We return to Magic Kingdom as a continuation of this post, which mostly covered Main Street and Tomorrowland.
Only the latest greatest breaking news here as some concrete is being replaced in front of bag check.
The Citizens of Main Street continue entertaining guests on the walk towards Cinderella Castle.
NOW DOWN TO BUSINESS.
The menu for Cheshire Cafe, which is located in between Cosmic Ray’s and Mad Tea Party:
Not much of interest since they did away with the cake cups, but there’s usually no line, which makes for a speedy transaction.
Dumbo posted at 55 minutes with all elephants circling their bases. Operating attractions at reduced capacities has always been a thing. If people can walk on Dumbo at 10am with a wait of five or six minutes, I don’t think anybody is going to complain.
But the last time I ran through my morning touring plan, they were only running one of the two Dumbos at 10:30am and because of that, the line was backed up outside the building with a 30-minute posted wait. 30 to 40 minutes is too long to wait for Dumbo at 10:30 in the morning I think we can all agree. With so many people returning with FastPass+, basically no capacity would be given to standby with one carousel operating.
25 minutes at Barnstormer isn’t “bad” at 3:48pm, though it looks like I must have timed it right after the ride reopened after some downtime. An hour later it was at 55 minutes.
That “Decorated Crispy Treat” on the bottom right actually looks pretty good. I don’t remember seeing those.
Remember back in 2012 when I said this was the first time Goofy’s Glaciers had migrated from Downtown Disney to inside a theme park and they were really already offered in every theme park?? HAHAHAHAHA IDIOT!!!
Very authentic fading.
I don’t think this hot dog cart outside Pete’s Silly Sideshow has been staffed since 2013.
But they still print a new menu with higher prices every year. You can’t be too careful.
There are a couple kiosks on the walk into Storybook Circus:
Hollywood Studios still bundles the Pretzel/Cheese and Churro/Dipper together for a single snack credit, while the other Parks have resisted. Thank Pretzel Garden RIP.
You can still “Revitalize your appetite with a rainbow of refreshing and healthy snacks” at Prince Eric’s Village Market across from Mermaid Ride and Ariel’s Grotto. Or…you know…get a turkey leg.
The theme park pickle is up a mere 20 cents in the last four years.
Over at Gaston’s Tavern:
Nothing says a high of 88 and afternoon thunderstorms like beef stew and hot cocoa.
In today’s edition of “I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry,” Be Our Guest breakfast is up to a cool $24 for adults. It doesn’t really indicate it, your meal does include a beverage though.
I paid $19.99 at this time last year as part of this post, which also discusses the benefit of an early breakfast in getting to Mine Train or Anna/Elsa before the rope drop crowd. At that time and for that money, I concluded that the meal “was not a terrible value,” “but would only recommend the pre-opening breakfast.” Obviously for $4 more for the same thing, you objectively receive about $4 less value for your money. But if you argue that the entree is worth $10, the beverage $3, and the pastry $3, you’re at $16. Add $4 for the early pictures on Main Street and $4 for at least one early ride on Mine Train and I think you could rationalize that an 8am breakfast here is “worth it.” Would you find me here at 10am? Absolutely not. Crystal Palace is $30/adults and $18/kids. And that’s all you can eat with the Winnie the Pooh characters.
$14 for a single serving box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes for the kids seems like a really lousy value proposition on the other hand. They do throw in the milk though. Universal’s Minion-hosted all-you-can-eat buffet is a dollar less than Be Our Guest for kids and includes reserved parade seating.
I’m just saying.
Lunch prices are up for the second time in less than a month.
When I ordered the Prime Chuck (which I’m pretty sure doesn’t mean anything) Roast Beef Sandwich (with a rather sad number of fries) last year, it came in at $12.49. Now it’s 36% more expensive at $16.99.
To a point, complaining about food prices is kind of useless. Be Our Guest reservations are scarce – I am typing these words at 10:48pm on April 12th and there is no availability whatsoever for lunch on the 13th for two people. On the 14th, I could get in at 11:40am or 1:10pm. But someone will take those reservations or cast will only have to turn away 1,632 people instead of 1,628 people as they have space for four walkups.
Disney charges what they know they can get and what someone is willing to pay. “That’s business” is something that you already know. Disney was not inexpensive yesterday and today all of a sudden became expensive because the Braised Pork is $17 now compared to the $12 price it was when lunch was first offered in 2013. I was at Subway today (I know) and they have a new turkey and bacon sandwich that’s $8.75. Beef is more expensive than turkey and your BOG sandwich arrives with 14 french fries amidst the ambiance of Beast’s Cafeteria. So who’s to say there is no value here.
There have been some subtle changes to the dinner menu:
Most of the side dishes have been switched out in the last year or so – a wild mushroom bread pudding with the pork chop versus the original au gratin macaroni. There is no more puff pastry involved with the shrimp and scallops. The roasted lamb arrives with a pomegranate-pear gastrique instead of stone ground mustard demi-glace. It’s potentially interesting that the dinner prices have not gone up in price with the vigor as the quick service meals. The steak was $32 three years ago versus $35 today. The braised pork that was $23 is now $25. So those price increases are even less than the Plaza, both in terms of percentage or literal dollars. It seems like Disney is trying to get you to pay about the same money no matter where you choose to dine. Remember that Disney operates every single food outlet in Magic Kingdom so establishments are not really trying to compete against each other. They get your money whether you eat at Casey’s Corner or Cinderella’s Royal Table. And the fact that they want as much of that money as possible certainly isn’t a new thing. I think it just used to be less obvious.
Gaston continues to charm crowds in the back of New Fantasyland in between Gaston’s Tavern and Village Gifts. Here he is introducing himself to a Belle that looks to be a little more open to a relationship than the movie version.
I was happy to see Disney is finally accommodating those that are six inches taller on their right sides.
Enchanted Tales’ popularity has fallen off considerably, though the wait time is still posted at 45 minutes here with so much capacity being given to FastPass+. Even with 25 people in standby, the 26th person can still easily wait 30 minutes for the process to begin. I still recommend an afternoon FastPass+ here if you’re interested or you may elect to return late in the evening when Fantasyland clears out. Just remember that it closes an hour before the rest of the Park these days.
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but even Journey of the Little Mermaid’s queue was extending outside, which is something you rarely see.
65 at the Meet and Greet.
I would have to crunch the numbers, but I believe The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh goes down more days than any other attractions, which might be surprising. Here it is not operating at 2:40pm.
But it would be by 3:30pm with a 55-minute wait. Downtime here is typically 15 to 45 minutes.
Pinocchio Village Haus is one of the more delightful quick services on property in my opinion. I love the variety of seating options and most of the food that I’ve tried has been pretty good at worst. There’s pleasant outdoor seating with bright umbrellas overhead or you can sit in one of several differently-themed rooms inside, including a section that overlooks it’s a small world next door.
Best is undoubtedly the upstairs balcony, where there is very rarely anyone not-associated-with-some-kind-of-Disney-blog. So it offers a bit of privacy in addition to a unique perspective looking down at New Fantasyland. Just don’t be surprised if there is a table down yonder with eight guys circling a plate of spaghetti as they take pictures at 42 different angles.
Village Haus is one of few theme park quick services that still offers different entrees for lunch and dinner:
The Shrimp Alfredo is only offered after 4pm and before then, the Chicken Parmesan with Pasta is replaced with a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. Prices here really aren’t bad compared to the other options. Two Pepperoni Flatbreads are just about the cost of a single roast beef sandwich.
I saw the Alfredo on a text menu about a month ago and thought it sounded like it might be intriguing – some lightly seared shrimp over a bed of penne with a light alfredo sauce on top. But it’s actually six fried shrimp from Columbia Harbour House on a bed of whatever that stuff is. It goes without saying that deep fried, tail-on shrimp probably don’t belong in an alfredo. But I’m not an expert.
I actually liked the $10.49 Chicken Parmesan Sandwich pretty well. The website has no problem turning its proverbial nose up at a $26 deep-fried and previously-frozen version at a sit-down restaurant, but that’s about what you can expect from your $10 fast food entree. And that’s what this is – a perfectly decent-sized fried chicken breast covered in jar sauce and cheese and served in a usually-fresh bun.
The Chicken Alfredo is dinner only too.
For those with smaller appetites or if you’re looking for a hearty snack, the Kids’ version of the Pepperoni or Cheese Pizza is a half portion of the full size entree. Otherwise, Village Haus is back to serving breadsticks over the garlic knots, which you’ll now find at Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom.
Hopefully not served by this guy.
For dessert, they are now serving a $3.99 Tiramisu Gelato.
Mango and Chocolate were the first flavors to arrive at Cosmic Ray’s a couple of years ago now and I’ve really enjoyed each of the past iterations.
And the Tiramisu is no different, though proponents of a strong coffee-flavored treat may be disappointed. There are only a few bits of chocolate mixed in and the flavor is much closer to vanilla than rum-soaked ladyfingers (which is a strange phrase to type out).
But I found it very satisfying in the heat when a pre-packaged chocolate cake cup is perhaps not what you’re looking for. And those looking for a sundae or soft serve might favor this creamier, more decadent option. It’s here anyway.
What’s not here is the brownie sundae or other more-interesting creations at Storybook Treats, which is located immediately to the right of Winnie the Pooh.
Next to that is Friar’s Nook, where nothing has changed outside of the regular Macaroni & Cheese arriving at a price point that’s now 20 cents higher. That seems like a considerable upcharge for panko bread crumbs. You might instead consider the $5.99 Kids Pick over at Village Haus. Remember that they will never ask you to present a child to order a kids meal.
This walkway in between small world and Peter Pan’s Flight is often the most congested in the Park outside of Main Street in the evening, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen the sheer number of people that are in this photo.
If you look hard you can see the end of the line for small world.
There it is.
Disney was estimating a 45-minute wait, which is something you might have seen during Christmas in 2013. And it’s on the high side of 2016, but 30- or 35-minute peak waits are the norm here even if you’re visiting on a Tuesday in late January. So much capacity is given to FastPass+.
As is customary now, the FastPass+ readers inside the queue are disabled. While there is a cast member standing near the covered Mickey reader here, she is not actually stationed there and is just passing through.
So the chained queue now continues right up until the loading bay.
How long until Disney stations bell ringers outside the gate chanting, “For Shanghai? For Shanghai”
I ended up waiting about eight minutes with FastPass+, which is easily three or four minutes longer than I had ever waited before. I’m not going to stand on my soapbox over an 8-minute wait, but it is indicative of how many people are returning with FastPass+.
That’s three or four entire boat loads in front of me.
Disney had been testing an initiative called “StoryMaker,” where the first names of those riding would be displayed on these screens near the end of the voyage. On one hand, displaying a first name isn’t potentially creepy at first blush. Frank Reynolds is not hiding behind one of these flowers to try and enter you into his Little Beauties pageant. But the fact that Disney can track you and knows exactly where you are in the Park is potentially disconcerting for some. And everybody probably doesn’t want the names of their kids displayed for all to see, even if they momentarily forget that they’re wearing matching shirts with their names on the back. It would be nice to be able to opt-out as more and more of these displays are theoretically in the works, whether we’re talking about PhotoPass pictures showing up as you walk by advertisements on Hollywood Boulevard or in the queue for Expedition Everest.
All in all, small world took 22 minutes, which is a couple longer than average. If you mouse over the names of the theme parks at the top and click “Attractions,” you’ll find a list that includes how much time you can expect each enabled attraction to take with FastPass+. small world is listed at 20 minutes. At least the wait for Peter Pan’s Flight is “just” 105 minutes at 4:23pm.
Here at 2:40pm, you can’t see the end of the FastPass+ or standby lines from the main entrance of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
If you were to wait in line in the afternoon for Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Space Mountain, you’d wait a total of six hours. It’s not easy to defend that. You might occasionally see somebody say that this website skews negative, which isn’t necessarily inaccurate. But the only way to “stay positive” is to ignore it. Ignore the 2+ hour waits. Ignore the rising prices. Ignore the quality decreases. Ignore the staffing and entertainment cuts. And a lot of sites do ignore it. Disney does not buy your free lunch if you speak negatively about the experience and almost all Disney blogs are either on the take or their sole purpose in covering the Parks is to do or say whatever will get them that free plate of Tutto Italia pasta. If you ever see #prfriendly in someone’s Twitter bio or website, it’s code for “will say something positive about whatever it is you give me for free. No matter what.” Because people that say anything negative are not invited back as much as they might protest that their “opinions are their own.” But I do understand and appreciate the criticism. Nobody wants to be told that their favorite thing in the world sucks. But to ignore it is counterproductive and won’t make anything better. One does not effect change by keeping their mouth shut. And with any luck, we will be having a very different discussion at this time next year. And even more hopefully, next month.
You could have walked right up to Peter Pan as he’s sort of hidden tucked to the right of the attraction entrance on the way to Harbour House from Fantasyland.
“Haunted Mansion line starts here.”
I don’t know if any of this stuff is “new:”
Just in case you need help memorizing the script and ruining everybody else’s experience by talking alongside the narration.
My favorite quick service meal in any Park is the Fried Shrimp Platter along with a cup of their Clam Chowder. I love those fried shrimp. I wouldn’t put them on top of pasta though. Columbia Harbour House drops the Lobster Roll at dinner but I have been told that they can still make it if you request it. That is not guaranteed of course.
There are usually two Turkey Leg carts with the one in Liberty Square usually proving less popular than the Frontierland version around the corner.
What’s at Liberty Square Market:
If you’re ever in the market to receive some strange looks, I suggest taking pictures of bagged chips.
Facade refurbishments have migrated from Main Street to Liberty Square. This building already has a more attractive scrim over it.
It was too awkward to take a picture of the Sleepy Hollow Refreshments menu, but you can pull it up here. Note that the Spicy Chicken and Ham Waffles are no longer served here, while the Nutella and Fresh Fruit version remains. My estimation is that Disney hates everything that you like. Or it took too long to make them.
Haven’t seen these in a while. This is the Christmas store in Liberty Square and I also saw them at the Christmas Store at Disney Springs.
They are probably available elsewhere.
Still located across from the Christmas Store next to Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. They are a pretty unique souvenir.
The regret inside Diamond Horseshoe was palpable. Here is my recent dinner review in case you missed it.
Heading into Frontierland here at 4:45pm.
Work continues on the back of the boat dock.
Corn dogs are apparently not in season at Westward Ho.
The current Pecos Bill menu:
I have been making fun of this Taco Burger on Twitter for a few weeks now. It may be the least sensible thing that I have ever seen in my life and you’re talking to someone that is still haunted on the regular by the Angus Pizza Burger.
You can’t make this stuff up.
I do otherwise like the Spicy Beef stuff here, whether it’s topped on the salad or served as a burrito. I think the chicken is typically dry as is the “steak” they use in the fajitas.
70 minutes at Splash as the queue winds around outside. Big Thunder was at 50.
If you yell, “ANDY’S COMING!” the characters will fall to the ground and play dead.
Or perhaps more likely, everyone in the Park will instantaneously assault you.
The national nightmare that was the “Creative Waffle Fries” at Golden Oak Outpost is over. If you are in the market for chicken nuggets though, you might seek out this kiosk across from Pecos Bill on the Adventureland side as they do still arrive avec waffle fries.
40 at Pirates is “not bad.”
45 for Magic Carpets probably is.
You might argue this is too.
It can always be worse.
Your Dole Whip is still the same price.
As is your Citrus Swirl.
There are 20 people lined up on this side and zero on the other.
Skipper Canteen is sticking to its guns as same-day reservations can be made online or in person:
It should be the exact same menu as when I reviewed the restaurant in February.
The buy more…buy more… offer is slightly different.
The backpack at $20 seems like a good value in a world where a keychain will set you back $8.
No wait for the hula hoops outside City Hall.
20 minutes for dheckers.
We’ll visit the walls at Hollywood Studios next.