It’s been a while since we visited Magic Kingdom.
Speaking of “us,” I get a lot of bizarre emails. This is part of my favorite as of late:
P.S. I’m curious of the use of “we’re” and “our” since it implies relation to the park or working for the company. Just a thought since other aspects of this blog appear more rudimentary so any confusion there may ultimately lead to distrust.
I can assure you that all views present within are the official opinions of the Walt Disney Company and every one of its subsidiaries. You can totes trust me and you will only consume the official line.
Liberty Tree Tavern is a relatively inexpensive table service restaurant for lunch and a fixed price family-style buffet for dinner.
Like The Plaza Restaurant, Liberty Tree is a good opportunity to rest comfortably in an air-conditioned restaurant while cast members do all the work. A burger or salad runs $3 – $4 more here than it would at Pecos Bill or Cosmic Ray’s. The restaurant is generally much quieter and more orderly than your typical quick service. Also note Joffrey’s Coffee is available as a beverage as roll out continues resort-wide.
Each room is themed to a historical figure – Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, or George Washington. I feel like it would make a lot of sense to re-theme it to celebrity Disney bloggers. For example, my room would be full of authentic striped polos signed and displayed under glass alongside bottles of cheap bourbon. The Lou Mongello room would have very short ceilings. The Ricky Brigante room would be full of monitors displaying the video versions of every single one of his podcasts all at once. This looks to be the Jefferson room, though you’re more than welcome to correct me or point out an insignificant word choice error in the comments section. Because I love that. It isn’t like these posts are written between 11:30pm and 2:30am or anything.
According to Disney, “Step back in time to the days of Colonial Williamsburg and sup in splendor on the fall harvest bounty proffered by the Sons and Daughters of Liberty Tree Tavern.” Go ahead. Sup.
“Rich wood paneling, candelabra chandeliers, large brick fireplaces, and walls lined with period portraits and curios welcome the weary time traveler.” Time travel? Next thing you know they’re going to be talking about the fourth dimension of time and tangential universes. Liberty Square doesn’t do bathrooms, but is totally okay with the thought of the Living Receiver carrying the Artifact through the Tangential Vortex in order to collapse the Tangent Universe and return to the Primary Universe. I feel like this review is getting away from me.
I think there have been about 37,000 different versions of this mug. The current iteration is awfully plastic-y.
George, Greg, and their friend Nicki join us for lunch this afternoon. You may remember them from the Tutto Italia blowout.
Greg ordered the $16.99 Pilgrims’ Feast – Traditional Roast Turkey served with Herb Bread Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, and Garden Vegetable, which is the same thing I ordered the last time I was here with Dave from yourfirstvisit.net. Greg commented that it was “good,” which I would agree with. It’s basically Thanksgiving on a plate with a basic turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. It isn’t going to win any awards on flavor profile, but it’s good, simple comfort food. With three thick slices of turkey hung over the stuffing, it’s a filling meal that shouldn’t be too heavy.
George went with The Liberty Boys BLT – Slow-roasted Pork, fresh Greens, and Tomatoes on House-made Bread, with Caramelized Shallots, and Mushroom-Mayonnaise Spread – $13.99.
The pork here is a thick pork-belly-style, rather than your typical bacon. I’ll let George fill you in the details, but I know he enjoyed his sandwich.
Nicki ordered the $14.49 Colony Salad – Washington Apples, Sweet Pecans, Applewood-smoked Cheddar, Craisins (trademark) Dried Cranberries, and Grilled Chicken tossed with Field Greens in a Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette. It’s probably worth the extra $4 just to get away from Ken’s balsamic vinaigrette found at the quick services. Nicky enjoyed the salad as well, which is full of chicken and not-too-sweet fruit. There’s a lot going on, but it seems to mesh well together.
I ordered the $18.99 New England Pot Roast…Our Tavern Keeper’s Favorite – Braised Beef in a Cabernet Wine and Mushroom Sauce served with Mashed Potatoes and Garden Vegetables. This used to come with fried onion strings that livened the dish up even more. As it stands, the pot roast is fork tender and flavorful with the juices from the beef accompanying the gravy. It wasn’t too rich or too wine flavored. I enjoy wine and I enjoy beef, but I’m not crazy about sauces that retain a lot of that Cabernet flavor. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not. The vegetables were mostly carrots and onions with a couple large mushrooms added to the mix. I enjoyed it more than the 50’s Prime Time version.
Ermagherd, Urrie Gurrie Terfee Cerk. Or Ooey-Gooey Toffee Cake – Vanilla Cake with a Gooey Toffee Filling, Caramel Sauce, and Vanilla Ice Cream – $7.49.
This is another example of why I can’t imagine being on the Dining Plan. I’m not sure how huge this dessert looks, but it’s pretty huge. We shared it among the four of us and it was perfect. Eating the whole thing would take three to six months off your life. Worth it? Probably. Other than that, it was amazing. The cake was a little crispier than I was expecting with all of the toffee chips mixed in. It’s topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and more toffee. It was some of the best few bites I’ve had on property. And while it was amazing, I’m not sure I would have wanted any more.
Thanks to George and Greg for treating me to lunch. Liberty Tree Tavern was a pleasant experience. Service was fast and efficient, even if it wasn’t particularly personable. We always had full drinks and she was attentive to us throughout the meal, but there was not a whole lot of warmth or personality. She seemed to just be going through the motions. Which was fine. The food was a giant step up from most quick service options and the atmosphere is a lot less hectic than Pecos Bill or Cosmic Ray’s. It’s otherwise a pleasant restaurant with good, simply prepared comfort food.
It’s 12:44pm on the afternoon of the 8th. Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park on this website. TouringPlans didn’t have it as a “Best Park” or a “Park to Avoid.” Very Swiss.
This is about the busiest time of day as Space Mountain sits at 10 minutes, Buzz is at 15, Big Thunder is at 30, etc. Those wait times seem pretty nominal for the busiest part of the day.
Things are heating up here in Orlando as we look toward another hellish summer. Highs are 90+ degrees this weekend, even if there’s only one person in line for a Dole Whip. Feels crowded.
Jungle Cruise continues to see longer waits than you’d expect at 35 minutes. That’s 15 minutes longer than Big Thunder and 25 minutes longer than Space.
A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas has been play testing a lot recently.
This is another of those interactive games similar to the Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure over at Epcot.
The game begins by retrieving a “magical talisman” from the cast member at the entrance and then continuing into the “Cartography Shop,” where you will be directed to your adventure.
The Shop is themed well with old maps tacked to the walls.
The game begins by placing the magical talisman on the map.
The game picks your adventure and you’re instructed to pick up the map that goes along with it. There are five adventures in all, each of which should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
The maps are neat and may be worth picking up as a souvenir even if you have no intention of actually completing the adventure. They are “free.”
Similar to Agent P and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, screens and props are set up around Adventureland. The map points you where to go.
The game instructed me to find “the oracle holding a skull.” Which I did after a minor amount of difficulty figuring out where I was in relation to the rest of the world. I’m pretty useless.
After holding up the talisman, the oracle protected me from some invisible blow darts and instructed me to proceed to the location indicated on his necklace.
The game is more of a scavenger hunt than anything. “Players” simply find the location on the map, watch/listen to about 45 seconds of action/spiel, and move on to the next location. It would be a good time waster with kids in the four to seven year old range I think, but it’s probably not going to attract too many people older than that. You’re more than welcome to grab a talisman, map, and give it a whirl though. It’s completely free.
This is a fairly thin crowd outside Big Thunder Mountain at 1:08pm.
Big Thunder is sitting at just 20 minutes, which is about as short as waits are going to get at this time of day.
Splash changed from 25 minutes to 30 minutes as I stood there. Still nominal, considering the 85+ degree temperature and clear blue skies.
We first ran into these Dumbo popcorn containers about a month ago.
Dumbo has flown out of Storybook Circus and landed in Liberty Square, Tomorrowland, and other areas.
A new Disney Visa kiosk has appeared in front of the Haunted Mansion queue.
Everyone entering the queue is subjected to the offer of a lousy rewards card.
Scrims remain on Columbia Harbour House.
And have morphed over to the other side opposite the Tangled area.
This area, where you can sit at picnic tables and charge electronics, remains popular with all tables occupied.
People may enjoy the bathroom area even more than New Fantasyland. I think a Tangled attraction with some humor and an original soundtrack would have been much better than the Mermaid carbon copy we ended up with. One wonders, considering Mermaid Ride isn’t exactly a hit in California, why Disney would elect to copy the attraction in Florida. Other than the fact that it was cheap.
Maybe next time.
Quiet in Old Fantasyland, but Peter Pan’s Flight still has a 55 minute wait.
Fairytale Hall is still a ways off.
Disney is up to something with Friar’s Nook and Diamond Horseshoe operating unnecessarily. Even so, with several windows open and a bland menu, there are plenty of people interested in hot dogs and chicken nuggets.
Mine Train construction continues.
The back exterior looks like it’s closing in on completion.
Enchanted Tales with Belle, with its 40 minute wait, is the second longest in the Park right now. It remains the #1 morning priority or you want to save it for the end of the night when wait times decrease. It’s going to be a sweltering summer out here in the queue.
More and more generic merchandise seems to be popping up in Bonjour Gifts as Belle dresses have appeared for the first time.
And the plastic goblets made famous by Be Our Guest Restaurant are available up front in The Emporium.
Posted wait times continue to drop at Journey of the Little Mermaid as it turns out putting a wait time 3x longer than it will actually take is bad for your guest satisfaction ratings. That and Mermaid does not have a ton of re-ridability (not a word) for most people.
15 minutes for Ariel(s). The walkway between Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus is again closed. We may see it open more often beginning in the middle of next month, depending on construction needs.
It’s 1:45pm and the line for Be Our Guest Restaurant lunch is still backed up across the bridge. You may recall this is the time I recommend getting in line. Waits are going to be longest at the attractions and you’re not wasting 15+ minutes in the morning when attraction lines are shorter. This would take about 15 minutes to get inside the door and order.
Disney released its quarterly earnings this past Tuesday. They exceeded expectations and the stock traded above $67 today. That’s over 50% higher than the highest it had ever been prior to 2012. The company is worth more than Comcast, DreamWorks, and SeaWorld…combined. In the earnings call, Bob Iger and Jay Rasulo were surprisingly candid about the motivations behind MyMagic+ and FASTPASS+.
Rasulo said, “If we can get people to plan their vacation before they leave home, we know that we get more time with them. We get a bigger share of their wallet. The second thing is what happens to purchases when they become much more convenient and you don’t spend time queuing up for the transaction.”
Iger also said they hope to have MyMagic+ online “sometime this year.” The system is not as fraught with errors as some may lead you to believe, but infrastructure problems remain. And there’s the fact that the public still has not mastered remembering which finger they scanned the last time they used their ticket, let alone which way is up or down. Once MyMagic+ does begin rolling out, expect the system to favor those staying on-site more and more. But we’ll cross that bridge when it comes. Otherwise, Rasulo quoted an 8% gain in attendance at its domestic parks. Most of that is on the west coast or attributed to where Easter fell this year. But it’s better than the alternative.
Mad Tea Party’s refurbishment continues through the 21st.
Over at the entrance to Storybook Circus, clowns continue terrifying children.
Some new(?) Dumbo merch:
Those clips sure are cute.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports7/fruitkabob.jpg. Disney will sell you a “Fruit Kabob” consisting of three grapes, a strawberry, and a bite of pineapple for $3.29.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports7/notfruitkabob.jpg. Or for 70 more cents you could get a giant cookie. Disney really seems to be serious about this whole health initiative thing, don’t they? Maybe people will buy them if Disney puts a Mickey Check next to the price. After all, it’s difficult to gauge whether the fried lard or baked chicken breast is healthier without said check.
There’s basically never anybody back here outside of Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus, making it one of the better places to get away from the crowds.
It looks like Disney has consolidated its snack operation back here with Mickey Pretzels offered alongside hot dogs.
The characters at Pete’s Silly Sideshow begin appearing 45 minutes after open. When they began appearing at Park open, nobody showed up until around then anyway.
Barnstormer had a 20 minute posted wait. I still have nightmares of Easter when this whole queue was full and then Disney added additional capacity by extending the queue even further.
It’s going to be interesting to see what FASTPASS does at historically slow-loading, low capacity attractions that didn’t previously offer FASTPASS. At The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the posted wait is 40 minutes with less than 100 people in the standby line, due to so many people returning with FASTPASSes. With FASTPASS+ users getting priority at Speedway, wait times may increase substantially.
Space Mountain was rocking a 15 minute wait at 2:07pm. I was glad Magic Kingdom was the most recommended Park. I’d kick myself in the face if it wasn’t.
Dumbo and R2D2 popcorn buckets sold in Tomorrowland. I’m pretty sure the first words that come up on the screen during Star Wars are “A long time ago…” Theming schmeeming.
About as short as waits get at Orbiter. I would not discount Orbiter as “just another Dumbo.” It’s actually pretty terrifying up there.
Buzz is almost a walk-on.
Just turn up the colors on your pictures.
Flat out of the camera.
Feels crowded. Wait times circa 2:17pm:
Pretty nominal for the middle of the day.
Nothing to update in menu land. They all looked the same.
Main Street Bakery’s reopening date has been pushed back to June 19th. Turns out it takes longer than Disney was expecting to suck the soul out of a classic Disney landmark. Just kidding. I can’t wait to order a Non-fat, half-caf, triple grande, sugar free, vanilla, non-fat lactaid, extra hot, extra foamy, caramel macchiato with a twist. For here.