After spending a few hours at Hollywood Studios, we move over to Magic Kingdom on the afternoon of Wednesday August 19th.
Now that the formal introduction has concluded, we can move on to the bulk of what this post is going to be about. Bird poop.
You may remember that Disney recently re-skinned the roof over the boat dock to Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness in this pretty fuchsia color. Unfortunately, birds like to hang out on the roof of the boat dock. And birds poop. A lot, apparently. So now the roof is white.
Disney has cut down on the number of locations offering maps and times guides available around the Park. The sides of the train station used to be lined with maps.
Taller map holders now arrive with a message inviting guests to download My Disney Disaster…I mean Experience.
Tinker Bell wait times remain surprisingly low inside Town Square Theater alongside Mickey. Looking over the last couple of weeks:
This is also how I come up with the color-coded maps for each of the parks. You can see the average wait time for each 15-minute increment along the bottom, which makes it easier to make generalizations about how wait times progress over the course of your average day. Compare the above to the much-more-popular Mickey:
These wait times are pretty absurd with an overall average wait of 48 minutes. Waits are often over 70 minutes and peak higher than 100, which is why the character-centric touring plan visits Mickey first thing on day one.
I keep forgetting to take a picture of the current Tony’s Town Square menu, which is available directly from DisneyWorld.com here. Disney does a pretty good job of keeping most menus up to date these days, which is one of the reasons why the website doesn’t spend a lot of time on table service restaurant menus. On average, whatever Disney has is probably more up to date than any third-party. The restaurant went to an all-day menu last month:
A couple of the relatively inexpensive pizzas remain, which is potentially good news for those headed for dinner. Back during the lunch menu days, dinner eliminated all of the less expensive items in favor of pork chops and such.
I don’t usually recommend Tony’s, though I did have a very good pizza there exactly one time. The website also laments the loss of the meatball sliders.
Inside half of the Confectionery case.
Disney added a few new styles of salt & pepper shakers:
Don’t put them in the microwave. Or if you do, put it on YouTube.
The currently featured Dooney design.
Inside the Starbucks case. Those are some pretty sad looking $5.59 cupcakes there on the bottom right.
I gave the Strawberry Acai Refresher, which recently replaced the Valencia Orange, a shot. At $4.99 for a trenta you’re buying a lot of ice, but is was very refreshing and it comes packed with about 100mg of caffeine. That’s the equivalent of about two 12-ounce cans of Diet Coke.
It was a little strange to see a breakfast menu at Casey’s Corner.
Things are otherwise the same.
Souvenir cups are still available. They’re kind of neat in that the laces protrude out so it “feels” kind of like a baseball.
Work is being finalized in the Central Plaza Hub area.
Two of the spires are still behind walls.
Walls still line the front of Cinderella Castle.
A wide look.
From the 19th.
Dream Along with Mickey on the Castle Forecourt stage started back up on the 21st with the walls still in place. Work looks to conclude in the next couple of days. My assumption is they wanted the walls to come down before the show started back up.
Work continues on replacing the bridges.
Over on the Tomorrowland side, work is finishing up.
One of the walkways over here opened on Friday.
While it looks like it will be another week or so over here.
Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant’s roof is under refurbishment as the quick service underneath is shuttered now that the bulk of the summer crowds have left. It may not grace our presence again until Thanksgiving. Or at least Saturdays in October. On the far right, you may notice a brown scrim over part of the Main Street bypass as beautification continues over there.
The work isn’t all that obvious.
And a stupid wide shot “just for fun.”
Over in Tomorrowland, people are filing through the extended queue at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.
This convoluted mess is the Stitch FastPass+ kiosk.
This cast member holding a generic “FP+ line starts here” sign has been deployed elsewhere.
While the FP+ return line for Buzz cycles through most of the extended external queue.
A 60-minute posted wait for Buzz despite the standby line only being about 150 people long.
“The system is working.” – Thomas O. Staggs
70 at Space.
PeopleMover was experiencing technical difficulties, so the end of the line is where that lady with the green pants and purple shirt is standing.
We lost a couple hot dogs at The Lunching Pad, which is just fine with me.
Hopefully I’m the only one here that remembers the tragedy that was the Taco Hot Dog. The hot dogs should be available through 9pm.
In snack news nobody cares about, the Tomorrowland Popcorn Cart no longer offers a “snack combo.”
I’m sure nobody remembers the old menu. Originally, the snack combo went up with just a standard snack credit symbol, despite it costing two snack entitlements. Anyway…
Cool Ship is still your spot for turkey legs as the Liberty Tree Tavern kitchen refurbishment continues for another three months.
Over at Cosmic Ray’s, there are so few unique entrees that one wonders why they can’t just offer all of them at each Bay. Remember that the ribs aren’t added to the chicken until after 4pm and are no longer available on their own.
Bay 2. While Disneyland receives the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, one wonders why Magic Kingdom doesn’t see a similar Angus Pizza Burger version. “An Angus Pizza Burger will follow you home…” *Kids screaming* *Grandma faints*
Bay 3, plus the Greek Salad.
Nothing of interest here, though I will mention again that the gelatos are very good.
While we saw the pretzels and churros bundled with their respective dips at Hollywood Studios, you won’t have any such luck here.
30 minutes for the 59-second roller coaster that is The Barnstormer might be Walt Disney World’s biggest ripoff. Dumbo was at 40 minutes at 2:45pm.
Inside the case at Big Top Souvenirs. Note that the $5.79 and $6.29 caramel/candy apples are Disney Dining Plan snack credits.
Here, the “Seasonal Crispy” is a snack credit. The problem may just be a signage thing at The Confectionery.
This is Prince Eric’s Village Market across from Journey of the Little Mermaid in New Fantasyland.
They’ve added the Mickey Pretzel.
Over at Gaston’s Tavern, LeFou’s Brew with and without the souvenir cup has not gone up in price since opening in 2012, if you can believe that. I’m not sure what the deal is with the Pork Shank, which isn’t listed on the menu handed out at the entrance.
You’ll be happy to know Disney replaced the Gaston’s Tavern sign, which also makes no mention of the pork.
It looked like this on our last visit.
Because of its horrific hourly capacity, I’m wary about moving Enchanted Tales with Belle into “anytime attraction” territory, but there are only three people waiting for it outside at 2:56pm. Granted, it is Festival of Fantasy time, which pulls a lot of people away from the attractions far away from the parade route.
Even with few people in line, the posted wait is still 30 minutes. Looking over posted wait times over the last few weeks:
So much capacity is given up to FastPass+ that it’s hard to say how long actual waits would be, which is one of the reasons why FastPass+ is highly recommended here. The 30ish minute length makes it a poor choice first thing in the morning these days when we’d prefer to hit several rides with short durations that will have long waits later in the day. Think things like Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the like.
So what have we learned exactly? Well…if you’re not using FP+ at Enchanted Tales, check the line to see if there’s actually anybody in it and consider visiting when people are occupied with something like Festival of Fantasy. Waits are also nonexistent after Wishes.
Storybook Treats is your ice cream stop in Fantasyland, in between Friar’s Nook and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
This is the current menu, which is unfortunately dumbed down.
It used to serve cookie sundaes and brownie sundaes.
Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes.
Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt….
But all of that is gone.
Pinocchio Village Haus has seen some real changes. This is the lunch menu:
This is what it used to look like:
So we’re down from nine entree choices to six.
The Barbecue Beef Flatbread was removed just a few days after I said this about it last year:
The beef is cheap, fatty, pot roast quality not unlike (and probably the same as) what’s served on top of the Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese all day across the street at Friar’s Nook. It comes in a thick layer underneath the cheese, mixed in with far too many little chopped pieces of red onion. Because the toppings are underneath the cheese, it makes it difficult to brush off or remove the onions (that aren’t advertised or even really visible on the menu) you don’t want.
No more “Spicy Chicken Sandwich” either. From last year’s review:
Anyway, this is a 42-cent Tyson “spicy” frozen chicken patty on a bun with a couple shreds of lettuce, the remnants of a tomato, and a squirt of Ken’s ranch. It’s a terrible ripoff and should be avoided at all costs.
The Mediterranean Salad was actually pretty good. I would guess someone at Disney calculated that it would be more cost efficient to leave it off the menu in favor of the ubiquitous Chicken Caesar.
The current kids menu:
No changes there. The Kids Pizza is a good choice for those with smaller appetites as it’s “literally” half of the entree-size flatbread with the sides.
Always a glutton for punishment, I ordered the $9.49 Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. You can still order most entress without the side to save $2, which is what I did.
This was actually pretty good. The patty didn’t have that generic Tyson “frozen feel” like its predecessor, the “Spicy Chicken.” The shape and breading were more natural and there was a lot of perfectly melted cheese on top, in addition to the chunky-ish, robustly flavored sauce. It wasn’t exactly life changing, but it blows away the Spicy Chicken and would be a good choice for lunch.
As a bonus, you may have the opportunity to head up to the Village Haus balcony. There is of course a test to go up here. The resident theme park blogger will ask you what you think about Toy Story Land, and if you don’t immediately start burning garbage, you’ll be asked to sit down below.
There’s about eight tables up here.
After 4pm, the bread gets switched out for pasta and the price goes up $2, in addition to the side Caesar replacing the fries/apples. The Italian Sub Sandwich is also switched out for the Chicken Alfredo.
Looks like rain as we head through Old Fantasyland at 4:08pm.
Peter Pan’s Flight FP+ is backed up over there somewhere.
The line for it’s a small world is redonk, winding around outside, despite “just” a 25-minute posted wait.
Dinner at Columbia Harbour House is served after 4pm. The Chicken Pot Pie takes the place of the Chicken Breast Nuggets (though a Chicken and Fish combo is still available and I imagine they would serve you just chicken if you ask) and the Seafood Macaroni and Cheese takes over for the Lobster Roll. They may still be able to scrounge up a Lobster Roll after 4pm, but I’m not sure you’d have luck with the dinner entrees earlier. You can always ask.
I wasn’t too enamored with the Seafood Mac & Cheese and that was back when it was closer to $11 than $14. I’m not sure if others have more positive things to say.
The Chicken Pot Pie is a little different, but it’s still basically chicken soup with bread crumbs sprinkled on top.
A whopping 65 minutes at Haunted Mansion. Looking over waits:
It looks like Mansion hit at least 60 minutes on 19 out of the 30 dates listed here. “Not good.”
Corn Dogs are still available at a cart to the left of Haunted Mansion instead of Westward Ho during the Liberty Tree Tavern kitchen refurbishment.
The patio outside Aunt Polly’s is seeing some work.
Tiana continues to meet in the Heritage House space during the Hub construction on the Adventureland side.
Sleepy Hollow at least added the basic waffle and funnel cake as snack credits. Both hearty snacks.
The Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich is also added back to the main menu.
Speaking of Adventureland construction:
Disney confirmed that the “Jungle-Cruise-themed” Skipper Canteen is what’s going in here in the Adventureland Veranda space with an opening date in late 2015. It’s hard to imagine Disney will be opening a restaurant that doesn’t even have walls or floors yet in three months, but there you go.
Nothing of much interest at Pecos Bill. The Karubi-style Ribs are still added to the menu after 4pm.
The lunch menu has just five entrees. These four and the salad above.
The Country Bears Jug is in the running for best souvenir drinking vessel.
Lightning closed the outdoor rides, which means no Big Thunder or Splash Mountain.
Golden Oak Outpost across from Pecos on the Adventureland side is standing strong with these waffle fries. I advise that you don’t.
Pecos’ outdoor seating seeing a refurbishment wall.
Pirates of the Caribbean remains closed for refurbishment, while the next door store remains open. This treasure chest is new.
Inside you’ll find some drink coasters.
That’s a double-sided 1,000 piece puzzle on the right. I don’t know why you’d do that to yourself.
I forget if I took a picture of the Pegleg Pete plush.
Also available as a snow globe.
No hula-hoops? AND I PAID $105 FOR THIS????
I’m not sure if the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls made it.
They were pretty greasy.
Dole Whips are one of the few things that saw a price increase. I guess Disney figures people will pay anything for the same thing you can get at Menchie’s.
Your Citrus Swirl from Sunshine Tree Terrace is the same price.
Remember that Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace switched places back in March. The blue building across from Swiss Family Treehouse is Sunshine Tree Terrace, while Aloha Isle is behind us across from Aladdin’s Magical Carpets.
Over the wall.
That’s what’s going on at Magic Kingdom as we look at crowds dropping off even more heading into September.