Theme Park Snapshot – May 5, 2011


Day 2 of my very short trip to Orlando:

Since today was a Magic Kingdom day, I figured it would be a great chance to check out all the new things since my last visit two months ago — and there have been quite a few.

My first stop was at the new Town Square Theater. It was really beautiful inside, but it was bustling with activity, and I didn’t have enough time to wait or actually walk through to see Mickey or the princesses — next trip, I hope.


While I was in the Town Square, I asked a cast member about the missing Goofy bench in front of Tony’s. She told me that with the recent construction for Town Hall there, they had also put in a new entrance for the restaurant, moved the check-in podium down to the spot where the bench had been. The podium is now blocking the electrical outlet that talking Goofy needed — so now there’s really no place to put the bench unless they do some rewiring in the area. I hope they decide to find a new home for the bench — it was one of those little surprises that are such fun.

I also noticed that the Confectionery is still under a partial scrim, but they’ve definitely made progress since I was last there.


I was excited to see all the detail that’s been added to the Beast’s castle in the Fantasyland expansion area. Even from a distance, it already looks amazing. I’ve kept this photo a little larger so you can see for yourself.


You can also spy quite a bit more of the new construction poking up from behind the wall now — just enough to tease us!



It had been a while since I had done many of the Fantasyland attractions, but since I was touring with my cousin who had brought her nearly 4-year-old daughter, that’s where we spent a good deal of the morning. I was surprised to discover that the Fastpass machines for The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh were actually over at Mickey’s PhilharMagic! It was pointed out to me that they’ve been there a while, actually — I probably read about the move some time ago and had forgotten it, as it’s been more than a year since I’ve ridden Pooh. Wish I’d remembered, as it could have saved me a bit of running around!

We stopped in at Pinocchio’s Village Haus for a bite to eat, and I found that they’re offering a yummy grilled cheese as a kid’s meal option — it’s not on the regular menu, just on a sign at the cash register stations. Seemed like it took a little extra time to prepare, but it made one little girl happy.


Crowds were pretty heavy by the time we rode Winnie-the-Pooh, so it was hard to get any good photos of the interactive queue, but here’s a shot of one scene. You can’t really tell from this photo, but the “honey” is actually a moving image — it looks like the honey is oozing down the page. The screen must be heat- or pressure-sensitive, so that when little hands press on it, they leave crazy impressions and interrupt the flow.


All the new additions to the queue seemed to be doing their job — kids were having a great time playing with all the new hands-on activities and didn’t seem to mind the 50-minute wait at all. (Even with our Fastpasses, we had a 15-minute wait at this attraction, by the way. It’s just so slow-loading.)

Speaking of interactive queues — even though it was a 35-minute wait for the Haunted Mansion, I just HAD to see the new queue elements there, so I waited. They were well worth it! I’m sure you’ve all seen plenty of photos since the new queue opened, but I have to share at least one. I absolutely loved all this detail, and wish it hadn’t been quite so crowded so I could have taken more time to play.


Finally, this isn’t something new, it’s just something I love — daytime fireworks. (I love fireworks at any time, but during the day they’re always a surprise!). A storm was brewing, so the dramatic sky heightened the effect — well, I enjoyed it, anyway.


Wish I’d had time to do and see more, but I’ll be back in the World in a few weeks, so I can catch up on everything I missed!

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Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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9 Replies to “Theme Park Snapshot – May 5, 2011”

  1. Any rough idea on how tall the new B&B castle is? More of a relative guess — half the size of Cinderella’s castle? Larger? Smaller? Curious as to how it will change the landscape. Thanks!

    Deb Koma replies: They haven’t released any numbers, but the castle will actually be much smaller than Cinderella Castle — they’re using forced perspective to create the illusion of size. They talk about it a little bit in the Disney Parks Blog from a few weeks ago here:

  2. Bees are evil???
    Without bees, there would be no hunny for Pooh!

    > Deb…. Thanks for the great blog. The beautiful thing about Disney is no matter how much knowledge one has about “The World,” there is always something new to learn…. I must admit, I’ve never known about this “talking Goofy bench” outside of Tony’s. I’ve probably walked past it 100 times and never knew it. ~ Thanks, again.

  3. Interactive Pooh Que is AWESOME!!!!! Loved the wall of hunny! The only thing I didn’t care for was the area where the sound of buzzing bees was coming through speakers. Bees are evil!

  4. It looks like you had a GREAT time. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been to Disney (and boy does it seem even LONGER than that!) so I’m so excited to see all the changes taking place! I love reading your blogs during my lunch hour at work…it takes me to a place where I can be a kid again and forget my work duties for a while 🙂

  5. If you “wash” all the honey away you will see some surprises underneath. It is really cool.

    Thanks for all of your updates!

  6. The interactive queue @ Winnie the Pooh sounds cool! Could you do a blog entry on the whole thing next time you go? That would be SOOO great!!!!!:)

  7. UHHHHH!! I think I hate you right now!! Going to Disney at least five times a year!! Yep I hate you!

    No, no don’t take me seriously that was the green monster’s head talking!! I really loved your 2 day blog and I immensely enjoyed the photos!! I can only make it once a year and that’s by driving my husband crazy so that he finally caves in and agrees that Disney is our yearly trip!

    Can’t wait to read you again in a few weeks. Thank you for my Disney fix! I love you I really do!!

  8. Just as a word of advice, bring some hand sanitizer after the little ones have been putting their grubby little hands on the “dripping” honey. If you don’t get the grubby joke, you aren’t a Disney fan.