Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World. We were on limited time (fun reference there) this week, so we only have for you what’s going on at the Magic Kingdom, but it still comes out to 50 photos, and some fun things to discuss, so let’s go!

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

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Work is still being done to install the new RFID turnstiles at the park.

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I’m sure many of you have seen the back and forth between Rep. Markey and Mr. Iger on this topic. Very interesting stuff, and Iger’s letter probably didn’t do him any favors when it comes to making fans, as he came off as somewhat rude. Certainly if a frontline CM said those things to a guest, they’d be fired on the spot. Heading into the park, you can see that the Dream Lights have now been removed from Cinderella Castle, and the castle just looks a whole lot cleaner, and is much nicer for photographs.

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[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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Not a lot has changed over at the Tangled restroom area, so here are two quick shots of it.

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However, over at the Mine Train though, there was a lot of change. The shape of the mountain/hill is starting to become more clear, and I think that this attraction will certainly be surprising guests, given a lot of the negative hype around it.

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Here’s a look through the walls on the left side of the site.

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You can see here how much mesh is up that will soon be covered in rock work.

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They’ve started putting mesh and wire on the top of the hill as well.

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Cottages are coming along nicely.

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And a few shots from through the wall on the right hand side.

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You can see the track swooping down either in or out of the station here.

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They’ve also extended out the walls on the front half of the area, making the Winnie the Pooh walkways rather narrow. But, they probably have to do this, since it seems they are starting to branch off from working on just the main hill of this attraction.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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Main Street is looking quite good right now.

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For some reason though, they have yet to put the statue of Roy and Minnie back in Town Square where it belongs. It is currently out in front of City Hall.

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The bakery is still down for Starbucking.

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Sleepy Hollow refurb continues, but it is still open for those great waffle sandwiches.

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In Adventureland, another scrim has gone up behind the wall next to Aloha Isle.

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This building, the old Crow’s Nest gift shop is still closed and behind walls. I had the thought while I was in the park that this could possibly end up being the home base for the new Pirate interactive game.

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Splash Mountain continues its long refurbishment.

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Beautiful day on the Rivers of America!!

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Scrims have extended in Liberty Square to almost cover Columbia Harbor House, and it seems that some pavement work is happening there now as well.

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This scrim is still up at the exit to it’s a small world.

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Nothing new to report on at the old Snow White resting place.

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The Dream Lights are down, but when I was in the park, the crane was still parked there, blocking the Tomorrowland walkway and the Sir Mickey’s gift shop.

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Winnie the Pooh has reopened after a short refurbishment last week.

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The Barnstormer is currently closed for refurbishment.

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And finally, the facade for the Little Mermaid attraction still looks great!!

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Well, that’s going to do it for this week. What are your thoughts on Iger’s response to Rep. Markey? Are you pleased with the forward motion of the construction and refurbishments at the Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!!

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Cory

    Hopefully, the Mine Coaster will be a great addition to the park, and be an emersive, but midly thrilling ride.

    Thanks Again Cory

    Trumpet

  • ParkerMonroe

    “I’m sure many of you have seen the back and forth between Rep. Markey and Mr. Iger on this topic. Very interesting stuff, and Iger’s letter probably didn’t do him any favors when it comes to making fans, as he came off as somewhat rude. Certainly if a frontline CM said those things to a guest, they’d be fired on the spot.”

    I, for one, am a bigger fan of Iger now. That’s the kind of letter I want to write to my congressman! My favorite part (and it applies to MUCH of what the government meddles in):

    “Had you or your staff made the slightest effort, you would have found most of the answers to your questions already existed”

    Just know that Ed Markey is currently running in a special election to replace John Kerry (who will become secretary of state). Personally, I think this was all very well timed free publicity. Congressman Markey’s name is now in every newspaper. It’s really the tail wagging the dog…

    • Douglass Abramson

      Not to mention that Markey’s initial letter was extremely belligerent and made some fairly wild accusations. While he has a record of looking into privacy violations, he was putting Disney’s new, not mandatory, technologies in the same category with government wiretapping people’s phones without a warrant. It looks like a publicity stunt and Iger’s slap down made it backfire on the congressman.

  • ttintagel

    I haven’t heard a single bit of “negative hype” about the Mine Train. Even people who miss SWSA have said they wish they could have both.

  • Eric Davis

    Great update Cory! Love seeing the mine train come together!

  • Claybob

    As always…GREAT shots and nice update Cory. Lots of refurbishment going on all around the park. Heading there in late April and can’t wait! My bags are already packed and ready to go. I’m not a big fan of some of the stuff I’ve heard concerning the RFID installation. Part of me says it’s fine…when I take a cruise stuff goes on my room key instead of me dragging out my wallet…and part of me wishes they would have spent some of those funds on updating and adding to the park. I enjoy the park but it is getting a little “stale.” I have to agree with ParkerMonroe and his comments about Iger vrs. Markey. Nicely said! Sort of seems like a “publicity grab” on Markey’s part. Keeps his name out there and as the saying goes…”Even bad publicity is still good publicity.”

  • Malin

    I have read a few negatives about the Mine Train and you would think we were getting another Barnstormer the way some are carrying in about it!

    The Show scene promises the use of real AA’s. The track and the swinging cars add new fun additions to your standard Disney Coaster. And I don’t think we even need to question them over the detail coming off from New Fantasyland.

    Cory following you on Twitter, I thought you would have mentioned about your experience on the Monorail this week. You are not the only person I’ve heard complain about the existing fleet this week. Orlando Attractions – The Show host Banks Lee also spoke about being stuck on the Express Monorail this week.

  • tcsnwhite

    You know, for all the constant complaining about WDW (and I agree much of it is warranted), particularly on Magic Kingdom’s physical state, it is nice to see so much of the park getting thorough refurbishments.

    Yes, the park is stale – especially in live entertainment offerings (parades, shows, etc. running on 12+ years now) … but the park, physically, finally seems to be getting the attention it needs and is shining a bit brighter.

  • QPerth

    Another terrific update, thanks so much for providing us this wonderful service, not only for our weekly fix, but for Historical’s sake so there is a wonderful record of these places for the future.

    I thought Mr Iger’s response was firm, but certainly fair. I think the Congressman was poking with a stick to get attention for himself. It made my opinion of Iger even higher, showing he won’t deal with grandstanding and uninformed attention seeking against the Disney brand lightly. And if people are really concerned about privacy, how often do they use Smart Phones, web check-ins, Google and social media themselves?

    Thanks for the update again!

  • Bronco21

    Great update! Thanks. Maybe I underestimated SDC. It looks to be pretty nice little addition.

  • Haven

    In support of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Coaster, give me a winding coaster track, some tunnels, great rock work and throw some sparkly gems in there and I’m happy! I see this as a very charming addition to Fantasyland, Maybe there will be a waterfall or two in there and finally, after 41 years, this Fantasyland will have what Disneyland has always had, a mountain coaster with the sounds of screams and rushing water to fill the air…Yay!!

  • Baloo

    now all they need to do is to tear out the ugly speedway and add a decent attraction that fits the area and then continue to update and freshen up the outdated medieval look of the older section of fantasyland