I set out to check in on the new Tinker Bell Meet and Greet at Magic Kingdom and the opening of the Kabuki Cafe at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot. As I posted on the forum last night, the construction on the new Fairy Meet and Greet inside Adventureland Veranda is not yet complete. The Fairies are currently meeting guests outside on the porch, where Ariel previously met guests. Kabuki Cafe is the new name for what many referred to as “The Kakigori Stand,” only in a more permanent home. Oh, and we’re having lunch at Diamond Horseshoe (LOL).
We’re winding down July, thankfully. Overall, July is the busiest month of the year at Disney World. Most other months, we have periods of heavy and not-so-heavy crowds. In February, the first two weeks are slow until things pick up over President’s Day Weekend. In April, the weeks around Easter are busy (depending on when Easter falls on that particular year), while the two weeks that don’t hug Easter are much less so. In December, we have some of the heaviest crowds of the year from December 18th – 31st, but the first two weeks are significantly less crowded. These are just a few examples – you could look at similar events every month over the course of the year. In July, we have virtually every school in the country on summer vacation, coupled with an increasingly popular contingent of visitors from South America. Add the oppressive heat, stifling humidity, and torrential downpours, and you have a month that should simply be avoided if at all possible. This isn’t to say you can’t have a perfectly delightful vacation in July, but it’s going to come “in spite of” all of the previously mentioned issues like crowds and the weather. We’ll see slightly lower crowds over the next two weeks before crowds fall off moving into September.
Here we are arriving around 10:45am with things just about as they should be – a slightly longer wait for the Princesses than Mickey Mouse and FASTPASS return times just a little further into the future.
This is the original artwork created by SHAG for the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom. It hangs in the Art of Disney Store on the right hand side of Main Street, near the back of the store on the wall to the right. I thought about buying it, but it was $20,000. Maybe the $35 print.
Here are some terrible quality pictures of the Fairy Meet and Greet outside on the Adventureland Porch. As you enter Adventureland from the Hub/Main Street area, you’ll see the Veranda directly on your right just past the bridge. This is a long line. Probably 45 minutes. At the moment, Tinker Bell appears with one other Fairy (Rosetta or Vidia) intermittently from 9:15am until one hour before Park close. As I said previously, this is at around 11am. Hopefully Disney will figure out a “way” to decrease waits once the new Meet and Greet area is ready, much like they did with Mickey Mouse at Town Square. If you have two days at Magic Kingdom with young kids, I would do Fantasyland early one morning and characters early the second morning. When I say early, I mean right at 9am.
Jungle Cruise wait time at 10:55am – 15 minutes
Pirates of the Caribbean wait time at 10:55am – 15 minutes
Big Thunder Mountain wait time at 11am – 30 minutes
“Crowds” outside Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at 11:05am
Splash Mountain wait time at 11:05am.
This is the number of people walking around Frontierland at 11:10am
And this is what’s known as the lunch rush at Diamond Horseshoe. You may remember from this review: https://www.easywdw.com/uncategorized/easywdw-initiates-coverage-on-diamond-horseshoe-as-strong-sell/ that I’m not exactly “up” on this place. But I wanted to try the pork brisket and knew they offered it in a kids’ meal size. So why not?
This is the kid’s “Hand Carved Pork Brisket Sandwich” for $4.99. This place is still a mess. One of my big pet peeve’s (it seems like I would be the type of person that would have a lot of these doesn’t it?) is when cashiers come out to the front of their checkstand when they don’t have anyone in line. Like at Target, if no one is in line, the cashier will come out in front of their stand to sort of welcome you, but at the same time it looks like no one is stationed at the register. Then they say “Hi, are you ready to check out?” And of course the answer is yes, that’s why I’m walking along the cash registers looking for the shortest line. Then you wait for them to march all the way back around their cash register, get settled, and start scanning. Anyway, the Diamond Horseshoe cashier was standing out in front of his cash register. I looked up at the menu and he continued to stand there out front. I looked down at him and made uncomfortable eye contact. He continued to stand there. I asked, “Are you ready for an order?” He said yes and proceeded to the register. At this point, he didn’t know how to input my selection. They didn’t know what was included with a kid’s meal. I ended up with my meal, but didn’t get the milk I had ordered. Already at the tables in front of Liberty Square Market, I wasn’t in the mood to trudge back and protest. Somehow I ended up with chips, carrots, and apples anyway when I wasn’t supposed to get the chips. To stay within the theme of the restaurant, we’ll call it a draw.
Anyway, this is actually a very cute meal. I’m always amused to see the “little” versions of some of the adult entrees. The Kid’s Meatball Sub at Toy Story Pizza Planet is another example of a cute mini-sized version of the Adult Sub. With the extra chips, this is actually just about as much food as you would get for the $8.79 adult entree. The pork was actually well seasoned, though the sandwich is still lacking lettuce, cheese, tomato, onion, or anything else. Not necessarily a big deal on the kids’ portion where they might not be into all that jazz, but the adult entrees are the exact same. Seriously Disney, can we get a piece of lettuce and a slice of cheese? Please?
This is where we start to see exactly why the Magic Kingdom is “not recommended today.” 25 minutes longer than yesterday.
15 minutes longer than yesterday.
5 minutes longer than yesterday.
These aren’t exactly “night and day” differences in wait times, but it’s indicative of the crowd level and how fast wait times increase in the morning.
I’m still keeping an eye on the Tangled Meet and Greet sans Flynn Rider. The person at the end of the line in the first image will probably end up waiting about 40 minutes to actually meet Rapunzel. Groups are let into the “table area” in the last image in groups. While a cast member entertains the kids by skipping around the table for a minute or two, Rapunzel rests in back. She then comes out to meet the kids, just like you would see in a traditional meet and greet. Once she moves through the group, the process starts again, with another group being let into the “table area.” It takes about 25 minutes to move through each group.
Anyone want to guess what this is? It’s the Enchanted Grove behind some pretty ridiculous tarps. They usually do a pretty good job of theming the tarps to the building, but this one is pretty goofy.
Some people on DISboards were freaking out because WDWinfo removed the Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel from their Lunching Pad menu. But rest assured, it’s still there. I’m not sure why they do that. They did the same thing with the Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich at Restaurantosaurus.
A lot of people on Main Street at 11:40am. Some of them no doubt are waiting for the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade, which is scheduled at both 12pm and 3:30pm through the end of July.
I wanted to be on my way before the Parade got underway, so we’re on our way to Epcot.