Edit: You can pick up your New Fantasyland Preview wristbands inside Magic Kingdom at the New Fantasyland entrance.
Disney seems to agree with my assessment of lunch pricing at Be Our Guest Restaurant, as prices increased dramatically the day after I posted the dinner review. Sorry. Instead of listing the lunch menu inside the restaurant during last night’s Passholder Preview, the screens simply show sheet music. Here’s the old/new pricing:
Tuna Nicroise Salad: $10.79 – $13.49 (25.02% increase)
Quinoa Salad: $7.99 – $9.99 ( 25.03% increase)
Croque Monseiur: $8.79 – $10.99 (25.03% increase)
Carved Turkey Sandwich: $8.79 – $10.99 (25.03% increase)
Grilled Steak Sandwich: $8.79 – $10.99 (25.03% increase)
Vegetable Quiche: $7.19 – $8.99 (25.03% increase)
Braised Pork: $9.59 – $11.99 (25.03% increase)
Cupcakes/Cream Puffs: $2.39 – $2.99 (25.1% increase)
French Onion Soup: $3.99 – $4.99 (25.06% increase)
Fountain Beverages: $2.33 – $2.79 (19.7%)
So much for that. Initial pricing may have been targeted towards cast members, since you can see that most items have increased by just about exactly 25%.
I attended last night’s New Fantasyland Passholder Preview.
On what is otherwise a busy Saturday at Magic Kingdom.
Mine Train construction continues to ramp up. I have to laugh at anyone comparing this thing to the Barnstormer.
It’s going to be serious business.
Looks like you won’t have to hold it for much longer as the Rapunzel bathrooms are getting a thatched roof.
Dumbo FASTPASS continues to be disconnected from the system, meaning you can collect FASTPASSes for it and then any other attraction immediately after.
For the New Fantasyland Passholder event, you can pick up your wristband at the Transportation and Ticket Center or you can bring your documentation to the New Fantasyland entrance, where they can also scan your confirmation page and issue wristbands.
There are dedicated “event check-in” windows at the far end of the ticket booths there. You’ll need your confirmation page as well as your Annual Pass and ID. You then proceed to the New Fantasyland entrance pictured above this picture. The cast member at the entrance was very excited to see my wristband, exclaiming, “SO ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO SEE NEW FANTASYLAND?” I responded very dryly, “Not particularly.” Trolling is an art.
Beast’s Castle looks to have a different lighting scheme earlier in the evening. It’s “purpler” and “more orange-y.”
Straight out of the camera.
Fixed barrel distortion and slight editing.
The Passholder Previews are much busier than the Cast previews last week. We’re not talking “crazy crowds” by any stretch of the imagination, but posted waits for Journey of the Little Mermaid were 45 minutes at times throughout the day. Belle hit 60 minutes and Ariel was at 30. By 7pm, Mermaid was at 15, Belle at 30, and Ariel at 10. Mermaid was probably closer to zero minutes though.
The Preview block lasts a full three and a half hours.
People tend to arrive for the Preview right at the beginning, stay for about an hour and a half, and then leave.
I recommend arriving towards the end of the Preview block time to find the lowest crowds.
Arriving about 90 minutes before the end should be plenty of time. And they aren’t going to kick you out.
Although you’ll be given a wristband color-coded for either the Ariel’s Grotto or Belle Meet, your selection isn’t enforced.
So even if you selected the Ariel Meet, you can still visit Belle.
Enchanted Tales with Belle is going to have the longest waits.
That’s a 30 minute posted wait, but actual waits are probably longer. Expect 90 minute waits when this thing opens, assuming people figure out what the heck it is.
Otherwise, the Passholder Previews are about what you can expect. The area is simply open. That’s about it – there’s no special pin, no free cupcakes, or anything else of the like. So if you’re considering a special trip out for the Preview, you may just want to wait until the area opens permanently November 19th if it’s going to be a hassle. The area should also be open for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Be Our Guest Restaurant should be serving quick service lunch and table service dinner throughout the Preview times. As least on Saturday’s Preview, you needed a wristband to get back there and they were taking reservations for Be Our Guest earlier in the day.
So if you want to dine there for dinner, I’d head straight to the podium on the left side of the bridge over to the restaurant to see if there’s availability. If you are looking at eating there, you’ll want to arrive at the beginning of your block time. Otherwise, they might be full. They were seating guests past the 8pm cutoff time, so it appears as though the restaurant will continue serving throughout the night.
Unlike lunch pricing, the dinner pricing should be set. As I mentioned in yesterday’s review, dinner is highly recommended.
I sampled the $2.99 “Chocolate Croissant” from Gaston’s Tavern, which is your generic Main Street Bakery Chocolate Croissant that doesn’t really look like a croissant. But it is quite good. I wouldn’t go out of my way to order one, but if you’re not in the mood for the Pork Shank and the Cinnamon Roll sounds like too much, then the Croissant would be a nice choice.
Disney has already sold out of a lot of the Bonjour Gifts merchandise, including the low ball glassware and drink coasters, among other items.
At least they still have these darling shirts. They would need to be at least twice as big for me to wrestle my body into one though.
And a shadow box. I don’t think Belle’s head is as garbled as it looks in this picture.
Main Street was busy enough before the first Parade and Wishes that Disney opened the backstage walkway in between Tomorrowland and Main Street. This spits you out to the right of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. Seeing what they do with the trash right before you exit is a tres magical way to end your evening.
Fresh A-Peel, which used to share a space with Pollo Campero and Babycakes NYC, is now called “Bodie’s All American.” My question is of course, Bodie’s All American what? I was not consulted about this name change.
The menu should look familiar. They have apparently given up on the Skirt Steak Wrap/Salad.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s virtually impossible to “eat healthy” on Disney property, and a lot of the items that sound like they might be healthy really aren’t. Once you add a tub or two of Ken’s Ranch Dressing to that salad, you’ve added 280 calories and 46% of your saturated fat for the day. I opted for the “Buffalo Crispy Chicken Wrap,” knowing that it wasn’t the healthiest option, since the chicken would be fried.
Sorry it looks gross. What I didn’t realize was that they added, easily, eight tablespoons of Blue Cheese dressing. So much so, that any flavor from the chicken or other ingredients was overpowered. And the thing is gigantic. I often laugh when people say Disney quick service items are “shareable,” because I’m such a glutton, but this is truly sharable. A total gut bomb. On the plus side, the ingredients were indeed fresh and it was prepared while I watched. If it wasn’t for the blue cheese dressing, I think it would have been very good. But it was swimming in dressing. If you do eat here, I’d specify that you only want a little dressing. At $8.49, these wraps are a pretty good value. It’s more food than you’d get from virtually any Disney quick service. The “problem” with Downtown Disney is that so much of the food is very good since most are run by third-parties. It’s tough to choose between this, Earl of Sandwich, Wolfgang Puck Express, and Cooke’s of Dublin, just to name a few.
Some new stuff:
Yes, it’s a Disney bus, monorail, tram, and Jungle cruise boat ornament set – $36.95.
Don’t mind Cinderella getting a makeover, but I’m not a duck face supporter.
The zipper is an apple! Adorbes!
Yeah, you are looking pretty 14 here, Snow White.
Disney has finally restocked the Merida dresses, at least at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney.
Seems legit. There’s a ton of new stuff – like 500 Christmas items.
If you thought Disney World hot dogs couldn’t get any sadder, you’d be sorely mistaken.
There was a time, not so long ago, when the hot dogs at least filled most of the bun. Based on my calculations, this has 96.2% coverage.
This has, and this is an approximation, 71.9% coverage.
And was pretty terrible. The bun was stale. The chili was flavorless. Mustard on top of it is kind of gross. It looks to have about 12 specs of onion.
But, it’s “only” about a dollar more expensive than the plain hot dogs available in Storybook Circus and elsewhere that run $5.25 (including tax).
It’s marketed as a “Coney Island Dog,” but it’s just your run-of-the-mill Chili Dog with mustard on top.
Per usual, I ordered it sans chips/apples since it knocks $2 off the price.
The “Flavor of the Month” Frozen Beverage has switched over to Watermelon. I’m not sure they cleaned the vat very well as it tasted like a banana-watermelon mix.
Archival footage of the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian Resort.
Last time I put up a picture of Scarlett flipping the bird at the website, someone threatened to stop reading it and we really can’t have that since, you know, I really care about stuff like that! So we’ll just insert her shoe into every picture and you can use your IMAGINATION to pretend it’s a middle finger aimed in your general direction.
I tried to order a manly-sounding-drink and ended up with this concoction with a strawberry sticking out of the top of it. It’s a Strawberry Julep – Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Muddled Strawberry, Mint, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Agave Nectar ($9.75). While pricing is high, I’ll give Disney credit on pour quality these days. Their drinks are pretty strong. So much so, that I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are turned off by how much they taste like alcohol. This tasted strongly of bourbon. So I enjoyed it.
The Godiva Liqueur Flight – Three half-ounce pours of Godiva Liqueur: Chocolate, White Chocolate and Caramel topped with Godiva liqueur-infused strawberries ($9.00). Scarlett ordered this one and it’s certain to be a hit among the ladies. Godiva Liqueur is only 34 proof, so this is unlikely to put you on the floor.
Betsy’s Backscratcher, which comes with an actual backscratcher inside the beverage. Party Through the Parks has the recipe for this and the other Polynesian Resort specialty drinks here. It’s quite the drink, even if they run about ten bucks.
I opted for the “Ohana Wings ($8.49).” Most of the resort lounges these days have unique food items that are generally better than anything you’ll find at the quick services. You may remember a recent outing to the Territory Lounge over at the Wilderness Lodge and we’ll get over to the Top of the World Lounge shortly. Anyway, these were the worst wings I’ve ever had in my life – dry, flavorless, and not the least bit spicy, despite having the option between spicy or sweet. The portion is certainly decent for the price though and the addition of celery is a nice touch. Usually the wings here are pretty good, so I’m not sure what the deal was. They may have just been sitting around somewhere for too long.
A lot more random stuff incoming.