Visited the MK today for a short visit and here's some of the good, the bad and the ugly.
GOOD: Well, it's the MK. Even Phil Holmes and Al Weiss can't destroy the inate magic the place holds (not that they're not trying).
Small World has NEVER looked better. Disney did a masterful job of restoring this attraction to its old glory and then some. Adding the recreation of the DL facade inside makes it come alive and brings out all of Mary Blair's design elements ...truly wonderful. GREAT SHOW!
The Hub. I admit it, I was wrong. I thought it was going to look terrible, but the redesigned look is quite nice and retains the Partners statue, but loses all the smaller ones. With flowers in bloom all around the planters and Hub waterways, it was quite beautiful. And Disney likely won't have as many lawsuits without any curbs to deal with. Of course, anyone who sits here in about eight months of the year is going to cook.
The Castle overlay looks terrific. Not like the tacky B-Day Cake ... or the horrible hat at MGM and Wand at Epcot. This is almost classy. The characters aren't overdone and even the mirror (while large) isn't overpowering. Castle now dominates the scene now like it should, even more than ever.
Uptown Jewerlers has reopened its back third that was walled off about six months ago.
Wishes. Still incredible. And the best regular MK fireworks show ever.
CMs: Much like yesterday at Epcot, everyone was good to excellent. This seems to be a very encouraging trend. Lots are CPers too.
Uptown Jewerlers has reopened its back third filled with pins because as anyone will tell you, there just aren't enough places to buy the little trinkets, which now average $8-12 a pop.
Cinderellabration: I knew going in that this was just a pale shadow of the Tokyo spectacular, but while an improvement over the kiddy Cindy's Foamhead Surprise show, it just seems like a wasted effort. The costumes, especially Cindy's dress, are very nice. The music is fine. But the overall effort is quite ho-hum. Not awful, but not special or memorable in any way. Also, seems quite short (both timewise and in number of performers/characters) for something they are promoting so heavily.
Guests are PIGS, CMs are WAY understaffed to deal with it: There's no real nice way to put this. But at 9:30 the Hub area and most of Main Street looked like Dolphins Stadium after an NFL game (just minus the beer bottles). The walkways were covered in litter, everything from half-ful drink cups, to hot dogs that fell from their buns to French Fries to empty gallon bottles of Gatorade etc ... it was FILTHY. No way to soften it. No I'm not hyping this. Suffice to say, it's a picture the media won't see when they are wined and dined in a few weeks. I looked around in all directions expecting to hear those giant grabage-sucking machines they use to clean, but there weren't any ... and there were none, zero, nada CMs attempting to clean any of it until well after the 10 p.m. closing. The first machine, which used to always come out as soon as SpectroMagic ended, made its first trip around the Hub area at 10:25 p.m. Sorry, but that's unacceptable for a company that built its reputation and still puts out press releases touting its cleanliness. I've never been to a Six Flags park, but that's the way I imagine they'd be. Also, FWIW, I have NEVER seen Disneyland ever look anything like that on its busiest days like July 4th. AWFUL SHOW!
Monorails are dirty inside.
The Athletic Shop, which doesn't even stock golf shirts and ESPN merchandise anymore because you can't get Goofy tees anywhere, was also very dirty with merchandise all over. Reminded me of a T.J. Maxx store I ran in for a gift last year 3-4 days before Christmas. Stuff on the floor, drinks left on displays, carts wheeled in with coats and sweatshirts (weather is unseasonably cool, 52 tonight) blocking paths etc ... very bad show.
Tomorrowland Noodle Station: Bring back the Plaza Pavillion. Very mediocre attempt at Asian cuisine, including Costco-style inedible chicken egg rolls, bland chicken terriyaki. Saw lots of folks tossing food away. Variety is good, but you need quality too.
Strollers and ECVs are EVERYWHERE. Sorry, but this is largely due to lazy people raising lazy kids. You can barely move anywhere with them. Eight-year-old don't need strollers. Strollers aren't meant as carry-alls. ECV's should be for truly disabled folks, not obese people who are too lazy to walk for their turkey legs.
Those gates they are installing at the MK monorail station. They look like they belong in a prison, not a Victorian era station. I don't understand why (well, I do, the lawyers made them do it) they were needed when things were just fine for 35 years without them. But if you install them, at least spend the money to theme the damn things.
Town Square. Take pics of DL's with tulips. Contrast with MK's -- a few saplings with the same wood chips/mulch I have in my planters at home. C'mon, Disney, you can do much better than that.