We head out to Magic Kingdom on a particularly wet Wednesday afternoon – July 22, 2015. So wet that I didn’t want to pull Tom out and get him wet, so we just have this cell phone picture of the entrance.
Back to the weather in a moment. For now, we pick things up a couple of hours later back near the entrance. The MyMagic+ Service Center inside Town Square Theater closed permanently on July 21st. Guests arriving at the Theater expecting to find the Service Center will see this sign directing them to City Hall, where Guest Relations is located.
This is what the “Service Center” used to look like. The whole thing was kind of confusing as the Service Center is not officially a “FastPass+ Kiosk.” So if you want to book a 4th FastPass+ or need to book your FastPass+ without doing it online with a MyMagic+ account, the MyMagic+ Service Center couldn’t help you with that. They did provide iPads access to DisneyWorld.com for guests who needed to make changes without a smartphone and could help with some of the “big picture” problems with linking accounts and whatnot. The Animal Kingdom MyMagic+ Service Center closed months ago when Creature Comforts shuttered to make way for Starbucks. Epcot’s also closed a couple of weeks ago. Only Hollywood Studios remains, and probably just because Sid Cahuenga’s is right next to Guest Relations anyway. I’ve probably been in line for Guest Relations two or three times in the last six months and each time there has been somebody waiting in line to ask a question about MyMagic+ problems. And each time they’re sent all the way across Town Square to the Theater to have their problems resolved. Not exactly what somebody who is already frustrated wants to hear.
It’s hard to say what effect the closure will have on lines at City Hall. Probably not much. The MyMagic+ Service Centers were never very popular because they weren’t really very useful, but if long lines develop, MyMagic+ could probably set up in the lobby of package pickup next door if it came down to it.
A wall now lines the front of Cinderella Castle for stage refurbishment. It should remain during Dream Along with Mickey’s closure, which is expected to continue through August 22nd.
One of the two recently unveiled turrets.
Art along the walls shows the final product.
Behind the Castle on the Adventureland side.
And the Tomorrowland side.
Back to the Tomorrowland side.
Construction continues on what is widely expected to be a Jungle-Cruise-themed restaurant.
On the Tomorrowland side, trees have been planted as we wait for additional landscaping.
What it looks like closer to The Hub.
Trees from the PeopleMover.
From the Tomorrowland bridge.
Rewinding a bit back to the rain, it’s now 3:28pm:
This is the back of the FastPass+ line with a 65-minute posted wait at Haunted Mansion. Looking at waits and downtime over the course of the day:
Waits at Magic Kingdom were pretty rough in the heart of the afternoon for a few reasons. First, Big Thunder Mountain was offline for six hours in the morning and another hour-plus in the afternoon, resulting in 120+ minute waits after it finally reopened around 3:45pm. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was also down for about four hours in the early afternoon. And then all outdoor rides were down for an hour from 2:45pm-3:45pm due to lightning in the area.
When an attraction becomes unavailable during your FastPass+ window, you should get an email similar to the following:
It offers the ability for the FP+ user to return to that attraction at any time that it’s operating later in the day, in addition to offering several substitutions available immediately.
I have a post that lists the replacements for all attractions should your FastPass+ be canceled here. When a ride goes down under FastPass+, it has some pretty significant consequences not only for that ride, but others as well. At a ride like Mine Train, the vast majority of people are going to hold off on using their FastPass+ elsewhere because it’s so desirable, instead planning to return later to see if the ride has reopened. But check out the following list. We’ll pretend like we have a FP+ for one of the bolded attractions. The attractions in the bulleted list are the replacements:
Barnstormer, Dumbo , it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Peter Pan’s Flight, Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid – Classic Collection:
- it’s a small world
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid
In other words, if your Barnstormer (or it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party, etc.) FastPass+ is canceled, all of the attractions in the bulleted list would be replacements. And the same is true for all of the other attractions in bold. So theoretically, if you have a FastPass+ for Mickey’s PhilharMagic and the show goes down for whatever reason, you could well come away with an “anytime” FastPass+ for any of the other attractions on the list, including some that are much more desirable, like Peter Pan’s Flight or Winnie the Pooh.
With Mine Train’s extended downtime, what ends up happening is you have a similar number of FastPass+ users returning into a smaller window of operation. So instead of 5,000 FP+ users (and I’m making that number up) returning over the course of 13 hours, they’re now returning over the course of eight or nine hours. That means even more capacity has to be given to FP+ users, which in turn raises standby waits. At “lesser” attractions, you probably see more splintering off. An attraction like Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid has a monster capacity and it wouldn’t surprise me if it issues as many FP+ per hour as Peter Pan’s entire capacity. So when it goes down, you have about 1,000 FP+ users per hour considering whether they want to wait to see if the ride comes back online or use it at another attraction, which in turn decreases the capacity given to standby and pushes up posted waits.
Each red square represents about 15 minutes of downtime at Mine Train so far in July. It looks like it’s down for an hour or more over half the time.
Even with the FastPass+ line backing up nearly to Columbia Harbour House, it only took about ten minutes to find ourselves here after the pre-show, in what is probably the most cramped and annoying merge point on property. The time that it took to get down here is maybe three minutes longer than usual, which is probably less time than you’d expect given the line. We more or less walked into the next pre-show, which is why the standby wait is so long.
I don’t remember seeing the $85 Crystal Ball Figurine, but that doesn’t mean it’s new.
Other figurines are also still available.
Standby waits shot up at the indoor attractions that continued to operate during the downtime for lightning, here at 50 minutes at it’s a small world at 3:55pm. By 4:15pm, the wait would be halved.
105 at Peter Pan’s Flight.
Summer crowds as the rain clears.
The scene outside Mine Train, which had just reopened to a 120-minute line.
The FastPass+ line is backed up there somewhere.
“Here, picture this: A rustic hunting lodge, my latest kill roasting on the fire, and an old sign out front that really needs to be replaced, while the little ones play on the floor with the dogs. We’ll have six or seven.”
LeFou’s Brew, which is basically a frozen apple drink with a mango foam topping, is one of the more divisive beverages on property.
I like it okay and of all the frozen beverages at Magic Kingdom, it’s my favorite because it doesn’t really suffer from that syrupy grittiness inherent in a lot of Disney’s Slurpee-style drinks. Still, you’d think we could have done better than Red’s Apple Freeze.
At 4:34pm we got in the FastPass+ line for Mine Train.
And it would be 21 minutes until we boarded our train, which is about 14 minutes longer than average. Still better than the 150-minute posted standby wait.
Bob Iger irl
Mine Train as social commentary.
Altogether, Mine Train took 26 minutes to experience, which is again about 14 minutes longer than average.
A 70-minute posted wait at Tomorrowland Speedway.
Yes, 70 minutes. And it would go up to 80 minutes before falling to 40 minutes at 7pm.
45 minutes at Buzz.
At this time of day, and particularly here with the unusually long standby waits due to downtime, you want to stick with the “green” attractions on the Cheat Sheet map:
This is the easyWDW map on the left and the “Undercover Tourist” map on the right. You’ll notice that it’s virtually a carbon copy of mine, down to the color coding, building layout/shapes, and labeling, which are all virtually exactly the same. They even use the same abbreviations like “Diamond H’Shoe,”Princess Meet,” “Stitch,” Philhar-Magic on two lines, “Tinker Bell Meet+,” etc.
But the most damning evidence that Undercover Tourist basically just copy/pasted my map to make theirs is the Mine Train building and track layout. I had these maps commissioned years ago now and know basically nothing about Adobe Illustrator, which is the software used to draw them. So when something new opens, I usually copy/paste a similar building from another map.
The track layout is actually Expedition Everest over at Animal Kingdom, which I scrunched down a little bit to fill in the smaller area where Mine Train sits at Magic Kingdom. It’s 100% inaccurate. Yet Undercover Tourist’s track layout above is exactly the same as mine, loop for loop.
Back to PeopleMover, which had a wait of around three minutes at 5:17pm. Monsters Inc. is filtering through its extended queue with a 20-minute posted wait.
Space Mountain had been down for reasons unrelated to weather from around 5:05pm to 5:35pm, in addition to closures earlier in the day from 3:30pm to 4pm and 2pm to 2:45pm.
Space Mountain reopened with a 90-minute posted wait and this for a FastPass+ return line.
In menu news, here’s a virtually unreadable look at the Sleepy Hollow Refreshments menu:
Interestingly, it looks like the two funnel cakes here aren’t snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan, which is a little strange since Oasis Canteen at Hollywood Studios is offering $8+ funnel cakes for snack credits and Fife & Drum recently added an apple pie a la mode for $6.49 that’s also a snack credit.
Not much else of interest as all of Plaza’s Sundaes were snack credits before:
That’s what’s going on at Magic Kingdom, which isn’t a whole lout outside of the Hub expansion.