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It’s been a while since we’ve taken a walk around Magic Kingdom, so we’ll take the opportunity to do just that on the afternoon of Friday October 6, 2017. This is a followup to the rope drop touring posts that discuss strategy and crowd movement. Both those posts are taken from one day later on Saturday October 7th, with Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
Halloween has been in full force at the most popular theme park in the world since late August, when the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party debuted on the 25th of the late summer month.
While the Park is dressed up in your typical oranges, yellows, and reds, “fall” temperatures have not yet followed, as afternoon high RealFeel temperatures continue to brush up against 100 degrees
Hopefully those 65 degree lows are on their way.
We’ll focus more on Halloween as the holiday inches closer, but here are some quick snaps from the afternoon:
The holiday brings a number of orange-colored treats, in addition to my favorite of the seasonal fudge flavors, in Pumpkin.
The Belle Vanilla Cupcake might finally put your Instagram page on the map, much like it did mine.
The Bambi Dooney bags are on the new side of things along with some others:
Many of these, along with thousands more items, should be available on Disney’s new shopping portal, https://www.shopdisney.com.
Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of refurbishment projects going on at the moment.
This one over the Hall of Champions portion of The Emporium is prominent. We should see a proper scrim go up shortly unless the work is expected to be particularly brief.
And the scrim on the front of the Emporium there on the left, which is barely noticeable from this distance. If only they could project a more accurate cloud cover in real-time. Probably not realistic for a company that still struggles with Wi-Fi.
Walls remain up around Cosmic Ray’s as seating is expanded there.
The no-win situation that is the Hall of Presidents refurbishment continues with no known end in sight. The first show back may be the only circus that can rival the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disney has probably considered opening both on the same day.
Splash Mountain’s unusual fall refurbishment continues:
The ride is currently scheduled to reopen on November 17th, and with the amount of work currently being done, should look fantastic. One does wonder what’s coming this January if Disney didn’t want Splash closed during what is typically the coldest time of year in Lake Buena Vista. It seems to make a lot more sense to close water rides when demand is lower, rather than August through October when temperatures are still 90+ degrees.
I’ll try to move you through menu changes quickly, keying in on some of the bigger ones that might actually matter.
Aloha Isle Refreshments, to the right of Enchanted Tiki Room, added a Pineapple Upside Down Cake Served with Pineapple Dole Whip for $6.49 or a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
I’m also announcing that the website is hiring a hand model.
I’m not the biggest proponent of the Dole Whip, but this was really good.
What can now perhaps be referred to as a retro treat, the cake enjoyed a surprisingly fresh fluffiness – light and tropical with a real fruity character. The Dole Whip added a cool refreshing flavor to each springy bite.
The portion isn’t huge; I’d say you get somewhere between one third and one half of the regular cup portion on top of the cake. But I wasn’t mad about the price that I paid – I think this is the logical conclusion of the Magic Kingdom Dole Whip. It’s only downhill from here.
There are some cherries involved as well.
Consider using Mobile Order via the My Disney Experience app if the line is long, as it often is, though keep in mind that there isn’t currently any way to use that snack credit. Credit card only.
Casey’s Corner now offers a Baseball Brownie. The “Cheese Sauce” is available again for $1, though when I tried to add it, they insisted on a squirt directly onto the corn dog nuggets rather than providing a cup. Everybody knows the dunk is what makes the corn nuggets taste so good. I should have thrown a thousand dollars on the ground and stormed out, but I wanted that Dole Whip Upside Down Cake too much.
The “Featured Hot Dog” continues to change during the first week of each month, now with a sort-of-Oktoberfest-inspired bratwurst.
It looks like our Doughnut Sundae at Plaza Ice Cream may be a thing of the past, though you really don’t know anymore with all of this “secret menu” nonsense Disney has going on.
I suppose that it’s fun to happen upon something that “feels” special or exclusive, but if these unadvertised items offer better value or taste better than what’s actually on the menu, then you’re doing 99.2% of your clientele a disservice. And I should not have to approach an assuredly overworked cast member at the All Star Movies Resort food court and pester them about the possibility that there are tater tots with toppings that aren’t electronically displayed overhead. For all you know there are 300,000 secret blog posts on this website that you were never smart enough to ask for. That must be sad for you.
Next door at Plaza Restaurant, you can now order an all-you-care-to-enjoy milkshake similar to what’s offered at Whispering Canyon Cafe, in addition to a seasonal selection featuring a generic description of a branded good.
Sunshine Tree Terrace continues offering a Citrus Swirl Orange Float that is not on the menu at the quick service, but is at least noted on the online menu.
I think I get a bigger kick out of the description for Prince Eric’s Village Market than anyone else.
But add Beer Cheese Sauce to the rainbow’s colorful spectrum of health to go along with the jumbo pretzel.
And the only spot at Magic Kingdom to order Fried Chicken. It really is a cornucopia of refreshment.
Also in New Fantasyland, the list of items that Gaston’s Tavern serves always seems to be shorter with each visit. Personally, I think there should only be one item on the menu – a bucket of five dozen eggs.
After eating all 60, you’d probably still feel better than after sucking down a souvenir LeFou’s Brew.
But Gaston has added a “Fruit and Cheese Picnic Platter,” which, at $8.49, doesn’t seem to offer a whole lot of value. You do get the one egg though and what looks to be a minimum of nine grapes.
The macarons have made the official menu.
They’re not very big.
The cupcake is cute – maybe I will write a post that is just a review of it as if that’s enough content to demand your attention.
The Enchanted Rose Sipper Cups without the embossed letters look to be back in stock.
The Disney Store version.
Friar’s Nook to the right of Winnie the Pooh had teased a new tater tot menu online, along with a fried Twinkie for dessert. But upon arriving at the quick service, the actual menu hadn’t changed. We may or may not see the tots this week.
Storybook Treats next door remains a good choice for soft serve when other locations are busy – the line is typically just a couple of people deep.
I like the Cheshire Tails available at Cheshire Cafe:
And I review them positively in this monster update.
It’s a good photo op and hopefully yours will be as fresh and crispy and chocolaty as ours.
Disney is either updating kiosk signs often enough or prices go up fast enough that we’re seeing seasonal changes printed on the menus. That’s the Halloween refillable bucket with $1.50 refills available for your length of stay, which in my case, has been seven years.
Churros and Pretzels continue being served with their accompanying sauces, which is good news for Dining Plan users. Those paying cash that don’t want the cheese or chocolate sauce may or may not have luck saving a dollar by requesting the item without. Instead of flinging your spare hair tie at the top of Expedition Everest or the end of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, perhaps you can start a new, treasured family tradition by throwing your cheese in the general direction of your third or fourth favorite Disney blogger. I would love the attention.
Back when I started posting incremental price increases on ice cream novelties during the summer of 2011, the Mickey’s Ice Cream Bar was “Premium” and came in at $3.50, so we’ve seen an increase of 42.8% in that time frame. If prices continue rising at the same rate, the Mickey Bar will cost more than $7 in 2023 and then more than $10 in 2029. That math might not be right. Ratios. How do they even work?
Some more treats available back in Big Top Souvenirs.
In Storybook Circus. There’s typically only one or two people in line back here, if that.
Those with refillable popcorn buckets or anyone wanting to seek out popcorn that’s freshly popped and a little sweeter may want to seek out this popcorn cart across from Pecos Bill.
Maple Popcorn is available here and at Canada Cart over at Epcot.
It’s nice and crispy with a really pleasant, lingering sweet maple flavor.
Corn Dogs and Cold Brew Coffee are still in season at Westward Ho, also across from Pecos Bill.
If you’re in the mood for chicken nuggets, then Golden Oak Outpost is a good choice when it’s open.
The fresh, crispy Waffle Fries elevate the offering. The side of fries is a hearty snack for the money as well and while I would never advocate bringing them over to the Pecos Bill toppings bar, you are in close proximity.
Speaking of Pecos, I visited for lunch with some of the Country Bears greeting guests outside.
The Southwestern-inspired menu, which debuted about two years ago, has seen a lot of changes since then.
These are the current offerings. The vegetarian options include a $10.49 “Veggie Burrito – Flour Tortilla filled with Roasted Vegetables, Yellow Rice, and Beans,” a $10 “Veggie Rice Bowl – Yellow Rice topped with Black Beans and Roasted Vegetables,” and the Southwest Salad without meat for $11. It seems like they could work that into the electronic menu with little effort.
I tried a relatively new addition in the $12 “Soft Tacos – Seasoned Ground Beef and Seasoned Chicken, served in Flour Tortillas with Yellow Rice, Lettuce and Tomato.”
If you’re after a more “plain taco” situation, at least to start, then this seems like the best bet. The Fajitas and Burritos are served with Spicy Beef by default, which is in the vicinity of steak. You can request both tacos to be either ground beef or chicken if you prefer, but this does offer a variety of flavors. The ground beef was good quality with a surprising amount of flavor and a nice mild spice. My expectations may have been rock bottom, but I was impressed.
The chicken had a southwestern flair but as is typical, was on the dry side. But I thought there was a good amount placed inside the tortilla.
Pecos’ perk is the toppings bar, where you can load up on all of the guacamole, roasted corn medley, salsa, pico de gallo, cheese, and sour cream that you want, in addition to jalapenos, banana peppers, lime wedges, and more. There is typically a lot more cheese available.
You can really go to town, as I have on these Beef Nachos. A side of Tortilla Chips is also available for $5, which is the same as the Beef Nachos without said beef or lettuce. With a pound of guac and cheese, that’s the potential for a really big snack.
The Taco Burger is actually pretty decent – the spice from the taco meat helps mask the dried-out flavor of the hamburger patty.
Back to the Soft Tacos, where the rice probably looks better than it tastes. As it’s probably made by the cubic ton, it was crunchy, hard, and lacking flavor. I would have preferred a few tortilla chips.
Overall, Pecos remains a nice change of pace, but you might want to avoid peak meal time or be prepared to eat outside. I visited at 12:15pm and it was overwhelming loud and chaotic, even in the overflow indoor seating.
In Part 2, we’ll get to even less exciting menu changes and take a stroll around the Park to enjoy some of the sights and sounds. Well, mostly sights. Probably all sights. You can hum to yourself while you read it. Or while you scroll through it and decide that you don’t really have the time right now to read it. And then forget about it. But I still get the pageview. And that’s all I care about.