Edit: A special thanks to Lisa for providing these pictures of the new “beverage coolers” at the Pop Century Resort.
This is the old Value fridge previously available for $10/night.
And the new beverage coolers:
The new fridges are taller than the old ones. They are still smaller than the fridges at the moderates because there is no freezer. So no ice for your scotch. Wait there probably isn’t a scotch drinking spot at any of the values anyway!
Rewinding a few days to March 11, 2012. A very wet day in Lake Buena Vista so we only have a couple things to look at.
The entire Monorail system was down in the afternoon. When that happens, Disney runs buses from the Transportation and Ticket Center to Epcot and Magic Kingdom. The trip takes about the same amount of time as the Monorail – ten minutes or so.
Regardless, Disney had been shutting down the Magic Kingdom Resort and Express Monorails from 11:30am to 6pm for Grand Floridian construction. Today is actually the last day that is scheduled happen. Beginning tomorrow, the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Monorails should be back to operating on their normal schedules. That’s good news since closures were expected to occur through at least the end of this week and possibly into April. While the bus trip between Magic Kingdom and the Transportation/Ticket Center is a short three or four minutes, the buses were hanging around until they were packed with people, even though there were always empty buses waiting. That added a few minutes to most trips. Less pollution I suppose. We are Habit Heroes after all.
On the walk up to the boats and monorail walkway over at Magic Kingdom, we have Monorail Bros letting people know that they’ll need to head to the buses or boats if they’re headed to the Transportation and Ticket Center, Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, or Grand Floridian Resort. With the additional buses and boats, transportation overall wasn’t hampered much at all (in terms of wait/ride times) compared to how it would have run with the Monorail operating.
Via Twitter. Even with the heavy rain, Magic Kingdom was still busy with the overall crowd level at a resounding “eight” for spring break. A 40 minute wait at Buzz, an 80 minute wait at Space Mountain, and a 20 minute wait at Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Sunday’s rain probably contributed a bit to Magic Kingdom’s bananas crowds on Monday. People tend to avoid Magic Kingdom when it’s raining and will instead visit the following day. So you’ve got a lot of people that were planning to visit on Sunday putting it off until Monday and then all of the people who arrived on Sunday and naturally visit Magic Kingdom on their first full day also headed there on Monday.
Magic Kingdom actually isn’t a bad choice in the rain, at least as far as crowds, wait times, and getting wet are concerned. Most of the attractions and queues are inside or covered. Of course there are exceptions, like Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, Dumbo etc. On the plus side, many of the attractions are close together. You can easily walk between Fantasyland attractions in just a minute or two or move all the way from Space Mountain to Peter Pan’s Flight in three or four minutes. Compare that to much longer walks between something like Soarin’ and Test Track or Ellen’s Energy Adventure and the Imagination Pavilion. Keep in mind that most everybody has the same idea in the rain. Head to Hollywood Studios for covered shows and attractions or Epcot for Innoventions, the Land Pavilion, and indoor attractions like Spaceship Earth and Captain EO. Relatively few people choose to visit Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom in the rain.
Skipping ahead to lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. In this case, the $9.39 Pork Sandwich that is served at various locations around Disney property. You’ll basically find the exact same thing at Pecos Bill (Magic Kingdom), Fairfax Fare (Hollywood Studios), and Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom). It’s really nothing to write home about. If you’re familiar with the Jack Daniels brand of pulled pork, you’ll have a pretty good idea about what to expect inside this thing. It’s better than Lloyd’s or Curly’s though. I am a bit of a meat tub connoisseur, so you can trust me on this. There’s a reasonable dollop in between the basic bun, but I didn’t find it to be a particularly filling or satisfying meal.
Disney is installing “beverage coolers” in all Value Resort rooms between now and the end of April. If your room is designated for cooler installation during your trip, a note will be left in the room. Work should be completed between 9am and 5pm daily. I haven’t seen one with my own eyes. If you have a picture or have seen one, please post! Word is that bell service staff have been at the Lake Buena Vista Ale House every night for the last three weeks celebrating the fact that they won’t have to lug “fridge swap” units between rooms ever again. Oh, but what about the freezer compartment, right?
The price of the PhotoPass PhotoCD is going up from $149.95 to $169.95 on March 21st. You can preorder the PhotoPass CD for $99.95 through March 20th for an upcoming trip. Beginning March 21st, the preorder price will also go up to $129.95. More information, including the “opportunity” to preorder the PhotoCD here: http://www.disneyphotopass.com/previsitoffer.aspx.
Additional television channels are being added to Disney Resorts through May 8th. For a list of channels and the installation timeline, see WDWMAGIC.
Pop Century now offers free WiFi Internet to guests.
Storybook Circus has opened with the rest of Magic Kingdom at 9am over the last two days and it’s looking like it will continue to open at Park opening moving forward.