Our visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the morning of Friday, November 22nd, 2019, continues outside Expedition Everest in Asia at 11:20am. In Part One, we began the day in Pandora for Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, after getting started a little later than we would have liked. Part Two followed with some big changes to how FastPass+ experiences are booked and changed in the My Disney Experience app, in addition to stops at DINOSAUR and Expedition Everest.
So far, this is what I’ve done:
- Avatar Flight of Passage: 9:06am – 9:38am
- Na’vi River Journey: 9:38am – 10:04am
- DINOSAUR: 10:16am – 10:40am
- TriceraTop Spin: 10:47am – 10:57am
- Expedition Everest with FastPass+: 11:03am – 11:18am
We don’t have a lot of updates on the food front, but Disney is offering these Pumpkin Pretzels at Tasty River Bar and Trek Snacks, immediately to the left of Expedition Everest. The Pretzel looks a little like a creepy child’s face with a bow in its hair to me, but I may be watching too much Watchmen. The sign to the left is a little obfuscated, but it’s advertising a regular Soft Pretzel that’s sort of in the shape of Simba, based on Rafiki’s cave drawings, for $6.79. It may or may not be a little more interesting than your standard Mickey Pretzel for just about the same money.
We pick things up on the way out of Pandora. In Part One, we saw the current rope drop procedure to Avatar Flight of Passage, and then visited Na’vi River Journey in standby immediately after.
It’s 10:10am as we head to DinoLand for DINOSAUR. From Part One, the key takeaway was that the walk over to Flight of Passage is now typically closer to 9am than 8:30am, with the average start right around 8:50am. That means that I’m about 40 minutes behind where I would have been most days over the last couple of years. We’ll see how much that affects crowds and wait times as we move about our morning.
We’re arriving at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the morning of Friday, November 22nd, 2019, or a little less than a week before the Thanksgiving holiday. This series continues our return to rope drop touring strategies after the Extra Extra Extra Magic Hours period ended on November 2nd. So far, we’ve rope dropped Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios, and started the day bright and early in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom over a holiday weekend.
With the official 9am open, bag check had already begun before I arrived at 7:35am, with a couple of extra bag checkers already set up on the right, indicating that this might be a busier day.
It’s the holiday season at Magic Kingdom, so we’ll take some time to consider Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This post will introduce what you can expect to see and do, and then I’ll follow it up with a more detailed look at the individual pieces in separate posts. There’s only so much you can do in 4,000 words.
A Hard Ticket Event
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of several “hard ticket” events hosted at Magic Kingdom over the course of the year, which means no other ticket is necessary to attend the evening’s festivities. But it also means that no other ticket outside of a Christmas Party ticket will get you in.
Here’s a look at the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party map, to give you an idea about what we’ll be covering:
As one might expect, Disney offers a flurry of special treats at Magic Kingdom for the holiday season. In this review, we’ll consider more than a dozen of them, many of which are available all day, and a few that are exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ll begin on Main Street with a couple of all-day treats available from Main Street Bakery Starbucks, and then move over to Adventureland in a clockwise fashion as we move about the Park. At the end, I’ll break things down into some clear recommendations.
Main Street Bakery is home to two limited-time, all-day treats, the first of which is this $6.49 Holiday Cinnamon Roll. A similar version is available all-year, with a variety of different icing colors and chocolate toppers. Here, the red and green icing is a festive choice and the chocolate Mickey Ears Santa Hat on top of the Mickey Ears Cinnamon Roll is all the proof that you need that you didn’t accidentally spend your holiday at Universal (again). The Cinnamon Roll enjoys a nice, fluffy pull-apart quality with tender pastry and plenty of cinnamon underneath a lightly-crispy exterior that’s made a little crunchier with the layers of sweet sugary icing. Ours tasted fairly fresh, though there’s very little chance that these aren’t defrosted and then baked throughout the day. For the money, it’s a large, shareable treat that pairs nicely with a variety of beverages available at Starbucks.