Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’ll be taking a look at some construction and holiday happenings at the Magic Kingdom!

Before we start, we would just like to let you know that you can support the column while doing your holiday shopping at Amazon this holiday season. All you have to do is CLICK HERE and of anything you buy from the site, a percentage will go to support the column, at no cost to you! It really helps keep us going, so we would greatly appreciate it! Let’s head to MK now!

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

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The Holiday Season is still in full force at the park.

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And this weekend, Disney will do its filming for the annual television production of the Christmas Parade for ABC. Preparations were being done in the park this week for it.

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Planters were blocking this area where all sorts of audio and video equipment is being held.

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The red stage is also set for the performances that happen in front of Cinderella Castle during the broadcast.

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[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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Over at the Tangled themed restroom area, workers keep making progress, and more final pieces of this project continue to go up.

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After I visited the park this week, Disney also installed Rapunzel’s Tower in this location, so look for photos of that from me next week. From the looks of things, the tower is quite visible from Haunted Mansion, which makes for quite the clash of theme, and I’m curious to see it in person to see if that is in fact true.

Over in new Fantasyland, work continues on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

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Lots and lots of steel that will soon be covered in rockwork or “millwork”.

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Progress continues on the backside of the mountain.

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I’m curious to see what this large square shape contains, since it doesn’t really seem to fit the style of New Fantasyland. It more than likely will when completed.

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Some views from the front of the project.

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And from Storybook Circus.

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[center][size=5][b]Previews Continue[/b][/size]
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New Fantasyland is less than a week away from being grand opened, and previews are continuing all day, every day until then.

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Lines are long now that anyone can enter the land.

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This pathway between where Mermaid is and Storybook Circus was open for the busy Thanksgiving week, but is now closed.

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Over in Storybook Circus, new, more themed walls have gone up near the Mine Train construction area.

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Nothing to get too jazzed up about, but they do look nicer than the typical walls Disney puts up, which is good.

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The lights were turned on during the day on the Dumbo marque this week.

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It was a little chilly, making Casey Jr. quite lonely, but easy to take photos of.

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The cart near Casey Jr. now has all the Casey Jr. merch that can also be found at Big Top Souvenirs.

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Umbrellas for shade have also gone up in the seating area near the Dumbo/Barnstormer Fastpass location.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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Some refurbishment is happening on this bridge from Adventureland to Liberty Square.

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NextGen construction continues at the entrance to the park.

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I think this sign on the right side has something to do with NextGen as well. It kind of sticks out, but it has the classic WDW logo on it, which is a nice touch.

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Taking the monorail over to the Contemporary…

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…you will now see that the large Mickey wreath is installed for the holidays, and it looks quite nice in a photo with a monorail passing by.

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Well, that wraps things up for this week’s Dateline. How do you feel about the Tangled area and its proximity to Haunted Mansion? Like or dislike? Do you like the progress you’re seeing on the Mine Train? 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]

  • ParkerMonroe

    Great update, as per usual, Corey. I was a bit disheartened to read that you can see Rapunzel’s Tower from the Haunted Mansion. A quick Google search confirmed it: you can. It’s very tall and somewhat “cartoony”. That’s a shame. A jarring juxtaposition when seen so close to the mansion’s neo-gothic architecture.

  • indianajack

    The fence around Casey Jr., is so ugly and unfriendly, there has to be a better way.

  • ti2gr

    The sign on the right side pictured above is actually the backside of the sign that leads guests to the Ferryboats.

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for the update!

    I wonder how much time will pass between the opening of the Dwarf coaster
    and the opening of the next big thing in a WDW theme park.

    Didn’t the Animal Kingdom park open in 1998? The way WDW parks grew in its first 27 years from 1971 through 1998 was impressive. The last 15 years seem much less inspired for WDW’s parks.

  • The Fantasyland Expansion was not the silver bullet the park needs to attract an expanded audience. They have great plans for Fire Mountain and Villain Mountain which could easily be dusted off and which would create an instant MUST SEE feeling in guests and potential guests.

  • QPerth

    Thanks Cory for another wonderful update!
    That fence around Casey Jr is so wrong. How could they have designed something so awesome, then when people climb on it just destroy the aesthetics of it so crudely! If parents and individuals just took some damn responsibility for a change, this wouldn’t happen. Plain and simple.
    And sad to say, as gorgeous as the Rapunzal tower IS, it shouldn’t be there. The wonderful detail of the tower is negated by the sight-lines from all over that the tower ruins. You can see it from Frontierland!
    Cinderella’s Castle intruding on sight-lines is different. It stands at the end of Main Street for the obvious one, but it serves a purpose. It acts as the directional-calibrator of the park as a whole. Seeing the Rapunzal Tower from HM and Frontierland, and lord knows where else is BAD design and planning. Especially in a park graced with such size. Even in the context of the film this is all wrong. It didn’t rise above a little villiage, it was secluded and hidden. No excuse for this. Get rid of it or move it. They are just rest-rooms after all and do not need it there.