Has anyone formally invited you to spring break at Walt Disney World? No? How rude! Well, let me be the first. Welcome to spring break at Walt Disney World.
Haha. Hope you brought your tickets with you!
The other half. These are the ticket windows at the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Busy enough that Disney took a chance and took the hoods off their Ticket Vending Machines. These are almost always covered. Remember that we’re talking about people who have yet to master putting their ticket into a FASTPASS machine.
In yesterday’s update I had mentioned that there was another of these Coffee, Espresso, Pastries kiosks at the Ticket and Transportation Center to the left of the Resort Monorail. Since the comments section was full of people calling me a filthy liar, I took a picture! Not Photoshopped although I could easily.
Actually there are 12 of them. Not sure you can trust any of my pictures after this, can you? So realistic. Like a boss.
A closer look.
For those keeping score at home.
The Express Monorail was backed up down to the pavement.
Over at Hollywood Studios, we have individual lines for each ticket window. Considering no one knows what tickets they want (Can I buy a 10 day ticket and use it to park hop on three days?), these lines can take quite a while. Insert affiliate link to Undercover Tourist and a reminder that you should purchase your tickets before arriving at a theme park to avoid the lines.
Not too much of a line at the turnstiles at this hour – It’s about 11:15am.
It’s the 2012 UCA/UDA International All Star Championship at Hollywood Studios this weekend. I’m trying desperately not to have the, “Why are you taking pictures of my daughter?” conversation. So I brought my 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. Just kidding. We are going to get all up in there.
Hmmmmmm doesn’t look too busy. Maybe this whole crowd thing really is a scam. Who can trust a website without advertisements, a subscription fee, or decimal points?
Oh. 11:15am with a helpful note written next to Toy Story Midway Mania.
Studios’ staff was spread thin with the Cheerleading event, the massive crowds, and the beginning of “FASTPASS enforcement.”
There wasn’t even a character attendant with Stitch, let alone a Photopass Photographer. We do have someone at the end of the line in the picture above this one, but that was it.
Disney continues to try to recruit American Idol contestants. But people usually scatter when my beautiful voice and I show up. The flyer looks like this:
It probably won’t be you. I’m just saying.
The Cheerleading performances were being held at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, so the show won’t be offered at all this weekend.
Due to some miracle, there were actually spots still available for Jedi Training Academy.
Star Tours with a 40 minute posted wait.
Once Disney opens this section of the queue, you know you’re in trouble. It’s about 11:20am. We’ll be seeing a 70 minute posted wait in another hour.
Phineas and Ferb’s Meet and Greet continues to decline in popularity. Granted they are located in a less popular location, but the characters out at the Sorcerer’s Hat had lines 25 to 40 people deep.
Even the Cars Meet and Greet next door with the two inanimate objects has just about as many people in line and the total interaction time is much shorter per person/group.
Festival Disney was occupying the Premier Theater. It’s “An annual festival for instrumental, vocal and auxiliary ensembles with competitive and non-competitive judging options.” The italics aren’t mine. I’m sure the “young musicians” were happy to see their festival coincided with one of the larger cheerleading competitions.
I saw John Carter here last week. Despite overwhelmingly positive buzz from the bloggers on the Disney payroll, the terrible marketing coupled with poor press during shooting are going to result in another 100 million dollar loss for the company. It’s looking to gross just 26.5 million this weekend on a budget that is no less than 250 million dollars. Compare that to The Lorax which is looking to bring in another 40 million this weekend for a two week cumulative gross of 124 million dollars (70 million dollar budget). John Carter did break records in Russia with a 6.5 million dollar take. So there’s that.
Disney really should stop going to Mars. Last year’s Mars Needs Moms is the biggest box office bomb ever with a loss of more than 136 million dollars. We could argue that their Mission: Space attraction at Epcot was a 100 million dollar flop. And John Carter (previously John Carter From Mars) is looking to be another 100 million dollar loss leader. Purely as a stockholder, I feel like Disney should pick another planet to visit.
If the 8am – 10pm operating hours (with 7am morning Extra Magic Hour) aren’t enough to tell you it’s going to be busy, the third Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show should be. Unless it’s “crazy crowded,” only two shows are scheduled daily.
Backlot Tour reopened today after a month-long refurbishment. The queue:
The same, right? I really don’t ride this one enough to be able to tell you differently.
It’s still the Michael Bay Pearl Harbor video on first generation LCD monitors.
This cast member did warn us that the attraction would take 35 to 40 minutes and we should be mindful of dining reservations and FASTPASS return times. With FASTPASS window enforcement and the $10 “no show” fee at Hollywood Brown Derby and Hollywood & Vine, it was a nice reminder for those who weren’t sure what to expect.
The pre-tram special effects show might be the same. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention, but it seemed like the part where the “mechanic” gets splashed had been shortened. But that’s probably not true or they were in a hurry with the heavy crowds.
Being down here on the far left (as you look toward the stage) is best, even if it originally seems like you’re going to be far away from the action. Most of what goes on is down here and you’ll be among the first people to line up to board the tram.
Other than the water effect, there’s nothing going on over to the right.
I feel sorry for you if you recognize this outside of reading the little plaque in front of it.
Totally relevant in 2k12.
I think the walk through the prop studio is one of the best parts of Hollywood Studios. Maybe I am just nerding it up, but it would be neat to see even more displays of movie memorabilia throughout the Studios.
Most people just race through. You don’t have much of a choice unless you just want to let everyone else pass you and walk through when no one else is around.
Waiting for the tram – same as always.
It seemed like just about everything was the same on the tour. Some old Adventurers Club stuff. Kungaloosh! Just kidding. Please don’t.
Two people pretending to sew in costuming.
Seems like Catastrophe Canyon has been stripped down.
Oh, it’s still here.
Proof that even 100 million gallons of water aren’t enough to put out the fire that is my love for you in my heart.
Look to your right during the Canyon scene and you’ll see more impressive theming.
Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I’m sipping Chivas Regal and pretending that I’m on the N234MM with Walt and the General.
The Backlot Tour isn’t a “bad” attraction so to speak. If you can get on with a 10 minute or less wait in the afternoon, it’s certainly worth experiencing. And even a 20 minute wait isn’t necessarily terrible. If nothing else, it’s seated and comfortable. And Catastrophe Canyon really is neat. I don’t think anyone actually disembarks thinking, “Wow, that was terrible.” It’s certainly not super freaking awesome. But not bad. It could always be worse.
After disembarking the tram, you’ll enter the same Villains room as before.
Anton Chigurh’s outfits in No Country For Old Men. Occasionally someone will ask what my day job is, and it mirrors pretty closely Anton’s. My haircut is way less cool though.
I looked for about 30 minutes but couldn’t find a “World Greatest Average Walt Disney World Blogger With A White Background and No Advertising” replica Oscar. Disney hasn’t thought of everything.
This reminds me of that Jimmy Kimmel skit where he plays videos of parents getting their kids terrible presents. Try wrapping up “Best Daughter” for your son and see what happens.
Here are a couple of books I can get behind.
Looking inside, it seems like we have some uplifting comments. Which I hate.
Eye see you. Do you get it? Because it’s an eye? And I said “eye” instead of “I?” Nevermind.
Eye see your coffee mug too.
Disney removed the boob statue. Effectively ruining my life.
This statue used to sit here. I couldn’t tell you if it’s some sort of refurbishment or they are finally getting rid of a very odd decorating choice.
Over to Pixar Place, which isn’t bad all things considered.
With the line well out the door, 80 to 100 minutes should prove to be accurate.
FASTPASSes still available!!! If you’re planning to be here in eight and a half hours. Note these machines have the same signs as every other one indicating that you’re to arrive back at the FASTPASS entrance between the return window indicated on the FASTPASS.
This temporary kiosk has popped up near the entrance to the old Prince Caspian exhibit.
I can’t imagine it’s worth $10.50.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid was offering FASTPASS, which is pretty rare.
The return window is 10 minutes. In this case, 1:10pm to 1:20pm for what I would imagine is a show that begins at 1:30pm. The FASTPASS would get you inside the theater before that standby riff raff. And I mean really. What’s worse than peasants from the standby line? I feel like there should be a two row barrier between them and us.
The Animation Gallery inside the Animation Building has reopened. Last month we took an extended look at the Snow White artwork because it was on its way out.
The new exhibit is called “Setting The Scene” and includes original artwork from more films:
Each drawing has the film that it’s from noted on the bottom. Really cool stuff. Wish there was more.
12:43pm with triple digit waits at the three headliners and a whopping 70 minute posted wait at Star Tours.
A photo borrowed from my Twitter thing. I decided to grab a Jumbo Turkey Leg from Toluca Leg Turkey Company and set out to eavesdrop on peasants trying to use their FASTPASSes after their return window had closed forever. The whole popcorn thing is totes last week. And yes, the turkey legs really are as tall as the Tower of Terror.
Okay, they’re not quite that big. Here it is versus a regular 22 ounce beverage cup. Luckily, Disney has done away with those girl-size “regular” turkey legs. While we may be a lot of things, “girls” is definitely not one of them. These things run $9.19. In the case that Toluca Turkey isn’t open, as it often isn’t these days, the Turkey Legs will be available at Fairfax Fare just a bit further down in Sunset Ranch Market.
This is one item that you’ll only want to devour around those that you have cemented relationships with. While you might think that it’s possible to dig into one of these things in a sexy ferocious manner, I can assure you that it isn’t possible. In fact, whenever I’m trying to shake an unshakable girl, I’ll bring her to Hollywood Studios and discuss nothing but variable ride capacities of the attractions there. For lunch, I always go to town on the Jumbo Turkey Leg. Without fail, we’re “broken up” by the end of the day. And I can assure you that it isn’t the variable ride capacity discussion that turns women off. Actually, that has proven quite successful. It’s just disgusting to watch someone eat one of these things. With that said, they’re really good! And a theme park staple. And only 1,000 calories and 50 grams of fat according to some article I read.
Tower of Terror has been running at about half-capacity (off and on) for two weeks now, resulting in wait times that are twice as long as they would be otherwise.
With FASTPASSes that are five hours out. That’s virtually unheard of.
You’ll notice that the big brown box we saw last week is gone. The box over at Star Tours is also gone.
I still didn’t see anyone get denied. There was one shouting match that I witnessed. It required a low level management type person to come over, but the group was still let through the FASTPASS line and no damage was ultimately caused. I’m still here.
It occurred to me that even if you are originally denied entrance into the FASTPASS queue because you arrived late, you could still switch over to the FASTPASS queue sometime along the walk to the actual attraction entrance. Supposedly, there are going to be instances where late FASTPASSes are accepted, even if the policy is “Late arrivals cannot be accomodated [sic].” Dining reservations that went unexpectedly long, transportation that broke down, etc. So here at Tower of Terror, you could simply enter the standby line with your expired FASTPASS, duck under the rope somewhere along the walk to the hotel, and present your late FASTPASS to the cast member collecting them. They won’t know what the ruling was down at the queue entrance and it’s almost impossible that you would have to plead your case a second time. Just another wrinkle in the process. Ducking the queue isn’t possible at all attractions, but it’s certainly easy at Tower of Terror.
We’re looking at about five weeks of this as we move through spring break season into Easter. We do have an overall crowd level of “9” for most of the next week as it’s going to be the busiest week in March. We’ll see a bit of a dropoff around the 19th and then things will pick back up on the 26th and continue through the second week in April.