Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Magic Kingdom Update: May 28th, 2013

Memorial day has come and gone, but it seems the crowds are sticking around longer than expected. Summer is essentially here in Florida, so tourist season might as well start early as well. In addition, summer weather is here, with 90 degree temperatures every day and random storms every afternoon. Watch those clouds behind the castle, you're going to see a lot more of them in this update.

Before we get to wiggy weather, first we must take the customary monorail ride to the park. Along the way, the Grand Floridian continues rapid construction on the new DVC wing. File this under another grand hotel that I won't be experiencing unless I win the lottery or get some very rich friends.

Something I'm more likely to utilize one day are the new bus loops to expand the Disney transportation system. While it looks like a giant dirt pit right now, I have a feeling a new paved area will take less time to complete than a hotel expansion or mine train.

In Liberty Square, a new Disney Visa Card sign-up spot has opened outside the Haunted Mansion. I guess credit card debt is as terrifying as 999 ghosts.


As I said, the heat is already rising in Florida. Even the birds are having to find relief any way they can. My wife and I decided to dunk into Gaston's Tavern to get a drink and some relief.

Gaston's Tavern has some amazing attention to detail for what is essentially a snack stand. I wish there was more on the menu than giant pork shanks to give me more reason to visit this beautiful space.

Once we finished our snack, our view of the castle seemed a little dim. It's truly amazing how quickly storms can appear in Florida, and this day was no exception. If you visit Disney in the summer, always have an umbrella or poncho ready.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train continues its slow progress. Some people complain that it's taking too long, but I'd rather they take their time and make a great attraction.

The rollercoaster cars for the ride are supposed to include a unique suspended above-the-track design. This means that any and all big curves in the track make me excited, because they should mean plenty of swinging of the ride vehicles. If everything comes together correctly, this could be an amazing family ride.

Mad Tea Party has re-opened from a short refurbishment, but the biggest change is the addition of Fastpass+ infrastructure.  The rumored new roof for the ride was not installed, at least yet. Also, at this time the clouds burst forth upon the Earth. Unfortunately, this did not reduce the substantial crowds which were keeping wait times for most rides 45 minutes or longer.

Other than a couple trips on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, thanks to Fastpass, our evening was mostly spent shopping and getting fresh air. I always like spotting some of the odder Disney merchandise, like these plastic Mickey cups. They're a bit creepy lined up together.

We quickly wrapped up our evening once the weather passed, as we didn't want to be trapped by the Main Street Electrical Parade.  It made me sad to leave, as I always like to see the parks illuminated at night. Even the hotels, like the Polynesian Resort, look amazing in the dark. With hours getting later and later for the season, however, I'm sure I'll get plenty of opportunities for some nighttime visits.

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