Sea Turtles, Mate.
Avast ye land lovers! Hear me now or you'll be payin' your respects later whilst biding your time in Davy Jones' Locker! This week, we be sailin' the high seas in search of a most desirable Loo! Indeed, the journey be a long one from last week's port at DHS. We be weighin' anchor at Crescent Lake, weathering the waves of World Showcase Lagoon as ye scurvy dogs sail towards that a-cursed monorail abomination. We'll hoist the mainsail at the Transportation and Ticket Center, and, if King Triton be in a friendly-type mood, we'll cross Seven Seas Lagoon, hopin' to be arrivin' to Walt's Kingdom by nightfall. Aye, it's bound to be a-tryin' trip, and some of ye surely be not makin' the return journey. Yet, cast no aspersion and have ye no doubt, lads: the dangers be worth it! For this week, we'll make port in Magic Kingdom. Aye, this week, we be makin' landfall on Tortuga, and our first stop be none other than her namesake tavern. So, what be ye waitin' for, me hardies? Man the cannons, hoist the colors and heave like you've no tomorrow. Tortuga Tavern awaits!
All that pirate speak has made us parched -- anyone have any grog? No? Well then, let's start the review, shall we?
Tortuga Tavern is located in Adventureland, across from the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. It's one of Magic Kingdom's several counter service restaurants that open only on busier days at the park (loaded waffle fries at Golden Oak Outpost, anyone? -- ed.). Luckily, even if the restaurant is closed, the restrooms are fully accessible every day; and, even though the restrooms see more traffic than they used to thanks to a Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom station located just adjacent to them, Tortuga Tavern remains a rare quiet place to conduct business in what is traditionally a busy part of Magic Kingdom.
Here's a close up of the Tavern's hanging sign (you can see the stage for Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial in the background). Established in 1673 -- long before Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 -- who knew?
Another sign hanging over the main entrance to Tortuga Tavern:
Heading towards the rear of the restaurant (to the left of the counter service area as you head into the Tavern), there is a large area for seating with multiple tables situated near a fireplace (the fireplace serving as a Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom station).
Here's a band of scurvied pirates playing Sorcerer's in front of said fireplace. PUSH is watching.
Here's a close of up the Caballeros Sign seen in the background of the above photo:
Enough lingering. Let's forge ahead, Caballeros! Moving underneath the men's room sign, we turn left and move down a hallway towards the restroom. Before stepping in, however, it's worth noting the wall art.
Gander at this young lass beckoning we buccaneers with her come hither look:
And check out this tropical scene. One can only hope the restroom ahead is half as beautiful....
Finally, after admiring the Tavern's wall hangings, we come to a red-planked door, festooned with a wood carving of a caballero (He's going to poke his left foot with that cutlass if he's not careful). We've arrived, gents!
And here we are: not too shabby, right? At first, the loo seems fairly standard, but take a closer look. The stalls are in terra cotta, there is a cool blue-green hued Spanish-style accent tile strip situated near the ceiling, and the floor incorporates the colors of both. This restroom wasn't just thrown together, folks: someone really put some thought into it's design. It's fairly unique for the location and definitely fits the theme of a tavern located off the Spanish Main (minus the goats, wenches and empty bottles of rum, of course).
Take a look:
Check out the digs inside a stall! This is the ADA compliant one, and it's huge. Plenty of space for a even the biggest pirate's booty (and by booty, we mean treasure -- geez, what did you think we meant? -- ed.). Once again, look at all the toilet paper! Pirates are a messy lot, and the Imagineers clearly wanted the facilities to be prepared.
Two urinals (one for the the captain, one for everyone else) are separated by a terra cotta colored divider:
And check out the urinal a little more closely. This is a unique style of Kohler basin that isn't seen too often in the restroom's on property. Its smaller and rounder than most, and it lacks the traditional pipe running vertically off the top lip: a more modern-looking urinal than one would expect from a restroom built in 1673.
Here's a closer look at the decorative strip of accent tile that runs horizontally near the ceiling throughout the restroom. Pebbled squares and triangles of blue, olive green and cream are separated by thin lines of brown in each larger square. It definitely fits for the location!
And here's a close-up of the floor tile. See how it incorporates the blue -ish hue from the accent strip, the terra cotta from the stalls and the cream color from the walls? This is, as far as I know, the only place where this tile pattern is used on property. One thing we'll see soon, is that some parks use and reuse restroom tile patterns -- especially for the floor. The Loo Review has not found this one used anywhere else (so far). The floor was a little dirty the day of our review.
Here's a closer view of the sink station. Plenty of access to wash one's hook after taking care of business.
And what have we here? Another stainless steel baby changing station? I guess pirate babies must have remarkable resolve -- who else could tolerate their tender cheeks on an ice cold countertop?
And that wraps up our visit to the little pirate's room; however, the theming of Tortuga Tavern is so good, we just had to capture a few photos of the women's room area. Here's a view of the hallway leading to the ladies' room from the fireplace area. Check out the water fountain on the left -- very cool looking yellow Spanish tile!
Here's a closer view of the sign welcoming Damas to their loo:
And lest the damas feel left out, there's plenty of wall art outside their restroom as well. This is a painting of my ride: check it out, ladies ... it's paid for.
Close up of the wood-carved sign on the women's room door. Notice this woman is petting an invisible donkey with her right hand.
But wait, there's more! There are some really cool props outside of the restrooms, including this window nook housing jugs, pitchers, half-burned candles. There's even a large book opened to the crew lists for two famous ships: Captain Sparrow's (or Barbossa's -- depending on the moment) The Black Pearl and Captain Teach's Queen Anne's Revenge. It's definitely worth taking a closer look at these pages -- there are some cool nods to the movies within.
As we exit Tortuga Tavern, we leave via a separate doorway situated to the left of the water fountain next to the women's room, entering this quiet little area. I love this spot. It's a cool Spanish-style courtyard that's never crowded and is well-shaded, and the bench surrounding the potted plants and tree on the right makes for a great place to sit. Notice how Imagineering once again employs the technique of forced perspective to add a sense of height here. For the record, the stairs are blocked off at their base and also near the top. I'm not sure even Jack Sparrow himself could get up there without getting in trouble.
WDW Loo Review Recap of Tortuga Tavern Restrooms at Magic Kingdom:
Capacity: Medium (2 urinals, 2 stalls -- one ADA compliant)
Cleanliness: Medium (wet countertops, few debris on floor during our visit)
Changing Station: Yes
Companion Restroom: No
OVERALL RATING: 4/5 urinal wafers
Summary: Well-worth the trek to the rear of Adventureland, the well-themed restrooms at Tortuga Tavern are surprisingly quiet and under-used (but only on days when the restaurant is closed for service). Again, regardless of whether the restaurant is open, the restrooms are always accessible. Definitely give this one a try next time nature calls when you're playing Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom!
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Have a magical week, everyone! Come back next week for another Loo Review!
Loo Review Matt