Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour, bonjour, bonjour!
It’s time to once again venture forth into new and unexplored territories, searching both low and lower for a loo to review!
Before we get cracking on this week’s featured adventure, we’d like to take a moment to welcome back our repeat customers. You know who you are: an elite, and somewhat mentally-suspect group of die-hard Disney fanatics, so desperate to recapture that Disney Parks and Resorts magic you’ll even take time out of your week to look at photos of on-property restrooms.
Hey now: don’t get us wrong — we think that’s a great thing! Look, for many of us, Disney magic is food for our souls, and if visiting this blog is one way (albeit a strange way — ed) to keep us mentally and emotionally nourished during those times we’re away from our favorite place on Earth, then sign us up! So, don’t take any guff from those family members and co-workers who look over your shoulder and see you frequenting this website! Stand proud and tall, plungers held high, mouse ears rakishly cocked on the crowns of your heads! You are an official member of the WDW Loo Review Crew, and you’re proud to be one!
Oh, and if you’re a new visitor to this site, welcome into the fold. We know we’re an odd bunch, but, let’s be honest, you wouldn’t have stumbled through the barren internet wasteland to find us here unless your soul wasn’t thirsting for some Disney magic as well. We get it: and we’re happy you’re here! You’re among friends! In case you didn’t know, we publish a new and exclusive in-depth review of a different Disney Parks and Resorts restroom each week. Our reviews are light-hearted, a little tongue-in-cheek and chock full of the kinds of photos that will remind you of times well-spent on-property. Thanks for giving us a try, and know we’d love to see you back next week!
Alright: time to start this week’s review. We’re back in Magic Kingdom, making our way to the rear of the park, New Fantasyland to be exact. We love it back here: Imagineering really took things to the next level for this addition to the Kingdom’s most popular land. Let’s resist the temptation to snag a Pot Roast Mac ’n Cheese from Friar’s Nook as we head north toward -- and then past -- Beast’s Castle (Mmmm: Croque madame at Be Our Guest, anyone?), crossing the bridge into Belle’s Village square beyond.
Has anyone ever looked down while crossing this bridge? The amount of thought that goes into every detail put into the parks never ceases to astound, and this is often most apparent in the small things. This bridge, for example: its concrete was poured to look give the appearance of a dirt road. Pave stones occasionally punctuate what is otherwise a thoroughfare pockmarked with faux wagon wheel tracks, horseshoe prints, large cracks. This is clearly the main road leading into Belle’s Village, and follow it we shall, right up to the courtyard outside Gaston’s Tavern!
The centerpiece here is the fountain: a bronzed Gaston standing astride the stunted and currently flummoxed LeFou as he fumbles to catch the ale pouring from Gaston’s casks. Or maybe LeFou’s bladder is simply full, taunted by the perpetual running water here? Perhaps we should direct this nefarious sidekick to the nearest loo?
There! Moving just beyond and to the west of the fountain, we spy a sign perched on the exterior of Gaston’s Tavern. We’re close, folks! We can smell it — er, feel it.
Past the archway, past the sign, we’ve found this week’s featured restroom: The Loo at Gaston’s Tavern!
This is a well-themed exterior. The building housing the loo is constructed to look like a humble French cottage, fitting well into the Belle’s Village motif. Look at the small windows, adorned with flower boxes on the second floor! This is a loo that promises all the creature comforts of home! Also, be sure to check out the water fountain disguised as a hand-pump adjacent to the loo:
Here’s the men’s room sign, featuring the silhouette of a man, his back to us, looking at a flying saucer off in the distance while holding an upside-down broom (or maybe it’s just a humble French farmer? — ed):
And, never fear ladies: you have your own sign. This one is the silhouette of a young superheroine, wearing a graduation cap, her cape billowing behind her:
Finally, here’s the companion restroom sign: hey, why is that guy threatening the fellow in the wheelchair with his broom?! Someone call Park Security!
Let’s head inside to the men’s loo. An arched doorway, hewn of hearty wood, marks our path:
Oh man, wouldn't you know it: here’s this guy again. Someone should call our friend out front with the broom to sweep away the water before this fellow kills himself.
Viola! We're in! Let's check out the digs!
This is an inviting loo! A variety of faux-hardwood planks line the floor, giving the entire restroom a rustic and comfortable feel. Beige bricks, carefully mortared, stack up to form the room’s walls, and, from above, the entire room is bathed in a warm orange from stained glass fixtures. And folks, this restroom is quiet: we visited here in mid-morning and were the only ones in here for over 10 minutes. I suspect traffic picks-up when Gaston is just outside for character appearances.
Here's a closer look at the floor:
Take a look at the light fixtures, you’ll see what we mean. Check out the way the light is spread along the ceiling in a flame-like pattern of which even Lumiere would be jealous:
Five urinals, which are remarkably modern-appearing for a loo tucked inside a humble French cottage (Sacrebleu!) line one wall. Look at how just how spotless this loo is maintained: clearly Cogsworth has kept his minute hand on the house staff, ensuring this restroom is kept clean for every monsieur!
Here’s a look at the loo, standing at its rear and looking toward the entrance/exit. We can now see that one of those urinals is sized for LeFou. Closer to us, however, are three stalls as seen in the photo below. Closer to us still, in fact, right behind us, is the ADA compliant stall, which we’ll see in just a moment. Two other things to point out in this photo: 1). the large mirror near the exit (likely installed by invaders and encroachers! — sorry, couldn’t resist — ed); and, 2). the Dyson Airblade in the lower left. Don’t you just love the Airbladea? Using them reminds me of sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car, holding my hand out the window while we were cruising down the highway. Anyone ever palmed a bug while doing that? It stings!
Inside the ADA stall we find there’s plenty of room here. Once again, the Department of Loo Imagineering has ensured more than adequate space is available to guests with special needs. Moreover, there are four (count ‘em! four!!!) rolls of toilet paper here — enough to take care of personal business with plenty to spare for tee-peeing Beast’s Castle (Come on, you know he deserves it!).
Our business complete, we head back outside, catching one more detail:
There’s this little door, measuring about 18 inches in height, situated on a wall in the small courtyard area just outside the restrooms. It’s got hinges and a latch … and we have absolutely no idea what it means. Is this a tribute to Mickey (being a mouse and all, this looks a lot like a mouse-sized door)? What looks like an access point to the underground (a manhole cover?) sits right in front of the door; so, does the door provide additional access to some utility? Did Imagineers simply place it here to play with our minds? Folks, we’ve scoured our brains and the web to try and identify the significance of this one little structure — and we can find nothing!
So, we’d love your input. Seriously: if you know the “magic” behind this tiny door, and can cite something definitive to back up your knowledge, please (we’re begging you — ed) let us know! We’ll even sweeten the pot: whomever can provide THE answer for us will get an official WDWLooReview “Loo Review Crew” athletic t-shirt! What?!! We’ve got merch?! You bet we do — but only for the person who can figure this one out for us.
So, what are you waiting for? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment via the website! By the way, we’d love to hear from you even if you don’t have the answer — let us know what we can do better to make your visits with us even more fun!
Alright, here’s the recap …
WDW Loo Review Recap of Gaston's Tavern Loo in New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom:
Capacity: Large (five urinals, four stalls -- one ADA compliant)
Cleanliness: Spotless. Absolutely spotless
Changing Station: Yes
Companion Restroom: Yes
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5 urinal wafers
Summary: Look, you know you're going to be in New Fantasyland anyway, so why not stop by the Gaston's Tavern Loo after having one too many LeFou's Brews? This restroom is so steeped in the Belle's Village motif: it really must be seen in person to be believed. Kudos, WDW, for giving us this gem of a loo!
Thank you, once again, for stopping by this week! Be sure to come back next week for another piping-hot loo review, fresh from the oven!
Until then: bottoms down and thumbs up! Have a wonderful week, everyone.
Loo Review Matt