Hello, and welcome to the first Dateline Disney World of 2013! This week, we’re covering news and construction updates from both Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Walt Disney World!

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

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[center][size=5][b]Crowds![/b][/size]
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Boy, was it crowded this week in the park. There were several days this past week where Magic Kingdom hit some form of capacity, which had some guests a little frustrated.

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The queue for Haunted Mansion went down to the old boat dock.

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And started near the entrance to the Liberty Belle.

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This line for the Dole Whips extended down almost to the Adventureland bridge.

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And now, for your viewing pleasure, I present many photos of the wait time signs in the park!

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Not the most fun time to be in the park, but it is pretty well known about this time of year.

[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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Starting with the Tangled restrooms, here’s the view from the Rivers of America.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld122013-IMG_8901.jpg[/img]

And now some shots from close up, where you can see workers adding some interesting colors to the building.

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I find it incredibly interesting that Disney has yet to really acknowledge the fact that they are building these restrooms. With the Parks Blog hyping up almost everything, it’s weird that they haven’t said a word about it.

On to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld122013-IMG_8911.jpg[/img]

Another week, more steel!

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Through the peek a boo walls near Old Fantasyland.

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It seems as though they have made significant strides outlining the mesh for the rock work here.

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Workers were also doing their thing with the cottages on the back half of the attraction.

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Some new posts have been added by where the newest piece of track is.

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Through the Storybook Circus peek a boo wall.

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This is pretty obviously going to be a load/unload area.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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While the Christmas decorations are still up on Main Street, the Rose Garden has changed from red and white back to it’s typical colors.

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Lastly, for Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain has closed for a lengthy refurbishment.

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Hopefully they will fix the many problems that exist with this attraction.

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Hopefully there will be no more tarps in the load area, broken AA’s, and everything will get a fresh coat of paint.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld122013-IMG_8898.jpg[/img]

On to Epcot!

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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Lots of little odds and ends at the park for this week.

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This new food cart opened, then went back under walls, then came back again.

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While I’m a fan of Spaceship Earth logos on things, I’m not so much a fan of clutter in Innoventions Plaza, in which there was plenty without throwing this cart in there. Perhaps it would be better served somewhere else in Future World.

Christmas is still at Epcot, and kind of not. Topiaries are still there.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld122013-IMG_8802.jpg[/img]

But at the same time, the stage for Joyful!, the gospel group is gone from the Fountain of Nations, and the Christmas tree in the World Showcase plaza is also gone.

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The area in Germany for the holidays is also behind bushes.

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And the Candlelight Processional is all done for the year.

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There was some work behind scrims happening along the walkway from Imagination to World Showcase.

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Seems too early to be Flower and Garden prep, but I’m drawing a blank on what it could be. Anyone have a guess?

Monsieur Paul has opened up in the France pavilion, and has opened to some mixed reviews. I tried to get in to take pictures, but they said they opened later in the day and that I needed a reservation to step inside.

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The name outside the old gift shop has changed to reflect the bakery moving in there.

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And it seems they are close to being finished inside.

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You can even see the signage for the bakery on the right hand side of the frame.

And lastly, the Cool Wash was open over by Test Track. I hadn’t seen that open in a while, which I guess is a good thing. The whole thing is ugly as sin, but at least if it is going to be there, let it be operational.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld122013-IMG_8880.jpg[/img]

Well, that wraps things up for this week’s Dateline. Would you ever brave the crowds I saw at Magic Kingdom this week? Excited for the new bakery/ice cream parlor to open in France? 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]