My Favorite Foods at Disney Parks

Food is an essential part of going to Disney Parks.  It’s an especially essential part of going to the parks when you’re with me.  I like food.  For those that don’t go to the parks very often, picking where to eat can be somewhat overwhelming.  While we have a decent amount of reviews here on the blog, not everyone has the time to go through each one.  With this in mind I wanted to make a list of my favorite foods to eat at Disneyland and Disney World.

My pizza Via Napoli

These won’t be for everyone and I admittedly lean more towards the savory than the sweet.  But my hope is if you’re going to, or in, the parks and don’t know what to get you can skim through this list and find something that looks appealing.  I’m including all options no matter if it’s a table-service, counter-service, snack or lounge option.  I’ll add location of the item and a sentence about them.  Finally, this list isn’t about what I think is the best value, it’s simply about what I think tastes the best.  We’ll start in Disney World!

Dole Pineapple Float (Aloha Isle – Magic Kingdom) – A true Disney classic.  It will show up again when we get to the Disneyland section.

Whole Fried Fish (Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skippers Canteen – Magic Kingdom) – A weird, unique and really fun entrée.  It is also delicious.

Skippers fish

Braised Pork (Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant – Magic Kingdom) – One of the best counter-service dishes around.  Braised pork on top of mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.

Warm Cinnamon Roll (Gaston’s Tavern – Magic Kingdom) – The original Main Street Bakery cinnamon roll revisited.  This is delicious, especially after an early morning stroll through Magic Kingdom.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle (Sleepy Hollow – Magic Kingdom) – One of the best items at Magic Kingdom.  The chicken is juicy and has an interesting sauce, as well as a nice slaw on top of the sandwich.  Not that this went into consideration, but this is one of the best values around.

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich (L’Artisan des Glaces – Epcot) – The ice cream at L’Artisan is fantastic, combine that with macarons and we’re shooting off into orbit.

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookie with Pecans (Karamell Kuche – Epcot) – A delicious cookie with apple inside of it and caramel drizzled on top.

Cookie Germany Food and Wine

Filet Mignon (Teppan Edo – Epcot) –  Extremely tender steak with great flavor.

Prosciutto e Melone Pizza (Via Napoli – Epcot) – The best pizza I’ve had anywhere at Disney.  Cantaloupe on pizza is better than cantaloupe by itself.

Fruit Tart (Trolley Car Cafe – Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – Mainly, I’m just trying to find a way to get Hollywood Studios on this list.  But this fruit tart is really good.

Beef and Lamb Gyro Flatbread (Harambe Market – Animal Kingdom) This is a really good gyro.  I loved the seasoning on the meat.

Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll (Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery – Animal Kingdom) – This giant cinnamon roll is my wife’s inclusion but it is really delicious.  Colossal isn’t too much of an exaggeration here either.

Mickey cinnamon roll AK

Ribs and Chicken Combo – (Flame Tree Barbecue – Animal Kingdom) – Flame Tree is the best barbecue in a Disney Park and this is my favorite entrée.  The ribs are juicy and the chicken has a great seasoning.

Wagyu Strip Loin and Braised Short Rib (Tiffins – Animal Kingdom) – The Strip Loin is simply the best steak I’ve ever had.

Bobotie (Boma – Animal Kingdom Lodge) – Boma is a buffet full of great offerings.  I chose Bobotie from their great list because it’s unique.  Bobotie is an African dish (basically a casserole) made of mostly meat and egg.

Bread Service (Sanaa – Animal Kingdom Lodge) – The bread service at Sanaa is one of the most fun things I’ve ever eaten.  They bring you 5 types of naan bread and up to 9 dips for your bread.  The tastes are diverse and are pretty unique.

Zebra Domes (Around Animal Kingdom Lodge) – You can find these desserts at Boma and The Mara (Animal Kingdom Lodge’s counter-service option).  A Zebra Dome is Amarula Cream Liquor mousse is enrobed in panna cotta-esque white chocolate and drizzled with chocolate and chocolate shavings (Via Disneyfoodblog.com).

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream Sundae (Ample Hills Creamery – Disney’s Boardwalk) – I don’t really care much for ice cream but this is absolutely delicious.

Ample Hills sundae

Oak Fired Filet of Beef (California Grill – Contemporary Resort) – This is a delicious steak and the risotto that’s typically served with it is a great compliment.

Tonga Toast (Around the Polynesian Resort) – You can find Tonga Toast, which is french toast with banana in it, at Captain Cook’s or the Kona Cafe.

Anything or everything at Ohana (Ohana – Polynesian Resort) – I could pick a favorite but if you’re going to Ohana you get all of the food anyway.  And I lied… I couldn’t pick a favorite.

Yacht Club Burger (Crew’s Cup Lounge – Yacht Club) – The best cheeseburger I’ve tried on Disney property.

Crew's cup cheeseburger

Disneyland

Dole Pineapple Float (Tiki Juice Bar – Disneyland) – This one earns extra points over the Magic Kingdom version because you can drink/eat it while sitting in the Tiki Room.

dole whip 1

Carne Asada and Red Chile Enchilada Platter (Rancho del Zocalo – Disneyland)A very good counter-service entrée.  Not the most authentic Mexican dish but a good effort for a theme park restaurant.

Fried Chicken (Plaza Inn – Disneyland) – By all means, theme park fried chicken should be greasy and pretty bad.  This is really good quality and delicious.

Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron (Jolly Holiday Bakery – Disneyland) – My favorite dessert at Disneyland.

Pommes Frites (Cafe Orleans) – Disneyland) – If I was a Disneyland local, I’d eat these once a week.  It wouldn’t be healthy but it’d be well worth it.  Deliciously seasoned fries with great dipping sauces.

Monte Cristo (Cafe Orleans – Disneyland) – Incredibly rich but if you like grilled cheese sandwiches you’ll definitely like this.

Mickey Beignets (Cafe Orleans – Disneyland) – The dipping sauce to go with these fresh beignets makes for a perfect combination.

Mickey Beignets

Chimichanga (Snack Carts – Disneyland) – These chimichangas are served throughout Disneyland.  I can never figure out why I enjoy them so much but they’re addicting and delicious.

Chili Con Queso (Cozy Cone Motel – California Adventure) – A guilty pleasure, this is chili and cheese in a bread cone.  One of my favorite snacks at California Adventure.

Cheddar Garlic Bagel Twist (Cozy Cone Motel – California Adventure) – My wife’s favorite thing at a Disney Park.  So much so that she stops and gets these about once a day when we are at Disneyland.

Lobster Nachos (Cove Bar – California Adventure) – These nachos are entering legendary status.  A huge portion size and a delicious snack/entrée.

Anything at Napa Rose (Napa Rose – Grand Californian) – My favorite restaurant in the world.  I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything I’ve tried here.

Classic Eggs Benedict (Steakhouse 55 – Disneyland Hotel) – I’m not an Eggs Benedict expert, but the ones here are the best I’ve tasted.

Eggs benedict steakhouse 55

Panko-crusted Chinese Long Beans (Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar – Disneyland Hotel) – Whenever I have green beans, or any vegetable for that matter, I just dream that I’m eating these.  A perfect accompaniment to a drink and the coolest bar there is.

While this is a pretty lengthy list, there is plenty that will be added over the years.  What are some of your favorite items to eat at Disney Parks?  Let me know in the comments!  Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney.

– Andrew

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Grand Floridian Cafe Review

The Grand Floridian Cafe is a table-service restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort in Walt Disney World.  The restaurant serves American cuisine and has the Victorian theme that runs throughout the resort it lies in.  The Grand Floridian Cafe takes part in the Disney Dining Plan.  They also accept the Tables in Wonderland discount as well as an annual pass discount.  Melissa and I recently dined at the Grand Floridian Cafe for dinner and this review will cover that experience.

Grand Floridian christmas tree

Much of what you think of Grand Floridian Cafe’s theme depends on what you think of the Grand Floridian.  To put it in more general terms (for those that haven’t been to Walt Disney World) if you like Victorian style architecture then you will like the style of the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Speaking for myself, I love that certain style and a trip to the restaurant is certainly extra incentive to walk around the resort and enjoy.  On the way out of dinner, we stopped for a while in the lobby and enjoyed watching the jazz band play on the second floor.  The Grand Floridian is elegant and that stretches to the Grand Floridian Cafe.

pig GFC

There were these barnyard animals (seen above) throughout the restaurant.  Maybe this is a staple of Victorian architecture?  Maybe the designer of the restaurant grew up on a farm?  Maybe that same designer was called a pig when he/she was a child and this is their payback to prove to that classmate how much better his/her life turned out?  It’s probably that.  Either way, the pigs and other assorted animals were an interesting touch.

gfc rose

Each table did have a rose on it, that classed up the joint some if you got tired of staring at pigs.  Overall I think the interior of the restaurant was slightly confused but still nice.  In a way, they almost seemed to be trying to make the restaurant slightly less fancy than the hotel.  That probably sounds more harsh than I mean it to be, as the restaurant is still quite beautiful.

Moving on to the food, here is a look at the menu.  Most of the entrees are in the $20 range.  There are specials at the restaurant pretty often and our meal here was no exception as they were offering ham.  We went close to the holidays so the special certainly fit the season.

GFC bread

They started us off with a bread-service that was pretty average.  The bread was fresh but I would have enjoyed it more if it was warmed a little more and slightly softer.  Still, the bread was decent.

GFC ham

I ended up ordering the ham.  It came with an apple chutney on top of it.  I thought the ham was really tasty and the chutney added a lot to the dish.  Ham can be too dry or sliced to thick and that wasn’t the case here.  While I didn’t think it was amazing, it was a solid dish.

The entrée also came with asparagus and macaroni and cheese.  The asparagus was asparagus.  There was nothing special about it.  The most disappointing part of the dish was the macaroni and cheese.  The flavor was pretty standard for macaroni and cheese.  The bread crumbs (?) on top were too dry and didn’t blend into the dish very well.  Usually I like bread crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese because they add a nice crunch but unfortunately these weren’t integrated very well.  The noodles were only so-so.  Overall, the dish was just average and slightly disappointing.

ravioli GFC

Melissa ordered the Spinach-Ricotta Ravioli.  This was a much better option and we both enjoyed the flavor.  The vinaigrette on top was a nice balance to the rich cheese and pasta.  While I wouldn’t go back and have this dish over and over again, I did think this was a good entrée and was a good value at $19.

Speaking of value, with our 20% annual pass discount our meal came out to below $50.  While not a great value in the real world, this is pretty good when it comes to a sit down meal at Walt Disney World.  But is it still a good value when you consider the food we had?  That’s a trickier question, as the food certainly wasn’t as good as some other restaurants on property.  Still, I think there is some value here and I’d be interested in some of the other entrée options.

GF light

Overall, Grand Floridian Cafe is a decent option if you are looking for a cheaper table-service restaurant.  If you don’t have a discount of some kind I would probably pass on going here.  This is also a pretty bad value if you are on the Disney Dining Plan unless everyone in your party is going to order steak.  The restaurant is an enjoyable place to have a meal, but there is certainly better food to eat at Walt Disney World.

Overall Rating – 7.5/10

Have you dined at the Grand Floridian Cafe?  Let us know your thoughts on the restaurant in the comments.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Attraction Rankings

After a two month break, it’s time to continue ranking the attractions at each U.S. Disney Park.  We began with California Adventure and Disneyland and now start on the east coast at Hollywood Studios.  Before the rankings, let’s brush up on the rules.

  • No Meet & Greets. These are impossible to rank as each experience is unique. Also, I don’t particularly like them.
  • No Live Shows. Nighttime shows are almost always better than rides, in my eyes. Also, big stage shows are impressive and don’t fit the profile of a typical ride. I will include 3D movies though. Basically you have to physically ride something or it has to be a show without live acting. The stuff in Toon Town that you can climb around on won’t be included here. It would have ranked pretty poorly, if you’re curious.
  • These are all my opinion. Lou Mongello constantly says that “every attraction is someones favorite.” While that is corny and seems a little silly, I think the sentiment is mostly true. I can’t account for other people’s memories in these rankings and will try (probably unsuccessfully) to take some of the nostalgia out of my views of these attractions. You’ll likely disagree with these rankings. Please let me know what you disagree with in the comments.

Chinese Theater DHS

Moving to Hollywood Studios means that this post will be much shorter than its predecessors.  I’ve written plenty about Hollywood Studios being a park in disarray so there’s no need to rehash that here.  By 2020 this post will be incredibly different.  Unfortunately, for the next few years, the quantity of attractions that are ranked will be disappointing.  The quality of the attractions isn’t disappointing, there just simply needs to be about three times as many if not more.  Let’s get to the rankings!

8. Star Wars: Path of the Jedi – This should earn a special prize for coming in last place on two parks lists.  This 10-minute film recaps Star Wars.  That’s it, there’s nothing more to it.  People who haven’t seen the franchise should just watch the movies and people who have seen the franchise shouldn’t waste their time here.

7. Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream – This is a quality attraction in the Animation Courtyard that pays tribute to Walt Disney.  The walk through leading up to a short film is my favorite part of the attraction.  In a way, this is a mini Walt Disney museum that showcases artifacts from the company’s history.  The short film is pretty good as well and a bit of tear-jerker.  I don’t think the attraction is out of this world but it’s quite good.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t stay open very often as they do previews in this theater fairly often.

Muppet Vision 3D sign

6. Muppet*Vision 3D – While slightly outdated, this is still a quality attraction.  The pre-show is one of the funniest things in all of Walt Disney World.  The actual movie is good, as well.  The Muppet humor works well and it’s always fun to see Sweetums roaming around the theater.  While I do think the film as a whole is in need of a refresh, this is somewhat of a special tribute to Jim Henson because this is the last thing he worked on.

Singing in the rain GMR DHS

5. The Great Movie Ride – Speaking of attractions in desperate need of an update, The Great Movie Ride is next on this list.  I still love the idea of this attraction but frankly there are some scenes that don’t work anymore.  Taking guests on a trip through great movies is a novel concept and something that most theme parks are trying to do now in a more involved way.  That’s what ultimately makes this a good attraction even if it’s a bit outdated.  Bonus points for being inside the Chinese Theater because I think it’s cool to go inside a park icon.

Star Tours Queue DHS

4. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues – The last three were all pretty interchangeable, in my opinion, and I’d say the same for this one and the next two.  I never loved Star Tours but once they added different scenes, I enjoy it more.  The queue here is also pretty impressive with the AT-AT Walker and the Endor vibes.  Overall, I find Star Tours (especially after the updates) to be a really good ride but not a great one.

TSMM DHS

3. Toy Story Mania – This is a really fun attraction but is it a really good attraction?  I’m not sure.  The concept of being toy size in the queue works pretty well and then the games are a blast.  Sure, this is not much more than a glorified Wii game but you can interact with others in your party more than any other attraction at Disney Parks.  For that, I give Toy Story Mania a slight advantage over Star Tours.  I could easily change my mind tomorrow though!

2. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – When viewed in isolation, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is really weird.  A roller coaster featuring Aerosmith, a band that’s past its prime.  Apologies to any Aerosmith fans out there… Still, with the theme of Hollywood there, the attractions story works pretty well.  Getting to a concert via roller coaster while somewhat joking about LA traffic is funny, campy and a pretty good idea.  This is a pretty fun and intense roller coaster but I do think that it’s a little too short and that keep this attraction away from greatness.

1. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Even with some good attractions at Hollywood Studios, the Tower of Terror wins by a wide margin.  A great story, a beautiful fit thematically, an inventive track system that stands the test of time and a thrill to boot.  Tower of Terror is one of the best attractions in all of Walt Disney World and easily wins the honor of Hollywood Studios best attraction.

ToT sunset DHS

Outside of Path of the Jedi, Hollywood Studios doesn’t have a bad attraction.  Unfortunately, there’s only eight to judge and I expect a few of these to change over time.  Still, the park has a good foundation of attractions to build on and, while it’s barely worth visiting as is, those attractions bode well for the future.

What did I get wrong in my rankings?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney!

– Andrew

Question of the Week (2/19/17)

Every few weeks our writers get together and answer a Disney related question.  Let us know your answer in the comments.  Let’s get to the question, a two-parter!

Tomorrowland entrance night

Question of the Week: Disneyland went through a downpour this weekend. Do you enjoy going to the parks in rainy weather? If you could choose one weather condition outside of sunny to visit the parks during what would you choose?

Cassie – I’m not a fan of rainy days at the park. I’ve been to Disneyland multiple times when it dumps rain and it hasn’t been enjoyable. While the park is slower than usual when it rains, it seems to have more adverse side effects. 1. A lot of attractions shut down. 2. Everyone swarms the indoor attractions and shows. 3. It is just uncomfortable.

Snow at the parks might be fun!? Not that it would ever snow in CA or FL. But it would make for some amazing photo opportunities!

Frozen ice diggers

Leslie – I actually didn’t mind the rain too much when I worked there. It thinned the crowds as tourists were not prepared (it also doubles poncho and umbrella sales!) though there is the problem of attractions shutting down because of the rain. This is the time where most people have to make the decision of if they will wait out the rain or go back to their hotels. Once the rain has passed it will pick back up again. I suggest catching indoor attractions, shopping, or even making some last-minute reservations at a restaurant to pass the time until the sun comes out.

Much like Cassie I would love to see real life snow in the parks. Photos would be a dream come true and Christmas time would be extra magical but I have a feeling the parks would come to a screeching halt with the first few flakes haha.

Tomorrowland lagoon night

Melissa – I actually enjoy the rain at the parks…mostly in Florida though. The times we have been there and it rained, it didn’t last for long and always cleared out the parks making it easy to get on the rides that typically have long lines. I don’t think I’ve experienced a lot of rain in Disneyland though so I’m not sure if it would be different or not.

The only bad part of the rain depends on when it happens. A lot of the time if it happens near firework show times, those will get canceled and then it’s just really sad.

Swiss Family Robinson water system

Andrew – I also like the rain at Disney Parks. While it can increase the crowds inside, it often frees up the attractions that are outside. I really like the rain at night (as long as it doesn’t cancel anything) as the reflection of the lights in the wet pavement creates some fun photographs and beautiful scenes. I travel with ponchos so I don’t worry about getting soaked.

Since everyone chose snow as the extreme weather (which is the best choice) I’ll go with hail. I don’t really have any reason aside from finding hail interesting. You could say I chose it just for the hail of it…

Mickey rope dock

Let us know your answer in the comments! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog via email or WordPress. You can also like our Facebook page. Both of those options are available on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading and have a great week!

A Bit More News

Walt Disney World continued its second straight week in the spotlight, being the subject of several news items.  If you missed last week, several opening dates were announced as well as a replacement for Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  This week brought less significant park news but still some promising developments across the resort.  I’ll go rapid fire through these (which on this blog means at least a paragraph or two on each item) since I don’t have a ton of commentary to add.

Chinese Theater DHS

BB-8 Meet & Greet Coming To Hollywood Studios

Look, I don’t care about meet & greets.  I know a ton of people do, and that’s great.  Still if there was a character that I’d like to meet, BB-8 would be pretty high on the list.  I’m excited to see how this character is managed and how guests will ‘meet’ it.  BB-8 will be coming to Star Wars Launch Bay in mid-April.  Not a lot to add about this, but it seems like a pretty cool addition.

Caribbean Beach Expansion

The Caribbean Beach Resort is currently a moderate resort at Walt Disney World.  The resort lies fairly close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and has received significant upgrades over the last five years.  Those upgrades are about to continue as expansion has been announced for Caribbean Beach.  There will be new waterfront dining, shopping and other additions to the current marketplace at the hotel.  The resort has made giant steps forward over the last few years and will likely continue that with these expansions.

Via Disney Tourist Blog

Via Disney Tourist Blog

Not only are they expanding amenities but they’re adding rooms.  This leads to reasonable speculation that Caribbean Beach Resort will be the first moderate hotel connected to Disney Vacation Club.  Although DVC isn’t confirmed to be coming here, I think it’s pretty certain.  I’m curious how this will affect the price of the hotel, and DVC for that matter.  So far all hotels with DVC attachments have been considered deluxe resorts  If this comes to Caribbean Beach does that mean the resort will jump up in pricing and be a low-end deluxe?  This would up the price about $75-100 per night.  Or maybe the cost of the resort won’t jump and a moderate DVC is what will happen after all.  Would that make the buy in cost and point use of DVC cheaper?  These are the questions that will be answered in the coming years and, if I had to guess, the answer is a mixture of the two.

Coronado Springs Expanding

Caribbean Beach Resort isn’t the only resort expanding.  Coronado Springs is receiving an expansion in the form of a 15-story tower.  This tower will be next to the lobby.  In addition to the 500 rooms this tower will bring, Coronado will be updating their current rooms and adding some additional pathways and greenery throughout the resort.

Via Disney Parks Blog

Via Disney Parks Blog

Coronado Springs is the convention hotel at Walt Disney World and is often the home to guests who never set foot inside of the theme park.  The new tower will give those guests a chance at a nicer room (or suite) as their vacation or business trip will become more lavish than just staying at a Disney World Moderate.  I think the hotel could see a modest price bump but will ultimately stay in the moderate category when all is said and done.  This expansion doesn’t have me as excited as Caribbean Beach but Coronado Springs is a really beautiful area and I’ll be excited to see the upgrades to the resort’s grounds.

Oh-La-La Gondola? (Sorry)

Now for the big rumor!  This rumor seems pretty far along, in that Disney has already filed permits for what looks to be a gondola system that will attach a few resorts to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.  While I can see the negatives and why some might think this is weird, I think this is a great idea.  I don’t loathe Walt Disney World busses as much as some do but when given a choice between bus and another form of transportation, I always choose the other form.  If offered, I’d much rather take a gondola.

Monorail Imagination

Gondola’s can actually have a large capacity per hour, making this addition pretty sensible.  On top of that, this is a much cheaper alternative than adding a monorail (or virtually any other unique transportation) in this same spot.  While I never advocate for the Disney company to go ‘cheap’ on their theme parks, I don’t think spending money on extra transportation fits that bill.

A gondola may seem weird, but I think it’s fairly unique.  And isn’t that what most guests trips to Walt Disney World are about?  We can’t fly over London with Peter Pan at home.  We can’t see nearly 100 species of animals in 20 minutes at home.  We can’t drop 13 stories at home (bad example).  Most places you stay in the world don’t offer gondola rides back to your hotel and I think there’s a nice novelty to adding that.  The resorts this system is rumored to be going to are Caribbean Beach and Art of Animation (which means you could probably add Pop Century to that list as well, given the proximity).

Star Wars Rey

All in all, there’s a lot of good news for Walt Disney World.  The company is stuck planning and paying to build new parks but is investing in resorts that desperately need it.  I’m happy to see that and hope it continues into Epcot, Magic Kingdom and even more into Hollywood Studios.  By increasing capacity at hotels and possibly adding transportation, Walt Disney World is smartly planning ahead for the boost in attendance the parks will see when Star Wars Land opens in 2019 and then again in 2021 for WDW’s 50th anniversary.

What do you think of this set of news and rumors?  Let us know in the comments.

Crew’s Cup Lounge Review

Crew’s Cup Lounge is located in the Yacht Club Resort at Walt Disney World.  The lounge doubles as a sit-down meal location with a limited menu.  Crew’s Cup does accept Tables in Wonderland but is not on the Disney Dining Plan.  There is both a bar and booths to sit in at the restaurant.

Hidden gems have become more and more of a rare thing in Walt Disney World.  Due to blogs, like this one, other media, and the parks just becoming more popular, most of the truly great places to go at Disney World have been discovered. Even worse, most of these places are fairly crowded, if not overwhelmingly so.  Still, there’s the occasional spot that’s worthy of crowds but doesn’t have them.  Crew’s Cup Lounge certainly fits the bill.

Why this place remains a hidden gem is most likely twofold.  One – Crew’s Cup isn’t on the Disney Dining Plan which tends to populate lesser restaurants.  The other reason being that lounge is attached to the name.  This makes people think the place isn’t as family friendly as some restaurants and more bar-like.  While that may be true for certain lounges in Disney World, it definitely isn’t the case here.

Crew's Cup room trophy

Crew’s Cup fits the Yacht Club theme with trophies adorning the walls and nods to rowing crews throughout the restaurant.  This seems to be a place where the rowing crews would go to celebrate yet another victory out on the lake.  A watering hole for the victors, as they admire the trophy up on their mantle.

The theme is understated but works well especially for a lounge.  There are booths and tables in a somewhat small dining room along with a bar.  The wood is bright and polished throughout the restaurant.  The whole lounge isn’t nearly as big as most places to eat in Disney World but there was still plenty of space between the tables.

Crew's Cup Lounge

We went to Crew’s Cup Lounge for lunch on this day.  The menu is small and mainly sandwiches.  You can see that here.  The prices are mainly in the $10-$20 range.  That is typically what you can pay for a meal at a counter-service restaurant in Disney Parks.  The quality here is surely better than that, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  There are plenty of affordable options here and the portion sizes on the appetizers (although we just saw them and didn’t eat any) were pretty large.

I had read about Crew’s Cup (via disneytouristblog.com) before and knew that the truffle fries were stuff of legend.  Yet, I somehow forgot to order them.  I’ll gladly update this post when we go back and eat here again.  I’m embarrassed.  I’ve read enough about Crew’s Cup though to recommend getting the truffle fries.

Crew's cup cheeseburger

I did remember the other half of what was recommended to me though and that was the cheeseburger here.  This comes with swiss cheese, mushrooms, bacon, a brandy peppercorn sauce, onion jam, lettuce and tomato on top of the burger and bun.  Now, I like cheeseburgers.  In fact, one of the things I’m best at is eating cheeseburgers.  I don’t do it as much as I used to but I’m still really good at it.  Now that I’ve stated how well-versed I am in cheeseburgers you’ll definitely take me seriously when I say that this is easily the best cheeseburger I’ve tried at Walt Disney World.

The beef was cooked perfectly and was a really good piece of meat, as opposed to some other burgers that are available at Walt Disney World.  The ingredients were very fresh.  The star of the burger were the two sauces – the peppercorn sauce and onion jam.  They both added a little bit of sweetness that gave the hamburger a distinct taste instead of just being a really good hamburger.  I don’t think you could go wrong with any entree at Crew’s Cup but if you like burgers then get this.

Crew's Cup Lobster Roll

Melissa settled on the Lobster Roll for her lunch.  This was nearly as good as the cheeseburger.  I was both surprised and impressed at how much lobster was on the sandwich.  There was next to no filler and not an over abundance in mayonnaise either.  I’m a sucker for anything lobster but this sandwich was excellent.  The flavor was great and the lobster was fresh.

Crew's Cup fries

Now I’m still mad at myself for not ordering the Truffle Fries but the regular fries were solid as well.  They were freshly made with the right amount of crisp.  The flavor wasn’t anything extraordinary but these are still much better than your average theme park fries.

I think part of the key to Crew’s Cup wonderful tasting food is that it’s not fully discovered.  There was one lady bartending and waiting on the four groups that were in there.  She did a fantastic job.  The food that came out was incredibly fresh, which restaurants are able to do when they aren’t slammed.

Crew's Cup wall

The value here is pretty high.  You’re getting table-service quality at near counter-service prices.  The burger and lobster roll were much better tasting entrees than I had that night at a table-service restaurant and were literally half the cost.

Overall, I highly recommend going over to the Yacht Club and finding this little hole in the wall.  Hidden gems are rare at Walt Disney World now but Crew’s Cup has certainly earned that title.

– Andrew

The Disney Theme Park Fantasy Draft

This weekend I got together with a few of my friends and did something weird… We had a Disney Theme Park Fantasy Draft.  I have no idea if this is of interest to anyone but I thought I’d put the results here.  In a couple of weeks we will show you the park’s we designed with our draft picks, and then have you vote on which one you’d rather go to.  As I said, I’m not sure if there is any interest in this but we did enjoy ourselves.

Wishes green yellow red

There were a few rules.  We only used attractions, shows, etc. from U.S. Disney Theme Parks.  We also tried to stick to attractions that were open today, outside of picking one future expansion.  Rivers of Light, new firework shows, Mission: Breakout and other future plans were not available to draft.  Here’s a look at the ‘roster’ we had to fill:

20 Attractions
5 Shows (3 little/2 big)
1 Parade
1 Nighttime Shows (1 big)
1 Park Icon
2 Hotels (1 cheaper, 1 expensive)
10 Restaurants (3 snacks, 3 quick-service, 3 table-service, 1 choice)
1 Transportation Attraction
5 Sets of Characters
1 Expansion?
1 Festival/Parties
5 Flex (any of the above categories aside from park icons, expansions, and parades)

Now, I think there’s a rule in writing about not just posting lists.  I’m breaking that today as I’m just going to post the order of things drafted.  There were 53 picks a person so this is a long list, scroll to the bottom if you want to hear a few closing thoughts.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean (DL) – Andrew
2. Frozen Ever After – Melissa
3. Cinderella’s Castle – Mackenzie
4. Fantasmic! (DL) – Darin
5. Splash Mountain (DL)- Darin
6. Festival of the Arts – Mackenzie
7. Frozen – Live at the Hyperion – Melissa
8. Kilimanjaro Safaris – Andrew
9. Radiator Springs Racers – Andrew
10. California Screamin’ – Melissa
11. Expedition Everest – Mackenzie
12. Polynesian Resort – Darin
13. Space Mountain (DL) – Darin
14. Plaza Inn – Mackenzie
15. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Melissa
16. Haunted Mansion (MK) – Andrew
17. Tower of Terror (DHS) – Andrew
18. Big Thunder Mountain (DL) – Melissa
19. Characters: Rey & Leia – Mackenzie
20. Indiana Jones Adventure – Darin
21. Tiffins – Darin
22. Soaring Around The World – Mackenzie
23. Marvel Land – Melissa
24. Grizzly River Run – Andrew
25. Festival of the Lion King – Andrew
26. Kali River Rapids – Melissa
27. The Seas – Mackenzie
28. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – Darin
29. Matterhorn – Darin
30. Pandora – Mackenzie
31. Festival of Fantasy – Melissa
32. Paint the Night – Andrew
33. Star Wars Land – Andrew
34. Star Tours – Melissa (DHS)
35. Peter Pan’s Flight – Mackenzie (MK)
36. Main Street Electrical Parade – Darin
37. Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire – Darin
38. Mickey and the Magical Map – Mackenzie
39. Maharajah Jungle Trek – Melissa
40. Muppets Present… – Andrew
41. Jungle Cruise – Andrew
42. Sleeping Beauty Castle – Melissa
43. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (DL) – Mackenzie
44. Spaceship Earth – Darin
45. TTA PeopleMover – Darin
46. Remember… Dreams Come True – Mackenzie
47. Wishes – Melissa
48. Illuminations – Andrew
49. Jedi Training – Andrew
50. World of Color – Melissa
51. Mickey’s Fun Wheel – Mackenzie
52. Snow White’s Scary Adventure – Darin
53. Mickey & Minnie – Darin
54. Pirate’s Lair at TS Island – Mackenzie
55. The Barnstormer – Melissa
56. Rock n’ Roller Coaster – Andrew
57. Star Wars Fireworks – Andrew
58. DL Railroad – Melissa
59. Test Track – Mackenzie
60. Carousel of Progress – Darin
61. Goofy’s Sky School – Darin
62. King Arthur Carrousel – Mackenzie
63. Flame Tree Barbecue – Melissa
64. WDW Monorail – Andrew
65. Gorilla Falls Trail – Andrew
66. Tangled Bathrooms – Melissa
67. Fantasmic! – Mackenzie
68. Sweet & Spicy Chicken Waffle – Darin
69. Country Bear Jamboree – Darin
70. it’s a small world (DL) – Mackenzie
71. Tiki Room (DL) – Melissa
72. Winged Encounters – Andrew
73. Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – Andrew
74. Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – Melissa
75. Flights of Wonder – Mackenzie
76. MuppetVision 3D – Darin
77. King Triton’s Carousel – Darin
78. Toy Story Midway Mania (DHS)- Mackenzie
79. Dapper Dan’s – Melissa
80. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (DL) – Andrew
81. Astro Orbiter – Andrew
82. Dumbo (MK) – Melissa
83. Art of Animation (Hotel) – Mackenzie
84. Be Our Guest – Darin
85. Jammitors – Darin
86. Piano Man Casey’s Corner – Mackenzie
87. Animation Academy – Melissa
88. Living With The Land – Andrew
89. Flo’s V8 Cafe – Andrew
90. Raspberry Rose Macaron – Melissa
91. Mickey Pretzels – Mackenzie
92. Corn Dog – Darin
93. Storybook Canal Boats – Darin
94. Mickey’s Christmas Party – Mackenzie
95. Cheesy Garlic Bagel Stick – Melissa
96. Dole Whip – Andrew
97. Chimichangas – Andrew
98. Swiss Family Tree House – Melissa
99. Grand Floridian – Mackenzie
100. Tarzan’s Treehouse – Darin
101. Buzz & Woody – Darin
102. Cinderella & Fairy Godmother – Mackenzie
103. Rapunzel & Flynn Rider – Melissa
104. Darth Vader & Chewie – Andrew
105. Mission: Space – Andrew
106. Incredibles Dance Party! – Melissa
107. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – Mackenzie
108. Casey’s Corner (DL) – Darin
109. Hall of President’s – Darin
110. Holly Jolly Bakery – Mackenzie
111. Animal Kingdom Cinnamon Roll – Melissa
112. Tusker House – Andrew
113. March of the First Order – Andrew
114. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey – Melissa
115. Main Street Theater – Mackenzie
116. Via Napoli – Darin
117. Rodger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin – Darin
118. Skewers (Bengal BBQ) – Mackenzie
119. Mad Tea Party – Melissa
120. Gaston’s Cinnamon Roll – Andrew
121. Harambe Wildlife Parti – Andrew
122. Golden Zephyr – Melissa
123. Mariachi Divas – Mackenzie
124. Award Weiners – Darin
125. Not So Scary Halloween Party – Darin
126. Matsurizi (Japan drummers) – Mackenzie
127. Casey Jr. Circus Train – Melissa
128. Port Orleans – Andrew
129. American Adventure – Andrew
130. Boardwalk Hotel – Melissa
131. Princess Dot Puddle Park – Mackenzie
132. Main Street Band – Darin
133. Flik’s Flyers – Darin
134. Silly Symphony Swings – Mackenzie
135. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters – Melissa
136. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree – Andrew
137. Tom Sawyer Island (MK) – Andrew
138. Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (MK) – Melissa
139. Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Mackenzie
140. Citizens of Hollywood – Darin
141. Mickey Beignets – Darin
142. Enchanted Tales with Belle – Mackenzie
143. Sleeping Beauty & Maleficent – Melissa
144. Dinosaur – Andrew
145. Blue Bayou – Andrew
146. Seas w/ Nemo and Friends – Melissa
147. Crystal Palace – Mackenzie
148. Liberty Tree Tavern – Darin
149. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage – Darin
150. Serveur Amusant – Mackenzie
151. Finding Nemo: The Musical – Melissa
152. Animal Kingdom Lodge – Andrew
153. Davey Crockett Explorer Canoes – Andrew
154. Akershus – Melissa
155. Skippers Canteen – Mackenzie
156. Main Street Vehicles – Darin
157. Primeval Whirl – Darin
158. One Man’s Dream – Mackenzie
159. Anna & Elsa – Melissa
160. Lightning McQueen & Mater – Andrew
161. Autopia – Andrew
162. Olaf & Sven – Melissa
163. Belle & Mrs. Potts – Mackenzie
164. Wall-E & Eve – Darin
165. Mickey’s Philharmonic – Darin
166. Circle of Life – Mackenzie
167. Hollywood Brown Derby – Melissa
168. Great Moments w/ Mr. Lincoln – Andrew
169. Timon & Pumba – Andrew
170. Columbia Harbor House – Melissa
171. Minnie’s House – Mackenzie
172. Star Wars, Galaxy far, far away – Darin
173. Sunshine Seasons – Darin
174. Peter Pan & Wendy – Mackenzie
175. Flower & Garden – Melissa
176. Food & Wine – Andrew
177. French Market – Andrew
178. Mickey’s House – Melissa
179. Mary Poppins & Mrs. Banks – Mackenzie
180. Casey Jr. Splash n Soak Station – Darin
181. Pop Century – Darin
182. Joy & Sadness – Mackenzie
183. Aloha Isle – Melissa
184. King Louie & Baloo – Andrew
185. Contemporary Resort – Andrew
186. Electrical Water Pageant – Melissa
187. Frozen Banana – Mackenzie
188. Ariel & Prince Eric – Darin
189. Turkey Leg – Darin
190. Pacific Wharf Cafe – Mackenzie
191. Coronado Springs – Melissa
192. Kermit & Miss Piggy – Andrew
193. Tree of Life – Andrew
194. Captain America & Iron Man – Melissa
195. Fruit – Mackenzie
196. C3PO & R2D2 – Darin
197. Great Movie Ride – Darin
198. Yak & Yeti – Mackenzie
199. Churros – Melissa
200. Katsura Grill – Andrew
201. Rose & Crown – Andrew
202. Coral Reef – Melissa
203. Popcorn – Mackenzie
204. Sci-Fi Dine Inn – Darin
205. Tuck n’ Rolls Drive em Buggies – Darin
206. Frozen Sing-Along – Mackenzie
207. Grumpy & Dopey – Melissa
208. Creature Comforts – Andrew
209. Friendship Boats – Andrew
210. Main Street Bakery – Melissa
211. Soundsational Parade – Mackenzie
212. Toy Story Land – Darin

Mack Truck PTN

Alright, now that that’s over… I don’t think this order of picks is necessarily what we think are the best things in the parks to the worst things.  I know Mackenzie came in with thoughts on how she was going to design her theme park.  After the first 10 to 15 rounds people started drafting more for what fit in with their eventual theme instead of what the best available item was.

Prayer flags AK MJT

We drew numbers out of a hat to decide the draft order and I came up with number 1.  It was not rigged.  I debated for a long while between Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland) and Splash Mountain, as I think they are two of the best attractions around.  I ultimately settled on Pirates as my first pick because of the amount of people who car ride per hour and the lack of height restriction.

My main strategy was to draft as many great attractions as I could in the first 10 to 15 picks and then see what I had and draft for themes based around those.  I didn’t expect to end up with Star Wars Land as my expansion (I just didn’t want Toy Story Land) and once I happened upon that, I wanted to snatch up any space themed stuff that I could.  Aside from that I tried to stick to attractions that had to do with America or animals.  Again, we’ll show off our hypothetical theme parks in the coming weeks.

Columbia Mark Twain evening

Now, the real question is was this worth it?  No, this blog post probably wasn’t worth you reading.  As for the draft itself, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I found it interesting and liked hearing my opponents strategies.  It did take quite a bit of work to put everything together but I thought it was worth it.  I think you’d need some true Disney nerds to be able to do this at home.  We are also trying to figure out how you win, like a normal fantasy league.  Mostly we did this for the fun of it though and I definitely had a good time.

– Andrew

A New Nighttime Spectacular Coming to Magic Kingdom

On May 12th, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will debut a new nighttime fireworks show called Happily Ever After.  This will take the place of the beloved Wishes, which can last be seen in Magic Kingdom on May 11th.  Wishes has run for since 2003, making it one of the longest running firework show in Disney Park history (at least according to a quick Google search).  You can read more of the details here, as I’ll mainly just be getting into my reaction.

Wishes pink castle

Let me start off by saying that I’ll miss Wishes.  I like the show well enough and think the pyro is pretty impressive.  The narration from Jiminy Cricket, the Blue Fairy, and the soundtrack all make the show memorable and above-average.  With that being said, the reason that I will look back on this show fondly is due to nostalgia.  My wife and I saw this show the first night of our Honeymoon.  That memory and a few others will stick out when I look back on Wishes and that will make me miss it.  I’m glad that we have a trip planned in April so that I can bid it adieu.  Still, I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it go.

Wishes is good but there are other shows I’ve seen that are easily better.  Remember… Dreams Come True (currently at Disneyland) and 60th anniversary-inspired Disneyland Forever are both heads and shoulders above Wishes thematically or technologically.  With the recent upgrades to Magic Kingdom’s projection systems, Wishes was not capable of using that technology.  Also, 14 years is a really long time for a show to run.  Even though it never felt outdated, I think a new show will bring a fresh energy to the park.

Fireworks red streak

That brings us to Happily Ever After.  I can’t say I love the name but I am excited about some of the other details.  First of all, the show length is 50 percent longer than Wishes bringing Happily Ever After to 18 minutes.  That is intriguing and really gives the show a lot of time to take in different directions.

I’m also interested in some of the IP’s that they’re planning to include, most notably The Jungle Book and The Lion King.  No one knows to what capacity the IP’s will be used but I’m excited to see their inclusion.

Wishes blue castle

I’m also excited to see the upgraded lighting and projection being used to enhance the fireworks.  This worked well with Disneyland Forever and gave my eyes no shortage of things to look at.  The projections used for Once Upon A Time are crystal clear and look fantastic.  Adding fireworks to those systems will really fill up the whole scene.

There are two things that worry me about Happily Ever After.  The first being that Disney may cut back on some of the pyro.  While I think the projections are wonderful, most people would agree that fireworks really steal the show.  With recent cutbacks at Disney Parks I worry that this show may be a way to get away from the pyro-heavy Wishes.  With the run time being 18 minutes, I wonder if there will be chunks of the show without many fireworks.  If that is the case (purely hypothetical as of now) then there can be pacing issues.  My second worry is that this will cause the new Once Upon A Time to go away.  I really hope that doesn’t happen, as you can tell from my review.

Alice Once Upon a Time MK

Other than those two worries that could prove to be completely off-base, I find this news to be extremely positive.  Magic Kingdom was due for a new fireworks show and I look forward to Happily Ever After.  Not to be needy but let’s see what they can do for a nighttime parade now!

Wishes green yellow red

——————————————————–

There was one more bit of news that came out today.  Rivers of Light (Animal Kingdom’s nighttime show) will officially open on February 17th.  The show will run basically every other night for the first few months as they continue to tweak and get things right.  Come April, the show will run once or twice a night.  You can read my reaction to it opening in yesterday’s post.  In short, I’m excited to see what they have come up with.  I would strongly encourage you to get a FastPass+ for the show if you are going.  The seating space isn’t huge and I think the area will fill up fast.

What do you think of Wishes being replaced?  Let us know in the comments!

– Andrew

Opening Dates Galore!

Yesterday Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, woke up and decided that he might as well spill the beans about some of Disney’s biggest upcoming projects opening dates.  That or he was trying to keep the attention away from whatever bad news there was in his first quarter earnings call.  Whatever the case may be, Disney Park fans received some interesting information!

Pandora

First, the opening date for Pandora – World of Avatar was announced as May 27th.  If you don’t have a calendar near by, May 27th is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and will be the unofficial kickoff to summer at Walt Disney World.  While the project has seemed to linger on for years and years, having an opening date will make the excitement grow for Pandora.  A website was launched to form a back story and grow excitement for the new land (link here).

Via The Disney Parks Blog

Via The Disney Parks Blog

Speaking only for myself, I thought Avatar (the movie) was visually stunning but somewhat lacking elsewhere.  I am optimistic about the project because of the beautiful world created in that movie.  My excitement has only grown over the last year as I’ve seen more models and construction progress in the land.  I’m hopeful about the rides in the land but I’m more excited for Pandora’s ambiance and beauty.  The floating mountains are gorgeous and the warm colors Pandora will offer at night will make this area popular regardless of the movie.  I also like the website that was linked above.  From the looks of things there, Pandora will feature cast members who will only be in that land and will share some of the back story with you.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they also knew how to speak some of the language.  I think this is a nice addition that adds authenticity to the land and makes it an even better fit for the immersive Animal Kingdom.  We’ll have more coverage of this land leading up to the opening and after we have time to visit.

Iger also announced that Star Wars Lands on both coasts are to open in 2019.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Disneyland’s Star Wars area opened up about half a year before Disney World’s.  This is simply because of how far along the construction progress looks in California compared to Florida.

Star Wars Darth Vader

Both of these lands are said to have the same attraction lineup and back story.  As with Pandora, I think expectations should be off the charts for Star Wars Land.  Disney knows that they need to nail this expansion as it will draw crowds that the parks have likely never seen before.  I’m more excited about the attractions here than in Pandora because I think the company will try something a little more inventive and groundbreaking for Star Wars Land.  I’m sure more details about this land will come out at the D23 Expo this summer.

Via the Disney Parks Blog

Via the Disney Parks Blog

Lastly, Rivers of Light is about to open!  Like they always say, “9 months late is better than nothing at all.”  I’m sure someone has said that.  Last night there was an event at Animal Kingdom and those in attendance were treated to Rivers of Light.  I think the show will likely debut for park guests this weekend at Animal Kingdom.  I’m not sure if this will be put on the schedule or not (for those that want FastPass+).  I could see them waiting until the opening of Pandora or Earth Day to ‘officially’ open Rivers of Light, running soft opens and rehearsals until then.  I do think it will be available to park guests sooner than later though.

Rivers of Light is the new nighttime show at Animal Kingdom.  It’s been met with mixed reviews by those that have seen rehearsals.  I’m excited to experience Rivers of Light, as I think this will be more abstract than your usual theme park nighttime show.  Again, more coverage of the show will be up once we see it and form our thoughts.

ToL sunset water

Okay, so those were all the opening dates that came down yesterday and maybe this blog post didn’t deserve the title ‘Opening Dates Galore’.  Given the interest in these projects though, yesterday was certainly a big day for the Disney Parks.

Are you excited to visit any of these new projects?  Let us know in the comments!

– Andrew

Once Upon A Time Castle Projection Show Review

Once Upon A Time is a new castle projection show in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  The show debuted in November 2016 at Magic Kingdom Park and replaced the fairly popular Celebrate the Magic.  Once Upon A Time usually shows once per night, either before or after Wishes depending on park hours for the day.  This review will include my thoughts on the show as well as some strategy on how to fit it in to your touring plan.

MK Once Upon a time

Once Upon A Time debuted at Tokyo Disneyland a few years ago.  Because of the emphasis the Tokyo Resort generally puts on theme and story it should come as no surprise that Once Upon A Time easily exceeds it’s predecessor in terms of plot.  Celebrate the Magic was a fun show to watch but nothing more than that in terms of following a storyline.  Once Upon A Time is more than just something to look at.

Now that’s not to say the plot is anything intricate.  Mrs. Potts and Chip (of Beauty and the Beast fame) narrate this show that bounces in and out of classic Disney songs and moments.  Chip is off to bed but needs a bedtime story to go to sleep too.  Like most children, Chip turns out to be a pretty good staller as Mrs. Potts tells quite a few stories before wishing her son, and park guests, goodnight.

BatB rose Once Upon a Time MK

A few of the stories told are Cinderella, Peter Pan, Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, and Beauty and the Beast.  Some of these stories are vignettes into the movie while others are quick plot summaries of the whole thing.  All of these tales have a song from the film accompanying them.  If you’ve been to Magic Kingdom before but never seen this show think of it as a mixture between Wishes and Mickey’s PhilharMagic.

Most of my thoughts on this show are positive.  I found the projections on the castle to be very clear and stunning.  Comparing this back to Celebrate the Magic, I found Once Upon A Time to be much more aesthetically pleasing and innovative.

The Winnie the Pooh section of the show was fantastic and just the right amount of weird.  Beauty and the Beast was beautiful and more subtle to match the soundtrack.  I also really loved the finale that summarized the whole show really well and picked what seemed like the best seconds of each vignette.  I also enjoyed the original score that was paired to the classic Disney songs.

Anna Once Upon a time MK

While most scenes that in Once Upon A Time were about a minute to a minute and a half, the Frozen section was probably double that and therein lies my only complain with the show.  I guess it should come as no surprise anymore when Frozen segments take more time than others.  This has happened before in nighttime shows with Disneyland Forever and World of Color – Celebrate.  But, seeing as how we’re more than 3 years removed from the release of the film, I was surprised to see this still happening.  While I’m complaining I should clarify that this doesn’t isn’t a huge issue within the show.  I think the length of the Frozen section slightly affects the pacing of Once Upon A Time.  The vignette fits the rest of the show, it’s just simply a little bit too long.

Overall though, the show is a nice upgrade over Celebrate the Magic.  The projections are nothing short of astounding and the story is a great way to envelop classic Disney stories into one show.

Pinocchio MK Once Upon a time

As far as where to watch the show, I think that depends on the timing of Once Upon A Time.  If the projections are before Wishes (and you want to watch both) then I’d recommend standing a little ways behind the Partners Statue headed towards the castle.  Main street has a slight incline and if you pay attention you can feel it as you walk.  Right as you enter the main hub you can feel the incline, stop right when you reach the top of it and watch both shows from there.  This is our go-to spot for Wishes. If Once Upon A Time is before Wishes and you don’t have a big group then lining up about 15 minutes before the show should work.  If you’re at the parks during an especially busy time then add another 15 minutes to that estimation.

If Once Upon A Time is after Wishes, go just past the Partners Statue and watch it from there.  Since there is no need to see above or beyond the castle, getting closer is no issue.  I don’t think the show is worth watching in one spot and then having to move back for Wishes.  But if Wishes is first then there is no harm in moving up since there will be fewer people that stick around for Once Upon A Time.  Even if you aren’t watching Wishes and want to see Once Upon A Time (and Once Upon A Time is after Wishes in this scenario) then just wait until the fireworks are done and book it towards the castle.  You shouldn’t need to be more than 10 minutes early unless the park is packed.  If you have any questions about other places to stand please let me know in the comments.  As long as you are on Main Street you should have some view of the show.

Alice Once Upon a Time MK

Once Upon A Time is an excellent addition to Magic Kingdom and one that shouldn’t be missed.  The show combines top-notch projection technology and solid storytelling, making it’s Magic Kingdom debut extremely successful.

– Andrew