Observations from the Magic Kingdom: January 7, 2014

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I know there are relative degrees of chill. And of course I know that a cold that freezes a Super Soaker stream before it hits the ground is much worse than the thirty and forty degree temperatures that crept into Florida on this day. But, when you’ve spent the last nine months sweating in places you didn’t know you owned, a sudden plummet to the low 40′s feels pretty frigid. It’s been a long time since I experience a Kingdom Cold Snap, so I decided to find out whether or not anything different happens at Walt Disney World (besides water park closures) when the mercury drops.

First things first, a very (very!) important announcement. I don’t often throw a selfie into a blog post, but this is pretty major. Anyone notice what’s NOT in the background behind me?

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That’s right, ladies and gents! The horrible memories banner is gone! Your train station pictures can once again be beautiful! Snap away. That hat’s available in Animal Kingdom, in case you were wondering. I know you want one.

I hate to say it, but technically it’s “slow season,” and that means it’s time to freshen up the parks. Right now there are more construction walls in MK than I think I’ve ever seen at one time in the past. It’s certainly noticeable, and may even be a little obnoxious if you’re on a one-time trip here or an annual journey that you planned around low crowds.

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Christmas decorations came down in the Kingdom (the last ones to go) the day after this. While this construction wall at City Hall certainly wasn’t festive, just around the corner I found a very interesting cold-weather happening. As it turns out, certain characters have “winter options” or, in touristy terms, cold weather outfits! The first we spotted? Mary Poppins. In winter gear, she’s called Nanny Poppins.

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One of the coolest things is when characters get really into their roles. It was a pretty windy day for Orlando, and Nanny Poppins used a lull in her line to open her umbrella and see where the wind may take her.

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Just past Main Street, U.S.A., Casey’s Corner is closed for a brief refurbishment, and a huge portion of the sidewalk is being either replaced or revamped. The construction walls are massive and require a fairly major detour to get around.

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 Over in Adventureland, we find TWO winter options, the first at the Jasmine and Alladin meet and greet (moved to the terrace temporarily while the Agrabah Bazaar is refurbished).

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And second in Tinker Bell’s Nook. Tink’s winter option may be a little harder to spot since she wears the coat more often, but look down. She’s got boots!

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Tink’s giving me a little side-eye in this one. I find that happens sometimes when I’m by myself and taking pictures. Through Adventureland there are a couple of different sets of construction walls around the Bazaar and the Tiki Room, all for refurbishment projects.

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But, if missing the crowds is your goal, it’s a good time to be here.

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In Fantasyland, the Mine Train is progressing, but progress is still slow. So what do we have? Construction walls!

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It’s been said that Ariel has a winter option – a nifty cape – but I didn’t manage to get a picture. I did get a picture of some odd refurb tarps and such on the Tomorrowland Speedway, though, as I strolled around toward the castle.

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Merida’s line was quite long when I made it to her meet and greet, but the friendly cast members let me take a distance shot to capture her winter option, a gorgeous cloak with celtic knot embroidery.

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And last but not least, I discovered Tiana meeting and greeting in her gazebo just behind Liberty Square with a smart embroidered shrug as her winter option.

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Cold weather clothing on characters isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but it’s certainly a charming addition to a chilly Kingdom day. And while the park seems riddled with construction walls at the moment, there is always a lovely picture to be found in the Magic Kingdom. I’ll leave you with this for today, a shot of one of my favorite areas just after the holidays, the lawn edged by red, white, and pink. Until next time, Keep it Magical.

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Posted on January 14, 2014

19 Responses to “Observations from the Magic Kingdom: January 7, 2014”

  • Great shots of how the characters cope with the cold! We LOVED Mary Poppins’ winter garb when we went to MK over Christmas week 2010. One morning, it was in the low 20′s when we arrived at RD and there was Mary strolling through Fantasyland, reminding everyone it was better to be cold there than anywhere else in the world. :) But, yikes, when you don’t pack for that weather, it feels darn chilly! Thanks for the fabulous post!

    • by Morgan Crutchfield on January 14, 2014, at 9:15 pm EDT

      Thank you for such a kind comment, Marie! It’s always really cool to see those kinds of character interactions. Erin has a great post on packing right now, and I think you’re right – 20 feels like a special kind of cold when you packed for 70. Thanks for reading!
      ~Morgan

  • This was a great read and you included very neat pictures. Jan. 7th was my Birthday so it was nice to see what happened in the MK that day!! Thanks for sharing.

  • by Janice Miller on January 15, 2014, at 3:35 am EDT

    Morgan… I always love what you have to tell us! I live through you since I can’t be there now. You really make my days! Keep updating us….and posting great photos. You make me happy whenever you post things! Thank you lots and lots! xoxox
    JAN MILLER

  • Oh Floridians… if there’s anyone anywhere with a more whacked sense of temperature, I’m not aware of them. We have a trip coming up, so we’ve been watching the weather, even on those ‘cold’ florida days, there has often been a 100 degree differance in the “feels like” temp of northern MN and Florida… lol

    Thanks for the update tho, helps us get excited to come down! Those walls do get old tho, as we are always down there this time. However its just too perfect a time to get out of MN and low crowds…

    • by Marie Rossiter on January 15, 2014, at 10:52 am EDT

      Roger, your comment made me laugh! I’ve been down in FL when it’s in the 50s and have seen locals with hats and gloves on. I guess temperature sense truly is relative to where you live and what you’re used to regularly.

      The walls are a bummer, but the trade-off is worth it re: the crowds. The last few times we’ve taken our kids, Splash is always down for its annual refurb. But, given the choice of no Splash or no WDW, well, the choice is clear :)

    • by Morgan Crutchfield on January 16, 2014, at 9:15 am EDT

      Bundle up, Roger! Thanks much for the comment and I hope your upcoming trip is awesome!

  • We were there that day! Beautiful post! Even though the weather was cold, it was still a beautiful day. Love this post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Loved seeing the Winter Options, but loved the bright beautiful sunshine just as much. Felt like I walked around with you great narrative thanks for posting!!

  • Nice focus on the wider options! I like getting photos of cast member “wider options” too, one for instance is the cat the monorail cast at WDW can use http://www.flickr.com/photos/19567516@N00/6225663004/in/photolist-au99Hj

  • Love the hat!!!! :)

  • Wow, that is a grumpy looking tink!

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