We’ll take a visit to Magic Kingdom as the sun sets during the early evening on November 4th and then return for some follow-up pictures on November 8th.
I covered Christmas decorations and Frozen Holiday Wish strategy in this post, but neglected to include the train station pictures.
The railroad is scheduled to reopen on the 21st.
The Christmas Tree otherwise went up early for some reason this year – usually Disney doesn’t install it until after the Christmas Day Parade taping concludes in early December. Last year there were a few days when the flag pole was removed as well. That was due to a large South American tour company requesting that the American flag not appear in their promotional videos.
The new Hub areas continue to look magnificent.
Getting too artsy.
Never go full artsy.
The Hub otherwise looks great.
Walls are down in front of Cinderella Castle and planters have moved in. Christmas Day Parade taping is this week, which is the reason for the temporary stage out front.
The lighting on the ramps up is a classy improvement. Everything looks great.
Skipper Canteen was slated for a late November opening, but that seems to be all but impossible given the current state of construction.
The marquee (not pictured) did go up on the 10th, so you never know…
The Jingle Cruise returns this year.
It’s 4:55pm on Wednesday November 4th and if you’re wondering if Pirates of the Caribbean is running…the answer is of course…no. A few Magic Kingdom updates ago I crunched the numbers on downtime before and after the refurbishment. You may remember that Pirates is actually closed for technical problems more often after coming out of its five-month refurb. Looking over wait times over the course of the day:
This is a non-recommended Wednesday with evening Extra Magic Hours from 11pm-1am, which I’ve included in the chart. You’ll notice the extended downtime at Pirates actually causes waits to increase to 90 minutes. As if there’s any question that maximum FastPass+ distribution is pushing up wait times considerably, it’s even worse here with so many people with priority arriving in a condensed amount of time. Otherwise, things aren’t too bad for the most part as the trends that we’ve been talking about for years continue. Those of you unable to arrive early should strongly consider staying late, particularly with the late night evening Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom.
35 minutes at Big Thunder at 5pm.
25 minutes at Splash. Splash waits will drop significantly if the weather ever cools off. 87 degrees is too hot for the second week in November.
I covered the new Pecos Bill fajita menu last month in this post.
But as dinner was a ways off, I stopped in for a cup of the $5.99 Chicken Enchilada Soup, which is also available for a snack credit.
Your six bucks buys you a relatively small cup of soup topped with tortilla strips that’s about half the height of a kids’ beverage cup.
It’s a very creamy, cheesy mixture of chicken, beans, corn, and peppers that would be a decent use of a snack credit for those looking for a hearty snack or potentially a substitute for a dessert on the Dining Plan, but it doesn’t offer a lot of value out-of-pocket. I usually compare the price/portion to a standard quick service entree for the value proposition. This is easily much less food than half of an entree and the quality isn’t really high enough to justify the price.
Country Bear Jamboree’s facade refurbishment continues. The scrim is detailed enough that you might not even notice that it’s not the actual front of the attraction.
With the sun setting around 5:30pm these days, we should be seeing more sunsets. For much of the year, Mother requires me home to tend to the flock prior to sundown.
It looks dramatic, but this picture is very minimally processed.
The nice thing about the first week in November is that you get a full week without Mickey’s Parties as the last Halloween Party was scheduled on November 1st with the first Christmas Party following on November 8th. That means later closes and the Electrical Parade and Wishes scheduled nightly, which in turn helps distribute the crowds over the course of the week more evenly. It also means short nighttime waits leading up to and during the Electrical Parade and Wishes. Buzz is basically a walk-on here already at 6:35pm with a 10-minute posted wait and a straight shot to the entrance. For the next six or so weeks, you’re looking at Magic Kingdom closing at 7pm on four nights per week with the exception of Thanksgiving Week. As we know, the early closes are a tremendous driver of crowds. Check out Monday November 9th’s wait times:
There was a morning Extra Magic Hour attached, which is why the Adventureland and Frontierland attractions don’t come online until 9am. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t all that bad. Or should I say, it can be a lot worse. Compare that to the next day with the 7pm close and a Mickey’s Christmas Party:
Even when you include the extra hour of short waits on the EMH Monday, average and peak waits should be lower for virtually every attraction on the recommended day. Visiting the other Parks when Magic Kingdom is open later and provides nighttime entertainment also guarantees lower crowds at the other Parks, so it’s a win-win.
The Space Mountain store is home to the custom MagicBand printer.
I covered this D-Tech On-Demand counter in last month’s update when it was solely used for “personalized phone cases.”
Now the same tablets offer the option to “customize” a MagicBand. If all of these tablets are taken by people that are probably not going to go through with their purchase, there are additional units in the back where they print the Bands.
There are something like 40 different graphics to choose from, with Tiana clearly being the best choice.
Then you have the option to select the color, including PURPLE OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS PURPLE I’VE NEVER BEEN THIS EXCITED.
Picking a graphic and a color will set you back $22, which is $9 more than your standard issue retail Band. Adding your name is another eight bucks. The ones I’ve seen printed have been pretty terrible quality with misaligned graphics. They also print the name right over the holes where you attach the Band around your wrist, so it sort of looks like somebody shot bullets through it. On the plus side, the Band is made of a more flexible rubber than your typical Band, so it may be more comfortable than your standard-issue tire rubber. Anyway, I don’t have much use for this. It would be nice if Disney resort guests received the option to get $13 off a customized MagicBand or something. Otherwise I’m not sure why you’d drop 30 bucks on redundancy. But it’s here if you’re in the market and would potentially make more sense if you were staying off-site and not otherwise issued “free” MagicBands whether you want them or not.
In french fry news, it looks like Disney is rolling out the skinnier, crispier fry that they tested at Casey’s Corner on and off for the last year or so.
The website reported all the way back in August that Disney was looking at removing the Pork Shanks from Gaston’s Tavern. If you’re wondering, “Josh, is there at least a 7-page thread on WDWMAGIC discussing the conspiracy around the removal, including accusations that the MENUS WERE PHOTOSHOPPED TO GAIN FOLLOWERS” then the answer is of course, “Yes.”
While I may have shooped one or two things in my time, I would never knowingly misguide you on the availability of pork.
And while you can’t type “easywdw” on WDWMAGIC lest their forum software ******* it out, you can apparently steal my photos and upload them to their MAGICal server in the sky. Which is nice.
Anyway, the Pork Shanks are indeed no longer available, instead replaced by a $9.99 stew that did not look particularly appetizing:
At least LeFou’s Brew is still available said no one ever.
That may be it for the pork shank for one reason or another. Availability or pricing may be a problem as I’m pretty sure I read that they’re no longer available in Disneyland either.
Not a ton going on at Magic Kingdom. We’ll get caught up at Hollywood Studios next.