In Need of Pixie Dust
Welcome back, one and all, to another, world-exclusive, WDW Loo Review! We here at the home office are absolutely thrilled you've joined us! We know you have many WDW restroom review sites from which to choose (really? -- ed), and we consider ourselves the luckiest bloggers in the world that you've chosen ours! Thank you!
For those of you long-time site followers, you know we strive to maintain a very positive attitude here. WDW is, for most, a happy place, and we truly work hard to try and mimic that attitude here as well. That said, sometimes life gives us lemons and there's no pitcher of water or sugar included. Sometimes, even the rosiest of colored lenses can't improve the perspective afforded. Sometimes, even Pixar swings and misses (okay, that one is simply not true -- ed).
Today, we're visiting a restroom that really let us down. REALLY. LET. US. DOWN.
Now, we've covered a few sketchy loos on-property over the last year or so (American Adventure/Liberty Inn Loo, anyone?), but, for the most part, the Department of Loo Imagineering does a superb job in designing inspired, well-themed places for us to attend to nature's duties. That said, to say we're terribly disappointed in this one is an understatement. Today, we venture to the Ticket and Transportation Center to pay a visit (and hopefully our last respects) to the TTC Eastside Loo!
Unless you've never been to Magic Kingdom, one of the MK resorts or to EPCOT, you've definitely been to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC, for short). You know, it's that area where you can board the monorail or ferry to MK, take the EPCOT monorail to ... well, EPCOT -- all from the convenience of a series of monstrously-large parking lots. The TTC is a place we love to hate -- it's busy, no doubt, but the hustle and bustle is often offset by the anticipation of traveling to our favorite parks. The sights and sounds of the Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Resort Monorails along with those of the "Admiral Joe Fowler" and "General Joe Potter" really whets our appetite for all things to come.
That said, it's not an uncommon need to make a quick pit-stop before heading to either of these destinations. After all, the traffic is often snarled and the hike from the parking lot(s) can be far. Mother Nature waits for no one, and the Dept. of Loo Imagineering clearly acknowledged this when designing the TTC: there's not one, but TWO, loos in this area. Both restrooms sit just beyond the entrance to the TTC. The Westside TTC Loo sits near the ferry launch, while the Eastside one resides near the ramps leading towards "your highway in the sky". We'll eventually cover the Westside TTC Loo -- today, however, we shift our focus eastward.
Below is a photo of the Eastside building which houses the loo. There are two of these low, grey, geometrically-interesting buildings here in the TTC plaza, and as you can see, this one sits adjacent to the vast bus parking area.
It's not a very attractive structure; however, as we'll soon see, it's the Taj Mahal when compared to the loo hiding within.
Here's a closer look at the loo exterior. The women's loo sits to the left, the men's on the right. Smack dab in the middle (and marked by a salmon-colored door) is the family/ADA loo. At this point, we were a little underwhelmed. After all, the TTC is the gateway to our second home! We wanted this exterior to really POP! That said, there are plenty of bland, dated loos on property whose plain exteriors hide treasure within. We were in hopes that would be the case in the TTC as well.
Another look at the TTC's East Side Loo:
Ladies first! Fairly nondescript, but colorful and clean, sign outside the women's loo.
Aaand, here's this fellow. Sans dress, his sign looks similar to his neighbor's.
Last, but far from least, here's the sign marking the way to the companion loo. If you look closely, the "M" in "COMPANION" is unusually worn, as though someone has been trying to rub the paint off of it at night (we hear Michael Eisner still hasn't gotten over things -- we suspect it's him -- ed).
We'll get a look inside the companion loo AFTER we pay a visit to the men's side.
Here's the approach to the men's loo. It's a dark journey, made lighter by the light grey paint on the wall and the salmon-colored door frame at hallway's end. To our right are a series of large, white-painted, dusty air vent panels (Geez, we know the men's loo smells, but do they have to make it this obvious?).
And, yes, that's me in the mirror. Not to go too far off the beaten path, but one never realizes how hard it is to take photos of a restroom until confronted with the fact that mirrors are EVERYWHERE! Nobody wants to see the photographer's reflection (let alone the photographer -- I gained a lot of weight over the holidays!). It's photos like these that make me wish I was a vampire -- my reflection woes would be a thing of the past. Alas, I digress ....
Let's go on in!
Alright: so, at first glance, this place doesn't look so bad. Yes, it features that dated tile that is displayed in so many of the MK restrooms, and the odd brown/salmon color is carried into the loo from the exterior in the form of a double-wide accent strip of wall tile. All that acknowledged, we don't mind loos that look like they haven't been updated since the 80's -- in fact, we find their kitsch a little charming.
This photo is taken from the rear of the loo, by the way, so from its entrance, the urinals sit on your right, the sinks on the left.
Here's a closer look at those sinks, by the way. Stark white walls minimally contrasted by slightly-off white sinks make the countertop and basins, even when clean (and they weren't during our visit), look perpetually dirty. At least there are 5 basins to aid throughput.
Two of the faucets were dripping, the basins and adjacent counters annoyingly wet, slimy.
A bank of white urinals lines the opposite wall. These are modern looking white basins separated by WDW's tried-and-true stainless steel dividers. 6 large basins and a smaller one (for Huey, Louie or Dewey) further serve to increase the capacity of the loo.
A close-up of the tile beneath our feet: here is the brown/red/cream pattern featured heavily in many of the older park loos on-property. It's pretty standard stuff, and we don't mind it too much by itself; however, given there's not much color in this loo (there's brown, salmon and white), this pattern simply adds to the restroom's blandness.
The loo's back wall (and, to a lesser extent, the wall shared by the sink basins) houses this tiny loo's numerous stalls. Slate doors in tan further feed the overall motif here (psst! The motif is BROWN! -- ed).
And here's a peek into the loo's ADA stall. It's among one of the smaller ADA-compliant stalls we've found. That said, there's still plenty of room in here, and the stall has it's own dedicated sink and wastebin. This stall was a little trashed on the day of our visit (you don't even want to know what was waiting for us in the toilet), although it sadly was the cleanest of the bunch.
Though we have no personal vested interest in the issue, we here at WDW Loo Review are outraged on behalf of infants worldwide over the use of another stainless steel changing station! This is not the most magical way to get your toddler amped-up over his/her coming visit to Magic Kingdom! Loo Imagineers, these babies aren't Elsa of Arendelle!
The baby changing station is recessed within the wall shared with this loo's exit. Given our close proximity, we chose to quickly proceed out the door of this loo, which we've decided (with apologies offered to DHS Hollywood Brown Derby fans) to call "The Brown Dirty".
And yet, as we were leaving, we found ourselves greeted by this parting shot:
It's hard to notice due to the lighting, but the floor here is undulating, many original tiles cracked, others replaced by those of a non-matching color. It was a fitting cherry perched atop this sundae of TTC disappointment!
Here's a glance into the companion loo. It was also fairly well-used that day, but was spacious enough for a family of 6 or a large wheelchair + attendants. Moreover, we have to give props to this tile -- the only splash of color in this loo!
White tile, interspersed with green, purple and yellow, serves as a welcome counterpoint to the main loo's brown theme.
And, with that, we're getting the heck outta this loo! Here's the wrap-up!
WDW Loo Review Recap of the Transportation and Ticket Center's Eastside Loo ("The Brown Dirty"):
Capacity: Surprisingly Large (six urinals, five stalls -- one ADA-compliant)
Cleanliness: Well-used (on the day of our visit)
Theming: If you love the color brown, you'll never want to leave (and you may not get to leave if you trip over that uneven tile on the way out).
Changing Station: Yes! (Brrrrrr!)
Companion Restroom: Yes
OVERALL RATING: 1.5/5 urinal wafers
Look, we want to give every loo a high score; and, in general, we are able to find several qualities to redeem even some of the more worn loos on property. That said, HOLY COW! Loo Imagineers, you can do much better than this. We want a trip to the TTC loo to further stoke the fires of anticipation as we prepare to visit our favorite place on Earth (or to fan the flames of nostalgia as we prepare to leave it). This loo does neither. It is uninspired, in disrepair and was a mess the day of our visit (which was mid-week, at 1:30PM in the off-season -- a low traffic day, for sure). Please, please give this restroom a much-needed revamp. Until then, we'll answer nature's call elsewhere.
Next time, friends, we'll visit one of our favorites! Stay tuned! Until then, bottoms down and thumbs up!
Loo Review Matt