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!!

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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]