For many people, especially young princesses, there is no experience like eating in Cinderella’s Castle with Cinderella and her princess friends. Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of the most popular dining reservations at Walt Disney World. It is also one of the hardest to get and one of the more expensive options.
So imagine the broken hearts when the Disney Parks Blog announced that Cinderellas Royal Table was going to be closed for a good part of 2015. The refurbishment will last from January 8th, 2015 until sometime in March.
Cinderella To Hold Court at Citrico’s
While Cinderella’s Castle will not be a dining option during the refurbishment Disney does have an alternative. During the time the Castle is closed guests can meet Cinderella and her princess friends at Citrico’s. Citrico’s is at the Grand Floridian and only a monorail trip away.
Unfortunately there will be no lunch or dinner available. The only dining options will be breakfast and brunch. All of the princesses will visit each table for photo opportunities. There will also be a special “Magical Wishing Ceremony” which will include “wishing wands” and “wishing swords” for young guests.
The cost for those over nine will be $49.99. Children ages 3-9 will be $31.99. For those using the Disney Dining Plan it will cost two table service credits (just like dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table.)
A Royal Rip Off?
Grumpy has dined at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It was quite an experience. The experience, however, was not the food or the princesses. The most exciting part of eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table is being in the castle.
Unfortunately it costs just as much to eat with Cinderella at Citrico’s as it does in her castle. For many people the whole point of dining with Cinderella is not the princesses it is the castle. You can dine with princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot. But dining reservations at Akershus are much easier to get and it costs less too. Of course Grumpy is not sure it’s worth the cost and the hassle to eat at Cinderellas Royal Table at all.
Grumpy is not trying to be a Disney hater. Grumpy loves Walt Disney World but he is also honest.
Hollywood Studios is a good theme park. It has the potential to be a great theme park. Disney may even be in the process of making it into a great park but the way they are doing it is making more than one person grumpy.
Why Hollywood Studios Isn’t A Great Park Today
There are several thing that are holding Hollywood Studios back. The first is the attractions. It is not that Hollywood Studios does not have great attractions and shows. It has some of the best at Walt Disney World but it does not have enough. In fact it is less than 20 attractions. Continue reading What Is Going On At Hollywood Studios→
Have you stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs? More importantly are you considering staying there and wondering if it is for you? This Coronado Springs Review might help you figure out if this resort is for you.
If you are a fan of Woody and Buzz Grumpy has good news for you. Pixar just announced there will be a Toy Story 4. The bad news is you have to wait till June of 2017.
Toy Story 4
There are no plot details yet for Toy Story 4. All of that is being kept under wraps. It’s a good bet we won’t be seeing Andy or his mom anymore since Toy Story 3 ended with all the toys being given to Bonnie. Continue reading Toy Story 4→
Grumpy has picked his top five Disney World snacks. Disney fans are passionate about their favorites whether you are talking about rides, shows, parks or even snacks. So this list might generate a little controversy. Just keep in mind these are Grumpy’s favorites and you can agree or disagree. In fact Grumpy encourages you to tell him why he is right (or wrong) in the comments section.
In the interest of fairness you should know Grumpy likes his adventures on rides and not the table. So some of the more exotic choices available (like sushi) will not make the list because Grumpy is afraid to try them.
At about 10:20 pm Saturday November 1st posts started showing up on Facebook with titles like, “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train On Fire!” Grumpy was skeptical at first but the reports kept coming in. Grumpy was skeptical because most of the posts used the same grainy picture showing something on fire. The main picture being passed around was very unclear as you can see below. Turns out this was not an internet hoax, however. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train really was on fire.
First, and most importantly, no guests were injured. The ride was quickly evacuated. The fire reportedly resulted from embers from the fireworks. Those embers caused some of the decorative grasses on the exterior of the ride to catch fire.
There was also no structural damage. The Reedy Creek Fire Department quickly had the fire subdued. In fact the ride reopened later that evening.
Certain areas of Fantasyland were also closed off to make room for the fire department. Here is a better picture of the fire.
Ever wanted to take a cruise on some of the worlds most famous and dangerous rivers? Then the Jungle Cruise might be for you. It is a ten minute expedition through four exotic rivers. There are plenty of dangerous animals and a few dangerous humans. Fortunately both the animals and the humans are the audio-animatronic variety.
The Jungle Cruise opened on October 1st, 1971, the same day the Magic Kingdom opened to the world. It was based on the Jungle Cruise attraction at Disneyland and the two are similar but not identical.
The Disneyland ride was inspired by the Walt Disney produced True Life Adventures and the movie The African Queen. Originally Walt had wanted to use live animals. That idea was scrapped when he realized the animals would not stay where he wanted them to be.
The Disneyland original also lacked the humor of both the current Magic Kingdom and Disneyland attractions. The Jungle Cruise was meant to be a realistic look at the jungles of the world. In 1962 the comedy was added to the spiel at Disneyland. When the ride opened in 1971 at the Magic Kingdom it mimicked the comedic Disneyland spiel.
This ride is set in the 1930’s at a British river outpost. The outpost is operated by the fictional Jungle Navigation Co. As guests enter the queue they can hear broadcasts by Albert Awol.
Guests are invited to take a cruise with the Jungle Navigation Co. The trip is made in one of fifteen boats (only a maximum of ten are in operation at any given time.)
The Jungle Cruise
Guests enter the Jungle Navigation Co outpost. The queue is filled with items that would be present in a typical outpost of the era. Some, however, have a humorous touch like the chalk board listing missing persons with names like Ilene Dover. The queue winds around a lot so sometimes the wait time can be deceptively long. The queue is covered but outside which means in the summer it can be a very hot wait.
Once the wait is over guests board tramp steamers for the actual cruise. The cruise features four rivers on four continents. While there is some great scenery and impressive animatronics it is the skipper (a real person) or your boat who can really make or break the trip. The skippers tell corny jokes throughout the ride and his or her enthusiasm (or lack thereof) really makes the difference.
The first river is the Amazon and is a very short section of the ride.
Next travelers enter the Congo. There are three scenes, the pygmies, a snake and the gorilla camp.
The Nile is next and is by the far the longest section of the ride. There are multiple scenes here but the best are the totem pole scene and the head hunters. Elephants and rhinos will threaten to boat from the river.
The final section features the Mekong River in Asia. There are three scenes. The scariest is the temple scene. The scariest part about the temple is it is dark but nothing too scary other than that. The Mekong also feature the elephant bathing pool. This is probably the cutest scene.
All in all the ride lasts about 10 minutes.
In 2013 the Jingle Cruise was introduced. The boats get a holiday makeover, really only Christmas lights and a new name. Seasonal items are also added to the queue area. Skippers don a Santa hat and there is a holiday tone added to the script. Very few of the scenes have any change and they are very minor.
There are not height or health restrictions for the Jungle Cruise. Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs do not have to transfer but they do have to wait for one of two specially equipped boats, Bomokandi Bertha and Wamba Wanda.
Did You Know
The jungle boats used to be kept looking pristine and new but now are painted to look old and used?
While the skipper can control the speed and direction of movement the boats are actually on tracks?
Special dyes are added to the water to give it the right color. The coloring not only makes the river look authentic it also hides the boat track as well as the underwater mechanics of the audio-animatronics?
In the head hunter scene the salesman is referred to as Trader Sam or Chief Name? (Pronounced like naa-may.) Legend has it when the ride was about to open the chief had not yet been given a name. A cast member rehearsing for the ride thought the place holder “Name” was an exotic native name and pronounced it Naa-May and it stuck. Since then most have taken to calling him Trader Sam like his Disneyland counterpart.
This is certainly a great ride. Grumpy will do it at least once every trip. While it might seem like a great idea to do it at night Grumpy has found it is not that exciting. Most scenes are hard to see.
The animatronics and the vegetation are great but if you don’t have a good skipper the ride is dated. A lively skipper (who might even vary off script) makes the ride a lot better.
Disney has long been an innovator. Among the more recent Disney innovations are the interactive queues. But they are not Disney’s first attempt at interactivity. Before you could sort gems with the seven dwarfs there was Pal Mickey.
Pal Mickey was a ten inch Mickey Mouse plush but he was more than just a toy to carry around. He was an interactive tour guide to all four parks at Walt Disney World. Continue reading Pal Mickey→