For years people have showed up early to be among the first to enter the Magic Kingdom. As a bonus they got to see the Magic kingdom welcome show. But now Disney is replacing the Magic Kingdom welcome show with something totally different.
The current welcome show actually takes place outside of the Magic Kingdom. Guests line up in front of the Mainstreet USA train station. Performers sing a welcome song. The mayor of Mainstreet USA makes a little speech and then the Walt Disney Railroad brings in Mickey and his friends. Disney has normally selected a family from the crowd to “help” Mickey. Eventually Mickey counts down from 10 and the gates are opened.
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited theme park in the world but there is one thing some guests have been missing. They would like to have a drink. Until 2012 that was completely impossible. Since 2012 it was not easy to get alcohol in the Magic Kingdom but starting next week it will get a little easier according the the Orlando Sentinel.
The Magic Kingdom will still be drier than the other theme parks. There will still be some major restrictions for alcohol in the Magic Kingdom. In fact Disney is only adding alcohol to the menu at four locations which means there will be five places total in the Magic Kingdom where you can get something a little stronger than a Dole Whip Float. Continue reading Disney Adding Alcohol In The Magic Kingdom→
Who wants to wait in long lines and push through crowds at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom? If that is you go ahead and skip this article but if you prefer short lines and low crowds keep reading . Disney After Hours is once again being offered in 2017.
So what is Disney After Hours? It is a limited time event that requires a special ticket for admission. The ticket is not cheap and not many (comparatively speaking) are sold. To know what guests who have attend in the past think be sure to read to the end of the article. There is a video with some interviews. Continue reading Disney After Hours Returns→
Are you a fan of the Kermit, Mrs Piggie, and all their muppet friends? Well these is good news for you! Starting October 2nd Disney will debut a new Muppets show at the Magic Kingdom.
There are not many details on the new show yet but we do know a few things. The new Muppets show is called, “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.” The show will take place in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom. Continue reading New Muppets Show Invades Magic Kingdom→
Headed off to a Disney vacation but afraid of burger burn out? After all that is the only option theme parks really offer. Right? And they will be overpriced too. Right? Well Grumpy cannot disagree about the overpriced but there is no need to suffer from burger burn out. There is something besides burgers at Disney.
In fact you do not have to pay to have a fancy sit down dinner or hit one of the character buffets to escape the bun. There are plenty of options from sushi (yes Grumpy really said sushi) to bbq ribs that will not set you back a fortune. In fact most of them are one quick service dining credit.
Top Quick Service Options By Park
So where do you find these options? First let’s take a look at Grumpy’s top choice for each park (and one honorable mention.)
Columbia Harbor House: In the Magic Kingdom and looking beyond Pecos Bill’s or Cosmic Ray’s? Give Columbia Harbor House a try. Located in Liberty Square you have probably seen it a million times and never paid attention. But you are passing up some good food! The menu centers around seafood and includes tuna, battered fish and shrimp. Have non-seafood people in your party? There are also chicken nuggets on the menu. The theme in the Columbia Harbor house is also worth a look.
La Cantina de San Angel: Located in the World Showcase’s Mexico pavilion La Cantina de San Angel is an excellent escape from burgers. La Cantina de San Angel offers excellent Mexican selections like Tacos de Barbacoa. These shredded beef tacos are a Grumpy favorite. The only drawback to La Cantina is the seating is very limited and is outdoor. Note: Don’t confuse La Cantina de San Angel with La Hacienda de San Angel. La Hacienda is in the pyramid and is table service (much higher prices.)
Fairfax Fare: If you head down Sunset Boulevard towards the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and smell something good cooking it might be Fairfax Fare. This is another one of those places that is easy to overlook. Most people head to ABC Commissary or the Studio Catering Company. They are missing out on some good barbeque. Fairfax Fare offers chicken and spareribs. As with La Cantina de San Miguel one of the big drawbacks here is outdoor only seating.
Flame Tree Barbecue: A real favorite for visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Flame Tree is found on Discovery Island and offers ribs, chicken and pork sandwiches. The seating area is large but spread out and outdoors. But there is some bad news…Flame Tree is currently closed for refurbishment but some of their offerings are available at kiosks like Beastly Kiosk (also on Discovery Island) and Trilo-bite in Dinoland.
Be Our Guest: Be Our Guest is one of the hottest meals in the Magic Kingdom. And by hottest Grumpy means it is hard to get into not that the food everywhere else is cold. In fact it is so popular it is the only quick service (as of publication date) that offers Advanced Dining Reservations.
So why is it honorable mention? For one because you probably will not be able to get in there and it doesn’t really matter what they offer or how good it is if you cannot get in. Secondly, it is only Quick Service for breakfast and lunch. At dinner it becomes Table Service.
Be Our Guest is located in the new Beast’s Castle. It is impressive from the outside and inside. The menu has a French flair to it and includes Croque Monsieur (Grilled Sandwich of Carved Ham and Gruyere Cheese and Bechamel) with Pommes Frites, carved Turkey Sandwich Carved and carved prime chuck roast beef sandwich.
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.
What is too young for Disney? Opinions vary. Some people say wait till their older. Some people take their children as infants. Of course the answer that might be right for one family could be wrong for yours. Therefore there are no hard, fast rules but Grumpy has some things for you to consider…
If you love baseball and food that goes with it Casey’s Corner at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom might be the place for you. Casey’s Corner is located conveniently on Mainstreet where a road opens up to lead you to Adventureland. It is the last building on the left (if you are walking down Mainstreet towards Cinderella’s Castle.) There is a piano on the sidewalk next to the building. Continue reading Casey’s Corner→