We return to Magic Kingdom to finish up with some odds and ends after taking a good look at touring strategy on a busy Saturday with posts here and here, followed by touring strategy on a much less busy Mickey’s Party date with posts here and here.
Then I posted an update on major projects going on around Magic Kingdom and reviewed Aloha Isle’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Dole Whip and the Soft Tacos at Pecos Bill, among a lot of other things, in this post.
Gaston’s Tavern has served all kinds of things since opening around this time five years ago. I don’t think anything will ever dethrone the original Pork Shank.
But this $8.49 “Fruit and Cheese Picnic Platter” is evidently going to try.
Try to put it out of mind that the deliciously meaty pork shank actually cost less. $7.99!
It’s served out of a refrigerator with a plastic top for easy transportation.
I proceeded to remove it and walk my picnic all around Fantasyland taking embarrassing pictures that I really had no use for.
Yet here we are.
I was going to write a separate post titled, “Grapes: What Do They Even Taste Like, Anyway? A Review.”
The website’s hand model position remains vacant as mine are beginning to resemble claws. Honestly, I’m surprised I can even grip this tray without the help of a cub scout.
Anyway, $8.49 buys you one old croissant, nine cheese cubes, two small strawberries, 13 grapes, and most importantly, brings you within 59 eggs of having five dozen. As far as grab-and go-options…go…you could probably do worse. And it was filling, at least when I paired it with a 3-piece fried chicken. But for $2.50 more than a Mickey Pretzel with “Cheese Sauce,” this is a fresher snack that packs more protein along with the croissant providing a little bit of heft. The croissant is a little dense and a little tough as it comes out of the refrigerator.
On the other hand, this $10 offering that I recently tried at BaseLine Tap House at Hollywood Studios is a classier spread with much higher quality ingredients. Of course, you’d have to pay for delivery since you’re not going to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Prince Eric’s is a kiosk located across the way from Ariel’s Grotto and Journey of the Little Mermaid.
The quick service recently added a “Beer Cheese Sauce” to the menu, which is a clear indication to me that Splash Mountain is closed because they are going to replace the water with whiskey and all quick services will distribute free Mickey Mouse branded vodka beginning next month. In reality, what is typically an extremely dry pretzel could be improved with the help of a cheese sauce, that of course carries no alcohol content. A boy can dream, though.
Less importantly, Eric started carrying a 3-Piece Honey-breaded Fried Chicken for $10 around the July 4th holiday. I had not gotten around to trying it because I’ve told myself that I’m not going to gain more than five hundred thousand pounds writing about Disney World. And something about hot outdoor fried chicken in Florida in July didn’t sound particularly appealing. But with temperatures bottoming out at a positively-Antarctic 88 degrees last week, I decided it was time.
I’m honestly not sure where I come down on the chicken. It’s fried in the commissary behind Storybook Circus and kept in a warmer at the kiosk until it’s served. So the quality you receive is going to depend on how long it’s been sitting in there.
And when you consider that the chicken is not on the overhead menu, traffic through this corridor is often minimal, and five dozen eggs are only a hop, skip, and payday loan away, your chicken may be sitting there for a while. On the plus side, Magic Kingdom’s quick service outlets are often overwhelmed on busier days during peak meal times, which is why Prince Eric’s is coming through with chicken in the first place. And there isn’t going to be a wait to order it. Quality-wise, the chicken is “just okay” – it’s served hot with a lot of juicy meat on the bone, but I didn’t pick up on any hints of honey and it was a lot more greasy than it was crispy. But for ten bucks, you have a fast, filling meal or a big snack for two people to share. It’s certainly more protein than you’re going to come away with from the pretzel whether an O’Doul’s is involved or not.
And I prefer Prince Eric’s offering to the crusty grease pit that is Cosmic Ray’s current “rotisserie” option.
Otherwise, all of Cosmic Ray’s Bays offer these entrees along with the four in the picture above the chicken.
The Greek Salad is actually pretty good.
Over at The Lunching Pad underneath Astro Orbiter, the Pepper Jack Pretzel is going to be as close to the Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel of yesteryear as you’re going to get without going to a water park.
Cool Ship was closed every day I visited over the course of a couple of weeks.
Somebody must be eating all the Frusta.
It’s not me.
Prices are up substantially at Auntie Gravity’s, where a Vanilla Shake is also now available. The souvenir Mickey Straws are so useless that I think you’d have more success if you poured the cup over the top of your head with your mouth closed while riding Space Mountain, rather than trying to suck any liquid through the tube. If I was dying of thirst and somebody handed me a glass of water with a souvenir Mickey Straw with the stipulation that any liquid had to be sucked through it, then I would just die. It wouldn’t even be worth trying.
Auntie tried to offer ice cream that you could top with a couple of kinds of sprinkles yourself for about as long as you’d survive with your glass of water and Mickey Straw. Which is to say, not very.
Looking at the system Disney chose to deploy, I can see why it would be hard for a company that brought in 14.2 billion dollars in revenue last quarter to find any flaws. And since ice cream isn’t served anywhere else in the world, there would be no models or examples to draw experience.
Auntie was offering its Halloween Party treats during regular hours. You could also pick up the delicious Spiced Pumpkin Waffle Sundae at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.
Seasonal selections at Joffrey’s Revive, which you’ll find at the other kiosks.
This is another good choice for a quick pick-me-up.
A Stitch Meet and Greet has taken over inside the Stitch’s Great Escape waiting area from 10:30am through 3pm.
Last month, Disney installed a new kiosk where you can purchase a plastic “License of Tomorrow” to the right of the entrance to Tomorrowland Speedway.
For $5, it seems like a good value for the kids and includes digital images.
A walk-through of the process, along with examples of what the license looks like, can be found here.
The rocks are still blue.
In Fantasyland, the crane still sits behind Cinderella Castle. A couple other views:
Moving on to another castle, breakfast is up to $25 at Be Our Guest Restaurant. For the food you get for the money, it’s one of the most egregious values at Magic Kingdom, but there is a substantial touring advantage when pairing a pre-opening breakfast with a quick ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I have a breakfast review, along with a walk-through of starting your day here, in this post.
These miniature tea sets Disney is releasing are kind of cute.
Mini is the right word though; the kettle is only a couple of inches tall, if that.
A small bowl to go with it.
Perhaps an ornament or two. Some other stuff:
And a backpack to carry it all.
Disney continues pushing you to join the revolution by ordering the “Patriot’s Platter,” which you might remember was the only lunch and dinner option for a while. Luckily, Disney brought back the Tavern Keeper’s Favorite Pot Roast along with other appetizers and entrees during lunch.
You can find my review from earlier this year, here.
Here’s the current menu.
Back on Main Street, Starbucks continues serving its full range of drinks at prices that should be similar to what you’d pay back home. Every drink in every size is also a snack credit, and you should be able to add customizations without having to add a credit or paying extra out of pocket when using the Dining Plan.
Breakfast sandwiches are available all day.
And other sandwiches are advertised as quick grab-and-go options.
Each Park offers a new Mickey Mouse tumbler for $21.95 each. This is Magic Kingdom’s.
And the current mug.
It took six posts, ten thousand words, and 500 pictures to get us caught up on Magic Kingdom’s comings and goings.
But that should be about it.
We’l cover the Park’s transformation to the holiday season in just a couple of weeks.
For now, we’re probably off to Animal Kingdom.