Walt Disney Company stock hit a new all-time high today, despite that pesky 200 million dollar write down on John Carter of Never Speak of This Again. So far, John Carter has grossed 234 million dollars worldwide. With a budget of around 300 million dollars, it needed to gross about 600 million to break even. Remember, that 234 million isn’t going straight into Disney’s pockets. The theaters take a sizable chunk. S & P reiterated a strong buy last Thursday:
After Mar-Q warning this week of $80M-$120M loss for its studio division in the wake of John Carter’s disappointing box office performance, we trim our FY12 (Sep) EPS estimate $0.10 to $2.99, and FY13’s by $0.01 to $3.53 (with share buybacks). Still, we note other key catalysts such as TV ads/subscriptions; retransmission and digital upside; improving theme parks trends; int’l growth and expansion (content/character licensing); branded film strategy. We up our target price by $4 to $52, blending sum-of-the-parts, relative EV/EBITDA, and P/E-to-growth. We note 1.4% div yield.
Company stock closed at an all time high of $44.38, up 1.67% on a day that the greater Dow Jones Industrial was up 1.23%.
Not selling a lot of tickets over at the Transportation and Ticket Center on a Sunday around 2:20pm.
New flowers here for those keeping track at home.
The Monorail hours we’ve become accustomed to seeing continue:
The Epcot Monorail continues to run from one hour before to one hour after regular Park closing. If a morning Extra Magic Hour is scheduled, the Epcot Monorail will begin operating 30 minutes before it’s scheduled to begin. In most instances, that’s 7:30am. The Express Monorail runs 30 minutes before regular Park opening to one hour after. The Resort Monorail runs from 7am to one hour after regular Park close. Over Easter when we have a 7am – 8am morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom every day, the Resort Monorail should begin running at 6:30am and the Express Monorail would come online at 7:30am for the 8am regular opening. Magic Kingdom is hosting evening Extra Magic Hours from 12am – 3am this evening. Should you be staying at a Monorail Deluxe, you would be taking a bus or boat after 1am.
Looking in the opposite direction on the Monorail for once. This is the Contemporary Resort’s Garden Wing in the distance with the Tower on our left here as we pass through.
While the cheapest rooms technically on the Monorail (rack rate starting at $315/night compared to $405 at the Polynesian, $460 at the Grand Floridian, and $410 in the Tower at the Contemporary), they are a bit removed from most of the amenities in the Tower section, including the various stores, restaurants, bus stops, and Monorail station.
Bay Lake Tower attached at the hip. “Literally” as they say.
Doesn’t look too busy here in the afternoon. These “crowd calendar websites” really are totes last week.
Maybe instead of the crowd calendar numbers and recommendations, I should just state whether I think Magic Kingdom will run out of ECVs in the afternoon as they have the last few times we’ve been here. ECVs were available today around 2:30pm.
Characters continue to appear in different locations with the arrival of Mrs. and The Easter Bunny over at Tour Guide Gardens.
Pinocchio continues to greet guests to the right of Town Square Theater on the right side of Main Street just after you pass under the Railroad Station.
Goofy is back out in front of Town Square Theater, which certainly is nice to see.
Just chillin’, but in a classy way becoming of only someone named Dippy Dawg.
This area used to house the check-in/reservations kiosk for Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.
The Bunnies on one of their 75,000 breaks.
Some new (I think?) kitchen stuff inside the Emporium:
Good looking stuff. I really like those napkins! And you might want to get that flatware set in case you haven’t convinced the neighbors that you’re insane (unlikely).
Via Twitter, I promised “NOT Brooke” more pictures of this 1 Cup of Magic coffee mug. Except I didn’t take any (apparently), so I was totally lying to you! LOL!! Next time, NOT Brooke. You can trust me.
Minnie Headphones. There is a lot more of this “D-Tech” merchandise that we’ll have to take a look at when there are fewer people around.
Not sure I’ve ever seen:
A hat with sunglasses attached before. It’s creepy to a whole new level. I need to wear this when I’m taking pool pictures.
As long as they’re not Mickey Crocs, they’re okay with me. I really liked those Keds we saw the other day.
Wait, they are Crocs. At least they aren’t those Crocs.
Looks like Mickey is after some additional sources of revenue. The union ain’t taking care of you, big guy?
Might want to search for a new union rep.
Stitch’s Great Escape wasn’t as backed up as we had seen it last week. “Hopefully” all these people will get into the next show.
The scene outside Buzz Lightyear. Not a big mass around the FASTPASS return entrance.
But we do have a 65 minute posted wait.
Disney has set up an even larger extended queue to help battle the incoming Easter week crowds next week.
Along with the new crowd calendar based on ECV availability, I could also make one based on the number of green flags you’ll see in Tomorrowland. This looks like a 2.31 green flags kind of day. And that’s something that’s actually verifiable, rather than me just telling you I picked the right number of flags day after day.
Cast members grab these flags to mark the entrances to the extended queues at several Tomorrowland attractions, including the PeopleMover and Buzz Lightyear. It’s not a good sign.
The line extending out from Chip and Dale. Just a couple of days ago at Hollywood Studios’ Characterpalooza we could have met them in air-conditioning with a two minute wait.
No major backup at the Space Mountain FASTPASS entrance. We have a 75 minute posted wait with FASTPASS return times about three hours in the future. Better than two weeks ago where we saw that 135 minute wait around the same time.
Stitch continues to meet all the way back here to the right of Space Mountain. It’s bizarre that he can attract a sizable line all the way back here in Tomorrowland, but virtually never has a wait in a much more obvious location over at Epcot.
In context just in case. I would advise you to meet Stitch sometime in the afternoon over at Epcot where he’ll be in the same outfit and virtually never has an appreciable wait.
Some new ummmmmmmmmmmm vegetation all throughout Tomorrowland. It must be next level because I have no idea what it is. Maybe they are growing lettuce and plan to tell us that a few leafs are used over at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
The 30 most unpleasant minutes of your Walt Disney World vacation in line for the Speedway, sucking down car exhaust.
Then after driving around the track at a heart-palpitating four miles per hour, you’ll get to wait in this backup for your turn to get out and put your head through a window.
Construction continues on what is expected to be a permanent Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet to the left of his attraction.
Wait times continue to be ugly here due to an hourly capacity that isn’t getting any higher.
Seemingly heavy crowds in this section of Fantasyland with Peter Pan’s Flight and it’s a small world in front of us. With construction over at the Skyway, there is really nowhere to park strollers other than directly across from Peter Pan’s Flight. Which is the worst possible location.
Zoomed in, it looks like a wall of people down here. We’ll take a closer look after lunch.
Lunch today is over at The Pinocchio Village Haus. For the full menu and additional pictures, see this: https://www.easywdw.com/menus-and-seating/pinocchio-village-haus-menu-fantasyland-major-quick-service/.
The section that is relevant to today’s discussion:
I ordered the Kids’ Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($5.49) and the Tomato Basil Soup ($2.99). Anyone can order a Kids’ Picks, by the way. There’s no requirement to present a child.
It’s a decent haul with the sandwich, beverage, grapes, and yogurt. I should have subbed fries for the grapes, but wasn’t thinking. I’m not too crazy about Disney bagged grapes because they’re usually soft and mushy. And not wine. Really nothing a grape should be.
The Cheese Sandwich was about as inoffensive as humanly possible, which is probably what most kids are looking for in the first place. We have two slices of lightly toasted, lightly buttered bread with two large slices of “soft plastic cheese” in between. It would be a nice change of pace from the usual Disney chicken nugget fare. Pinocchio also has the Pasta and Meatballs option for kids, which is another somewhat interesting choice.
The Tomato Basil Soup was great too, especially with the sandwich to dip. Hot and creamy, it was everything a tomato basil soup should be. It’s not a huge portion, but I would guess it’s basically liquid saturated fat, so it isn’t necessarily such a bag thing. I’m not sure I would pair the soup with one of the other tomoato-based entrees as it would seem to be overkill alongside the Chicken Parmesan or Pizza. But it would pair nicely with one of the salads, or of course, the Kids Grilled Cheese. Overall, not a bad meal for the total cost of $8.49. It’s not a ton of food, but I think it should satisfy most non-Disney appetites.
Storybook Circus has been open all day every day since it began “soft opening” on March 12th. It’s “official opening” is this Saturday, though nothing should change between now and April 1st.
The temporary queue for Dumbo should remain for some number of months – until the circus tent queue is ready for prime time.
Dumbo really doesn’t have a viable way to present the current wait time. This sign is the only thing that displays it.
And kids are constantly jamming their fingers inside and turning the numbers. So this 25 to 30 minute wait is actually 0 minutes according to the sign! What luck! Even now, the wait is much more tolerable than before. There’s a lot more to see and do rather than just circling around in that queue that actually made you feel like you were caged up with everyone’s favorite flying elephant.
It’s 3:25pm with a 30 minute posted wait at The Barnstormer.
I’ve seen a few people turn their noses up at the fact that “The Barnstormer” doesn’t go through a barn anymore and is thus, false advertising. However, science does set us straight via Wikipedia:
Barnstorming was a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s in which stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes, either individually or in groups called a flying circus. Barnstorming was the first major form of civil aviation in the history of flight.
No barn required. And not to mention the group could be called a flying circus and we are in Storybook Circus. I’m just saying.
The fact that the bathrooms look this good bodes well for the rest of Fantasyland.
Storybook Circus stroller parking has moved over here to the far left of the bathrooms near the exit to the Railroad.
Some new Dumbo paraphernalia also over here. These look like the feed buckets for Giddy, Prissy, Caddy, and Dumbo, all of whom are elephants from the Dumbo feature film.
Another example of the “details” that make Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World. Very authentic looking!
The water tower has been repainted and rusted and the accompanying house thing has also received a paint job.
You may recall it looked like this two weeks ago.
Storybook Circus is looking better every day.
On the flip side, Snow White’s Scary Adventures is still expected to close at the end of the day on May 31st. It remains seemingly popular with the queue often extending out and around back here where the strollers are parked. Wait times are often 25 to 40 minutes. 30 minutes posted here.
Back over to the masses in between Peter Pan and it’s a small world.
FASTPASS return times for Peter Pan’s Flight at:
I keep getting harassed over the occasional verbiage on the Crowd Calendar analysis that states you can collect FASTPASSes during the day, return from a break, and then use them. With FASTPASS return window enforcement, that isn’t quite as easy as it once was. But there are still attractions that will have return times far enough out that you can collect them before a break and have the return times be valid when you return. Here are your best bets:
Most people won’t be taking an afternoon break at Animal Kingdom with the 9am – 5pm or 6pm operating hours for most of the year. You could take a break in the summer when it’s open until 8pm, but I have a feeling most people won’t be taking the time. Nonetheless, FASTPASS return times generally take off quickest at:
- Expedition Everest – Because of its monster capacity, wait times are often less than 40 minutes, even when Animal Kingdom is crowded. On especially crowded days, FASTPASS return times can be two to three hours out and occasionally further.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – FASTPASS return times are usually sooner than you would think, also thanks to a healthy capacity, but return times can be a few hours in advance when Animal Kingdom is particularly busy.
- Kali River Rapids – Due to fewer FASTPASSes available and a significantly lower hourly capacity, Kali River Rapids often has return times further out than any of the other attractions when temperatures exceed 85 degrees. In the summer, the FASTPASS return time can easily be after 5pm before noon. Keep that in mind in the summer.
Primeval Whirl’s return times are usually in the 40 to 80 minute range, making it a bad candidate to FASTPASS before a break. DINOSAUR almost always has a return time of 40 to 60 minutes in the future if FASTPASS is necessary at all.
- Soarin’ – FASTPASSes take off when Epcot is busy and Soarin’ hits a 40+ minute standby wait before 10am. FASTPASS return times can easily hit 5pm or later by 11am, making this a good choice to FASTPASS before a break.
- Test Track – FASTPASS return times are usually two or three hours behind Soarin’, meaning if the return time at 11am is 5pm at Soarin’, then it will be closer to 2pm at Test Track. Still, you should be able to pull FASTPASSes around 2pm with a return time after 5pm.
Mission: Space, Maelstrom, and Living with the Land have return times that are usually 40 to 60 minutes in the future.
- Toy Story Midway Mania – Toy Story sees FASTPASSes go faster than any other attraction every day of the year. FASTPASSes are often gone before noon and return times can easily be 5pm or later by 10:30am.
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Return times are sooner than Toy Story, but can often be three or four hours out in the afternoon. This is one that you’ll probably want to FASTPASS right before leaving on an afternoon break.
Tower of Terror rarely sees return times that are far enough out to use after a break. It’s possible if the attraction is running at less than full capacity and the Studios is busy. Star Tours almost always has FASTPASSes with return times of 40 to 60 minutes in the future.
- Peter Pan’s Flight – Return times are often several hours out by 1pm and further out than any other attraction at Magic Kingdom in most circumstances.
- Space Mountain – Return times can be three to four hours out by 2pm and occasionally further if the attraction went down at some point
- Splash Mountain – When it’s hot, Splash Mountain will see return times that are much further out than when it’s cooler. In the summer, FASTPASS return times can be further out than Space Mountain.
Other attractions normally don’t see return times further than two hours in advance. Jungle Cruise and Winnie the Pooh are most likely to be further than 40 to 60 minutes out. Buzz Lightyear is almost always 40 to 50 minutes in the future and we can expect Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to continue to issue FASTPASSes just 40 to 60 minutes in the future when it reopens.
So there you go. Basically, it’s still possible to collect FASTPASSes for Soarin’, Test Track, Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, and possibly Splash Mountain before a break and then use them several hours later after a break. For other attractions, you should be able to collect FASTPASSes that will have return times just 40 minutes in the future. It’s not quite as good as returning to Magic Kingdom with a handful of FASTPASSes for Buzz and Jungle Cruise, but you can always use them prior to the break.
Back to Peter Pan, where the posted wait time is 70 minutes.
The line for it’s a small world begins here. Where are we, exactly? Nobody knows!!
The line for Haunted Mansion is at least beginning in the vicinity of the attraction, but they’re ready with the extended queue sign just in case.
The lines for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom always seem to be longest in Liberty Square and Frontierland. We’ve got over a dozen players standing in line, meaning you’re going to be waiting at least 15 minutes here to play one screen, if not more.
The walkway that connects Frontierland and Liberty Square is busy, busier, or busiest, depending on how you want to zoom in:
The area outside Splash Mountain continues to be nutty no matter how you’d like me to zoom in. The Railroad seems to be significantly more popular now that you can disembark in Fantasyland. I haven’t seen that many people lined up at any time since Toontown closed.
The 85 minute wait at Splash doesn’t help congestion either.
Luckily, there’s really no one waiting in line to show their FASTPASSes to the cast member. The 30 or so people you see here are waiting for their FASTPASSes to be valid.
Big Thunder better be out of refurbishment by the end of May. Otherwise things are going to be even uglier around here with heavier crowds and 90+ temperatures.
Pirates of the Caribbean was closed, as it has been often in recent memory.
Causing even longer lines at nearby Jungle Cruise.
With standby and FASTPASS lines out the door, the wait can’t get much longer.
It’s just before 4pm, so FASTPASS return times are still just an hour out.
We’ll stop by the Adventureland Egg Roll Cart for a quick snack. It’s located near the entrance to Swiss Family Robinson.
It’s not always open, but should be when crowds are heavy like this. They basically offer items that can be kept under a heat lamp for an extended period of time….and drinks.
One Vegetable and one Pork & Shrimp. These are actually really good in a “they are from the freezer” sort of way. Very comparable to the Minh brand of egg rolls you can purchase at Costco or the supermarket. They’re certainly not gourmet or particularly out of the ordinary, but they’re also a quick, easy, relatively inexpensive snack. Combined, they probably amount to more food than one of the $4.50 Corn Dogs, which are basically the size of six cocktail wieners deep fried in batter. I’m not sure I would necessarily go out of my way to order one of these egg rolls, but they’re good if they sound good at the moment.
A 35 minute posted wait for Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook.
This is the end of the line to meet Ariel and Prince Eric.
Peter Pan was out meeting guests later than usual. That’s Crystal Palace behind him and the bridge over to Adventureland on the right.
The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor has opened a couple of days ahead of schedule.
The interior is completely repainted and looks great.
The current menu:
Notice that they now serve a Gourmet Hot Cocoa for $5.99. Just in time for this weekend’s 90 degree temps. I bet it’s good though.
The “tarp situation” on Main Street remains the same. This one on The Chapeau actually looks like it could use a little rearranging, as the one on Main Street Bakery received last week. Along with The Chapeau and Main Street Bakery, the Chamber of Commerce also remains behind scrims.
It’s only going to get busier through April 14th. And honestly, I’m a little nervous about July if this is what March looks like.