Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we have more coverage of the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, as well as some other Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios news.


Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!


Only about another week or so to enjoy the Halloween decor at the park until we switch over to the Holidays!!

[center][size=5][b]More Fantasy[/b][/size]

This past week, I was lucky enough to attend a preview of the New Fantasyland, where I got to enjoy a tour of the Be Our Guest restaurant as well as view the new area at night. We’ll start today with Be Our Guest.

When approaching the restaurant, these statues are imposing and wonderful.


Once you enter the restaurant, these minotaur are holding up the archway to the dining areas.


And this stained glass portrait of Belle and the Prince is on the left. You can bet a Photopass photographer will be stationed here.


The quick service area which is for lunch only starts with you walking through this hallways flanked by the Suits of Armor.



You are then led to this room, which houses the ordering devices.


Note the touch screen for self ordering and customization, as well as the big old NextGen RFID reader on the bottom left.


While the majority of ordering systems are self-run, we were told there will be two Cast Members in there to deal with customers who would rather tell someone their order or pay by cash. We then lead into the jaw dropping ballroom.



It really is stunning. Tons of detail, and very obvious there was a sizable budget attached to this project.


Beautiful lighting both at the walls and hanging from the ceiling.



Heading to the right of the ballroom is the Rose Gallery.


The centerpiece here is this music box of Belle and Beast, which is explained to be a gift from Maurice. You can see a working model of it in Maurice’s work room in the Enchanted Tales attraction.



Rose details are all over this room.


On the opposite side of the ballroom is the West Wing, which is the “scary” room. It wasn’t quite as spooky as Disney made it out to be, but it is somewhat understandable as children will be dining in here.




In this room, you’ll find this portrait of the Prince.


As well as the Enchanted Rose.


There are thunderstorm effects in this room, and as the storm gets closer, petals fall off of the rose. Once the last once falls, lightning strikes, and for a split second, the portrait of the Prince morphs into the Beast.


It is a pretty neat effect, but if you blink you might miss the Beast. The effects in this room might remind you of the Sorcerers Workshop in Disney California Adventure’s Animation building where they have similar effects.

Overall, the restaurant is very pretty, no doubts there. I hope that the food matches the theme. If that’s the case, we’ll definitely have a winner here!

Here are some night shots of the New Fantasyland!




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

Over at what I’m now calling “The Fanciest Restrooms in all of the Land”, progress has really started to pick up.


Painted rock work!

The building has also seen lots of change.




Thatching on the roof.



Over at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, things keep changing as the mountain keeps taking shape.




They are putting another layer on the main lift hill.



More steel goes up every week.



It looks like these could be a cottage or building of some sort.


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

At the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, there has been some repainting going on. There may be other things happening over the walls, but it is hard to tell.




When I was in the park, everything had relatively short lines with the exception of the Jungle Cruise. Ouch.


Over at Pirates, there were changes made to the inside of the ride in the addition of mermaids.


I did not get to see them due to very limited time in the park this week, but I’ve heard mostly positive things about them. They seem dark and creepy, which is a great vibe for the beginning of this attraction. Kevin Yee had a nice review on the site earlier this week: Mermaids and Bears at Disney World

Why is this restaurant not open most of the time? It’s one of the only places in MK that features some different things, including a tasty non-alcoholic Sangria!


Crow’s Nest still under refurbishment. This has been months now.


Here’ a fun angle on Thunder Mountain.


Scrims are up for some refurb work in Liberty Square.


A beautiful day at the Rivers of America.


There was some quiet refurbishment work happening over Mickey’s Philharmagic, and it has wrapped up.



Welcome to the Studios!


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

Lots of little things at the Studios this week. There was some sort of stage set up at the Sorcerer Hat this week. Anyone know what for?


Over at the Animation Courtyard, you can now see Wreck-it-Ralph things on display.





Also, starting this weekend, you can meet Ralph. For now, the area is behind walls.


Much to my surprise, there was an animator at the attraction! Something I’ve not seen in some time.


Wreck-It Ralph merchandise has also made it into the parks.


Also in the merchandise department, they had this poster on display. Sign of things to come, perhaps?


Over at the new Jack Sparrow attraction, lots of detail is finishing on the mural on the outside of the building.



Backlot Tour under refurbishment. I’m curious to see how long this lasts with Cars Land potentially going here someday.


On the Streets of America, the Osborne Lights are getting very close to being finished, as they go live in about two weeks.






Jennings Osborne’s stocking!



And lastly, refurbishment is still going on at the Celebrity 5&10.


Well, that wraps things up for this week’s Dateline. Did you make a reservation for the new Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom yet? Are you excited to enjoy the holiday offerings at the resort in just a few weeks? 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]