Moving on, we now find ourselves in Norway, which looks a bit more crooked than the last time we visited.
The good news is that the waterfall is again out from behind walls. The bad news is that it isn’t a waterfall right now. Supposedly Disney has been trying to install an Agent P Adventure effect or something, which obviously takes six months and multiple attempts.
Also good news on the Maelstrom front. An old effect has been turned on again. You’ll see it between the 3:10 and 3:20 mark as the waves crash up against the oil rig after the “big drop.” Some other subtle effects have also been touched up and mood lighting is improved.
Helly Hansen merchandise takes the place of the hand-knit sweaters closest to the ride’s exit.
Said sweaters, most of them $300+, have moved into the next room. I would guess selling $500 sweaters in Orlando in July is even more difficult than selling DVC at Saratoga Springs, and that’s saying a lot.
Viking steins next to liters of Vikingfjord vodka, which is coincidentally my favorite brand of vodka.
$21.95 for a liter is a reasonable price too.
Also, their commercials make me feel like I might have a future in Norwegian film.
Not much else going on in Norway as we take a look at the current Kringla Bakeri og Kafe menu. There has been some past confusion over whether the pretzels here are snack credits, but the menu now makes it clear that they are.
Although I don’t see any mention of the old combo that included a sandwich and a side salad or fruit cup. That was nice on the Dining Plan because you could get a sandwich, salad, dessert, and drink for a quick service credit.
I have a review of each of the sandwiches and a few of the pastries here. Actually, this website has a pretty handy look at all the quick service locations at the theme parks including menus, food reviews, seating areas, advantages/disadvantages etc: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom. Expect a major update at the end of next month when Disney updates the menus.
Those omg-too-cute-stop Viking Chocolate Mousses were added back in March. Word is they’re super rich with a thin chocolate exterior hiding dense, dark chocolate mousse inside. If you’re looking for something that isn’t super sweet, I love the Lefse. But of course, like all Disney lifestyle bloggers, my favorite item is the School Bread.
Poor Norway gets the short end of the stick on the alcohol front. Obviously none of the three toilet wines served here are anywhere close to Norwegian. Heck, Tehran is half as far away from Oslo as Napa Valley. I would literally die if they sold Nøgne or Dansk Mjød. Imagine ordering a shot of Viking Blod instead of a 4-ounce plastic cup of Century Cellars.
Here are your choices. Aquavit is neat in that the oak casks that carry the alcohol are loaded onto a ship that sails around for four and a half months. I wish they would stop at my house. Bottles are sold in the store for $39.99 or $29.99 from Total Wine.
The safe money is on the $8 Carlsberg drafts, even if it’s a Danish beer. One protip while we’re here: I do not recommend the Carlsberg Elephant should you run into it.
In the Magic Kingdom post, I mentioned that Epcot was not going to look like July when we visited on the same date. This is July 7th at 11:30am and it highlights why the website’s advice is to head up through World Showcase as close to 11am as possible. I rode Maelstrom with no wait and nobody in front of me twice beginning around 11:15am. The first time I tried to take a video, a family of six behind me from New Jersey, all with lisps, narrated the entire ride. The second time some genius with a handheld camera decided it would be a good idea to take one-handed flash pictures every 15 seconds. Anyway, on to China, where even less has changed.
Well okay, the price of Tsingtao went up 50 cents. More on Joy of Tea including drink reviews and the Lucky Combo, which I don’t recommend. The Lucky Combo looks like a good deal at first glance, but it only includes one of each of the snacks. Note that each of the items as listed on the menu is plural – you get two for that price. This is one of the few places where you can grab a can of Coke though.
The Tipsy Ducks is still available – excellent if you like bourbon, chocolate, and coffee.
Lotus Cafe menu:
It’s the same as the last time we checked in to try the Hong Kong Chicken.
This is one of the only restaurants the website does not have a recent review of – probably because it’s considered to be one of the worst restaurants on property. But I’ll see about heading out there this week.
Seems popular though.
These unadvertised bathrooms at Lotus Blossom Cafe are usually a good choice if you’ve passed Norway and don’t want to walk all the way to Germany. They’re not listed on the map – that’s the Lotus Blossom ordering area on the right and the restrooms are located right through that door.
There’s always one family looking at the map.
Seems like Disney’s strategy of not building any rides or attractions back here is helping push people to the back of World Showcase early.
The Refreshment Coolpost is boring even for Disney standards.
The Phineas and Ferb items are a “permanent” mainstay on the menu. Lines are usually nonexistent here so it is a convenient spot to grab a bottle of water or something.
They were advertising “Craft Beer.” I asked the cast member at the register and she pointed to the usual suspects on draft – Bud Light, Yuengling, Safari Amber, and Landshark. She was either confused or they don’t actually have a limited engagement offering.
Bead Outpost is back here:
Most people walk right by it, but it’s actually a neat cause.
They’re really pretty.
Pricing isn’t outrageous.
And the neighbors might compliment you for wearing something that “isn’t Disney.” And you can just smile.
Face painting. This section is one of about nine expansion pads – or areas where there is room for another World Showcase Pavilion if Disney elected to build one. Norway is the “newest” Pavilion and when did it open? 1988.
Village Traders also sits back here. It’s more of the same for the most part, with some merchandise you’ll find at Animal Kingdom, in addition to stuffed animals, fans, and the like.
But there are some unexpectedly cute items too.
Dresses, shirts, mugs, flamingos, etc.
And the World Showcase Pavilion shirts are still widely available.
Something like 99.9% of the people walk right past Mdundo Kibanda, present company included most of the time. But you’ll find some unique hand carved wood art as well as a very friendly cast member that is happy to explain to you what he’s up to back there.
This area is taken by Food/Wine/Flower/Garden/Alcohol booths about five months out of the year now. Over the summer, it’s a completely uncovered, blisteringly hot “rest area.” Otherwise comfortable though.
Our first stop in Germany is Karamell-Kuche – Handcrafted Caramel Treats. I would zoom in on the sign advertising Werther’s Original, but everyone knows corporate sponsorship doesn’t exist outside of Main Street Bakery.
Carmael Apples are priced similarly to the other Disney outlets.
Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/whatwouldwaltthink.jpg. Both sides are the same, but the smudges may or may not be in different places.
In very Costco-esque fashion, Kuche offered samples of their caramel corn. The kernels that don’t get stuck in between your teeth are okay…I think it tastes kind of stale right off the bat. It may depend on how fresh your batch is. It gets kind of addictive after a few bites.
Packaged Werther’s candy is available. Those bags of caramel corn run $8.95.
Werther’s is another option for those of you on the Dining Plan that decide to pay cash for less expensive snacks to “maximize value,” only to end your trip with 77.6 snacks in the bank.
Otherwise, making a purchase at your local grocery store would probably be financially wise.
The Bier stand is located on the right side of the Pavilion. It isn’t always operating.
The addition of the Schofferhofer Grapefruit Beer is relatively new.
Berentzen Apple is an interesting liqueur that most people have probably not tried. At 20% alcohol, it’s on the low end of the spectrum. Jagermeister is 35% and the Aquavit is 41.5%. “ApfelKorn” as it’s called in Germany, is produced by blending neutral wheat spirit with apple juice. The result is a sweet liqueur that tastes like a boozy apple juice. The alcohol flavor is most apparent up front, but quickly subsides as the sugar from the apples reaches the tongue. If you take the shot quickly, particularly if you’ve been drinking, you probably won’t notice the alcohol. If you’re Drinking Around the World and find yourself too full of beer, this is a nice, “light” alternative both in alcohol content and liquid volume.
Jagermeister is much more prevalent and most drinkers will have experienced it at some point, even if it was 20 years ago in college. One of Germany’s best known exports, Jager tastes a lot like black licorice. The complex flavor comes from the 56 different herbs, fruits, roots, and spices blended together. Jager definitely isn’t for everybody. My brother makes fun of me because I sip it over ice. Also, whatever you eat immediately after taking a shot of Jager probably won’t taste very good.
But if you’re skipping beer in one country, Germany shouldn’t be it. The Altenmunster Oktoberfest on draft is one of the best beers available at the outdoor kiosks and one of the only beers you won’t find in the fridge at 7-11. Oktoberfest has a sweet, light caramel flavor up front with decent carbonation and a clean finish. It’s refreshing and should please beer snobs and the Bud Light crowd alike.
Germany is one of the more straightforward Pavilions. Sommerfest is the quick service arm, serving up a limited menu with limited seating and two cashiers.
The German Potato Salad is new since our last visit.
It comes in a relatively small, pre-packaged container.
It tasted pretty pedestrian – heavy on the mayo with red potatoes and chopped green onion. I’m not sure there’s anything particularly German about it. Anyway, it would be a decent side if you’re looking for something to add to the Bratwurst/Frankfurter, but it’s far from anything special. At least it’s not french fries.
The popular Grapefruit Beer, first available at the 2012 Food and Wine Festival, returns in bottle form at Sommerfest. At around 2.5% alcohol, it’s unlikely to create much of a buzz. But it’s also refreshing here in the hot summer months. It doesn’t really taste like beer at all – more like a grapefruit soda.
I like the Brats and Prezels at Sommerfest, but I’m not sure it would be my one stop for lunch in World Showcase. They’re here and relatively inexpensive though.
I was at first taken back a bit by the cost of Biergarten, which seemed to be an increase up to $36.99 for dinner. But it’s apparently the same price as it was when I reviewed it last year. I like Biergarten a lot for the filling, authentic food and fun atmosphere inside the restaurant.
And the liters of beer of course. A liter is 33.814 ounces or about twice as much as you’ll get for $8 outside.
Germany is home to a lot of fun merchandise, mostly having to do with drinking beer and eating pretzels:
There were a few comments in the Le Cellier review about the Canada Pavilion not being portrayed accurately. I am hopeful that the Germany Pavilion is accurately represented. Hopefully all they do is eat pretzels and drink beer while wearing lederhosen and shows with a buckle.
Two pretzels for stamina.
The same style as we saw in Norway.
The German Periodic Table of the Elements.
Yes, I can approve the beer mug hat.
Tucked into the back right side of the Pavilion, nearest Sommerfest, sits this often overlooked wine bar.
There is nowhere to sit, but it’s a much larger selection of wine should you be drinking wine around the world.
Bottles are also available:
Trock-en-bearen-ouse-lay-zeh. That was my second guess.
Okay I can approve these glasses.
A few more items:
Wild hog hats because Germany.