Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! In this week’s column, we’ll take a look at the many goings on at the Magic Kingdom! Let’s get started!!

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

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[center][size=5][b]Farewell to Halloween[/b][/size]
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If you’re reading this column, it means that if you aren’t going to the Halloween Party tonight (11/2), this season is all wrapped up, and Holiday decorations will be going up for next week. Here are some shots of the park at Halloween to help you bid it farewell.

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[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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Starting at the “fanciest restrooms in all of the land” project, things keep moving along, with more rock work being painted, and more things happening on the building itself.

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The building itself is moving right along.

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Lots of scaffolding up around the pieces of the building. Look for detail work reasonably soon.

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For some reason, scaffolding went back up in New Fantasyland, over by Enchanted Tales with Belle. Anyone know why?

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Looking at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we keep seeing more steel and more connecting pieces go up every week.

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Steady progress every week.

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These definitely look like roof structures.

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You can kind of see some rounded-ness here, which could be the hills in the near future.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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The Magic Carpets of Aladdin resumed flight this week.

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But, the entrance is still surrounded by construction walls.

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Splash Mountain was running dry for a while this week since we had some colder temperatures.

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Anyone remember when Br’er Rabbit used to be atop this sign? I do, and wish he would come back.

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The scrims that went up in Liberty Square last week now have picture scrims overtop of them.

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Refurb work continues at Pinnochio Village Haus.

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CM previews have been going on at New Fantasyland, leaving lots of guests confused as to why they couldn’t get in. No worries though, Disney has a bunch of CMs deployed at the entrance explaining the situation.

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Inside Big Top Souvenirs, I noticed this area specific Magic Kingdom merchandise.

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Very cool on Disney’s part, and I hope more things like this roll out in the future.

While also inside Big Top, more theming was added since I had been in there last, all circus style things hanging from the tent.

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I don’t know why this wall is still up at the exit to the Fantasyland Train Station.

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Over at Carousel of Progress, I noticed something this week that I had not yet seen before.

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The gears don’t have the year on them anymore!

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This used to be something we took a photo of every year on our annual vacation which was special. How hard wool it be for them to slap something on there? A small gripe, I know, but it really is the little things like this that make the place special.

Refurb work continues at the entrance to Monsters Inc.

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In the gift shops, they have gone all out for Wreck-It Ralph.

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The CM outside the shop was wearing a pair.

Also, these guys will be around for a long time after this week.

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In case you were living under a rock, Disney purchased Lucasfilm this week and also announced they’ll be making more Star Wars movies. There’s been enough extensive writing on the internet about this, so I’ll keep my opinion short. I love it, and I think it is a huge move for Disney and really cements Iger’s legacy. Between this, Pixar, and Marvel, he has done his fair share of work that will make the company lots of money for a long time. Now we can only hope we’ll get a Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios!!

Nice color in front of the sea serpent topiary.

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I noticed this interesting set of ears in one of the gift shops. Here are the left ear, and the right ear.

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Very interesting, featuring both Florida and California and their respective castles. Could it be some Cars Land at WDW foreshadowing?

Also, I saw a Disneyland hat in a WDW gift shop, and thought it was rather funny.

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Well, that wraps things up for this week’s Dateline. What do you all think of the Lucasfim acquisition? Good move or bad move? 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]

  • doppio

    Love the park specific merch. Thanks Cory.

  • QPerth

    Small moves, but these items of Park specific merch are wonderful, and I really hope this trend won’t be just a trend! But a growing list of items.

    Another wonderful Dateline for regular visitors, and people who’ve never been alike. Thanks so much for all your hardwork in bringing these to the fans near and far!
    -Q

  • That Cars Land ear hat with the Anaheim and Orlando castles sure is interesting!

    Great update Cory. Your farewell to Halloween photos were beautiful and make me miss the holiday already.

    • Cory Disbrow

      I’m more excited for Christmas. I think the parks truly shine during the holidays!

  • SoarinMatt

    I think “the living under a rock” statement was really rude considering what happened outside of Disney this week (Hurricane Sandy) and that so many people in the New Jersey, New York, New England area are without power and can’t access any news, and even if they could, Disney buying Lucasfilm is probably the last thing on their minds.

    • jcruise86

      I forgive you, Cory! Thanks for an excellent update!

    • Cory Disbrow

      Never meant to offend anyone, just a phrase. Apologies if I did.

  • dsnyfnatic

    Um Splash Mountain doesn’t “run dry” because of cold temperatures (with the possible exception of the water cannons occasionally being turned off). It was experiencing “technical difficulties” off and on pretty much all week, and part of those difficulties caused the water to be shut off from the “big drop.”

    Also, where are the pictures of the GIANT canvas tarps covering the entire Splash station? They’ve been there for almost three weeks now and no photos!

    • Cory Disbrow

      I didn’t mean that the whole ride was dry, I guess have should have specified just the drop at the end. Logs were most definitely going down the drop the way you see it in the update.

      As for the tarps, I didn’t know about them. No one mentioned them to me, and I simply haven’t been on Splash in weeks, so I would not have seen them for myself. I try my best to cover everything I can, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

      • Kidgenie

        Hi Cory. It is true, the logs were falling with guests in them, and no water falling down the big drop, Chick a pin hill. However, this is not because of weather. It is due to mechanical issues they are having. The same thing happened this summer.

  • Folks, Cory is covering the entire WDW resort. If you see news, changes, anything interesting going on, please be sure to write us and let us know about it and we’ll be sure to send someone out to cover it. 🙂

  • wdwprince

    I love the details like Brer Rabbit on top of the light post also. Here is a pic I took in 2010 of it.
    http://69.89.31.86/~wdwprinc/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/dsc_0196.jpg

  • Plaiditude

    “In case you were living under a rock?” Oh, no, sorry, I was just living through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I was one of the lucky 10% who had power on Long Island, 90% of Long Island didn’t have power. Half of us still don’t. On the day of the announcement, I was watching ABC the ENTIRE day til 7 pm and they didn’t even announce it, they were covering the hurricane. We all know ABC is owned by Disney, so that should give you a hint at the magnitude of the storm, and the aftermath that we’re dealing with up here.

    I’m a former CM, a DVC member, and even I couldn’t give two you know whats about the announcement, considering what we’re dealing with up here. Many people aren’t living under a rock, they’re living without homes, electricity, and heat when it’s going to be 30 degrees tonight. Please try to be a bit sensitive, that was very poor wording there.