Crowd level: 6/10
Weather: High 81°F, Low 77°F, Sunny. *Note: The sunburn I received says it felt a lot hotter than 81.
We took a trip to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday to check on the progress of things and, because the weather was incredible, photograph the Festival of Fantasy Parade. The Magic Kingdom has been a bit difficult for me lately with all the walls and cranes and tarps, but things are getting better. First things first? The giant memories sign has been taken out of the front flower bed and the train station looks pretty fantastic.
Despite the ride wait times putting the crowd level at a 6/10, I don’t think the park “felt like” a 6 at all. Main Street, U.S.A., was easily traveled and I’m happy to report that all cranes are down and painting is done at Cinderella Castle. It looks beautiful as is expected.
As a quick little merchandise update, pants seem to be a new trend at the Magic Kingdom. First we got the Mickey Pants mini kitchen sink which, by the way, has been reduced in price to a somewhat reasonable $14.99), and now we have pants everywhere.
Also fairly new on the Walt Disney World merchandise scene is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who is popping up in the parks here and there in various formats like this Big Fig seen in the Main Street Cinema Art of Disney.
Toward the hub, work continues behind the omnipresent green lattice walls. The walls themselves now have signage and lamps attached, so it seems like they’ll be around for a while.
Behind the walls, the space surrounding the moat on The Plaza Restaurant side is still a pretty big mess.
Closer to Cosmic Ray’s, though (past those big temporary dams), things look pretty nice.
We took a quick trip to the Tomorrowland Arcade to get an answer to a question that was asked about the new cell phone charging lockers being tested there and at Cosmic Ray’s. The touch screen on the lockers asks you to swipe a credit card to open the locker, even though the system doesn’t actually charge you money. Several of you wanted to know if you were required to use a credit card or if other media with a swipe stripe could be substituted. While our Annual Pass did not work, a Disney gift card did open the locker.
From Tomorrowland I walked into New Fantasyland where the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been running tests with Cast Members riding. First, a look at a couple of parts of the queue. Notice the fans. There are fans about every 20 feet in the line because most of the line will be in direct sunlight for much of the day. With temperatures already beginning to creep into the 90′s here next week, I’m predicting that this is going to be an incredibly hot line to wait in, and I’m going to suggest bringing a small umbrella if you’re going to try the standby line.
And a few photos from the “big drop” on the track, as well as a couple of the larger curves. Remember – this ride is not open to regular guests yet (not even in soft open). These are Cast Members riding.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled to open on May 28, and FastPass+ can now be booked beginning on that date.
From New Fantasyland I walked down the castle side path and into Liberty Square. I like to look in Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe to see what kind of new ornaments and decorations have been put out. This time there was some fairly new Haunted Mansion merchandise, as well as a pretty large selection of Nightmare Before Christmas.
Around 2:00 I walked to the hub to stake out my spot for Festival of Fantasy. Dream Along with Mickey was playing on the castle forecourt stage and, while I’m not a huge fan of the show itself, it’s always good to see Mickey and the gang in front of the castle.
I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite shots from Festival of Fantasy. Remember – it’s a new parade so the crowds start filling into the viewing areas early. People are hot and tired and are likely going to say no if you show up with your kids ten minutes before parade time and ask if your kids can move to the front of the crowd. Get a spot early – this parade is totally worth the wait. Until next time, keep it magical.