Haunted Mansion treats, passholder parking, peeves – Orlando Sentinel

This week’s Theme Park Rangers Radar gets hits near Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion and with annual passholders in parking lots. But it’s not amused by the behavior of some fellow parkgoers in queues.

Radar rounds up news and nuggets in or about Central Florida’s attractions. It publishes at OrlandoSentinel.com on Wednesdays.

Not all Haunted Mansion treats are created alike. I learned that from a recent media event and a follow-up taste testing on my own from the Sleepy Hollow counter-service eatery at Magic Kingdom.

Its chilling chamber pops are part of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration menu. They are push-ups, sort of like the traditional creamsicle ice-cream treats, but with cake and frosting. The container features spooky eyes, as seen in Mansion wallpaper, and the whole thing is topped with a piece of white chocolate and images from the attraction’s stretching room.

There are four variations, but Disney is only serving them one at a time, Meg Franz, project manager of food and beverage for Magic Kingdom, told me. They’ll be rotated out during the 50th celebration.

“Right now, we’re serving this one called the lady on the gravestone. It’s a citrus cake with a raspberry buttercream,” Franz said. “The idea behind this is it’s all about the stretch portraits in the stretch room. All of the artwork is exact from the portrait. … So you push the cake pop up, and the portrait stretches with it.”

The flavors will change with each portrait, she said.

“The cake flavors, believe it or not, match the picture. So the one that has the dynamite it’s a cinnamon cake type of thing, there’s a little bit of firecracker in there,” Franz said.

The chilling chamber pops sell for $5.49 apiece.

As a nonalcoholic Mansion-related chaser at Sleepy Hollow, I had the Doom Berry. It’s blackberry ginger ale with colorful sugar. It was refreshing, bubbly and came with a disposable straw dotted with those eyes again. That costs $4.99.

Spotted at SeaWorld Orlando’s parking lot: Dedicated lanes for passholders. I’m told it’s a test. I hope it passes.

Universal Orlando has offered this in the past as a temporary passholder benefit, and it currently has a passholders-only entry into Islands of Adventure theme park from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. That’s set to expire May 26.

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Walt Disney World typically has passholder lanes open at all four park entrances.

There are other worthy annual passholder benefits, especially for merchandise and food, but I like this fast lane trend because it lessens the chance that the people in front of you have mucked up the traffic flow because they have the wrong ticket, wrong finger or wrong resort.

Got an email from a reader who had experienced a couple of my top peeves in one line. First, the line cutters, followed by diners who have stood in line and still don’t know what they want to order. Arg. Sigh.

I’m not going to say which of our local parks that could be, because it could be any of them at any time. Line cutters at restaurants and attractions are upsetting, but the cure is to hire more employees to act as mall cops, and that’s seeming unlikely these days.

But thumbs-up to the eateries who have foiled a related peeve where one person in the party orders while another scouts out for a table to reserve. Then we are left with people standing and holding food without tables and people sitting at tables without food. Thus, I’m a fan of the seating system at Three Broomsticks at Islands of Adventure. Others, take note, please.

I can’t fix the indecision makers as quickly, but I will point to mobile ordering as a helpful tool.

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