I spent most of my day at Epcot today, but we’ll take a quick detour over to Magic Kingdom in between my two seminar events, just to see how things are looking before tomorrow’s 40th Anniversary.
Here we are arriving just before 1pm. As we all know, this is not a good time to arrive:
Doesn’t look very busy just outside and just inside the turnstiles. I hope we can manage.
Disney had several sections of Main Street roped off and the crane persists in the background. Somehow, it is supposed to disappear tomorrow for the 40th anniversary and then reappear through October 4th, when it should be gone for good.
A couple more looks:
It’s a very attractive crane, at least as far as cranes go these days.
Swiss Family Robinson is still behind some unattractive brown walls:
No scrim would look realistic.
Over to Jungle Cruise:
Nominal waits and FASTPASSes 40 minutes in the future.
Up to Caribbean Plaza to check out Pirates of the Caribbean.
Probably Disney’s most traversed thoroughfare. Always a lot of people around.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad sitting at 20 minutes with FASTPASS return times 40 minutes out at 1:05pm.
Splash Mountain at….
1:07pm with a 25 minute wait. FASTPASSes 38 minutes out.
Mickey-head-shaped-pretzels are back at Disney World. They appear a couple of months ago for about two days. Disney Parks Blog ran a story on them and then they disappeared until just a few days ago. They’re back, but who knows for how long.
Mickey pretzels are only available at one location (as far as I know). To aid in your search, I have concocted this helpful diagram. You can see the cart across from Frontierland Shootin’ Aracde in Frontierland.
A look down Liberty Square towards the Hub.
People were making fun of me yesterday for trying to say Hall of Presidents was in the World Showcase. I get a couple of things confused because my brain doesn’t work very well. Please don’t discriminate. I’m constantly mixing up the various “American” attractions/eateries and the order of the Resort Monorail often escapes me.
Those jerks that attended last night’s Haunted Mansion event shut the ride down for the rest of us today. We’re all getting turned away. I very rarely ride anything, but was actually looking forward to riding Haunted Mansion in anticipation of the anniversary and the fact that it’s dark, slow, and air-conditioned.
On to Fantasyland with our sad face on:
About what you would expect from this time of day. Peter Pan’s Flight’s posted wait time is twice as long as any other attraction in the Park right now.
The wait for Rapunzel at 1:15pm was probably about 30-40 minutes, should you get in line now. We have a full group meeting Rapunzel, which will take 20-30 minutes. After that group finishes, the next group will be admitted.
I grabbed a FASTPASS for Space Mountain for no particular reason. The return time was just 36 minutes out at 1:29pm, according to the time on the FASTPASS. The posted standby wait was 20 minutes. I foolishly got in line. Not foolishly because the wait turned out to be longer than expected, but foolish because I always end up getting off the ride in pain. I don’t know if I’m riding wrong or what, but it isn’t “g-forces” that make me feel like I’m getting lifted from my seats, it’s the fact that the ride is so rough that I’m “literally” bouncing up and down out of my seat. It’s a horrible ride and 100% seriously my least favorite Disney World attraction. The actual wait time was 11 minutes.
Headed back to the hub.
Looking down Main Street.
Pinocchio was out meeting guests in front of Town Square Theater this afternoon to short lines. It’s always nice to see him out and about.
Our expected wait times at Town Square Theater – 15 minutes for the Princesses and 5 minutes for Mickey Mouse.
Depending on which websites and forums you subscribe to, you may be seeing reports that Disney World is “crazy crowded” right now. To make things as simple as possible, the difference between a “crowded day” at Magic Kingdom and a “not crowded day” is about 35,000 people in line. The fact that so many people seem to be walking around aimlessly is actually a symptom of low crowds and healthy staffing. Disney basically has two options – run variable capacity attractions at limited capacity and staff them poorly (and have long lines and fewer people out and about) or run variable capacity attractions at full capacity and staff them well (and have low wait times and more people out and about). For example, at Space Mountain, they could theoretically only operate one loading bay. That would instantaneously double wait times and make my otherwise short 11 minutes turn into 22 minutes. Should that happen, I would be waiting in line for 11 additional minutes, as would a few hundred other people. At Pirates of the Caribbean, they could run one boat and have waits be 60+ minutes long or they could run 15 boats and have the wait be five minutes. These are just two examples – think about the variable capacities at other attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise, it’s a small world, and others. Remember, one of Disney’s biggest goals is to have you anywhere but in line. People in line don’t buy stuff. That means you’re going to find much shorter lines, but a similar number of people walking around, even when crowds are low. The only other option is having significantly longer lines to give people something to do. Just from a “crowd number perspective,” there were fewer people in Magic Kingdom today than virtually any day in June, July, or August. Thus, we have a low overall crowd level and short waits. However, Magic Kingdom is still the most visited theme park in the world and Disney is doing everything they can to get you into a shop or eatery. Please don’t say, “It was really crowded, but wait times were short. We walked on Space Mountain four times.” That means it isn’t crowded.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the 40th Anniversary events at Magic Kingdom and hopefully a full overview of all that went on at Epcot yesterday. The 40th Anniversary is so well covered by other sites that I’m most likely going to cut out early unless there is a compelling reason to stick around.