Happy New Year from Walt Disney World! This week, we are heading to the Magic Kingdom to see what’s new. Let’s go!

Starting Monday, January 9th, the Magic Kingdom will present a new “ Opening Moment”. Guests will be allowed early access to Main Street USA so they can stop for breakfast and shop. The Castle forecourt stage will host this special welcome to open the Park for the day. The current welcome show takes place at the front gates and the Main Street Railroad station.

Welcome to the Kingdom! The Train Station will soon no longer be the centerpiece of the welcome show in the morning, as it will be moving to the castle stage.
The Train Station will soon no longer be the centerpiece of the “Welcome show” in the morning, as it will soon be moving to the castle stage.
There is a new dedicated entrance for annual pass holders!
There is a new dedicated entrance for annual pass holders!
This helped tremendously. There was a huge line for the regular turnstiles, and I was able to walk right in with no wait.
This helped tremendously. There was a huge line for the regular turnstiles, and I was able to walk right in with no wait.

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Christmas decor still up for now.
Christmas decor still up for now.

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2017 merchandise is out in the Emporium.
2017 merchandise is out in the Emporium.

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Most of Sir Mickey's is now out from under tarps.
Most of Sir Mickey’s is now out from under tarps.
Only a small section remains.
Only a small section remains.

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Shouldn't be too long until cranes return to take down the Dream Lights.
Shouldn’t be too long until cranes return to take down the Dream Lights.
Even though these photos were taken on New Year's Day, if you get there early enough, there are no crowds!
Even though these photos were taken on New Year’s Day, if you got there early enough, there were no crowds!
Stitch was actually open for this visit, although only until 6pm on a day the park was open until midnight.
Stitch was actually open for this visit, although only until 6pm on a day the park was open until midnight.

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Update - Carousel of Progress sign is still awesome.
Update – Carousel of Progress sign is still awesome.

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A view from the TTA of the absurd cabanas in Tomorrowland.
A view from the People Mover of the absurd cabanas in Tomorrowland.
Yes, that is what $649 a day gets you. I disagree with this move quite a bit. Seems like a blatant, non-themed money grab.
Yes, that is what $649 a day gets you. I disagree with this move quite a bit. Seems like a blatant, non-themed money grab. Please Disney, make this stop.

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Using signage to control crowd flow for restaurants during busy season.
Using signage to control crowd flow for restaurants during busy season.

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These signs have thankfully be replaced with nice and new colorful ones.
The old faded signs have thankfully been replaced with nice and new colorful ones.

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It took a while, but there are no more small walls outside of it's a small world.
It took a while, but there are no more small walls outside of it’s a small world.

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The exterior of the Haunted Mansion looks excellent after its recent refurbishment.
The exterior of the Haunted Mansion looks excellent after its recent refurbishment.

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One has to imagine that Hall of Presidents will be closing soon for a Donald Trump AA.
One has to imagine that Hall of Presidents will be closing soon to install a Donald Trump AA.
Sad to see a large tree cut down on the Rivers of America.
Sad to see a large tree cut down on the Rivers of America.
It used to frame the boat dock quite nicely.
It used to frame the boat dock quite nicely.

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Thunder Mountain is looking great after its multi-month refurbishment.
Thunder Mountain is looking great after its multi-month refurbishment.

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Splash Mountain had some short waits, even during this busy time due to cooler temperatures.
Splash Mountain had some short waits, even during this busy time, due to cooler temperatures.

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It should be due to go down for its annual refurbishment shortly after the holidays.
It should be due to go down for its annual refurbishment shortly after the holidays.
Jingle Cruise is still running for now.
Jingle Cruise is still running for now.

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Skipper Canteen, Be Our Guest, and Liberty Tree Tavern are all serving alcohol. This move has been seen with some controversy, as it was against Walt's wishes when Disneyland opened to serve alcohol. How do you feel about it?
Skipper Canteen, Be Our Guest, and Liberty Tree Tavern are all serving alcohol now. This move has been met with some controversy, as it was against Walt’s wishes when Disneyland opened to serve alcohol. How do you feel about it?

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That's it for this week!
That’s it for this week!

 

Just a bit of additional news from around Walt Disney World:

Beginning Saturday January 13th, Epcot International Festival of the Arts will host a special musical showcase at the America Gardens theater. Each weekend will feature favorite Disney music sung by Broadway stars. Jan 13th through 16th and 20th through 23rd will showcase Josh Strickland and Ashley Brown. They will perform songs from Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan.
Performances are scheduled for 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm Friday through Monday at the America Gardens theater.

Town Center at Disney Springs recently opened “Stance.” This boutique shop features high quality socks and underwear. Several lines of classic Disney characters and Star Wars favorites recently debuted.

That wraps up the first Dateline Disney World of 2017! Do you like what you see at the park? Anything rub you the wrong way? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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