We set out for Magic Kingdom on the morning of April 15, 2019, which happens to be the Monday before Easter this year. Where on the calendar the sometimes-March-but-usually-April holiday falls impacts spring break crowd flow significantly, but the week leading up to the holiday is almost always the busiest week of the first 11.75 months of the year, with just the week from December 25th – January 1st seeing heavier crowds and longer wait times. When Easter arrives in March, which it won’t again until 2024, crowds are typically even heavier. Some school districts, and primarily those in the northeast that funnel big crowds into the Florida theme parks, always have the week leading up to Easter off. Even if that’s somehow in August. Other schools schedule their spring break in late March, regardless of when Easter comes into play. When these two phenomenons collide, as they did in 2016, things get particularly ugly. Fortunately for us, things are just regular ugly this year. Like looking at a hamburger from Electric Umbrella made by someone who cares. Still pretty bad looking? Sure. But it could be a lot worse.
On this auspicious morning, we enjoy a rare 8am regular open – just the sixth of 2019 up until this point. The early opens are one of our best tools to help us stay ahead of the crowds because far fewer people are able to make it to Magic Kingdom at 8am than 9am. With a 9am open, waits might be short at most attractions just through 9:30am. With an 8am open, waits are still going to be similarly short at 9:30am, giving us a much-needed extra hour to enjoy light crowds.
Those of you that find yourself around the Walt Disney World Resort in the days leading up to the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios are in for a treat.
On April 29th, 2019, from 7pm to 10pm, there’s a beach party coming to Shipwreck Beach on the shores of Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. Featuring appearances by eight original Adventurers Club performers, a former Pleasure Island DJ spinning Club classics, and a bar serving four original P.I. drinks, including the Kungaloosh, enjoy the evening with other fans as the sun sets over Crescent Lake.
This one-time-only event is hosted by WDW News Today in conjunction with Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. Tickets start at just ten dollars and come in three tiers:
We set out for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park to check out the Tasting Sampler, which is currently available between April 12th and 22nd. Typically, the website wouldn’t hone in on a detailed review of something with such a limited run, but we saw a similar promotion over Christmas 2k18 and it “feels” likely that a similar set of tastings will be available during busier times of the year. I’ll also be offering some insight into what these kiosks typically offer, SO THERE’S THAT, too.
The Tasting Sampler is, ostensibly, a way for Disney to push people away from the most popular quick services, during the busiest times of day, during the most crowded times of year, and instead point them towards some of the more under-performing kiosks that aren’t typically open. In order to facilitate that, they’re offering a small bonus. Specifically, if you commit to putting $50 towards the 40 outdoor food and beverage locations that participate in the Tasting Sampler, Disney will float you an extra $10 digital value card that’s valid at a variety of major indoor quick services for use after 5pm.
The fine print is a bit cumbersome to get through:
Our early 2019 interest in “the data” comes to a close for now as we focus on how much wait times at the Walt Disney World theme parks fluctuate from day to day. Does it really matter if you visit Magic Kingdom on a Tuesday instead of a Thursday? We should be able to say with some certainty.
We started with a broad look at wait times, and what to expect from the rest of the year, in, “Walt Disney World Early 2019 Crowd and Wait Time Trends.” It’s a bit of a doozy, but it’s worth reading if you’re interested in how crowds have progressed over the last couple of years and what those trends might mean for the future. We followed that up with an in-depth analysis of what’s happening at Hollywood Studios in, “Is Toy Story Land Still a Dud?” The answer is probably still a “yes,” but that matters less every day as we approach the opening of (at least part of) Galaxy’s Edge on August 29th.
We visit Wine Bar George to check out their new Wine Country Brunch, which debuted on March 30th, 2019, and is currently offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm. You’ll find the restaurant and bar sort of across from The Boathouse and Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar and to the left of Raglan Road.
All of the Main Plates and Sides are exclusive to brunch, along with the Kendall Brook Smoked Salmon from the To Start list:
The other Small Plates and Boards are available during the regular lunch or dinner service. Wine Bar George opens at 11am daily and closes at 12am from Sunday through Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here’s the regular menu: