Welcome back to another Loo Review! This week's promises to be chock-full of cotton candy goodness; but, before we get started, we just want to say "thanks" to all of you. We've hit over 2000 "Likes" on Facebook this week: something we never thought we'd see in our first year, let alone the less than 8 weeks the blog has been live. Your efforts to share our posts and refer your friends has been nothing short of touching. Thank you! Please, rest assured, your help has served to really get us revved up for this site's future: we've alluded to big plans for the blog in the past (which, we know, sounds silly given what we're all about here), and your support will only serve to get the attention of those who can really help us catapault our little idea into something much bigger. So, from the bottom of our hearts, please accept our most sincere thanks for all your generous support. You guys are great!!!
Alright, mushy stuff done. This week, we're headed to the circus!
Not just any circus will do, mind you. Oh no, this isn't some sawdust-caked midway lined with rigged games and carney barkers. This is a real class act, folks. This week, we're winding our way through New Fantasyland, headed for the cleanest, most family-friendly circus we know: Magic Kingdom's Storybook Circus!
We know, we know: there are many who still lament the loss of Mickey's Toontown Fair (which was officially supplanted by Storybook Circus in 2012); yet, this is a pretty neat area of the park. Of course, it's got the Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Barnstormer rides along with Big Top Souveniers, one of our favorite gift shops (it's got gifts AND food: my MagicBand bursts into flames everytime I walk in there -- ed.) and Pete's Silly Sideshow meet and greet. How about Casey Jr Splash 'N Soak Station, where little kids (and big ones, too) can get spit on by circus animals (never underestimate the cooling effect of animal spit at Walt Disney World in July -- just ask that camel in Adventureland)? Lastly, there's a quiet little train station in the rear of the circus where folks can hitch a ride on Walt Disney World Railroad.
Elephants preparing to blow snot all over those intrepid visitors brave enough to venture too close:
A close up of one of those booger-hoses:
But wait: what's that little building tucked-in behind the animal cars? We'll have to dodge some frisky elephants to get there .... Forging ahead, we see this:
Ah, of course! It's the subject of this week's review. Ladies and gentlemen, performing under the big top (just to the left of the bearded lady and to the right of The Flying Atencio Brothers), we proudly present: Magic Kingdom's Storybook Circus Loo! (You did know there was going to be a restroom at the heart of this thing, right?)
The bank of restrooms in Storybook Circus sits near the very back of this section of the park, adjacent to the railroad. You can see it's a brick building, constructed to look just like an old railway station -- and it really does. Imagineering did a really great job on this building's facade.
There are two arched porticos, each one leading to a different gender's restroom. Between the two (behind the faux windowed doors) sits the companion restroom.
Here's a closer look at one of the restroom's points of entry. Check out the faux streetcar rails leading from the portico out towards Casey Jr:
Let's walk under the portico and get a closer look at the entrance to the loo. Notice the weathered green siding, the stained wood plank door leading into the restroom itself:
Here's our fella: decked out in brass, blue and red (it looks like a sign for the restroom at the post office -- ed).
Enough lolly-gagging outside, let's go on in:
You can see the brick motif of the building's exterior carries into the interior. It's a bit of a departure from the more homey, weathered wood of the area just inside the portico. The lines are more clean and formal, the colors more subdued. This look is identical to the inside of the restroom. See for yourself:
Creams and browns are the colors here: subway tile lines the walls. A modern appearing accent strip runs horizontally throughout, several feet below the ceiling. Brick-like tile is on the floor; and, look: the train rail motif extends from the room's entrance all the way to the ADA stall, carried out via two strips of green/white "rails". See below for a close up:
SIX(!) urinals afford all circus employees the chance to take a break. Notice the little one on the left for Tom Thumb. Cream tile, white stalls, cream dividers -- very clean, retro-modern. It's appealing.
Here's another look at the lineup of usual suspects. Notice, by the way, how the accent strip of LED lights near the wall make the walls glow? It's a pretty cool effect in here, draws the eye to where we need to go and take care of business.
Five spacious stalls round out the facilities. If you haven't already figured it out, this is a large loo. It's not as wide as some on property, but it's quite long and is set up to accommodate a ton of traffic (probably more than is needed back here, honestly).
Here's a looksie inside the ADA compliant stall: this one is huge. It sits at the very end of the restroom, taking up the length of the entire back wall, and could easily accommodate the fat man, the beareded lady and 20 clowns (along with the car they're crammed into).
View of the sink within the ADA compliant stall. On a side note, we've discovered it's difficult to capture images of mirrors without catching the photographer's reflection in the photo. Vampires have a huge advantage on humans when it comes to this issue.
And here's the bank of sinks. Only two, which is less than usual for a restroom of this size (but hey, let's be honest: how many people working for the circus actually wash their hands? -- ed). At the far end of the sinks is the changing station -- NOT made of stainless steel this time.
Imagineers, the babies salute you for your compassion.
Here's a close-up of the lighting running along the central portion of the room. These lights are really cool: they shed a subdued yellow, which gives the central part of the restroom a warm glow and further serves to draw the eye towards the more well-lit portions of the rooms walls (where the sinks, urinals and toilets sit).
Look out, by the way, if you come to this restroom. This poor man is about to slip and fall, ensuring not only a trip to the hospital, but also a phone call to his lawyer.
As we leave the Storybook Circus restrooms, we see a weathered plank door to our left. This door is for cast members only (darn the luck -- I wonder what's in there -- probably a fridge full of free Mickey bars). To the right of the door, however, our eyes are drawn to a smaller fixture.
The structure is a wood-plank door covering an alcove housing a fire extinguisher. Notice the wording on the door: Carolwood Fire Dept. Gotta love the Imagineers -- they are so adept at sneaking little nods to Walt into their attractions, and this restroom is no exception.
Walt and Lillian Disney lived on North Carolwood Drive, not too far from Beverly Hills from the late 1940's onward. Fans of Walt know that, while living here, he built his now famous barn in which he ultimately constructed and housed his miniature steam locomotive (named Lillie Belle, after his wife) and it's associated train. Walt lay track throughout his expansive property, dubbing it the Carolwood Pacific Railway.
Here's a photo of Walt riding Lillie Belle on the studio lot (he moved the engine from his home to the studio in 1953):
What a great photo, yes? It reminds us of the big kid in him, inspiring us to hang on to the kid in all of ourselves, too: one of the many reasons so many still adore Walt and what he stood for to this day, nearly 50 years after his death.
WDW Loo Review Recap of Storybook Circus Restrooms at Magic Kingdom:
Capacity: Large (6 urinals, 5 stalls -- one of them a spacious ADA compliant stall)
Changing Station: Yes
Companion Restroom: Yes
Access: Good (it's in one of the far corners of the park)
OVERALL RATING: 4/5 urinal wafers
Summary: This is a nice one: great theming, clean, not too busy with a nod to Walt, himself. Take it upon yourself to use this loo if you're in the neighborhood (or even if you're not -- it's worth the trip from Tomorrowland to see this facility).
That wraps up another Loo Review. Again, we thank you for taking the time to visit our site and read our work. This is, as strangely as it sounds given the content reviewed, truly a labor of love for us. We hope it shows. Don't forget to like us on Facebook if you haven't already. Oh, and if you've got Facebook friends who love Disney as much as we do, why not share our posts, too? We appreciate the support!
Until next week, friends!
Loo Review Matt