Hello, and welcome to [B]Dateline Disney World!![/B] This week, we have a massive Walt Disney World update from the [B]Magic Kingdom[/B], with both [B]New Fantasyland[/B] news and believe it or not, [B]Halloween decorations[/B]!! We also have some news and rumors to cover from [B]Disney’s Hollywood Studios[/B]. That said, tons to get to today, so let’s get started!!


Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!


The crowd was very lightly crowded this week when I was there, as you can see from the wait times posted here.



Why, yes, I will take a 10 minute wait for Big Thunder and a 20 minute wait for Splash Mountain!

[center][size=5][b]Halloween in August[/b][/size]

I know it seems way too early for it, but the Magic Kingdom has already made its transition into Halloween time. The park looks great all decked out!


Mickey pumpkins are everywhere!



Details are all up and down Main Street.





Fall themed bunting is also hung on Main Street.



The windows at the Emporium are decked out, as are the showcased merchandise tables.


Cast Members are also wearing Halloween hats!


Town Square has been decked out with its normal Halloween characters.



Advertisements are outside the park for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which starts September 11th.


There are two large stacks of pumpkins near the statue of Roy and Minnie, and there is a Photopass photographer stationed there now to capture your photo.


Liberty Square is also taking part in the fall decor.



This is my first fall season as a regular down here, does anyone know if Liberty Square is always decorated for fall? And if so, is it the only land that gets decorations?

[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]

Starting our New Fantasyland update over on the left with the Tangled/new restroom area, there was lots of progress since last week.



You can start to make out how the building(s) will look!




Over at the Castle Wall, work continues with new things popping up every week.


More details every week as well!


A tarp has gone up on this spire.


The walls have shifted a little bit on the way left, revealing part of the full wall to guests. Good news here, there is a bench that runs along this whole part!



Since the Imagineers have been quoted saying they want people to relax and hang out in New Fantasyland, this is a great start.

This is new.


These lights were installed inside the arches since last week.



This little guy also popped up on the left side.


Is it too much for me to hope this is a torch as opposed to just a regular light??


On the right side of the wall, progress continues.




At the Beauty and the Beast area, the grass on top of the rock work is looking wonderful.


Gaston’s and Bonjour! don’t look too different.



But, in between them, there was a lot of detail and color work done.


While walking through this area, I saw a Cast Member giving an impromptu preview of the new area to guests, which was very cool to see. You can tell that enthusiasm is high for this expansion to finally open, and not just amongst guests.


At the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the ride is starting to get wider. When they first started construction, they went way up on the big hill, and now have expanded to the sides significantly.



Lots of steel.




Also in Mine Train news, but not located in the park, some pieces of the track have arrived at the STOLPort right outside the parking area for the Magic Kingdom.


You can see the one piece of part of the lift hill, as it has those teeth on it.


Over at Under the Sea, things are basically the same on the outside.



Still more grass is going to be put down, which is a plus in my book.


Over in Storybook Circus, the big news this week is the installation of the marquee for Big Top Souvenirs!


Looks great in my opinion.


You can tell by the sign that there will be gifts, and also a place to buy treats, like caramel apples and cotton candy.




Here are some wider shots to show you how it fits on the tent and where it is in relation to Under the Sea.



Also in Storybook Circus, the back of the yellow tent has been painted go-away-green. I’m holding out hope that they’ll do a little more than that, since it doesn’t mesh so well with the yellow on the tent.


[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]

Over at Sir Mickey’s the refurb has received a picture scrim.



At the Jungle Cruise, walls are up for the removal of Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats.


Rumor has it that the Jungle Cruise will actually be expanded to use this portion of land. I think that’s a long shot, but I wouldn’t mind it happening. I’ll also settle for a nice and quiet seating area where I can enjoy my Citrus Swirls!



Welcome to DHS!


As you can see, crowds are pretty light this time of year. But somehow, Toy Story Midway Mania still manages to garner 95 minute waits. I’ll never be able to figure that out.

[center][size=5][b]Vroom Vroom??[/b][/size]

There was an absolutely huge rumor that came out this week that might signal DHS seeing a lot more of this guy and his pals.


Yes, rumors are flying around the internet, and from reliable sources at that, that Cars Land is in some way, shape, or form making its way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Whether it is the full blown experience with the full Route 66, or just Radiator Springs Racers remains to be seen, but from what is out there on the web, it really seems like this one is definitely going to happen. I have no confirmation of this, but many people in the Disney community seem to think this is the real deal. But where would it go? Right here.



If the rumors are to be believed, we will see the end of Lights! Motors! Action! very soon, and the area will be demolished to bring in Lightning and Mater. What do you think about all of this? Should Disney just clone attractions from coast to coast? Or should they create new and original things? DHS desperately needs something, but do you think Cars Land/Radiator Springs Racers is it?

[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]

Installation has begun for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights over on the Streets of America.



This project is a massive undertaking that takes a very long time to get done, hence the late August start.


Walls have gone up near the Jack Sparrow experience near One Man’s Dream.



Walls have also gone up at the smoking area near Star Tours and a planter near where Sounds Dangerous never runs.



This canopy that we reported on a few weeks ago is all finished, and definitely has something to do with the American Idol Experience, although I’m not sure what. It might even just be a handicapped accessible entrance.


And lastly, Halloween merch has made its way to all of the parks and resorts, not just Magic Kingdom.



Dave Avanzino Shadowbox Events – August 31st through September 2nd at WDW

If you are a fan of Dave Avanzino’s fabulous shadow boxes, as we are, you won’t want to miss your chance for him to create a special customized version of YOUR NAME! He’ll be at Walt Disney World August 31 through Sept 2. Be sure to let him know that MiceChat sent you. And we’d love to see what your personal shadow box looks like, so please be sure to share.

Here’s where you can find him this weekend:

Here’s where you’ll be able to find him at Walt Disney World this weekend:

  • August 31st – Noon – 3pm / 4pm – 6pm The Disney Gallery – Main Street, U.S.A., Magic Kingdom Park
  • September 1st – 4pm – 7pm Art of Disney – Downtown Disney Marketplace
  • September 2nd – 4pm – 7pm Art of Disney – Downtown Disney Marketplace

Well, that wraps things up for this week’s Dateline. Are you excited for the beginning of the Holiday Seasons at WDW? What do you think of Cars Land possibly coming to Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments!!

If you’d like to support Dateline Disney World and you shop regularly at Amazon.com, please CLICK HERE before you do. It won’t cost you any extra, and it’ll help out the column!!

If you enjoyed the column, especially the photos, and you want to check out more photos and tutorials on Disney photography, please check out my photo site, [URL=”http://www.DisneyPhotographyBlog.com”]Disney Photography Blog[/URL]. And if you like listening more than reading, you can hear us talk about Disney and photography on my podcast, [URL=”http://www.ISO5571.com”]ISO5571[/URL]

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  • WDW1971

    Thanks so much for the update! I really enjoy looking through all of your beautiful pictures.

    I am really hoping that once construction is finished that the old Fantasyland will receive much more landscaping. It looks way to bear right now but hopefully they are just waiting until the new area is open to start construction.

    As for the yellow tent, they better be planting large, full trees to cover up that go-away-green. Is it visible from the train?

    Overall though new Fantasyland looks very beautiful and could easily belong in Tokyo DisneySea.

    Over at DHS I really hope that Cars Land is not coming to WDW. It really does not fit in with the theme of the park. Just because the same person that worked on Cars Land was relocated to WDW does not mean that she is only the Cars Land lady. She has skills that can work on other projects.

    Also, POTC painted blue? Does it really stand out with the other peach soundstages?

  • DisneylandMaster

    ^I agree. Cars Land feels like a unique part of Disneyland/DCA that shouldn’t be replicated. Maybe a Marvel-themed attraction instead? While it seems to be a clever idea to see Cars replace cars, it doesn’t seem logical because of the fact that they would have two of the same ride. In a similar situation, I can’t believe how upset I was when Transformers was going to Universal Orlando. I felt that it was our chance to have our “Spiderman” ride, but now they have two. But it will be interesting to see how it will turn out.

  • MJM

    Thanks, Cory, wonderful update and interesting news.

    I like the idea of RSR coming to DHS, but I would prefer that the space and $$ allocated for this project be used for the RSR plus the rumored Monster’s Inc Coaster instead of the full-blown Carsland with it’s two other existing attractions. It would be more or less just an expansion of Pixar Place. This is just my preference. Others may prefer the full Carsland.

  • lnsemsf

    A few points… First it would be more accurate to say “next to the former Sounds Dangerous” as it’s been removed from park maps and the official website, It’s now an extinct attraction.. Also in response to an above comment, Marvel can’t come to Florida because of Universal and their perpetual exclusivity contract. As for Carsland coming to Florida, It wouldnt really bother me, though I’d prefer they do something different and put in new and unique rides, I’m in the minority of people who go to both coasts to experience their attractions. Most people just go to 1 or the other and for them having the Carsland attractions here in Florida would be a huge plus and a new must see attraction in a park that desperately needs one(or three.)

  • mtpelepele

    I keep hearing that Carsland “doesn’t fit the theme” of Hollywood Studios.. First, it doesn’t fit the theme of California Adventure all that well either. So, whatever. Second, why not? Simply theme a section of Hollywood Studios to Pixar movies. TSM, RSR, throw in a Monsters coaster and a Ratatouille dark ride, heck, use it as a good excuse to get Monsters and Buz Lightyear out of Tomorrowland, where they REALLY don’t belong. Is it such a stretch? You already basically have a Lucasland going on at the other side of the park. Hollywood Studios, featuring sections themed to…Hollywood studios? I like it.
    And on the exclusivity note, VERY few people will ever visit both California Adventure and Hollywood Studios. There’s not a wide enough shared customer base to justify having it at one and not the other.

    • Malificent2000

      If Im not mistaken, Cars is based off of route 66 and that road goes right through California, so it does fit in with the theme of CALIFORNIA Adventure.

  • Bronco21

    “Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a huge mess of random themes, outdated shows, and has a horrible layout, how should we fix it?” “I know we could do exactly what we have done here at Team Disney Orlando for the last 5-7 years and wait until Team Disney Anaheim pays to develop something amazing and then we just photocopy their plans and build it here!” “But how does that fix the problems with the park?” ” Who cares! They are tourists what do they know.” – Team Disney Orlando Planning Meeting 2008

    Disney Hollywood Studios has more problems than just needing one new E-ticket and some more shops/ restaurants to fix it. Sounds Dangerous is an empty building, most of the shows are outdated, it has the worst layout of any Disney park I’ve been to, the lack of vision in almost every addition to the park since the mid 90’s has been nonexistent, the random mix of themes is unforgivably bad, the lack of family attractions causes the few attractions family attractions (TSM in particular) to have ridiculous waits, and even the Great Movie Ride seems lackluster these days.

    RSR is a very good ride and Cars Land is very detailed and a wonder of modern day imagineering, but it is not the park saving mega land that many make it out to be. Actually what saved DCA IMO is 1st BVS, 2nd WoC, and 3rd Cars Land. Sure Cars Land is the major draw that everyone talks about, sure Cars Lans has the major new E-ticket, sure it’s very detailed and immersive, but the entrance to DCA sets the mood for new DCA. WoC keeps people in the park at night. BVS set up the immersive theming of Cars Land.

    Why can’t TDO just listen to their customers and fix the problems with DHS and not try another knee jerk e-ticket addition like they have done for the last decade?

    Thanks for the Update Cory.

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  • Susan Hughes

    WDW has already sunk a ton of money into the Fantasyland expansion. And even more money into the “confirmed” Avatarland at Animal Kingdom. Based on the spending habits of WDW, I just can’t see them spending any more money into a clone of Cars Land. Hell, I can’t believe the projects they’ve already OK’d. They’re just too cheap.
    And Kathy Magnum may have been in charge of the Cars Land project, but that doesn’t mean she was sent to Florida to clone California Adventure’s big smash hit. Kathy may have been in charge, but let’s face facts, Cars Land is 100% John Lassiter’s baby. So unless the rumors flying around start to drop his name, I don’t see it happening.
    And are the Orlando Imagineers really that incapable of coming up with something on their own? There are so many other Disney themes out there, are they just going to throw in the towel and say, “We suck! We can’t come up with anything clever so we’ll rip off Anaheim”.

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  • ddavis16

    I really think that disney should expand Hollywood Studios because it’s one the smaller parks and could be done in a day. Even though it’s my favorite park because of Tower of Terror and Rock in Roller Coaster, they need more rides and it would be hard to have marvel because I heard that Universal still has the park rights still I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t think think they should have Cars Land there because the E-ticket ride for it is like Test Track (saw a video on youtube) besides at the end you’re racing another vehicle. I would really like to see them start Beastly Kingdom at the Animal Kingdom which was suppose to be part of the park when it was supposed to open.