Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-Pendous in Seuss Landing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has been closed for refurbishment since last summer, but signs indicate we could be getting closer to a reopening date. The exterior of the building hasn’t changed much, but now we have a first look at the newly remodeled interior. Based on the changes, it seems like the rumors are true that the restaurant will become mobile order only.
The theme has remained the same, with Mr. Sneelock swinging on the flying trapeze and that wonderous walrus named Rolf performing a balancing act in the circus ring. The seating area looks very similar, but the booths have been redone. The layout has changed to make more space for additional tables. The circus train car booth seating has also stayed the same. The theme hasn’t changed, but there are a few other changes to the set up of the restaurant. The biggest change is where the food used to be served.
The buffet area that guests would order food from has been completely removed. Prior to the refurbishment, guests would wait in cafeteria-style lines to get their food and then take a seat in the restaurant. Universal is moving away from this style of restaurant experience, now urging guests to take a seat and mobile order through the app.
The serving areas and registers are completely gone. Walls with Seuss artwork and photo ops have taken up the space where the food use to be served, along with the addition of even more seating inside the restaurant. It also appears that the Freestyle machines might be moving to the opposite side of the restaurant.
With these changes, guests never see their food being prepared or sitting in windows waiting to be delivered. All of this is done backstage out of guest view. The process will be similar to visiting Minion Cafe at Universal Studios Florida, where guests will mobile order through the Universal Orlando Resort app and then Team Members will deliver the food directly to them. Guests won’t need to wait in lines to order and pick up food or wander around in search of a table. This is also what happened when Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe closed and transformed in the new Illumination’s Minion Cafe. Minion Cafe is mobile order only and we expect more restaurants will follow. We may see new methods of tracking for food delivery used at Epic Universe, too.
The space looks much more open now. There’s even a new statue of a stack of elephants in the circus ring. One other thing to note is that the condiment station was removed and there is a small serving station instead. It seems likely that guests will be served on dishes instead of paper plates, just like Minion Cafe. At this time, Mel’s Drive-In is also undergoing a lengthy refurbishment. We expect Mel’s could reopen with the same changes and require guests to mobile order.
The new menu for Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous was recently revealed on the Universal Orlando app, so we’ll be eager to try out everything when the restaurant reopens. The restaurant should hopefully reopen at the end of this month, but be sure to stay tuned for more updates.
How do you feel about Universal Orlando Resort requiring guests to use the Universal Orlando app to mobile order food? Universal Orlando retired paper maps recently, requiring guests to download the Universal Orlando app to access park maps as well. How do you feel about all of these new updates that require you to spend more time on your phone while in the parks? Do you find these systems to work better for you or do they create more of a hassle? Let us know in the comments!