First of all, a big thanks to Ray for taking me out to lunch at Crystal Palace today. I had a great time and enjoyed meeting you.
Following yesterday’s Extended Queue Saturday, we’re headed back to Magic Kingdom for Not Extended Queue Sunday. Magic Kingdom was our “Most Recommended Park” today. With yesterday’s nuttiness and a longer day tomorrow with both nighttime spectaculars scheduled, this would have been your best opportunity to visit Magic Kingdom since last Wednesday. Let’s see what we’re dealing with.
Geppetto was out meeting and greeting with Pinocchio this afternoon, which is rare. His gloves are pretty creepy.
Disney is getting a lot of flack this week due to the removal of several characters at Animal Kingdom (Lilo, Stitch, Terk, Jiminy Cricket, and the Rafiki’s Planet Watch Pocahontas) and the Tropicals steel drum band. There is still a lot of fun live entertainment though, including these guys that perform up and down Main Street throughout the day.
The second silhouette stand and a caricature artist are still hidden on the right side of Main Street here. The other one is in Liberty Square near the Christmas Shop.
Here they are up at the train station.
And down below – performing to a decent crowd considering no one really knows that it’s going to happen.
That Tinker Bell balloon is $15. The “balloon inside of a balloon” is $10. Pretty crazy.
Disney will ship your order to you, provided that you order a boatload full of stuff. Or probably about three t-shirts at today’s prices.
Fun topiaries at the end of Main Street on the way over to Tomorrowland. Amusingly, there was a line about ten people deep to take a photo with these guys and no line for the Photopass photographer that would take a picture of you with the Castle in the background.
You may recall this queue for Buzz Lightyear was full yesterday.
This one for PeopleMover too.
It’s about 12:30pm here. We have a 30 minute posted wait at Space Mountain, compared to 90 yesterday.
No $5.00 hot dogs for sale from this cart today. Sad face. Come back next Saturday.
Alice and White Rabbit meeting in front of Mad Tea Party. A fun meet and greet when you can get them together.
Another nice topiary background with Mad Tea Party behind it.
Beast’s Castle just looks bigger and bigger every day!
I just want to box it up and take it home with me! It would be a great conversation piece.
Compared to 70 minutes yesterday. 20 minutes is actually optimistic, probably. Disney issues a ton of FASTPASSes and its capacity is even lower than Toy Story Midway Mania.
Less crowded today. But you believe me even without this picture, right?
This would make for a fun haunted carousel ride or something.
Speaking of Winnie the Pooh FASTPASS, they are still available at Mickey’s PhilharMagic. Return times just 40 minutes in the future.
30 minutes is a short afternoon wait for Peter Pan’s Flight. The median peak wait across the past 365 days is an even 60 minutes.
No extended queue necessary at it’s a small world.
And a line that isn’t all the way out here for Haunted Mansion.
Are you going to be able to say “no” to these souvenir popcorn buckets? Drop a glow cube inside when you get home for a nice holiday decoration.
No Parade ropes.
Frontier Trading Post has been behind scrims and walls for a while now.
The usual number of people playing the Shootin’ Arcade. Actually, this is about five more than usual.
There was a question about where the leather engraving was actually located. Sorry that I didn’t get back to you sooner. Amusingly again, it’s actually located directly behind the sign.
At $5-$10, it’s inexpensive for Walt Disney World. Less than one of those balloons and it most likely won’t pop or deflate. Fall apart? Probably.
A few choices.
No one waiting to get inside at Pecos Bill.
Over to Big Thunder and Splash Mountains – something I couldn’t even do yesterday.
Not bad, with the usual FASTPASSes that are 40 minutes out.
Splash Mountain lines are significantly shorter this time of year, even with a similar number of people in the Magic Kingdom as the summer months. Even though it was 75+ degrees today, most people seem to think “wet” and “December” don’t go together.
I think it’s funny that they give you a sample picture at the Kodak Picture Spots. We’re dumb, but are we that dumb?
Unfortunately, the tree in said picture has seen better days and there is this light pole thing in the way too. They should update the sample shot.
Compared to 25 yesterday. 15 is probably a little long.
Jungle Cruise is much shorter too.
This is where Peter Pan is currently meeting guests. We’re out in front of the main entrance to Adventureland. Crystal Palace would be down the path to the right of where Peter is standing. Lines are usually short because it’s not a well advertised meet.
Over to Crystal Palace for a nice buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. Expect to wait 15-20 minutes after your reservation time unless you get really lucky or eat at an off-time, like 3pm. We had a reservation, but everyone you see here did too and they’ll all be seated before us (or you, as the case may be).
Should you actually make it through the doors, you’ll be greeted by this holiday themed set of topiaries.
It’s always fun to wait 20 minutes for a table and then enter the restaurant, only to find a dozen open tables. Crystal Palace is loud, like most buffets. It’s just a big open space. Unfortunately, it reminds me a lot of the cafeteria experience. Except for the price tag, which is currently $30 for adults and $17 for kids.
Another look at one of the two main sections. It’s basically just a big room.
And a couple plates full:
Sorry they aren’t half-eaten. Nothing was, “Wow, this is good.” The Mediterranean Saute Chicken, Flank Steak, and Ham were all fine, but this is far from a culinary tour de force. And a few of the items are downright sad – the cheese pizza, curry vegetables, and “spoon bread” were all pretty blech. The salads and other cold items are better – but you’re probably not going to eat $30 worth of lettuce. They do have grapes though. And hard boiled eggs in a bowl. As previously mentioned, the meal is hosted by Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger. Considering these characters are pretty easy to find and meet, particularly over at Animal Kingdom, you don’t need to dine here in order to meet them. They come to the table individually, so you can’t get a picture as good as the one at Mickey’s Halloween or Christmas Party where the four of them often meet together either. We were there for over an hour and Winnie the Pooh never came by the table. We barely got to see Tigger as we were leaving. I would recommend breakfast, but the lunch and dinner really don’t offer a lot of value for the money.
Crowds for the 3pm Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade. It’s going to be pretty crazy when it switches over to the Christmas Parade on the 19th.
Main Street Players marching down the street in front of the Parade.
Another shot of the Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion.
That’s a scrim with a painting (picture?) of the Grand Floridian taped to a billboard-size piece of wood or cardboard or something. Pretty ridiculous.
And so it is.