We’ll head out to Magic Kingdom to check on Hub construction progress and a few other things of note.
But first up is lunch at The Wave, one of the more poorly lit restaurants on property, and the casual table service restaurant at the Contemporary Resort that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s located on the first floor past the check-in/concierge desks. To get to California Grill, you’d take the escalator opposite to the second floor and check in at the podium, before being taken up to the top floor. Chef Mickey’s, Contempo Cafe, Outer Rim bar, the stores, etc. are all up one more set of escalators.
As Disney describes it:
Enjoy healthful dishes infused with an international flair at this casual eatery. For maximum freshness, many of the ingredients featured in the menu are sourced locally and regionally.
Start your day with a classic American breakfast, such as Eggs Benedict, French toast and make-your-own muesli. Try the signature sweet potato pancakes, served with pecan-honey butter and a side of bacon or sausage. Guests can also enjoy a hearty-yet-speedy breakfast buffet—perfect fuel before jetting off to enjoy the parks!
For lunch, select from a range of robust sandwiches like the Classic Reuben, fresh salads including the Mediterranean tuna, multigrain pasta and more.
Dinner offers such distinctive dishes as grilled lamb chops, a sustainable fish-of-the-day paired with corn-and-edamame stew, dry-rubbed flat iron steak and locally-sourced grilled vegetables.
Be sure to save room for such treats as chocolate truffle mousse and sticky toffee cheesecake.
So no Be Our Guest Vegetarian Quiches it sounds like.
A sort of readable menu:
Menus for the other meals are available here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/contemporary-resort/wave-restaurant-of-american-flavors/menus/
Lunch is usually a real chill experience at The Wave. Of the few times I’ve eaten there between 12pm and 2pm, there have only been six or seven other tables occupied in the whole restaurant.
It would take about ten minutes to walk from Magic Kingdom’s main entrance to The Wave’s check-in podium.
Lisa ordered the $18.99 The Wave Appetizer for Two – Lump Crab-Florida Rock Shrimp Crab Cakes with Southern Sweet Corn Salsa, Lemon-Tarragon Aïoli, and Citrus-marinated Mahi Mahi Tacos. These have been on the menu in one form or another for years, though the taco filling and shrimp crab cake acoutrements change seasonally.
The rock shrimp crab cakes are stuffed with seafood and very little filler with a sweet corn salsa with bacon that enhances the flavor and eliminates any fishy-ness. They otherwise had a nice fresh quality and a perfect texture – delicate without being at all mushy. The regular appetizer portion is also two cakes, so you get $14.49 worth of value just from half of the duo.
She didn’t enjoy the Citrus-marinated Mahi Mahi Tacos with Pineapple-Mango Salsa, Pickled Shallots, and Avocado Crema quite as much. The avocado had virtually no flavor, instead being overpowered by the unadvertised cucumber slices and the fish was overcooked. The pineapple-mango salsa did add a pleasant burst of citrus that livened up the flavor profile. She enjoyed both tacos – just would have preferred the fish to arrive less blackened with less cucumber. You might have more luck.
I had a terrible time deciding between the Pulled Short Rib on a Parker House Roll with Black Diamond Cheddar, Pero Farms Giardiniera, and Locally-sourced Arugula and the BLT: Bacon, Lobster, and Tomato Club.
But ultimately went with the Short Rib Sandwich. The short rib was piled high and virtually devoid of fat, which was nice. Unfortunately, I thought it was overwhelmingly salty and there wasn’t really any other component of the dish that cut into that at all. I expected some spice from the giardiniera, but there really wasn’t any. And I’m also not a big “you can’t pick this sandwich up very easily person.” Having to cut a sandwich up with a knife and fork seems to defeat the purpose. On the plus side, the potatoes were really good – nice breading and seasoning. Hot and crispy. There was a lot of short rib too – as much as a more expensive dinner entree I would imagine. Overall, the sandwich was a step above just about anything you’d get at a Magic Kingdom quick or table service restaurant outside of the much-more-expensive Cinderella’s Royal Table. Just a little too salty.
Dessert should you have interest:
This review covers another lunch at The Wave, including reviews of the Soft Flour Tortilla and Seasonal Soup and Sandwich, in addition to a big California Grill review. The website’s most recent Wave dinner review is also available here.
We pick things up at Magic Kingdom on the afternoon of Saturday March 14th right at 2:55pm or 5 minutes before Festival of Fantasy steps off from Frontierland. The parade takes about 20 minutes to arrive here, so these people have another 25 minutes or so before they see anything. The FP+ viewing area is around the flag pole. With the parade headed straight down Main Street, the best view is where the arrow is pointing looking straight down toward Cinderella Castle. There are otherwise decent spots still available right in front of me. The benefit of the FP+ area is the lack of hassle in keeping your spot secure. There’s virtually no concern that someone is going to push their way in front of you with the cast members policing the area well. Just about everyone that’s going to arrive in the FP+ area has arrived and there’s still quite a bit of space. Still, I don’t necessarily recommend using FP+ for the Parade. It doesn’t save much time and there are similarly good views available here and down in Frontierland.
Walt and Mickey are back out in front of Cinderella Castle as most of the walls have come down. The crane is finally gone as well.
One planter in the Hub is still behind walls.
The other isn’t.
The walls have otherwise moved closer to Cinderella Castle. This post from last week covers the new Hub area unveiling, in addition to discussing the new Wishes FP+ area and Be Our Guest lunch reservations, among other things.
On the Adventureland side across from Casey’s Corner.
Not a lot to see yet.
More work on the other side with Cinderella Castle to the left and Mad Tea Party directly ahead.
Covered construction equipment behind the walls.
The rose garden is no more as construction crews bulldoze the area for Hub expansion.
A slightly different angle.
And looking directly across from Cosmic Ray’s.
It was not all that long ago that we enjoyed this view outside The Plaza.
The Hub work that has been completed looks great. The project is still about six months away from looking completed.
As you’ve undoubtedly read in 37,000 other places, Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace have switched names and menus. That means the old home of the Dole Whip, Aloha Isle, is now known as Sunshine Tree Terrace and serves Citrus Swirl.
So if you’re looking for a Citrus Swirl, head to Sunshine Tree Terrace across from the entrance to Swiss Family Robinson.
Word is Orange Bird will return in a few weeks.
And the new location of “Aloha Isle Refreshments” with its jumble of lines and people.
No more Orange Dole Whip available here. It’d be nice if they’d let you bring one into Enchanted Tiki Room one of these days.
From the air.
This is an old picture that shows the facade of the Adventureland Veranda, back when Tinker Bell met here. The Aloha Isle/Sunshine Tree Terrace switch is due to the kitchen reconfiguration in this area, which is also causing Liberty Tree Tavern to close from July 6th through November 19th. It also means Frontierland will (temporarily) no longer be home to the famous Turkey Leg come March 25th. They’ll be served at Cool Ship in Tomorrowland instead and returning to Frontierland later this year. Pretzels, churros, corn dogs, and other items will be cooked at Columbia Harbour House instead of the pizzas that had been available in Liberty Square sporadically. The good news is that the kitchen changes do open up the possibility of opening Polly’s on Tom Sawyer Island again, at least seasonally. We’ll see what the future brings.
We tried FP+ at The Magical Carpets of Aladdin for the third or fourth time. Using FP+ bypasses almost all of the standby queue and you’ll be flying high after about two more cycles. We got in line at 3:05pm with a 25-minute posted wait and were off at 3:17pm for a total ride/experience time of about 12 minutes.
35 minutes at Pirates.
35 minutes at Big Thunder.
We got in the extended FP+ queue at 3:35pm. Long FP+line backups are almost always caused by guest negligence – someone that doesn’t understand the system, is trying to game the system, etc. I’ve used FP+ hundreds and hundreds of times so far and never experienced what I would consider to be a “long” wait, other than maybe Soarin’ with the long wait for the pre-show etc. But you would have run into the same problem with legacy paper FASTPASS. Generally speaking, I’d expect to wait about the same time under FP+ as you would with FP+. Waits are generally less than five minutes before the merge point.
Standby was backed up near the attraction entrance. It’s difficult to gauge lines here because there are so many switchbacks in the queue. Theoretically, the line could be backed up this far with actual waits of 15 or so minutes. Or you could see no backup whatsoever and the actual wait could be two hours.
Anyway, we were back out front at 3:53pm for a total experience time of about 18 minutes. That’s about what you can expect here.
A pretty, albeit unseasonably hot day. Highs are in the mid-80s.
A look at wait times over the course of the day with an 8am open and evening Extra Magic Hours from 12am-2am:
Magic Kingdom is not recommended with an overall crowd level of “7”. It’s about what we’ve come to expect. More thoughts on spring break and summer wait times from last week: https://www.easywdw.com/uncategorized/spring-break-walt-disney-world-wait-times/
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid reopened from a refurbishment that lasted about a month last week. I shot a video if you’d like to take a look at the changes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCzC78ehOG4&list=UUqtn1-iOB8zLRH-bvHfjSvQ. I’d rate the attraction as a C- prior to the refurbishment that mostly darkened scenes and added blacklight effects and more fish, among other enhancement. Post-refurbishment, I’m willing to raise my grade to a solid C. The lighting does help, but the ride is entirely devoid of heart, humor, or just about anything intrinsic to making it a “classic” ride, but it’s better than nothing…probably.
Unfortunately, the best part of the queue remains roped off virtually every day.
We had visited a few days prior and dined at Columbia Harbour House for lunch. The website has reviews of virtually every single quick service food item (and nearly every table service entree) at Magic Kingdom, making it difficult to find anything new to review. So we returned to two past favorites to make sure quality hadn’t declined.
I don’t know if this is weird, but Harbour House’s $9.99 Fried Shrimp Plate with Steamed Fresh Broccoli, Apple Slices, or French Fries might be my favorite quick service meal on property. I love thos golden fried, not-at-all-greasy shrimp with a side of Ken’s cocktail sauce.
I also love their $4.99 New England Clam Chowder – served piping hot, creamy, and full of stuff.
Lisa ordered another favorite, the $9.49 Anchors Aweigh Sandwich – White Tuna, Lettuce, and Tomato on Toasted Multigrain Bread with Potato Chips. It’s an above average tuna sandwich and a nice change of pace from menus that are largely burgers and chicken nuggets. Interestingly, each cash register had a sign telling guests they ought to head up to the second floor to eat. But it didn’t seem to be “helping” much, as the second floor was still virtually empty. We were right next to the window looking down at Haunted Mansion’s extended queue.
That’s what’s going on at Magic Kingdom. This week should bring a Beach Club 1-Bedroom Villas review (with Cape May Cafe dinner review, Hurricane Hanna’s, Martha’s Vineyard, etc) and a Hollywood Studios update with another review of Mama Melrose. We’ll also see the detailed crowd calendar for October and updates to the operating hours and crowd calendars of the other months with changes.