As you may be aware, particularly if you found yourself caught up in it, last week’s Annual Passholder Preview signup for “New Fantasyland” was a gigantic debacle.
The original signup date was October 8th, but Disney realized that they weren’t ready before they went live.
So they changed it to October 15th at noon.
Fast forward to October 15th at 12pm, and Disney’s Passholder website completely crashed before virtually anyone could get signed up.
Causing Annual Passholders to be very sad. People were continuing to refresh the site for over an hour trying to get it to load. Can I get a smile?
And very angry.
Citing additional “technical difficulties,” Disney changed the signup time to 6pm, which would have been more convenient for most people in the first place.
Of course, fast forward to 6pm and Disney’s Passholder site completely crashed again. Didn’t see that coming……
To the point where the passholder website was just a white page with “internal server error.” Any site owner’s nightmare.
Finally, enough Passholders were able to get through to fill up the Previews.
Causing many Passholders who had been trying for hours to get through but couldn’t to become ultra violent.
Of course, in 2k12 that means bringing the fire and fight to Facebook.
Realizing they probably don’t want to infuriate those still willing to pay $550 per year, regardless of age, to visit Walt Disney World, Disney decided to apologize and add more Passholder dates.
Those additional dates and times are available here.
That’s good news for Passholders.
But much less so for those not holding Annual Passes.
It was originally expected that once Cast Member/Passholder/DVC Previews ended on November 5th, that the area would remain open to the general public until official “Previews” begin November 19th.
With Passholder Previews continuing for most days between the 5th and 18th, there are going to be fewer opportunities for non-pass-holders to visit.
If you look at the schedule, you’ll notice that Previews are not scheduled during Mickey’s Christmas Parties, which begin November 9th.
New Fantasyland has been open for the entirety of Mickey’s Halloween Parties since the area debuted on October 12th.
And it looks like that trend will continue.
Both of which are going to be extremely crowded anyway.
But if you’re interested in one of the previews, signups are expected to begin October 29th.
Exact timing isn’t yet known. Hopefully Disney will realize bandwidth and a simplistic signup page are more important than fancy buttons and stupid pull-down menus.
All of these pictures were taken during Monday’s Cast Member Preview. A special thanks to a particular cast member who was nice enough to invite me along. S(H)e’s probably better off left unnamed, but their social security number is 861-76-6598.
Some additional Bonjour Gifts merchandise pics while we’re here:
The pens are $22.95. Disney would probably shut me down if I didn’t sell so many Party tickets and merchandise.
If you want to talk about crowds, this is Magic Kingdom on Monday October 22nd at precisely 9:59am. These are July-looking crowds. I had “tweeted” a few pictures of the crowds and several people responded, “What’s going on?” There are two answers. “A lot.” And, “Nothing.” First of all, it’s a Monday. If you follow the crowd calendar, you’d know that Mondays are rarely recommended at Magic Kingdom because so many people arrive on Sunday and want to head to Magic Kingdom on their first full day. On top of that, Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm for the Halloween Party on four nights this week. And evening Extra Magic Hours are also scheduled, which will attract a lot of Disney resort guests. There’s a reason it was the least recommended Park. The good news is that it makes the recommended Parks that much better.
And that’s a completely full ferry bringing even more people over, not to mention people arriving on the Express and Resort Monorails.
Changing gears briefly, here’s what’s on the dinner menu at Pop Century these days:
You can always walk over to Art of Animation…
I opted for the Create-Your-Own-Salad. Don’t be shy here. They’re used to people ordering “everything,” or, “everything, but…”
I didn’t quite order everything, as I was looking for something a little more cohesive, but I was close.
They toss it for you right there while you wait, filling the empty space with lettuce and then topping it off with a pre-packaged bag of meat. In this case, I ordered it with shrimp and the chipotle ranch dressing. This was far and away the best salad I’ve had on property. Everything was extremely fresh, the shrimp were a nice change of pace from the usual chicken, and the chipotle ranch dressing was excellent. I wish they’d roll out that dressing elsewhere, as the balsamic vinaigrette and Ken’s ranch are pretty boring. At the resorts, you can’t do much better than the Create-Your-Own Salad or Pasta and both should be on anyone’s short list.
Let’s move from the excellent to the utterly terrible. Disney Food Blog had run a review of the BoardWalk To Go a couple days before and I realized I hadn’t eaten there in over a year. I should have known better, because when Disney Food Blog doesn’t say something is “tasty,” you know it’s inedible. But I tried to keep an open mind looking over the menu:
I didn’t want to double up on the ravioli, corn dog, corn fritter nuggets, or wings, so I opted for the “more bloggable” Pulled Pork Sandwich Basket.
I ordered and watched the woman working the kiosk open the refrigerator, open a pre-packaged portion of “pulled pork,” and stick in the microwave. At this point, expectations lowered to below Pork Glop Platter levels. This was really bad. Obviously microwaved and old, there was no flavor. No sauce. It was gummy. There wasn’t a whole lot of it. On the plus side, the bun was purchased not long ago. And being incredibly hungover, it was edible with barbecue sauce.
And the fries were actually really, really, really good. I’d be looking at one of the variations of the Fries here, including Chilli and/or Cheese, but stay away from anything else.
Unfortunately, the BoardWalk Pizza isn’t a whole lot better. Has anyone had good quick service around the BoardWalk area? Are the Bakery Sandwiches anything to write home about? Another recommendation? It would probably help.
Back to the boat ride over to Fort Wilderness from Magic Kingdom, passing my new house on Discovery Island on the right. It’s pretty spacious. Four bedrooms, two baths, brain-eating-amoeba-infested pool.
I don’t think the website has officially made its way out here. We’ll have to return for a better look.
For now, we’ll head to Trail’s End, which is only a two minute walk from the boat dock. It’s about twelve minutes from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness by boat.
The patio outside Crockett’s Tavern is a nice place to relax.
They have checkers and an oversized Jenga game, among others.
The breakfast and dinner buffets are the cheapest on property. Considering the “Bounty Platter” at any resort would run you $10.29 and adding a drink would be another $3 or so, you can get a full buffet for not a whole lot more than a crummy quick service breakfast.
Inside, you could probably describe the interior as homely. If that’s a word that means wilderness-y.
Because it’s sans-Disney-characters and a little out of the way, crowds aren’t usually a problem and it’s quieter than most buffets.
And there’s a variety of table configurations to suit your party.
Whether or not someone in your party is eaten by a bear or run over by a golf cart.
Crockett’s Tavern is attached on a slightly lower level.
Personally, I think they should rename it Holmes’ Tavern and put up that creepy painting of Phil Holmes instead of Davy (kidding).
Though in all seriousness, if they offered giclees of this thing I would buy one and put it over my bed. It’s hilariously terrible.
Here’s what’s for breakfast. I wouldn’t judge based on how much food is left. I could have waited for each dish to be replenished, but I’m tres lazy and people think I’m weird enough taking pictures of buffet food.
Fruit and granola for the yogurt, which also comes in blueberry.
These are among the best items at the buffet. There’s also one (not pictured) with pulled pork instead of ham that’s even better.
Best bacon on property?
Potentially healthier chicken sausage.
Brisket mash – amazing.
If you’re staying at Fort Wilderness, at least one breakfast here is a no brainer. The food is much better than any quick service breakfast, outside of potentially Tonga Toast at the Polynesian. You can also get here via boat from Magic Kingdom, but I’m not sure it’s worth taking the transit time unless you’re planning to spend more time at the resort. The breakfast buffet at The Wave at the Contemporary Resort is $18.49 and easier to get to for most people. And they also offer less expensive a la carte options for those less hungry.
We’ll head over to Settlement Trading Post to see if there’s any resort merchandise available.
Beer cozys. Would have gotten one if they weren’t flimsy and $7.95.
Along with other items, some of which are targeted to campers:
And a few shirts we haven’t previously seen:
I’ve got lunch at Mama Melrose and a couple Food & Wine Festival seminars tomorrow. And more crowd calendar updates coming.