We’ll drop by Magic Kingdom on the afternoon of Thursday June 1st, 2017 to see what’s going on. The last major Magic Kingdom update is available here in case you missed it. We’ll largely focus on the Tomorrowland side of things, but also get over to Frontierland, Adventureland, etc. to make sure we’re not missing anything of vital importance such as new walls or souvenir vessels.
Magic Kingdom is already “decked out” for the July 4th holiday with some patriotic bunting.
We have to get celebrating early here as it’s only 81 days until the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Nothing says ghouls and fright like a 100-degree day in August, I always say.
Work continues on The Emporium – you might remember that the scrim was taken down during the taping of the UK variety show a few weeks ago.
With peak summer weather approaching, grey skies and rain are a lot more common, particularly in the afternoon and again around 7:30pm. The afternoon storms are easy enough to avoid, but I’ve always found the threat of rain in the early evening to be annoying. It’s going to pour somewhere, you can just never be quite sure it’s where you’re standing.
I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t regret not getting into the charm business.
This set of three is available for $200.
Heading into the future.
Thankfully, Disney looks to be closing the loophole where tickets and MagicBands that were not used for Park entry can be used to acquire additional FastPass+ experiences at the various kiosks. This website has in the past pointed out certain loopholes in the legacy FASTPASS system, such as attractions that weren’t connected to the system for a time. But it takes a certain level of selfishness and disregard for the enjoyment of your fellow theme park guests to bring a bunch of junk MagicBands to the Park just so you can cut the line at a few more rides over the course of the day.
Stitch’s Great Escape will be operating over the summer, from 10am-5pm, after being open only a couple of sporadic weeks since October of last year.
Magic Kingdom could use the extra capacity as Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor has a 20-minute posted wait and a line that spills outside just after 2pm.
50 minutes at Buzz at the same time.
Cool Ship, which has historically offered soda and Mickey Pretzels, recently added something called “Pizza Frusta.”
Hot food to cool you down.
According to Disney Parks Blog, “Pizza Frusta is a folded pizza-like snack that is easy to eat on-the-go! Choose from tomato and cheese or pepperoni and sausage.” “Pizza-like” “feels” like it’s just a small step away from “food-like” based on how it looks in the warmer. It shouldn’t be too long until we’re drinking liquid that “acts, tastes, and satisfies just like real water!”
Here’s the $7.99 Cheese Pizza Frusta (froo-stuh) with a straw along the edge. I had brought a banana for scale, but ended up eating it on the way over.
At eight bucks, the value proposition is not going to be tremendous on something that’s “literally” bread, cheese, and tomatoes and measures less than the length of a straw. But you do receive a variety of textures for your money – the ends are hard and incredibly chewy, while the middle is under-cooked and doughy.
But the flavors are surprisingly balanced with a decent amount of cheese intertwined with the tomato pieces and a nice garlicky-herb aftertaste. For $2 more than a Mickey Pretzel, there may be some value here for those looking for a hearty, hot snack with minimal fuss. The wait to order at Club Cool is typically under three minutes.
The $7.99 Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza Frusta is a less attractive proposition, but I liked the sprinkle of what seemed like sausage and bacon bits, but are similar to the “pepperoni” you’d find on a microwavable Red Baron pepperoni pizza. Not that I have any experience with that. Again, the bread has a nice, flaky, almost croissant-like quality to it and the cheese holds up surprisingly well considering the amount of time spent in the warmer, but I think we’re decidedly in 7-11-convenience-store territory here.
But you could do worse on the snack front. On the other hand, if you don’t mind waiting a few minutes to order and receive your food, the flatbreads at Pinocchio Village Haus are about $2 more for what’s probably at least 2 times as much food.
But the Frusta might be kind of fun and if the kids are begging relentlessly for pizza, it might shut them up for a while. Eight dollars well spent.
Also in Tomorrowland, this cart in front of Space Mountain is offering Sno-Cones.
Flavor choices were cherry, grape, and blue raspberry.
The texture on the ice is really hard – almost like it’s over-frozen, but still somehow quick to melt underneath all the sugary syrup and the heat of the sun. Some sort of Hawaiian Ice would be a lot more welcome.
And at $4.25, the small cup doesn’t offer a whole lot of value, either. But it is cold and relatively refreshing – the syrup had a surprising lack of flavor though.
If you’re looking for something cold in the area, Lunching Pad’s Frozen Beverages are going to be more satisfying, I think. Like Disney now bundles the Mickey Pretzel and the Cheese Sauce, you’ll be roped into adding the Souvenir Mickey Straw with the Icee. The good news is that Disney has changed the design of those straws, which makes them at least 30% more usable. That means you might try to suck three sips worth through it before giving up, instead of the previous two. #thefutureisnow
Speaking of hashtags, the dance party featuring The Incredibles is out, in favor of the new “Cosmic Dance Party.”
Why they don’t just run “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” all year…I’m not sure…but the dance parties do present a fun opportunity for the kids to interact with some space-age characters without having to wait in an organized/unorganized line.
In other Lunching Pad news, the “Ham and Cheese-Stuffed Pretzel” is no longer available. You may also notice that the hot dog is now advertised as “all-beef.”
This is a property-wide upgrade.
They were previously a chicken/beef/? mix.
It looks like Tomorrowland Terrace will be open from 11am-3:30pm over the summer, though Disney only commits to a couple of weeks of operation at a time. Here’s the menu:
Several of the items available are actually elevated compared to most of their quick service counterparts, from the chicken strips with a variety of sauce choices, to the pretzel bun on the hamburger,to the bacon and parmesan in the salad.
And the views are among the best inside Magic Kingdom. People pay $80/head to sit here for the Fireworks Dessert Party.
The Chicken Strips tossed in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce have a nice spicy quality to them with plenty of Ken’s Ranch to go around. While fries aren’t listed on the menu, they are served with the entrees by default. The menu variety is far from revolutionary, but the experience should be more chill than Cosmic Ray’s, Pecos Bill, Pinocchio Village Haus, etc. and the view of Cinderella Castle is quite pleasant. Despite outdoor seating, it’s cooler than you might expect with the overhead fans and high ceiling, too.
The Joffrey’s Revive kiosk in Tomorrowland is a convenient and typically quick spot to grab a beverage.
Main Street Bakery Starbucks can get crowded and it’s a nice alternative for people who “don’t like Starbucks.”
The Frozen Cappuccino is one of my favorite things at Walt Disney World and the seasonal signature beverages are often inspired.
The Mission to S’mores – “Blast-off with a crave-worthy cup of our artisan roasted espresso, mixed with chocolate sauce, Mars-mallow syrup, and topped with whipped cream, graham cracker space sprinkles, and fluffy marshmallows” is unique to this Joffrey’s, available in a 16-ounce cup either hot or cold for $5.39.
I didn’t think it tasted all that different from your typical iced latte, but the graham cracker topping is kind of fun and it’s plenty refreshing.
And the fact that you’ll have your drink in-hand in just a couple of minutes may be a more attractive proposition than dealing with Main Street.
You’ll also find a variety of doughnuts and other pastries available. They’re typically a little bit bigger than what Disney serves for similar money.
Length-of-stay souvenir popcorn buckets are still available here and at the other Parks. They’re interchangeable, so a bucket purchased here can be used anywhere else, including a couple of spots in Disney Springs.
Summer crowds are upon us as June attendance should prove to be higher than July if the past couple years are indicative of the future. That’s the line for PeopleMover shortly after 2pm.
Perhaps the most miserable queue at Walt Disney World, on a minute-per-minute basis, with Tomorrowland Speedway coming in at 2,400 seconds.
Stitch is backed up there somewhere.
Looking at posted waits over the course of the day:
This should prove to be a little below average as far as the summer is concerned, but may offer some insight into what wait times will look like over the next 14 weeks or so. One important thing to note is the drop in wait times once Happily Ever After begins at 9pm. Waits from then until Park close are lower than any other time of day outside of the first 45 minutes of operation. Stay through close if you can and try to get in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or another priority just a couple of minutes before official Park close. The posted wait might still be 60 minutes, but the actual wait should be under 20.
A handful of Star Wars 40th anniversary merchandise has migrated over to Mickey Star Traders from Star Wars Celebration. The selection might not be as good as that event, but you also don’t have to sleep overnight on the floor of a convention center. So there’s that.
There aren’t a lot of construction projects going on around Magic Kingdom, but the outdoor seating area at Cosmic Ray’s should be seeing an expansion, in addition to some awnings being installed.
The other side.
Cheshire Cafe is the name of the kiosk located near Mad Tea Party and across from Cosmic Ray’s on the Fantasyland side.
It’s served a variety of items over the past few years.
These cake cups were awfully cute, but I don’t think the flavor was quite as inspired as the bunny ears poking out of the icing. Muffins, cereal, fruit, lemonade, and all sorts of things have also turned up.
But seeing the $4.99 Cheshire Cat Tails was a fun find. The twist was packed with tiny chocolate chips in between the incredibly flaky, crispy pastry. It was topped with a sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, icing that added a nice little crunch to each bite. While I’m not sure it’s unique enough to specifically seek out, I found it a lot more satisfying than the chocolate croissant that’s available at Gaston’s Tavern and I’d pick it up over any of the various $6 cupcakes Disney is hawking at any given time.
I thought the $3.79 Cold Brew Coffee was way more bitter and sour than you would expect given the point of the process is largely to eliminate those flavors.
I’d take what Joffrey’s is serving.
Fantasyland at 3:51pm.
A long 35-minute wait for it’s a small world, the extended queue for which has actually been expanded even further down towards the Rapunzel area.
Peter Pan’s Flight took 16 minutes with FastPass+.
45 minutes for Haunted Mansion.
With the line starting down here.
Mickey Pretzels and Churros have moved down to this unassuming cart almost across from Pecos Bill, with some additional signage to inform guests of what’s housed underneath the roof.
Banners for the new Pirates movie hang over the store adjacent to the classic attraction.
Some customization options are available with some of the merchandise available at the store.
The Souvenir Light-up Skull Mug is available at Tortuga Tavern with Slushy or at Aloha Isle as a Pineapple Dole Whip Float. The Tortuga Island Dessert is a new addition.
The new movie seems to have brought renewed interest in Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial, which is typically scheduled at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm on the stage across from the ride.
I think I neglected to mention the removal of a lot of the trees on the side of Swiss Family Treehouse.
So there you go.
Jungle Cruise had a 45-minute posted wait at 4:42pm.
What’s the point of removing the rhino in favor of the hyenas?
The total experience time was 21 minutes with FastPass+.
Pirates had been down earlier in the day and was not yet posting a wait time, despite being open for more than a half hour.
This is probably about 40 minutes:
A total experience time of 18 minutes with FastPass+.
55 minutes at Big Thunder Mountain at 5:33pm.
The FastPass+ line was backed up almost to the FP+ entrance.
But even then, we boarded in less than ten minutes.
And the total experience time ended up being 20 minutes, which is just two minutes longer than what we were expecting, according to the ride’s attraction page. As always, FP+ lines might appear long in mirrors, but the wait is going to be significantly shorter than in standby, even if the return line is long. That’s why standby waits are so high these days.
That’s what’s going on at Magic Kingdom.
And while there isn’t a whole lot going on at the moment, there is some expectation that things will ramp up in front of the 50th anniversary in a few years.
But until then, it’s all about Pizza Frusta.