It came down to the wire but the recipient of The Stinkiest Portal Award is Tortuga Tavern. It came as no surprise to me and I was very happy to see the Emporium finish in a close second with Agrabah Bazzar rounding out the competition. The number one complaint I received about this portal is that it’s in a dining location. Not only is it in a seating area it’s also near the restrooms so you’ll almost always get people walking in front of you while you’re trying to cast spells. When the portal is busy the line backs up to the topping bar and ends up blocking it and the rear seating area. What makes matters worse is that you are supposed to line up out the side door to prevent that from happening. However no one ever follows directions and the line always ends up backing up to the topping bar. So if you’re trying stuff your burrito, you might as well grab some of Tiana’s Hot Sauce and get in line.
Many will argue that it is only bad during the lunch rush but I’m sorry that simply is not the case. You have issues in the later hours when the trading madness ensues. I’ve experienced Tortuga a few times in the late hours and have had good and bad experiences. I received a few emails over the weekend from folks telling me why they voted for TT. One reader said “The people who wanted to trade with us were too pushy” and described the atmosphere as “overwhelming” There were a handful of positive comments as well, another reader said “We met a nice couple there, they gave our son a stack of cards for nothing and he couldn’t have been happier.” As nice as that was to hear, I do agree that it is very overwhelming. Imagine yourself as a first time sorcerer and there are people approaching you left and right to trade. That’s a lot to take in for some folks.
Can we make this location better? It’s possible. Of course It’s not going to move out of the restaurant, but we can do our part to fix some problems. It starts with the line, If a CM asks you to line up out the side door, listen to them. They’re just trying to their job, they need to keep the area clean, refill toppings, empty the trash, etc. Remember first and foremost it’s a restaurant people are eating, let them get to the condiments, napkins, & utensils. Finally, If people don’t want to trade, just leave it at that. There are plenty of locals, CM’s, and regulars that will trade with you. There’s no need to be pushy. This is supposed to be fun for everybody, right?