We’ll cross the bridge over into Liberty Square to see what’s going on in what may be Magic Kingdom’s least talked about Land.
The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History show debuted a little over a month ago in the area in front of Hall of Presidents and Heritage House.
The show blends live action on the ground with various Muppets characters appearing in the windows on the upper floor of Heritage House and Sam Eagle appearing up high over the Hall of Presidents.
And I think it’s really enjoyable. There may have been some “concern” that the Muppets “don’t belong in Liberty Square” or that their appearance would demean the history of our country, but I don’t think that ended up happening at all. It’s a very clever, thoughtful show.
There are actually two shows. Above is about the Declaration of Independence.
And one about Paul Revere. Unfortunately, the exact schedule is not listed on the Times Guide. You can check out the current week’s schedule at http://wdwent.com/mk/mk.htm or if you’re looking for another week in advance, I can pull that up if you create a forum thread asking. This week, the show is scheduled at
- Sunday: 9:30am, 10:10am, 10:35am, 11:40am, 12:20pm, 1:25pm, 1:50pm, 4:25pm, and 4:45pm
- Monday and Tuesday: 9:30am, 10:15am, 10:50am, 11:55am, 12:20pm, 1:25pm, 2:20pm, and 4:45pm
- Wednesday and Saturday: 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:10am, 10:35am, 11:40am, and 12:20pm
- Thursday and FridayL 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:15am, 10:50am, 11:55am, and 12:20pm
You might hone in on the 12:20pm show after lunch.
Because the exact times aren’t published on the Times Guide, crowds are typically low to moderate. This is my view arriving two minutes before the 4:45pm show last Wednesday. If you’re shorter or have young kids, you might consider arriving 10-15 minutes before a show to guarantee a spot up front. Disney puts a rope down so you can saunter up to it without having to worry about some blogger arriving at the last second and elbowing you out of the way. This is a definite must see for most guests.
Another project that’s still being wrapped up is the Haunted Mansion facade work, the scrim for which is now off the front.
There’s still some work going on up top and to the rear.
But I don’t think that will affect most people’s experiences.
I don’t think I’ll ever get a usable picture of the caretaker.
Heading inside The Hall:
The Hall of Presients is a little longer than 20 minutes and starts on and half-past the hour, which is the same schedule as the Liberty Square Riverboat across the way. Combine the two and you have two very pleasant anytime attractions that will take up 45 to 60 minutes in the afternoon.
As I was walking past Liberty Square Market on October 26th, I noticed that the Baked Potato was no longer on the menu. But it isn’t uncommon for Liberty Square to offer a couple items that are only listed on a smaller card near the register, so I just assumed that they had moved it there next to the corn advertisement. But as it turns out, said baked potatoes have been replaced with Turkey Legs in the warmer.
But don’t despair too much as they have just moved a short distance to nearby Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. The card I was expecting to see at the Market is on the far right in the picture. Though the roasted corn is no longer available at either location.
Sleepy Hollow is located here…which is to the right of Hall of Presidents basically across from the Christmas store.
I am a big proponent of the Theme Park Potato, the current iteration of which is pictured above. At $3.39, it’s dirt cheap. And with so much over-processed junk everywhere, sometimes it’s nice to bite into something fresh out of the earth. It’s otherwise a large size with salted skin, served with an ounce of sour cream and a small cup of shredded cheddar cheese, in addition to two small butter containers. They should give you more of any of that if you demand it, but I found the toppings adequate for the size of the potato.
You might have also noticed that the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle has made its triumphant return to Sleepy Hollow.
The first version, which debuted at $6.99 more than four years ago, is pictured above. The waffle was much thicker, which I don’t think worked in the sandwich’s favor because so much of each bite was waffle rather than chicken. Disney increasingly thinned out the waffle as the years went by.
The current version, pictured above, arrives with an even flimsier waffle that almost buckles under the weight of the chicken and excess sauce. On one hand, it makes it a lot easier to enjoy the flavors from the chicken without the excess malty-ness of the waffle. On the other hand, it’s a little harder to eat and less filling/shareable. And at $10.29 without a side, the sandwich is up 47.2% in price for far less food.
While early “reports” indicated that the portion on the chicken had been reduced, I think that “problem” has been rectified with some better communication from management or somebody realizing that for north of ten bucks they better fill the waffle with chicken. It’s hard/impossible to tell from this picture, but there are two pieces of chicken here. The occasional sandwich was going out with just one piece, but it was massive enough to fill the space.
The flavor on this is a lot more sweet than spicy with the waffle providing even more sweetness. But there is a slight peppery kick along with the lightly breaded chicken that has a nice crunch with each bite against the soft waffle. The slaw is mostly superfluous, but adds additional crunchiness and if you are particularly susceptible to spice, may help cut that a bit. Otherwise, Spicy Chicken Sandwiches are what I order most often when they are available, but Sleepy Hollow’s version wrapped up in the waffle is not my thing.And at the higher price point, is far from the steal than it would have been circa 2012-2015. But it’s back.
Columbia Harbour House is my favorite of the Magic Kingdom quick services and has been for years, reliably offering unique dishes that are higher quality than most of the other offerings at the Park. And unlike Be Our Guest, it doesn’t require reservations or have turkey sandwiches that come in at $17.
But there are a couple of changes to the menu, including the Garden Harvest Salad being a thing of the past. But the more interesting revelations are perhaps that there’s a “Baked Chicken Breast and Shrimp” on the menu, in addition to “Shrimp Macaroni & Cheese.” While the “Chicken Breast Nuggets & Fish” are officially listed on the menu together, they are both available individually if you make that request at the register.
#5 and #7 are pictured on the lower portion of the center screen to give you an idea about what to expect.
It’s a little blurry, but here’s Beverages, Kids’ Meals, and Desserts. Here’s a link to Disney’s version: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/magic-kingdom/columbia-harbour-house/menus/. Also somewhat interesting is the ability to add a “Monin Premium Flavored Syrup” to your beverage for an additional 50 cents.
The quick service also outlines its allergy-friendly items clearly:
No word on what’s safe if you are “allergic” to Disney bloggers.
I had tried the previous version of the “Seafood Macaroni and Cheese,” which debuted at $10.99 before quickly going up in price to $13.79. I wasn’t particularly positive about it at the time, citing the radioactive appearance of the cheese and the gummy quality of the shrimp.
So you might say that expectations were the opposite of high going into the new $12.49 “Shrimp Macaroni & Cheese – Shrimp served over delicious Macaroni and Cheese.”
But the appearance here is a lot more positive – we can actually see the pasta underneath the “cheese” and the panko bread crumbs, which provide a contrasting crunch to the soft pasta, are more evident. Even the green onion garnish appears to be more attractive.
Flavor-wise, the mac & cheese is very creamy and there is a ton of pasta – the heavy weight of the dish is evident on the tray or if you are passing the bowl around to 75 other bloggers to take pictures. The shrimp don’t add much to the profile though and end up getting lost in the cheese. They do add some protein and at least in our bowl, were prepared much better than their predecessor. Each of the dozen-or-so shrimp had a nice snapping bite. But overall, it was “just a lot” with a very one-note, un-nuanced flavor and I think it would be best shared with another person, whether you want to add another entree to it or not. It’s a ton of food and not a bad value at all considering Disney serves a smaller cup without shrimp at Friar’s Nook in Fantasyland for $8. It’s not exactly recommended, but I wouldn’t necessarily let that deter you if it sounds good.
The other new entree is the $12.49 Baked Chicken Breast and Shrimp Platter with Couscous and Steamed Broccoli.
This is perhaps the healthiest quick service entree on property. And while the chicken doesn’t look particularly appetizing on the plate, it’s basically what a skinless baked chicken breast looks like coming out of the oven. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly flavorful – it would have benefited by some sort of seasoning or sauce, but I think Disney is aiming this one at the allergy crowd and in that respect, less may be more. You can spice it up a bit with some hot sauce or barbecue sauce from the condiment bar, but that’s about it.
The “couscous” was more of a rice pilaf situation. I’m not sure if they haven’t updated the menu to reflect that or couscous may have a much broader definition.
This is the couscous that had been served with the salmon. The broccoli is hit or miss – ours was prepared well with a nice crunch, though I would appreciate a sprinkling of pepper flakes or something to help liven up the flavor. The shrimp are exactly the same as what’s served on top of the macaroni – they have a natural shrimp flavor, but are unlikely to really wow without any sort of seasoning. Overall, the dish fills a niche for those looking for something that at least appears healthy. I think most of us are decidedly in vacation mode when visiting the Magic Kingdom, but by day nine of the Disney Dining Plan, you might be looking for something that isn’t going to make your nutrition app pop up a warning that says, “Really?”
I will also take this opportunity to remind you that you may want to reconsider lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern, where the menu is now largely based around the all-you-care-to-enjoy platter. The full review for that is available here in case you missed it last week.
And while I haven’t written up a review of the changes to the Diamond Horseshoe lineup, the entree platter of which is pictured above, the conclusion is the same as in the initial review. Skip it.
Overall, it’s mostly improvements throughout Liberty Square with the addition of the clever Muppets show and some more variety at Columbia Harbour House, in addition to the reappearance of the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich. We’ll try to ignore the table service options.