As I twittered, I hit the Magic Kingdom on Saturday to see what changes the new year had brought. As it turns out, not much. I guess it takes a big place like Walt Disney World a few weeks to fully switch over from one promotion to another. That makes sense.
I did see a few small signs of the 2009 “What Will You Celebrate?” promotion. For instance, a couple booths at the Ticket and Transportation Center had some decorations indicating this is where you go to get your Free Admission or Birthday Fun Card.
Additionally, in the parks any location that is listed as fastpass, but was not offering fastpass for the day had a special sign up and one open terminal for those who choose the fastpass+ option for their birthday gift.
Once in the park, things were nice. The park was busier than usual in the morning, but real crowds didn’t materialize until early afternoon. By then we were wrapping up our day. We had a nice ride on the ponies.
Then went over to ToonTown Fair to have another visit with the fairies in Pixie Hollow. We entered the queue 20 minutes before the fairies were scheduled to open up their land to guests and there were already a number of families in front of us. By the time we left, the queue had grown very long. It’s a very slow moving queue too, so those families were in for quite a wait.
[ lots more including a new Hidden Mickey on the otherside of the cut ]
I did notice a Hidden Mickey, however. Once you’re in the magical queue that shrinks you down to fairy size, you get this view of the Pixie Hollow tree. If you look down and to the right you’ll see a couple of lady bugs.
On the wings of one, you’ll see a very familiar pattern. This Hidden Mickey might win for the tiniest hidden mickey ever. You have to get up real close to see it.
Some more of the decorations in Pixie Hollow. It’s very hard to get a good picture in the room with my digital camera. I hope Disney works on this a bit. Because the magical moments created by the fairies interacting with the children are wonderful and worth the wait.
You may be wondering what happened to the dream squad? Well the squad is still around, just minus vests and prizes. Instead they’re empowered to make magical moments for guests. Many were doing ‘Pin Trading’, sticker handing out, bubble blowing, and other fun stuff. It’s a nice touch, but I have to wonder if positions like that will survive labor hour cuts.
We then made it out to Main Street, USA. I tried to take another photo of my grandfather’s window, but I need a ladder and someone to trim that tree to get a perfect show. I’m still learning more about what Vic Greene was involved with as Walt Disney World was built. If anyone out there has a better photo than the one below, I’d appreciate it.
Also on Main Street were two trolleys and this car. Which is one of the nice things about attending on the busy days, if you have the time to stop and notice the details, there are many more of them about.
I also took the time to visit one of my favorite locations on Main Street. USA. Here’s a hint:
That not a big enough hint? How about this?
Yep. Michal at the Harmony Barbershop is a must visit for me. He makes the magic happen every day in ever encounter even if you just walk in the door. In fact, he’s the only person to have ever cut my son’s hair. This trip a woman wearing a ‘first visit’ button came in and said someone told her she had to visit the barbershop. Michal greated her with a smile dusted her hair with pixie dust and Mickey Confetti. It didn’t take much, but that woman left with a huge smile on her face and a belief in Disney magic.
Here’s another small detail that is usual hidden from guests. It’s a beautiful china cabinet located in the Adventureland Veranda.
The Veranda used to be a dining location, but now only opens to sell pre-made sandwiches on the park’s busiest days. It’s actually a great space and with a little placemaking could become a hub of themed dining fun (think Pirates) for generations to come. I know Disney has plans for the location along those lines. I hope they make it happen.
Sometimes the magic is missing. I’ve written about the mess made by guests leaving their chewing gum on the walls in Splash Mountain a couple times before. It’s a shame that happens, but Disney could reduce the frequency of the infraction by regularly cleaning the attraction.
What I saw today was totally the fault of some guest who obviously feels like they can treat Walt Disney World like their trash can. A coke bottle and half-eaten turkey leg became the meal for these White Ibis in the Splash Mountain post-splash down zone. Very sad.
Continuing with the little details theme. The Frontierland Pin Shop is diversifying their offerings. I don’t know if this is a sign that the pin craze is waning a bit or that Disney has decided that introducing some variety back into their merchandise offerings is a good thing. But either way, I like it. Btw, there was also some merchandise that was clearly imported from ‘Disneyland’ here. Maybe it will sell in Florida.
The day is now running long. By hyper-miling our fastpass experience we’d been on a ton of attractions already, it was time for a late afternoon snack. At the Magic Kingdom there are few treats better than a funnel cake, some hot cocoa and a perfect view of Cinderalla Castle. Now, if they’d just import some boysenberry toppings.
We ended our day with a ride of the TTA. Construction continues at the Tomorrowland outdoor stage area. This area seems to be reconstructed every couple of years. Hard to decipher what will be built here, but there is a lot of work going on.
Thanks for coming along on this tour. I’ll be back in a couple weeks with more views of the “What Will You Celebrate” offerings at Walt Disney World.
In the meantime, here are a couple final shots. Click through to get larger versions of these seldom seen sides of Mickey and Minnie’s houses in Towntown Fair. I wonder if they make good neighbors.