned alot of the $40 a day thread on Disboards, and I wondered what it was like. Now know to definately leave it alone.
You said:” In 2011, I felt the Tequila Lunch was a much better value. The La Cava Tasting was less expensive, but came with significantly less food (as pictured above) and didn’t include the margarita or dessert tequila. Unfortunately, these sorts of events tend to “sell out” long before the Festival actually begins, so it’s difficult to gauge which will be best from one year to the next.” How do I make a reservation for this year’s events? How do I find out what events are offered and when? How do you decide which ones to go to? How do you know which are the good ones? When do you pay?
Since they sell out long before the Festival, which is not that far away, I need to get started on the process. Any help would be mostg appreciated. Thanks.

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Pam March 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm

We were at One More Disney Day at MK, too. I had an ADR for the dessert party that I made long ago (back when it was supposed to be a “quiet” day at MK). It was crazy….we just went in time for the dessert party and then left after Wishes. They had to send us behind Main Street (like they did when the president was there) to get out because Main Street was jammed full. My husband was done for the night, but my daughter and I slept a few hours and then went back from 3-6am, which was much better. There were still alot more people there than I would have thought at that hour. There was still a 25 minute wait for Haunted Mansion at 4am. But, hey, we did get super swell “free” buttons that say “One More Disney Day” on them. That made all the crowds and sleep deprivation so worth it!

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keri March 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm

@Jill – thanks for the link to the article! I was actually surprised by the sheer number of crowds swelling in the photos my brother texted me, but it only looked like a moderately busy summer day – which could still be overwhelming if they only planned for a fraction of that. And it’s still nothing like what DLR was!

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Michelle March 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Josh,

As always, the site is awesome. Sad to hear you didn’t get an invite. Not that it would make up for a real trip, but we’re planning a fireworks cruise for my sons birthday… We would love to have you join us. Sounds like just as much fun right???

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Erica March 3, 2012 at 7:31 am

I would have loved to have read your blog about the ship

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Erica March 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

I would have loved to have read your blog about the the Fantasy

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Jimmy March 3, 2012 at 7:43 am

Josh, you snuck that little tidbit about the monorail closure in there. Of course, our vacation starts tomorrow (3/4/12) and we are staying at Bay Lake Tower. Why did we chose BLT – having the monorail was a big factor. And Disney thinks it is just OK to shut down the monorail for 6 hours a day during our entire trip. I am soooooo p*ssssed. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.

Don’t worry Disney – I didn’t make ADRs for dinner @ 5:30PM 180-days in advance. Oh wait – YES I DID. Would have been nice to know that I wouldn’t be able to use the monorail at 5PM.

Any advice on how much time to allot for hopping between MK and EPCOT in the middle of the day without a monorail?

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Shawn July 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

BTW (I hate internet shortcuts :) …) I found this by using google. I almost didn’t read the entire thing but then I realized this was about the “leap day” at Magic Kingdom. I really like all the EPCOT pics. Thanks!

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