No no no no no no no. TERRIBLE.
Kimberly-Clark’s takeover on the paper goods front continues here with Stroller Rentals now “Hosted by Huggies.” The Disney Jr. show is now “Presented by Pull-Ups.” One sponsorship that seems like a no-brainer outside of the “World” is the snacks on airplanes. Why doesn’t some snack company pay to serve new items to a captive, hungry audience?
As with most bathroom refurbishments, easydubz was proud to BREAK the story that these next to City Hall would close through the middle of next month. As budget cuts have closed all other restrooms on property, you will just have to hold it from now on.
Just kidding, there are a couple other options, including in between Casey’s Corner and Crystal Palace, to the right of Guest Relations outside the Park, and you can also head straight back through the Tony’s Town Square lobby though there may be a wait with the number of frozen chicken parmesans they sell.
That concludes the bathroom jokes portion of this post.
Stage work continues at the Castle Forecourt with the new show debuting next month.
The website reasserts that the mosaics seen as you pass through Cinderella Castle are worth taking a moment to appreciate.
The timing on this post is primarily going to be right after Early Morning Magic, the $69/adult, $59/child event that I reviewed here. This is the view that your money buys you at 8:43am.
While this is the scene, and the back of the FastPass+ line for Peter Pan’s Flight, just after 11am.
Peter Pan’s Flight is already posting 20 minutes just five minutes after official open at 9:05am. The actual wait is likely closer to 15.
There were a few questions about when to eat breakfast during Early Morning Magic and what you should do immediately after. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my eyes to eat breakfast during the 8am-9am hour and then rush off to another faraway attraction. From 8:30am – 8:45am you could ride Mine Train or Peter Pan’s Flight three full times. Or you could spend that time eating eggs. Of course, if you’ve gotten your fill of the three rides in 30 minutes, you might elect to eat and head elsewhere. But if you are happy riding Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Winnie the Pooh once, it would make more sense to save your $70/person and show up to regular rope drop or at a minimum, do the Be Our Guest Breakfast instead. That would get you one ride on Mine Train before open and then you could hop on Peter Pan’s Flight and Winnie the Pooh with negligible waits immediately after.
It makes the most sense to stick to Fantasyland and potentially Haunted Mansion from 9am-9:45am. I’d look at doing Haunted Mansion and it’s a small world or the Ariel Meet and Greet along with Barnstormer and Dumbo in that slot. Either set of two or three attractions would take 30 to 40 minutes and then you could easily circle back to Village Haus for breakfast closer to 9:50am. Merida would also make sense and Tomorrowland Speedway is probably close enough that it wouldn’t require a great amount of walking.
This is Haunted Mansion at 9:06am when you could walk on.
This is 11:15am with the standby line backed up well past the entrance.
But you could conceivably eat during the 8am-9am hour and head elsewhere. Kenny and I walked right on Big Thunder Mountain around 9:18am.
One ride through took 12 minutes, which is par for the course these days.
Splash would be a walk-on this early as well. It does kind of look like there are a lot of people here, but anybody in this picture would be able to walk the full queue without resistance and wait maybe two minutes at loading for their log.
Peter Pan’s Flight up to 40 minutes before 9:30am. FastPass+ ruins lives.
It will be interesting to see if the Early Morning Magic moves over to the other Parks, particularly Epcot for Frozen and Studios for the three or four things to do over there. I’m not sure how much sense it makes elsewhere in Magic Kingdom. One of the big reasons why I think there’s value in the Fantasyland option is just how many times you can move through the rides because their durations are so short. Each only takes about three minutes plus a minute or two to walk the queue. Splash Mountain, even without an initial wait, is going to take at least 20 minutes with a second ride potentially taking around 15 if there’s a way to get back to the loading area without having to walk all the way out and back inside the mountain. Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and a lot of others are 15-20 minute experiences. Soarin’ would take at least 25 with the pre-show. But we’ll see.
65 minutes for Anna/Elsa at 9:50am. I waited around five first thing.
Mine Train standby backed up outside the entrance and heading towards Storybook Circus. You’d wait about 75 minutes if you got in line now.
30 at Winnie the Pooh, still before 10am here.
Alice meeting with Mad Hatter early.
The website’s various touring plans usually put you here in Storybook Circus around now with Barnstormer still at five minutes and virtually no wait. Disney doesn’t really have any choice other than to run this one at full capacity. There is no easy way to remove and reinsert vehicles.
It’s a lot easier at Dumbo, where Disney is just running one carousel with a 25-minute posted wait and the line backed up to the entrance.
Fortunately, Disney began testing the second carousel as I stood there just before 10am. This family is already using FastPass+
And doubling capacity more or less halves the wait, so I decided to get in line to see how long it would take. Another reason why the line was backed up so far probably has to do with the fact that the play area inside the queue wasn’t even open.
It still ended up taking about 20 minutes, which is too much time to spend this early. I was whining about waiting in the Studios’ rope drop post last week and someone mentioned that they didn’t think waiting 30 minutes for Tower of Terror was very long. And I would agree with that sentiment if it was 1pm during the busiest part of the day. But waiting that long before 10am is significantly more than most of us are accustomed to waiting. Hopefully Chapek, Iger, and company will be able to find their checkbook come May 27th as expected. Waiting 25 minutes for Dumbo when you get in line at 9:30am and not even having the option of letting the kids run around in the play area is kind of a bummer. But maybe it’s great. This website is needlessly negative after all.
It’s strange to see a popular Meet and Greet with a wait that’s less than Dumbo. I posted a screenshot of waits on Twitter today:
This is around 2:30pm on May the 3rd with Dumbo posting the same wait as Anna/Elsa or three times as long as Big Thunder or twice as long as Haunted Mansion.
I hopped on Journey of the Little Mermaid with the 20-minute posted wait at 10:20am.
I ended up being on the ride in 15 minutes, which isn’t too bad.
Me writing this post.
After a couple of lengthy stops on-ride, I was back out front at 10:48am for a total experience time of 28 minutes, which is about eight longer than we’d like.
Always nice to see a familiar face as the crane was back for some turret painting.
Pricing has gotten pretty rough at Be Our Guest lunch as I pointed out when prices rose resort-wide on March 1st. I paid $12.49 for that Roast Beef Sandwich around this time last year. When the menu debuted back in 2012, they served a higher quality steak sandwich that was $8.99 during Passholder previews and then up to $10.99 thereafter. That’s a 54.6% increase in four years or almost double if you want to skew the numbers with the introductory rate.
But people still clamor to eat here. Sometimes I wonder what the maximum price is before this place wouldn’t be booked solid every day. You’d have to expect that $17 is getting close.
Mine Train FP+ is backed up over there somewhere. You might remember that my early morning rides were averaging four minutes including the duration of the ride. I don’t think I ever spent more than a minute in line from the time I entered the building to the time I was on my way.
Standby is still out the door off to the right.
Fantasyland doesn’t look quite as bad as it might have from the back of the Peter Pan’s Flight FP+ queue. Any time you can see concrete is a below average day.
Nick and Judy from Zootopia continue appearing during Move It Shake It.
But they continue being confined to their float, unlike most of the other characters that come down and dance with guests. They actually have several cast members guarding them.
George, a name you might recognize from the forum, and Greg were nice enough to invite me out to lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.
You may notice something is missing from the sign and the top of the menu below:
The restaurant is no longer sponsored by Craisins. It doesn’t bode well for the cranberry bog at Epcot this fall. The restaurant otherwise closed for several months last year for kitchen modifications that brought Skipper Canteen online last December.
Greg ordered an old standby in the $19 Pilgrims’ Feast – Traditional Roast Turkey served with Herb Bread Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, and a Garden Vegetable.
With the 20% Tables in Wonderland discount, that puts it just $1.95 more than Be Our Guest’s vastly inferior Turkey Sandwich or the Taco Burger at Pecos Bill. Something to consider perhaps. Anyway, lunch here is reliably fresh and satisfying with several thick cut slices of turkey on top of the rest of Thanksgiving dinner.
I usually recommend lunch over the $33 all-you-care-to-enjoy dinner because you can fill up for about $10 less than the later meal even if you order a fountain beverage and split the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, which is out of this world.
George returned to an entree that he had tried the last time we were here together in the The Liberty Boys Sandwich – Slow-roasted Pork, Arugula, and Tomatoes on House-made Bread with Caramelized Shallots, Pickled Jalapeños and a Mushroom-Mayonnaise Spread.
While the description is exactly the same as it was before, the pork is actually much different. If you were to order the sandwich back in 2014, your server would have instinctively warned you that it would arrive with more of a crispy pork belly than you would typically expect from “slow roasted pork.”
Back in 2015, they added “pork belly” to the description as pictured here unattractively. Now it’s a much leaner cut of pork roast.
That concludes today’s lesson on the history of pork at Liberty Tree Tavern.
The pork belly was considerably more decadent, though I think a lot of people will be more accustomed to what they’re serving now. And at $15, it’s less expensive than more than half of Be Our Guest’s entrees. And the fries here are among the best on property, crispy and thick with a fantastic crunch.
I ordered the $14 Vegetarian Proclamation – Roasted Seasonal Vegetables Sandwich, fresh Greens, and Tomatoes topped with a Tangy Vegan Mayonnaise Spread with fresh Fruit or Sweet Potato Fries. I am not sure what other people’s opinions of it are, but it did not work well for me. The vegetables are very similar to the Grilled Vegetable Stack over at Harambe Market, which you go to town on with a knife and fork. The vegetables here in the sandwich slipped right off the thick, dense bread every time I tried to pick it up and smoosh it together to fit in my mouth. I didn’t care much for the texture either, which was my big problem with it. All of the vegetables were soft and wet and it was just not to my sensitive tastes. Those of you that enjoyed it (or not) are welcome to say so in the comments.
Service was friendly and efficient as usual and I don’t have any qualms about recommending lunch here for what might not be much more expensive than quick service. With the sandwiches arriving in two halves, you could probably share an appetizer, entree, and dessert for less than a quick service meal elsewhere.
I originally had a Splash Mountain FastPass+ that was canceled because the ride was down. I returned at 1pm to find the FP+ return line backed up all the way here.
So I headed to Pirates of the Caribbean instead with “just” a 40-minute posted wait.
It was also the longest I had ever waited here with FastPass+, getting in line at 1:05pm and not being on the boat until 1:17pm. 12 minutes is not the end of the world, of course, but I think most of us remember when the standby wait was rarely that long.
One of these days I am going to get a usable picture of this. A few more:
The total experience time was 25 minutes, which is five minutes longer than the website’s conservative estimate.
No backup at Jungle Cruise at least.
Despite initially queuing up outside the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor building, we still managed to get into the next show.
Just under 15 minutes between getting in line and the show starting. It’s worth heading in here I think if you have some extra time. It’s a charming show in a relatively comfortable, air-conditioned theater. And Stitch is nowhere to be found.
We then headed into Buzz with FastPass+ and a 45-minute standby wait at 2:17pm.
And into the gift shop 11 minutes later. Just about the only thing that happened during Buzz’s lengthy refurbishment was Disney added more bars in front of Zurg so people can’t go in between them and get a picture.
You can read more about what George and Greg were able to accomplish by booking additional FastPass+ experiences in this forum post. It looks like they secured a total of ten experiences throughout the afternoon. I think it’s time to rewrite “Just Keep Swimming” to “Just Keep Refreshing.”
As if this wasn’t long and boring enough, I will be back with a general Magic Kingdom update along with a general Hollywood Studios update. I will be at Epcot Friday for breakfast at Garden Grill and if I’m feeling adventurous I will rope drop it and see how long it takes to get through the Joy & Sadness Meet and Greet along with Baymax.