It’s been a while since we’ve descended into the depths of Disney World together. We pick things up this past Saturday night at Magic Kingdom. One of the major changes we see during the summer months is the switch from Magic Kingdom being the “worst Park to visit” on Saturdays to the “best Park to visit.” We see this change for a variety of reasons, but the most obvious is the fact that it’s surrounded by evening Extra Magic Hours on Fridays and Sundays and Magic Kingdom hosts both evening spectaculars every night, making Saturday much less of a draw. While we still have people visiting one last time before they leave on Sunday, it isn’t as big of a concern as it would normally be. At least that’s what I’ve been telling you isn’t it? Let’s see how we did.
One of the many joys of living five miles south of Disney World in June is the omnipresent threat of thunderstorms at any given moment. Sunny today, thunderstorm-y today, sunny today, thunderstorm-y today, sunny today is basically what you can expect in Orlando in late June. The chance of thunderstorms on Saturday night was 85%, but your author is brave and/or stupid so he headed out anyway. One can only sit in front of the computer staring at Star Tours wait times so long.
Here we are arriving at 7:05pm. It’s not looking to be particularly busy. Magic Kingdom was open until 11pm with Main Street Electrical Parade scheduled at 9pm and 11pm and Wishes on tap at 10pm, so we have a lot to look forward to this evening. Speaking of the many joys in life, you can always look forward to a “better” security screening when there are few people in line.
This is prototypical of what we’ve seen at Town Square Theater, with short waits for Mickey Mouse and at least longer posted wait times for the Princesses. Actual wait times for the Princesses are usually shorter than posted, but it’s always a gamble if you’ve got somewhere to be. They’re a pretty easy FASTPASS later in the day.
Here’s a 5 minute wait time at Jungle Cruise at about 7:25pm and a relatively empty Adventureland at the same time.
Let me just sneak in a quick peek of the Golden Oak Outpost condiment bar for those collecting pictures of condiment bars (you know who you are, Gregg). We’ll be returning here for dinner shortly.
Ruh roh, looks like we found the crowds milling about in Frontierland?
That’s about as good as you could expect. FASTPASS return times only 40 minutes in the future at two of Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions and posted wait times of just 20 minutes.
I had been intrigued by the flatbreads offered at Golden Oak Outpost since I photographed the menus a couple of weeks ago. See full menu, location, and seating here: http://www.easywdw.com/menus-and-seating/golden-oak-outpost-frontierland-minor-quick-service-snacks-beverages/. I’ve had the chicken sandwich before (which is just your basic Disney fried chicken sandwich), but never the flatbreads.
This is the BLT Chicken Flatbread that comes in at a whopping $9.19. That’s 50 cents more than the Turkey Bacon Wrap, 40 cents more than a 1/3 Pound Angus Bacon Cheeseburger (both at Cosmic Ray’s), 20 cents more than the Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta (Pinocchio Village Haus), and $1.50 more than the Burrito at Tortuga Tavern (Chicken or Beef). In other words, this is a pricey entree. The thing that struck me first was its paltry size, which is why I placed those two little containers of honey mustard next to it. This thing is barely longer than two of them put together and not as tall. And do you see any chicken? There’s a little under the lettuce. Basically, this is a side salad on a little piece of flatbread. Very disappointing. I’m all for reasonable portion sizes, but they better come with a reasonable price. This thing is at least $3 too expensive, even when we’re talking about Disney Dollars. In related news, I did confirm they accept the Disney Dining Plan, even though you won’t find this location listed in any of the literature.
Remember when I said I was brave? I was just kidding about that. I had planned to stay for the Main Street Electrical Parade, Castle Show, and Wishes, but it was pretty obvious that the storm was upon us so I headed out.
We’ll pick things back up the following day at Animal Kingdom. This was the “most recommended Park,” so we can hope to find low crowds and short waits. We should also note that this was a TouringPlans.com “Park to Avoid.” I’m always interested in comparing crowd estimates and “Best Parks” with other crowd prediction websites. Let’s see who got it “right.” I’m guessing it’s me or I probably wouldn’t have pointed all of this out to you.
Hmmmmmm looking a little on the busy side and I distinctly see a bunch of bright yellow shirts, which can only mean one thing!!!! Brazilian tour groups! What a treat!
Well that’s not bad. A ten minute wait at 9:30am.
A five minute posted wait for Expedition Everest at 9:39am.
I hopped in line and was back out front in eight minutes. Here’s the posted wait time at 9:52am. Still five minutes.
Here we are in DinoLand USA at about 10:05am. I don’t think this guy could have paid people to get on TriceraTop Spin. The wait is rarely over ten minutes since Primeval Whirl closed for refurbishment over six months ago.
Somewhat nominal waits for the late morning at Expedition Everest and FASTPASS return times that are still just 40 minutes in the future.
Definitely getting busier, but still not bad considering it’s summer and the overall crowd level is so high.
Crowds building in Africa just before 11am, as you might expect, but FASTPASSes still just 40 minutes out.
Here we are back at TriceraTop Spin just after 11am. These people are racing back around after just getting off the last Spin. Worst case scenario is a 90 second wait, I suppose.
I promised two sandwiches and I don’t want to disappoint. Lunch is at Pizzafari today. You’ll find Pizzafari in Discovery Island, across from the Tree of Life and near the walkway that connects it to Camp Minnie-Mickey. I like Pizzafari because it’s nicely air conditioned and has plenty of seating. Check here for the full menu and seating: http://www.easywdw.com/menus-and-seating/pizzafari-discovery-island-major-quick-service-hot-breakfast/
This is the Hot Italian Style Sandwich served with potato chips. It may or may not be larger than it looks, depending on how large it looks in the picture. It’s got ham on top, lettuce with Caesar dressing, pesto-marinated tomatoes, provolone cheese, Swiss cheese, and turkey anchoring the bottom. It was a nice, large portion that tasted like it was made fresh to order with light, fluffy bread and high quality ingredients. I enjoyed it much more than yesterday’s Flatbread and it was certainly more food for the money. It’s a nice alternative to Pizzafari’s usual pizzas and at least a healthier-seeming choice than the Meatball Sub you’ll find at Toy Story Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios. Note that you will find a similar sandwich at Catalina Eddie’s in Hollywood Studios as part of Sunset Ranch Market.
Overall, it was two pleasant days in the Parks, even though I was severely disappointed in the Flatbread, which I was hoping I would be able to come home and unabashedly recommend. While it tasted fine, the portion was simply too small for the price, even considering the usual Disney upcharge. Just look at what we got at Pizzafari for less money. Even the Turkey Wraps that are widely available would be two or three times as much food, cost less, and taste the same or better. I just can’t recommend it.