The original title of this post was going to be, “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DISNEY WORLD INSANELY CROWDED THROW OUT ALL CROWD CALENDARS,” but then I realized most of you are probably old and I don’t want to give anyone a heart attack. I think I went on a rant about how “Free Dining” has almost no impact on overall crowds last time, so I’ll spare you another lecture. According to the Crowd Calendar, the overall crowd level has dropped all the way to a “Level 2,” which should indicate some of the lowest crowds of the year. We’re headed out to Epcot, which was the “most recommended Park.” I may or may not get back tomorrow to look in on things before heading over to Magic Kingdom to check out the “State of the Monorail” on a night when Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm. Speaking of which, want to hear a rumor? Yes? This is the last year that Night of Joy will be scheduled. Attendance is very poor this year and Disney had an immense amount of trouble booking quality acts. Not sure if that one’s going around or not. It’s true though, so I don’t know if that makes it a rumor or a fact.
Just as an aside, my main purpose of visiting Epcot today was to take pictures of buildings, menus, and condiment bars. Now in the other three major theme parks, people generally snicker at me in English or Spanish. In the World Showcase, I heard people snickering at me in at least fifteen different languages. It probably didn’t help that I had my Duffy Ears on.
Granted this is at about 3pm, but you may recall the lines at the Ticket/Transportation Center this past Saturday. There’s a few people way off in the distance, but none of these windows are open and there’s a total of six people in line overall.
More of the same at the monorail. I have it on good authority that once Mickey’s Parties start, the Resort Monorail will run until 10:30pm and the Express Monorail will run through 8pm. I’m actually more concerned about what’s going to happen during regular 8pm closes at Magic Kingdom come November. At least during Mickey’s Parties, Disney will be running bus transportation until 1:30am to shuttle everyone to/from the Party. Most likely, that transportation plan will include a bus that goes from the Contemporary to the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian and back to Magic Kingdom. In other words, it’s basically a monorail on wheels (although the monorails technically have wheels, I suppose). However, when Magic Kingdom closes at 8pm, there’s no reason to run buses to and from Magic Kingdom after 9:30pm. Will Disney continue to run that bus to the Monorail Deluxe resorts at 10pm? Will the Resort Monorail continue to run like it does during Mickey’s Parties? There’s no answer at the moment.
Looks busy. Should we risk it?
That’s Stitch in the background. No one lined up.
This is all one group at Daisy Duck too.
Is it open?
Still a lot of 40th Anniversary merchandise available. You’ll find most of it in the “Art of Disney” stores in each of the theme parks. The best store in the theme parks for 40th anniversary merchandise is at Hollywood Studios in the Animation Building in the Animation Courtyard (in the back of the area where Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Disney Jr. Live on Stage are).
Oh no! The wait times board is down until Saturday September 24th! How will we know if it’s busy? I see at least six people here if I look hard enough.
Don’t worry. Pins are still for sale on the back side.
This is the new menu at Electric Umbrella:
The Southwest Black Bean Flatbread replaces the Greek Salad. I’ll add it to my list of entrees to try. It looks like a nice option for vegetarians or those of us just trying to mix it up a little bit. There’s also your standard Angus Bacon Burger on the menu.
The following Halloween merchandise is all from MouseGear – the huge merchandise complex in Future World.
Some new items. This is a mirror thing of some sort or another – $9.39.
We’ve seen these before, but they’re really good looking – $11.95.
The two items up front are antennae toppers – $3.95. The lower image is a bad picture of a bracelet with orange/black Mickey head beads – $5.95.
This tote actually lights up. The red sticker highlights the “on/off switch” that turns on lights that blink around the bag. Neat! – $9.95.
Light up ghost lanyards – $6.37 I think…sort of an odd price point.
A better look at some of the apparel. Shirts are $21.95. I really like the one in the second image on the right hand side.
More lanyards, pins, and bracelets.
This is at 3:30pm. Only in September and a bit in January/February.
Stood here for a minute and saw three people enter the standby line. The single rider line is listed at zero minutes.
Kringla Bakeri treats in the Norway Pavilion. I think the phrase, “It’s all good, baby” originated here.
Up through China.
A rare opportunity to see the bridge up and the “huge globe” being moved into World Showcase Lagoon for IllumiNations.
Say what you will about Lotus Blossom Cafe, but they refuse to raise their fountain beverage prices! 50 cents less than anywhere else!
Looks like the “secret” is extra-safe today. If you really want to upset the Disney Vacation Club people, walk by and yell, “Looks like the secret’s safe” whenever you see one of their many stands.
This is the new menu at Liberty Inn:
Wow! Some new items at the usually-boring Liberty Inn too!! A new Smokehouse Burger, new Grilled Chicken Flatbread, and new Southwest Bean Burger.
It was a tough choice between the Flatbread and the Bean Burger, but I ultimately went with the Flatbread. This was freshly made with high quality ingredients – crunchy lettuce, three slices of bacon, and the chicken covers more of the flatbread than it looks in the picture. There’s a smallish slice of tomato underneath the chicken and some sort of sauce. Only two complaints – not nearly hot enough and the sauce didn’t have a lot of flavor. Luckily, Liberty Inn offers all-you-care-to-eat honey mustard which livened it right up. Overall, it was a welcome change from an establishment that historically has the “boringest (probably not a word)” menu of any Disney World quick service. Very nice to see a few new options if you’ve got kids that won’t eat anywhere else. And you can’t beat the air-conditioned seating (which you won’t find in any other World Showcase quick service). Outdoor seating is also available should you want to watch the Fife & Drum Corps.
Not a lot of people here. Once the numbers come in, I think we’ll be in the 12,000-15,000 range, when an average day at Epcot sees about 26,500 people.
You might recall last week (or possibly the week before that) that I mentioned sales were down sharply at the new Kabuki Cafe when compared to the old Kakigori Stand. Cast members now have new uniforms and there’s a woman out front greeting people passing by the stand.
Here’s a better look at the new stand sitting outside the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan Pavilion.
Not to single out Tangierine Cafe here, but this is indicative of Epcot as a whole. There’s no one here, just as there was no one at Liberty Inn or anywhere else. “Literally” no one.
Kringla in Norway is my true love, but should anything happen to her, there’s always the Boulangerie Patisserie nestled in the back of the France Pavilion.
It has been sort of an odd September thus far, weather wise. High temperatures have been lower than average, but the humidity is relentless. Overcast skys have been common.
Some serious painting going on in the Canada Pavilion. This is supposed to continue for a few months.
Not a ton of people coming towards us…I guess I’m not as popular as I thought.
Oh my gosh!! Crowds are 250% heavier at Spaceship Earth now than when we arrived!!
A uniform, a hat, nothing to do all day – the perfect job.
I don’t mean to brag, but it looks like I got this one right, doesn’t it?