Continuing from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Frontierland, we’ll head into Storybook Circus and Liberty Square to see what’s fresh.
You may remember the mass hysteria caused by threads like this one over at WDWMAGIC a few weeks ago. Click on the “Epcyclopedia” article linked at the top if you want a particularly hearty chuckle. Apparently we were all at risk of death because cast members were constantly realizing that Dumbo had damage, in turn pulling the emergency stop, and then momentarily forgetting the damage long enough to start the ride up 90 seconds later with another batch of potential victims. Right. This website took a slightly more tempered approach near the end of this post back in June.
This is what that particular Dumbo looks like today. You can tell he’s been painted over if you look closely, but that should change as the sun begins to beat down on the fresh coat of paint.
That pink one is the worst of the bunch. It’s less obvious here.
And less obvious than that if you’re not zoomed in. Full size: http://i.minus.com/iGFxLuV916zpx.jpg. It looks like all three directly in front of us have been repaired. Considering virtually no one noticed the damage when the Dumbos actually were damaged, I don’t think it’s possible anyone would naturally notice the slight change in color. VACATION SAVED. MEMORIES RESTORED. Send me back to the All Star Sports.
More. Bigger: http://i.minus.com/ib2Aimf2Pn57v3.jpg. The tiles that were causing the scraping have been replaced and the problem is hopefully fixed permanently. Just don’t touch the base of it or you’re liable to set the whole thing in motion again.
This sign is either new or I hadn’t noticed it before. It isn’t operational yet, so I’m leaning towards new. It would obviously tell you when FASTPASS return is and it’s conveniently located on the standby side so you can compare it to the wait time. The return time is still listed above the FASTPASS machines at Mickey’s PhilarMagic.
Casey Jr. remains unpopular in the humidity. I enjoy getting sprayed with chlorinated recirculated water as much as the next bro, but we don’t want to get Tom wet.
The gate around Casey remains. Considering he’s supposed to have pulled into station, it seems like they could theme some sort of wall around him using that theme.
Barnstormer continues to see considerable afternoon waits. This is a solid 30 minutes. Ideally, you want to be here before 10:30am or after 8:30pm.
New Fantasyland construction continues to come along.
The addition of the second Dumbo spinner along with FASTPASS seems to be having a measurable impact at Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan’s Flight. Peter Pan’s Flight FASTPASS return times aren’t as far out and Winnie the Pooh has shorter standby wait times. Ordinarily, we’d be looking at a 40 or 50 minute wait and the actual wait here would be closer to 20 minutes.
It helps that you now have to choose between Pooh and Dumbo FASTPASSes at the same location. The Pooh FASTPASS sign is on the fritz – FASTPASS is out to 8:15pm – 9:15pm. This picture was taken at 6:43pm, so Dumbo FASTPASS is 40 minutes out as usual and Pooh is a bit beyond that with its higher wait times. Now that Rapunzel meets at Town Square Theater from open to 4pm, FASTPASS is also more attractive there earlier in the day. More people than before are choosing to pull Princess FASTPASSes and the addition of Dumbo means anyone that decides to pull one there obviously can’t pull one for another attraction at the same time.
As usual, you can walk right on the Regal Carousel.
Speaking of being regal, whether or not you’re staying on property now dictates where you park your stroller in Fantasyland. On-site visitors (not including Swan, Dolphin, or Shades of Green) park outside it’s a small world and across from Peter Pan’s Flight. You show your room card and a cast member parks your stroller so you know it isn’t going to be moved to Adventureland or something. Note that you’re greeted as “Royal Subjects,” which used to refer to all guests.
Off-site visitors self-park along the wall near the Pinocchio Village Haus bathrooms. “Peasants” seems a little harsh here. At least for now, Disney isn’t differentiating between the resort levels, so your room at Pop gets you the same parking spot as Grand Floridian Concierge.
I’m totally kidding. That second sign is Photoshopped. I know I tricked at least one of you. Normally, Peter Pan’s Flight FASTPASSes wouldn’t even be available at 6:42pm in July, but here they are.
More breaking news. This time it’s true though! The tables near Liberty Square Market and across from Liberty Square Riverboat and Haunted Mansion are now similar/the same as Pecos Bill.
They used to be these relatively comfortable seats with cushions and backs. These tables/chairs could simply be out for refurbishment/new cushions/cleaning or whatever. I neglected to ask.
Or it could be a classic page out of the McDonald’s cookbook. Keep your seating uncomfortable and people won’t linger. Previously, these tables are almost always full of people simply resting. With Liberty Square Market and now a Turkey Leg and Pizza Cart right across the way, Disney may want to keep people without food moving. We’ll keep an eye on this exciting development!
Lunch is at Columbia Harbour House, my favorite of the Magic Kingdom quick services.
Virtually everything is good here, from the soups, to the salmon, to the lobster roll, to the salads, to the shrimp. The only things I don’t care much for are the fish, which is the same as what’s served at ABC Commissary, and your standard chicken nuggets and desserts.
At the risk of being obnoxious, I’m probably going to talk up the next iteration of the website over the coming weeks. You’ll be able to click on one page and see the Columbia Harbour House overview, menu, the seating areas, pictures and my reviews of all the food items, recommended entrees, etc. The idea was always to get my “ideas” down on “paper” and then move those pictures and thoughts to pages that make the most logistical sense. Until then, you’ll just have to keep up with me ^_^
This is the Garden Harvest Salad, described as having Mixed Greens, Garden Vegetables, Green Beans, Carrots, and Chicken for $8.19.
For a company that’s generally well regarded as catering to those with special dietary needs and allergies, it continues to surprise me that their menus are so vague. What salad dressing does the salad have? Don’t know.
What are “Garden Vegetables?” It apparently includes whole and pieces of tomato. There’s some red cabbage in there. The dressing is a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. Anyway, it’s the same rant I’ve made a lot recently. Maybe we’ll see some more specific menus rolled in August and September when we see minor to major tweaking with menus and pricing. I wouldn’t compare “out of pocket” prices to the new Disney Dining Plan prices quite yet. Restaurant menu pricing is going up across the board soon too! So add $2 to those appetizers, $4 to the entrees, and $1 to desserts.
Back to the salad specifically. This was the first time I was offered the salad dressing on the side. If I didn’t want the vinaigrette, I could have opted for one of their other salad dressings – Ken’s Ranch or Olive Oil from the condiment bar should be the choices. While there’s no chicken visible, there actually was a decent amount underneath. The next time I order one, I’ll “deconstruct” it for you (and obviously charge you an extra $7 to do so), so you can get an idea about the usual portion size. This is more or less your basic Disney salad. It’s a pretty decent amount of food. The lettuce and the rest of the ingredients are all fresh. There was only the single whole cherry(?) tomato. A few green beans. The carrots are cut in different sizes to give you more of that “harvest” feeling you specifically ordered. It was perfectly enjoyable and the vinaigrette was a nice twist on the usual balsamic that they like to put on everything from pasta to pizzas.
Don’t worry, I’m still on napkin watch and they’re still the generic brown variety. Taking pictures of napkin dispensers may be even more embarrassing than BBQ sauce packets. At least we’re killing two birds with one stone.
I decided to ride Haunted Mansion on my way over to Big Thunder. Looks like they’re flying Batman’s colors on the very bottom of the picture.
This is a pretty easy queue to gauge. With no one in the extended queue and a single line right into the cemetery, the actual wait should be closer to ten minutes.
But it turns out the line was that short because Disney had recently dumped the Mansion queue for the fifth time that day. This is me exiting along with the sixth dump. You’ll hear the term “dumping the queue” when everyone that was waiting has to leave. There are no “skip the line when it’s back open” passes. You’re just out of luck. Whine to Guest Services and they’ll probably write you an Anytime FASTPASS for the attraction of your choice.
I never realized how hot it was right outside the doors into the Mansion. The area is covered to “protect” you from rain, but it isn’t enclosed. So it’s keeping all of the body heat in and allowing for very little ventilation. But you’re not getting any air-conditioning. They tell you to “fill in all available space,” so you’ve got more and more people inching towards you as they get more and more impatient. And then we stood there for 15 minutes. I can honestly say it was some of the worst 15 minutes on Disney property and we didn’t even get to ride! The family behind me said it happened to them on Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad earlier in the day. I believed them because I saw Jungle Cruise, Pirates, and Splash down myself, on top of our exit from Haunted Mansion. Not a happy Disney celebrity blogger.
That should do it for Fantasyland, Liberty Square, and Storybook Circus. Just a short look at Main Street, Tomorrowland, and Merchandise next.