We return to Magic Kingdom to check in on a variety of menu updates and to see if anything has changed since our Land-specific posts.
The “big” news is probably that the Citrus Swirl is out in favor of the Orange Swirl.
We return to Magic Kingdom for a pre-opening breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant and to see if arriving in Fantasyland an hour before anyone else offers any touring advantage.
Things are pretty relaxed here at 7:15am:
We pick our Magic Kingdom updates back up with Tomorrowland, after first visiting Main Street USA with a review of Plaza Restaurant, Adventureland with a review of new snacks at Golden Oak Outpost, and Frontierland with an extended look at Splash Mountain and Country Bear Jamboree, in addition to a look at new snack packaging and a review of the Toffee Pretzels.
This time around, we’ll start with a look at a variety of construction projects, take a look at very exciting menu updates, hop on the PeopleMover, and then close out with some nighttime shots.
We return to our consideration of Walt Disney World wait times in January over the last few years. Now, only slightly less relevant since it’s now March. As a reminder, these are the two main questions we’re attempting to answer:
- Are the Walt Disney World wait times that we experienced in January unprecedented?
- Is there an “off-season” at Walt Disney World where we can reliably expect to experience lower crowds and shorter waits? And if so, when?
We begin with January for a couple of reasons. First, the period between the Wednesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend and the Wednesday before Presidents Day Weekend in February has historically been one of the least crowded stretches at Walt Disney World. And people who have experienced low crowds and short wait times during late January vacations are the ones coming back proclaiming that there’s “no such thing as the off-season anymore.” And that may be true. And it may not be true.
At Animal Kingdom, we saw a meteoric rise in average January wait times over the last four years. The numbers above represent the average posted wait time at DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Primeval Whirl, and TriceraTop Spin. That’s a 71% increase in wait times over four years. If you missed Animal Kingdom’s analysis, see this post, which includes an update on how Pandora is looking.
On the other hand, Epcot wait times are virtually flat. That’s a 5.3% increase from 2015 to 2018 – virtually indistinguishable whether you visited in January 2015 or January 2018. 2016’s average wait is lower because Soarin’ was closed for refurbishment and 2017 and 2018 benefit from additional capacity at Soarin’ Around the World, probably offset partially by an increase in interest given the new film. But January wait times are stagnant even given the upgrade at Soarin’ and the opening of Frozen Ever After, in addition to the Festival of the Arts, which debuted in 2017. The full Epcot analysis is available here.
We move on to Hollywood Studios:
The Flower and Garden Festival continues through May 31st at Epcot this year, bringing with it topiaries, interactive exhibits, educational seminars, merchandise, butterflies, and of course, a lot of food and drink options available throughout World Showcase. The website has reviewed over one hundred different items, virtually all of which were purchased from the individual Outdoor Kitchens this year, in order to give you an idea about what to expect.
You can pull up the individual reviews, including pictures of the menus and all of the items available, in the following individual posts. They’re organized in the order that you’d walk past them beginning on the walk into Mexico. If you’re heading in the opposite direction, towards Canada first, start from #15 and work your way back:
- La Isla Fresca
- The Berry Basket
- Jardin de Fiestas
- Lotus House
- Primavera Kitchen
- The Smokehouse
- Taste of Marrakesh
- Florida Fresh
- Fleur de Lys
- Cider House
- Northern Bloom
- Honey Bee-stro
- Pineapple Promenade
If you’re only interested in reading one review, make it Primavera Kitchen, with a smorgasbord of virtually inedible items and overpriced wines. You know what I always say: “When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s better.”