Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! In this week’s column, we’ll take a look at some Limited Time Magic (or is that Limited Magic Time?), some projects at the Magic Kingdom, and also some things that are going on over at Hollywood Studios! Let’s get started!!

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

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As you can see, the theme for this week’s Limited Time Magic was Long Lost Friends, a meet and greet with many characters who never roam the Magic Kingdom anymore. Here are a bunch of photos from the event.

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This week’s event was much cooler than the lame Winter Wonderland thing they did in Canada at Epcot last week. It also seemed much better received by fans and guests alike. But at the same time, it was still just a set of meet and greets, and they weren’t meet and greets that were added to the normal offerings, they just simply took the place of the Plutos and Daisys that would inhabit Town Square in the mornings.

[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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The Tangled restroom area keeps pushing towards a future opening.

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I spoke before about how I didn’t feel the roof colors fit, but the more the get done, the more sense it makes. It also fits in with the Village Haus down the road as well.

Over at the Mine Train, we keep seeing more track installed, more mesh going up, and the project continually getting bigger and bigger.

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I’m really excited to see how this project interacts with the ground and rock work around it.

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The chimneys that were installed last week are now wrapped in protective materials.

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Some views from the other side of the hill.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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While over near Storybook Circus, there was another set of signs directing guests to the new Fastpass location installed.

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Work was being done this week to remove the Dream Lights from Cinderella Castle.

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This causes part of the area behind the castle to be closed, as well as the walkway to Tomorrowland, which sends guests in line for the Merida meet and greet basically out into the walkways.

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But, it is necessary, and the castle looks so clean without the netting on it.

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Paving work has moved a little bit closer to Winnie the Pooh now.

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Speaking of Winnie the Pooh, the ride is down for refurbishment now, and with it comes construction walls that make for a nice and narrow passageway from Storybook Circus to the rest of Fantasyland.

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Over at the Yankee Trader, the building looks great, but I’m a little sad that the rocking chairs have yet to return.

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Splash Mountain continues its long refurbishment, with scaffolding still everywhere and paint being done on the briar patch.

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In Liberty Square, picture scrims are now up at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments for an exterior refurbishment.

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And in Adventureland, Disney announced this week that a Pirate/Captain Jack Sparrow themed interactive game is going to be installed. These are some of the rumored pieces for this game.

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There were some small walls up as well, probably for props that have yet to be installed.

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I cannot say I’m a fan of this. There are enough interactive games in the parks now where they are starting to clutter the theme and ruin the ambience of the lands. And I think we also have enough Pirates at WDW too. We have PotC, Pirates League, Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial, and the Captain Jack experience at DHS. One would think they’ve milked it enough. Speaking of DHS…

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Welcome to the Studios!

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Now that the Christmas tree is gone, Sorcerer Mickey and the Broom topiaries are back in the front of the park.

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One set of RFID turnstiles is installed at the park, while another is currently being installed.

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Disney Junior is currently under refurb.

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The last time I was at DHS (very long ago), Celebrity 5&10 was under scrims, but it is out now and looks quite nice.

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There were also lots of fresh flowers planted in the park this week. They really help with the look, feel and mood of the park. Don’t you think?

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The Star Wars photo op was missing its bike.

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Some Muppet shots.

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Streets of America is still recovering from the Osborne Lights.

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The famous toilet paper tree still stands tall though!

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Even when the park is relatively dead, Toy Story Mania still gets crazy waits.

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Mr. Spell in Pixar Place has been working though, which is awesome.

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I don’t quite understand why this Captain Jack show gets 60 minute waits, but it does. 60 minutes is a little past my threshold. Especially for a minor attraction such as this one.

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Ads are up for Oz and Monsters University.

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Animation Archway looks clean and good.

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The Sorcerer Hat also doesn’t have a stage in front of it anymore, and hopefully won’t until Star Wars Weekends.

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It’s nice when there is no stage, since there are no makeshift control rooms in the courtyard anymore either.

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All things considered, on an upkeep and maintenance level, DHS seemed very clean and nice this week. Hopefully, soon, if the rumors are true, there will be some definite substance added to the park and reason to stay there a while as well.

American Idol added some new songs you can sing, and it seems they’ve cut back on the amount of shows during the off season as well.

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And for some sarcasm to finish today, American Idol is clearly an attraction that warrants and direly needs Fastpass.

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Well, that wraps things up for this week. What are your thoughts on another meet and greet for Limited Time Magic? Looking forward for the future of DHS? Let us know in the comments below!!

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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]