Several park updates, map offer and plenty of park pics!

WonkaKid

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Crowds at the park yesterday were relatively light. I ascribe that primarily to the rain. To a lesser extent, I understand that some tickets such as the SoCal three-day pass expired the previous weekend.

Oddly, when we entered Fantasyland, Toad, Alice and Snow White were all closed. I'm sure that as per usual the closures were temporary.

Other news/updates:

The Pizza Planet refurb is complete and it looks fantastic (pics below)! The consequences, however, are less fantastic. In fact, they’re bad and disappointing.

1. They no longer have sparkling water on tap. That was the only place that did offer it, as far as I know, and it was one of my favorite treats: sparkling water with lemon, since I don’t drink soda. I’ve been off refined sugar for more than 30 years. I spoke with the manager and he told me that I could still buy it at one of the many snack kiosks…for $5. Not exactly the same thing as being able to help yourself to as little or as much as you like and add however much lemon is needed. Very disappointed. I spoke with the manager and he said that the choice had been made by Coca-Cola, which seems unlikely to me. If Disney had asked for it, I’ve no doubt CC would have accommodated the request.

2. I used to grab one of their hot cups and make tea, since I always bring my own (I buy my tea from England and it’s far better than anything I’ve had here). They no longer allow that, officially. Cups are now at the register and must be paid for, regardless. One of the register CMs informed me of this and her tone was less than pleasant. It bordered on an accusation. It seemed a little inappropriate since this is a brand new policy and I’ve done it for at least a few years. I don’t know what they’d charge but I suspect it would be $3… for an empty cup. I believe they’re still free at Rancho Del Zocalo.

As many of you know, the castle is now open! It's been several months since we've been able to take that route to FL at rope drop. As an aside, many guests run to PP at RD. About once every eight weeks we'll have a RD where they don't. In short, it's uncommon. Yesterday, however, as we passed through the castle the CM tending the PP line warned us all that running guests would be placed at the back of the line. I've never heard threats of consequences. There have only been requests not to run: "Walk, please! Please don't run!" It would be great if the no-running policy would be strictly enforced. Verbal warnings rarely work, as many of us have seen.

The secondary FP scanner on Buzz is gone now. Since it hasn’t been used for about the last 18 months, it didn’t need to be there anyway (again, pics below). It makes the queue slightly wider.

I spoke with a security CM I know and he told me that they catch at least one smoker per day. Not really a surprise. If they catch one, surely there are more.

SWL was open on Saturday for the construction workers that were involved with building it and to their families. Apparently the execs were that pleased with it. Also, yesterday it was open to DL CMs. Both the entrance and exit were guarded by at least four CMs to stop uninvited guests.

I often bring “fun-sized” candy bars to give to the various CMs with whom I’m acquainted. At least 50 have been accepted over the past year. Yesterday I was told by a CM that I met recently that they’re not allowed to accept anything from guests and if they do, they could be fired. I’ve never heard that before and, as I say, I’ve made dozens of small gifts to CMs. Other people I know used to bring in entire cakes or deli platters for CMs and they were all accepted. One used to go so far as to gift laptops. I was surprised to hear that it was against the rules and more so that no other CM has ever mentioned it to me in the past.

Lastly, I have several sets of maps that I'm happy to send to anyone that wants them. Please send me a direct message with your preferred mailing address. Note that the current maps do not show or include SWL. A friend has a reservation for 8:00 on opening day. He said he'd send me pics of the maps that are available on that day. I suspect they'll show SWL. I'll be there on Sunday again and will see for myself. Our SWL reservation is not until the following Sunday.

Park pics:

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The new Adventureland entrance arch.
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CMs guarding the SWL entrance.
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CMs guarding the SWL exit.
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WonkaKid

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
A few more pics:

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I've seen this flying saucer countless times. This is the first time I recall seeing a light spin around its middle.
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Pizza Port, post internal refurb.
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SWL now appears on the app map!

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A hidden Mickey near the Frontierland entrance.
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The now-gone FP scanners at Buzz Lightyear.
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  • dina444444

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2013
    Saw your name on the Buzz board when I was there in the early afternoon. Crowds were only slightly busier on Saturday than they were on Sunday afternoon so I think it was a mix of weather, the ticket deals having ended, and being the week between the end of said deals and SWGE opening.
     
  • WonkaKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2009
    Are you saying they wouldn't allow you free hot water? If so that is odd. It's just water...
    They'll allow the hot water. They just won't allow the cup. You're expected to pay for it. I'm sure, though, some CMs will let guests slide with it, especially if you explain your reason. In my case, it's because I bring my own tea. I asked later that day at the Starbucks on Main St if they'd give free hot water and they said they would. I believe Rancho Del Zocalo still offers free cups/hot water as well. That is, you can simply take one. I've done it dozens of times and no ones ever said a word about it. I suspect one day one random CM at RDZ will insist that cups aren't free and I can't take it. I'll return a few miunutes later and every other CM will let me take it. And with a smile, no less. To stint guests on cups seems petty, grasping and unwelcoming to me.
     
  • pharmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2012
    Saw your name on the Buzz board when I was there in the early afternoon. Crowds were only slightly busier on Saturday than they were on Sunday afternoon so I think it was a mix of weather, the ticket deals having ended, and being the week between the end of said deals and SWGE opening.
    Yeah, Saturday and Sunday we’re both very pleasant in the parks crowdswise. Yesterday though.... yikes. ALL DL parking was full and they were routing to the convention center for several hours in the middle of the day. Deluxe was unblocked yesterday after being blocked Sat/Sun and I think the effect was very noticeable.
     

    dina444444

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2013
    Yeah, Saturday and Sunday we’re both very pleasant in the parks crowdswise. Yesterday though.... yikes. ALL DL parking was full and they were routing to the convention center for several hours in the middle of the day. Deluxe was unblocked yesterday after being blocked Sat/Sun and I think the effect was very noticeable.
    According to the app though wait times weren’t bad when they closed all the parking, so my guess is there were a lot of one to a car AP holders.
     

    pharmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2012
    According to the app though wait times weren’t bad when they closed all the parking, so my guess is there were a lot of one to a car AP holders.
    Yeah wait times weren't terrible but the parks felt much more crowded as well yesterday by late morning- just more people everywhere. DTD was also packed yesterday for no obvious reason.
     

    twodogs

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2012
    They'll allow the hot water. They just won't allow the cup. You're expected to pay for it. I'm sure, though, some CMs will let guests slide with it, especially if you explain your reason. In my case, it's because I bring my own tea. I asked later that day at the Starbucks on Main St if they'd give free hot water and they said they would. I believe Rancho Del Zocalo still offers free cups/hot water as well. That is, you can simply take one. I've done it dozens of times and no ones ever said a word about it. I suspect one day one random CM at RDZ will insist that cups aren't free and I can't take it. I'll return a few miunutes later and every other CM will let me take it. And with a smile, no less. To stint guests on cups seems petty, grasping and unwelcoming to me.
    Way back when we were in high school (1000 years ago), my DH worked at a movie theater concession stand. They counted the cups each night to see how many drinks “should” have been paid for, and if there were less cups than were actually paid for, they got on to the employees for giving drinks away to their friends. Maybe they are instituting this at DLR? I guess you could get the free ice water without the ice or water, and use that cup but it would not be an insulated cup for a hot beverage. Or just lug your own insulated cup/bottle, which is less than ideal to me because I want to carry less stuff, not more!!
     

    twodogs

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2012
    Wonkakid, we were there on Sunday (though we did early entry at DCA so didn’t get over there until after lunch). When we rode Buzz and I scored an (amazing for me) 250,000, I mentally thanked you for the scoring tips and noticed all of the ROBs on the high score board! I’m sure you were long onto another part of the park by then, but I did keep an eye out. No luck running into you but maybe next trip!
     

    figment_jii

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 22, 2006
    I wonder if the "no gifts" pertains specifically to consumable items or it covers everything. I could see where they don't want CMs to accept consumable items because of the potential for something bad to be in those items and Disney doesn't want to be potentially held responsible if a CM gets sick. And/or it's possible, that the prohibition was something new. Or it could just be the CM was mistaken about the policy. Any of those seems possible to me...

    That's a cool "pose" for Space. I'll have to show my friend. He likes to do the "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil" trio of poses (but it only works when he convinces his family to join in!).
     

    WonkaKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2009
    Way back when we were in high school (1000 years ago), my DH worked at a movie theater concession stand. They counted the cups each night to see how many drinks “should” have been paid for, and if there were less cups than were actually paid for, they got on to the employees for giving drinks away to their friends...
    Totally get that. But I don't think that's what's happening at DL since cups are still free at RDZ. I suspect that if they did it at one restaurant, they'd do it at all of them.
     

    Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    At RDZ, I have been told numerous times that you can't take cups as they have the water stations outside with cups available. So I think it all comes down to who is managing the register. However, I now travel with my hydroflask and it works great for both hot or cold beverages.
     

    WonkaKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2009
    I wonder if the "no gifts" pertains specifically to consumable items or it covers everything. I could see where they don't want CMs to accept consumable items because of the potential for something bad to be in those items and Disney doesn't want to be potentially held responsible if a CM gets sick. And/or it's possible, that the prohibition was something new. Or it could just be the CM was mistaken about the policy.
    I’m at the park now and a friend who comes often just explained that CMs are told not to accept gifts/gratuities unless a guest offers three times, then they can. If it has a value of more than $5, they have to report it to their lead. Now: as to candy, they may accept but can’t eat it on stage. The CM that told me they can be fired for accepting gifts is relatively new and may not have an entirely clear understanding of the rule.
     
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